CHICAGO – On July 10 last year, when Manny Pacquiao’s lawyers asked Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to be deposed, the undefeated American boxer declined the court-ordered deposition, saying he has “begun an intense training regimen” for his bout with Victor Ortiz.
It turned out that on that day, Mayweather “hosted a party with rapper Gucci Mane at a nightclub in Atlanta where he was captured on film burning a $100 bill.”
On July 13 (2011), a date Pacquiao’s lawyers had offered for deposition buy Mayweather refused, the latter was at a nightclub in Miami, Florida, and on July 16, he sent a message on Twitter: “2nite I’m at club #Dream … It’s going 2 be crazy.”
Last Sept. 17, Judge Larry R. Hicks of the United States District of Nevada in Las Vegas had had enough of Mayweather’s excuses. He ordered Mayweather to award Manny Pacquiao’s lawyers $113,518.50 and additional $774.10 in court cost, noting the lawyers dogged effort to depose and prepare motions to have the American boxer deposed.
On Dec. 19, 2011, Judge Hicks denied Pacquiao’s lawyers motion for attorney’s fees “without prejudice” for failure of Pacquiao’s lawyers to provide “a general breakdown that counsel worked 196.9 hours on scheduling Mayweather’s deposition and drafting the related motions.”
But in a refiled motion by Pacquiao’s lead lawyers David Marroso and Daniel M. Petrocelli for award of attorney’s fees on Dec. 30, 2011, Marroso presented a “detailed spreadsheet that reflects and organizes the actual invoices submitted to Pacquiao. The spreadsheet identifies every task performed, the date on which the task was performed, the attorney, who performed the task, a detailed description of the work performed, the amount of time expended on each task, and the amount of money billed to Pacquiao for the task.”
During a hearing of the case on Aug. 8, 2012 on the refiled motion for attorney’s fees, the court “made an initial finding that the lodestar rate requested in this action (litigation between very preeminent stars in the boxing industry) along with the amount of hours billed, were reasonable in light of the nature of this action.”
(A lodestar is the amount obtained by multiplying the reasonable amount of hours spent by an attorney working on a case by the reasonable hourly billing rate for purposes of calculating an award of attorney’s fees.)
Marroso of the O’Melveny & Myers LLP was billing Pacquiao $695 per hour while Marroso’s associate, Harrison Whitman, who graduated from law school in 2008, was charging Pacquiao $495 per hour.
But Mayweather’s lawyers led by Mark G. Tratos argued in opposing Pacquiao’s lawyers lodestar that “because courts have approved fee requests of $350/hr and $400/hr, Pacquiao’s request for a lodestar of $505.84 is ‘exorbitant.’(Joseph G. Lariosa)