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Date: 08-01-2022

Case Style:

Rizwan Raja v. John W. Burns, City of New York

Case Number: 21-945

Judge: Calabresi

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on appeal from the Eastern District of New York (Kings County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Jerald Horowitz

Description: Brooklyn, New York personal injury lawyer represented Plaintiff, who sued Defendant on a 1983 civil rights violation theory.

Rizwan Raja appeals from an order of the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York awarding him attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 in an
amount substantially less than he sought. After Raja prevailed against the City of New
York on the merits of his due process claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the district court,
adopting the report and recommendation of the magistrate judge, lowered the
attorney’s claimed hourly rate, excluded time spent on a related concurrent
administrative proceeding, struck certain billing entries, and imposed a 40% across-the-
board reduction to the fee request. In deciding to apply the blanket reduction, the
district court cited Raja’s lack of success on certain substantive claims, among other
factors. Raja now challenges primarily the across-the-board reduction and the exclusion
of time related to the administrative proceeding. On abuse of discretion review, we identify no error in the district court’s decision to exclude all hours related to that proceeding, but we find that the 40% blanket reduction was not justified on this record.

Outcome: Vacated and remanded.

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