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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/09/2019 at 06:28:11 (UTC).

GUILERMO ESPINOZA VS HEPTA RUN, INC.

Case Summary

On 09/11/2017 GUILERMO ESPINOZA filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against HEPTA RUN, INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MICHAEL P. VICENCIA, PATRICK T. MADDEN and MARK C. KIM. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1371

  • Filing Date:

    09/11/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

MICHAEL P. VICENCIA

PATRICK T. MADDEN

MARK C. KIM

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

GUILLERMO ESPINOZA

GUILLERMO ESPINOZA ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF

Defendants

TAWNY HART

TRUCKING INC. A CORPORATION

HEPTA RUN INC.

DOE 1 THROUGH 100 INCLUSIVE

HRT TRUCKING INC. A CORPORATION

TSENG ED

HART TAWNY

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

LAW OFFICES OF STEPHEN GLICK

GLICK STEPHEN

Defendant Attorneys

CULVER IAN

ROSS MEGAN E.

BOOTH HILLARY ARROW

 

Court Documents

Order

9/11/2017: Order

Unknown

10/13/2017: Unknown

Unknown

10/13/2017: Unknown

Unknown

4/25/2018: Unknown

Reply

12/11/2018: Reply

Proof of Service by Mail

12/11/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Ex Parte Application

1/8/2019: Ex Parte Application

Proof of Personal Service

1/10/2019: Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Service by Mail

1/11/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Service by Mail

1/11/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Declaration

1/11/2019: Declaration

Minute Order

1/17/2019: Minute Order

Minute Order

3/11/2019: Minute Order

Notice

3/21/2019: Notice

Request for Judicial Notice

4/19/2019: Request for Judicial Notice

Memorandum of Points & Authorities

5/30/2019: Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Minute Order

6/5/2019: Minute Order

Unknown

6/5/2019: Unknown

84 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/07/2019
  • Reply (Reply in Support of Demurrer by Defendant Ed Tseng to Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint); Filed by ED TSENG (Defendant)

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  • 06/05/2019
  • at 11:19 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 06/05/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 06/05/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/05/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/05/2019
  • Notice of Related Case; Filed by TAWNY HART (Defendant)

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  • 05/30/2019
  • Memorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/13/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Party's Motion

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  • 04/30/2019
  • Notice of Ruling; Filed by TAWNY HART (Defendant)

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  • 04/29/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (Ex Parte Application To Advance Hearing Date For Motion For Summary Adjudication) - Held - Continued

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115 More Docket Entries
  • 11/27/2017
  • Minute order entered: 2017-11-27 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/13/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/13/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/13/2017
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Summons; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Order (To Show Cause Hearing); Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by GUILLERMO ESPINOZA, on behalf of himself, (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/11/2017
  • Notice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: NC061371    Hearing Date: November 05, 2020    Dept: S27

  1. Background Facts

    Plaintiff, Guillermo Espinoza filed this action against Defendants, Hepta Run, Inc., HRT Trucking, Inc., and Tawny Hart for various wage and hour violations and unfair business practices. Plaintiff filed his complaint on 9/11/17. Plaintiff subsequently added PAGA claims to his complaint by way of amendment. Plaintiff’s operative complaint is his Fourth Amended Complaint, which he filed on 11/29/18.

    The case proceeded to bench trial in late 2019. On 5/22/20, the Court entered Judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendants, Hepta Run, Inc. and Ed Tseng; judgment is in the amount of $62,710.81 jointly and severally, as well as $3975.28 against Hepta only, plus interest. The judgment specifically provides for subsequent entry of attorneys’ fees per noticed motion and costs per memorandum of costs.

  2. Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs

  1. Parties’ Positions

    Plaintiff filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs on 7/21/20, seeking to recover $103,386.50 in attorneys’ fees and $26,867.20 in costs. Plaintiff contends he is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees because he prevailed on various labor violation claims that carry attorneys’ fees penalties. Plaintiff contends his fees are reasonable and amount to 214.81 attorney hours at the rates of $800/hour (Glick) and $450/hour (Jenkins).

    Defendants oppose the motion. They argue the billing entries submitted with the moving papers are insufficient, and also include billing at odd segments, such as 1.83 hours. Defendants note discrepancies in the moving papers concerning both the judgment awarded and also the number of hours billed. They argue travel time should not be awarded because Plaintiff has not shown travel was reasonable or necessary. They argue time spent in connection with taking the default of co-defendant HRT was not necessary or reasonably incurred to prosecute the case against them.

    Plaintiff contends all descriptions of time billed are sufficient, and contends the billing intervals are created by Plaintiff’s attorney’s billing software. Plaintiff notes the typographical errors in the points and authorities, but correctly notes that the notice of motion and supporting declaration contain the correct amounts. Plaintiff concedes the amount of $1048.50 for preparation of default against HRT should be deducted.

  2. Analysis re: Attorneys’ Fees

    Both parties agree that an award of attorneys’ fees is mandated per the Labor Code. The issues for the Court, therefore, are the hourly rate and number of hours to be awarded.

    In Flannery v. California Highway Patrol (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 623, 632-633, the Court held that various factors go into determining the hourly rate to be awarded. These factors include the attorney’s skill and experience, the nature of the work performed, the relevant area of expertise, and the attorney’s customary billing rates. Thus, billing rates are a factor to be considered. However, in Chacon v. Litke (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 1234, 1260, the Court made clear that the trial court must determine the reasonable rate for attorneys with similar experience, and can award the reasonable rate regardless of the fact that attorneys are in house, retained on a contingent fee basis, charging at a discounted or below market rate, or even not charging at all. Plaintiff’s attorney took this case on a contingent fee basis, but seeks to recover attorneys’ fees at the rates of $800/hour (Glick) and $450/hour (Jenkins). Plaintiff supports the motion with not only the Declarations of Glick and Jenkins, both of whom testify to their experience and skill in the field, but also the Declaration of Paul Fine, an arbitrator who has worked with Glick and Jenkins, and who opines that their time is valued correctly.

    Defendants do not contest the billing rates of Glick or Jenkins, and instead focus their attention on the number of hours that should be billed. The Court therefore finds the rates reasonable and appropriate, and will award fees at the rates sought. The Court notes that Plaintiff does not seek a multiplier of the fees awarded, even though the case was contingent, unless the Court is inclined to reduce the hourly rates.

    Defendants challenge the number of hours billed. They challenge the hours billed on the following grounds:

  1. Costs

    Plaintiff indicates a “Memoranda (sic) of Costs” was submitted on 6/01/20, and seeks entry of a costs award in the amount of $26,867.20 per the memorandum. The Court has located the 6/01/20 memorandum of costs in the file, and finds Defendants have not filed a motion to tax costs; indeed, it appears the parties resolved issues relating to costs without court intervention. The Court will therefore enter costs in the amount of $26,867.20 into the 5/22/20 Judgment.

    Counsel should make arrangements to appear remotely at the hearing on this matter.

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