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Court Approves Fees Paid by Partnership

In this litigation over dissolution of a partnership and distribution of its assets, the Alexandria U.S. District Court adopts the magistrate judge’s recommendation to award two law firms, respectively, $67,690.50 and $176,614.49, to be paid from the undistributed share of the assets of the family limited partnership.

The magistrate judge adopted the district judge’s earlier standard for attributing fees to the partnership as a whole instead of each individual partner. That standard is based on an earlier finding that counsel assisted the special master in performing specific tasks related to the potential sale of the properties, and prepared pleadings and presented evidence that assisted the special master in determining if the partners and former tenant owed any monies to the partnership.

Counsel for plaintiff and M. Jennings were in alignment with the special master and, by extension, the partnership. Their filings played an important role in preserving the settlement agreement and defending the actions of the special master and the court and are therefore attributable to the partnership. The magistrate judge properly applied this standard to the fee requests in the May 5 report [VLW 017-3-393]. Considering the magistrate judge’s careful scrutiny of the fee requests, the court finds she correctly applied the standard for determining which fees are payable from the undistributed partnership requests.

The magistrate judge also found the fees incurred prior to settlement and the fees for services provided to JMC were properly removed in the revised fee petition submitted by M. Jennings’ counsel.

The court adopts the May 5 report and recommendation and grants in part the motion for attorney’s fees.

Dauphin v. Jennings (O’Grady) No. 1:15cv159, June 8, 2017; USDC at Alexandria, Va.; Stephen G. Cochran for plaintiff; William H. Hurd for defendant. VLW 017-3-302, 8 pp.

VLW 017-3-302