Hartline Barger Partner Melissa Dorman Matthews Achieves Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Victory

Posted on January 12, 2022 by Hartline Barger - News

January 12, 2022 – Partner Melissa Dorman Matthews secures another victory for Hartline Barger at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after a hard-fought battle over attorney’s fees awarded for a class action settlement.

Matthews, who served as lead trial counsel for the matter, argued the case in front of the Fifth Circuit in March of 2021. Plaintiffs’ counsel requested $12,726,376.00 in fees – a lodestar calculation of $4,388,405.50 with a multiplier of 2.9.  The U.S. District Judge awarded Plaintiffs’ counsel more than $4.3 million in fees.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated this award yesterday, and has instructed the District Judge to recalculate the award and take into account the two issues Matthews and her team pointed out throughout the litigation:  1) the fees Plaintiffs’ counsel incurred on behalf of the successful claims were a fraction of the amounts incurred for pursuing all claims, many of which were unsuccessful; and 2) the actual benefit to the class, which counsel estimates to be less than .05% of the requested fee award.

Hartline Barger partner Angela Gordon and attorney Abigail Foreman assisted Matthews in the case, along with appellate counsel from Beck Redden LLP.

MDM Fifth Circuit Opinion
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