One common impediment to resolution of FLSA claims is the amount of attorneys’ fees sought by the claimant’s attorney. One important factor in assessing an appropriate fee is the rate likely to be awarded by the Court should Plaintiff prevail in that jurisdiction. A new appeals court decision approves fixing that rate at $350/hour for experienced counsel in the Eastern District of New York. Encalada v. Baybridge Enters., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15985 (2d Cir. 2015).

In Encalada, Plaintiff’s counsel appealed the narrow issue of whether the Court erred in setting its “award of attorney’s fees based on its calculation of twenty billable hours at an hourly rate of $350.” The appeals court determined that the trial court had “properly engaged in ‘a case-specific inquiry into the prevailing market rates for counsel of similar experience and skill to the fee applicant’s counsel,’ . . . when it determined that a fee below the $500 to $600 per hour sought by plaintiff’s counsel [was] sufficient ‘to induce a capable attorney to undertake the representation.’” Id. at *2.

This decision provides useful guidance to district courts when assessing attorneys’ fees and for defendants when negotiating such fees as part of a settlement.

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Photo of Noel P. Tripp Noel P. Tripp

Noel Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island office of Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the largest law firms in the United States devoted exclusively to representing management in labor and employment matters. Since joining Jackson Lewis P.C. as a summer associate…

Noel Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island office of Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the largest law firms in the United States devoted exclusively to representing management in labor and employment matters. Since joining Jackson Lewis P.C. as a summer associate in May 2005, he has practiced exclusively in employment law and has been involved in matters pending before federal and state courts and administrative agencies covering the gamut of employment-related matters from discrimination and workplace harassment to wage/hour disputes and affirmative-action compliance. His principle focus is the defense of class and collective action lawsuits under federal and state wage-and-hour laws.

Mr. Tripp is a graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B. 1999), and Fordham Law School (J.D. 2006). Prior to attending law school, Mr. Tripp was a complex commercial litigation paralegal at a large national law firm in Los Angeles, California. He is admitted to practice in the state of New York.

Education

  • Fordham University, J.D., 2006
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., 1999

Admitted to Practice

  • New York, 2007
  • New York – E.D. N.Y., 2008
  • New York – S.D. N.Y., 2008