Kristin Bothur v. Thomas Bothur

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Superior Court of Connecticut.

Kristin Bothur v. Thomas Bothur

FA074006675S

-- September 28, 2011

CORRECTED 1 Supplemental Order regarding Attorneys Fees—Defendant's Motion for Contempt # 322.50

In this court's memorandum of decision issued October 22, 2010, on the defendant's motion for contempt, the court awarded counsel fees to the defendant and ordered his attorney to file an affidavit of counsel fees within 30 days “and within such shall detail the specific activity undertaken for time he claims to be related to the contempt claim.”   The court gave the plaintiff “30 days thereafter to file an objection or seek a hearing on the motion;  if the court receives either, it will schedule a hearing;  otherwise, it will decide the matter on the papers.”   The court now issues this supplemental order regarding attorneys fees.   See Taylor v. King, 121 Conn.App. 105, 18, 994 A.2d 330 (2010).

On November 12, 2010, the former attorney for the defendant filed an affidavit of counsel fees.   The court has carefully reviewed that affidavit.   As our Supreme Court has noted, “Connecticut courts traditionally examine the factors enumerated in rule 1.5(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct in calculating a reasonable attorneys fee award.”  Simms v. Chaisson, 277 Conn. 319, 332 (2006).2  The hourly rate charged by the plaintiff's attorney is a reasonable one for attorneys practicing in matrimonial and post-judgment proceedings in the judicial district of Tolland.   His attorney proceeded skillfully in this matter.   Although the parties also litigated the plaintiff's motions for modification # 339 and # 364 before the court, the issues completely overlapped.   After considering the factors set forth in rule 1.5(a), the court finds the amount of time claimed by his attorney to be reasonable, and awards a reasonable attorneys fee award to the defendant in the amount of $14,100.

As previously stated in the memorandum of decision, these moneys are not due to the defendant's counsel immediately.   The plaintiff takes care of many children and was not employed at the time of the memorandum of decision.   Payment of the counsel fees order shall be deferred until she has gainful employment, and then payment at a rate consistent with her support obligations.   Until such time as a court order has been entered specifying terms for her payment of this obligation, the plaintiff is ordered to provide quarterly written reports to defendant's former attorney by the tenth day of each January, April, July, and October concerning her employment and employment income for the previous quarter, and in addition she is ordered to provide to him a copy of any financial affidavit she files in any court proceeding or submits to any financial or lending institution.

BY THE COURT

STEPHEN F. FRAZZINI

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

FOOTNOTES

1.  FN1. After filing the supplemental order, the court noticed that, in the next to the last paragraph, the order incorrectly orders that counsel fees be awarded to plaintiff.   This order corrects that scrivener's error.

2.  FN2. Rule 1.5(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides as follows:  “A lawyer's fee shall be reasonable.   The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:  (1) The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly, (2) The likelihood, if made known to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;  (3) The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;  (4) The amount involved and the results obtained;  (5) The time limitation imposed by the client or by the circumstances;  (6) The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;  (7) The experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services;  and (8) Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.”

Frazzini, Stephen F., J.

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