In Zavodnick v. Gordon & Weisberg, P.C., 2012 WL 2036493 (E.D.Pa. 2012), Judge Diamond whacked an FDCPA Plaintiff’s counsel’s fee application, rejecting as irrelevant and unreliable the boilerplate ‘fee surveys’ often submitted to justify exorbitant rates. Judge Diamond explained:
In support, Kimmel & Silverman has submitted evidence relevant to law practice in other regions. The firm offers affidavits from two consumer protection lawyers—one a member of the California Bar; the other a member of the Illinois and Florida Bars—who do not practice in this Circuit. (Doc 13 Ex. D.) Like the other Judges to whom Kimmel & Silverman has made this presentation, I will not consider the opinions of these lawyers regarding rates in this market. See Freid v. Nat’l Action Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 10–2870, 2011 WL 6934845 at *7 (D.N.J. Dec.29, 2011) (“Finally, in support of reasonableness, K & S continues to submit an identical affidavit … despite the fact that this affidavit’s reliability has been called into question.”); Cassagne v. Law Offices of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, No. 11–2791, 2011 WL 5878379 at *5 (D.N.J. Nov.23, 2011) (finding identical affidavits “unpersuasive”); Weed–Schertzer v. Nudleman Klemm & Golub, No. 10–6402, 2011 WL 4436553 at *4 (D.N.J. Sept.23, 2011) (“Mr. Bontrager is a fairly recent (2007) law school graduate with no connection to this forum.”); Levy v. Global Credit and Collection Corp., 10–4229, 2011 WL 5117855 at *4 (D.N.J. Oct.27, 2011) (rejecting identical affidavits); Williams, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50635 at *13 n. 4 (same). ¶ Kimmel & Silverman also submits a 2007 “Consumer Law Attorney Fee Survey,” which purports to include average attorney fees in the mid-Atlantic region, as reported by members of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Consumer Law Attorneys. (Id .Ex. F.) Kimmel & Silverman has had a similar lack of success in presenting this Survey to the Judges in this Circuit. See Freid, 2011 WL 6934845 at *7 (“The Court is surprised by [K & S’s] persistence in shopping the Survey around to various courts in this region, despite its track record in the Circuit.” (quoting Levy, 2011 WL 5117855 at *3)); Williams, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50635 at *14. I agree that the Survey is “not indicative of the practice related to FDCPA cases” in this region. Freid, 2011 WL 6934845 at *6. ¶ Lastly, Plaintiff suggests that Kimmel & Silverman’s rates should be set in accordance with those in the “Laffey Matrix,” created by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia. Once again, every Judge in this Circuit to whom K & S has offered the Laffey Matrix has rejected it. See Freid, 2011 WL 6934845 at *7 (“[T]he courts in this District have consistently dispelled the relevance of the Laffey Matrix.”); Alexander, 2011 WL 2415156 at *4 n. 6; Williams, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50635 at *15 n. 6; Cassagne, 2011 WL 5878379 at *5; Levy, 2011 WL 5117855 at *3; Weed–Schertzer, 2011 WL 4436553 at *4. I agree that because the Laffey Matrix includes billing rates for attorneys in the Washington D.C. area, it is not probative of rates in this market. See Interfaith Cmty. Org. v. Honeywell Int’l Inc., 426 F.3d 694, 708–10 (3d Cir.2005) (describing the Laffey Matrix as setting forth reasonable rates for the Washington D.C. area).