DECLARATION OF MICHAEL MASSEY, ESQ.
State of Florida,
County of Alachua,
Personally appeared before me, the undersigned authority, Michael Massey, Esq., who, being first duly sworn, deposes and states:
1. I have been a member in good standing of the Florida Bar Association since October 2, 1998. I am admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
2. I am member of both the National Employment Lawyer’s Association and the Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyer’s Association. I have previously held a board position on the Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyer’s Association, and am still active in that organization.
3. Since the inception of the law firm of Massey & Duffy in 2003 (originally named Saju, Massey & Duffy with its main office in Ocala, FL), most of my practice has been concentrated in labor and employment law and advising and representing both employees and employers in labor and employment disputes.
4. I currently manage virtually all the affairs of Massey & Duffy.
5. I have experience litigating employment law cases in Ocala and in nearby Gaiensville, FL. For example, in the mater of Cadieux v. Ocala Breeder Sales Company, Inc., Case No. 5:04-cv-355-Oc-10GRJ (2006 M.D. Ocala) I was co-counsel in an alleged wrongful termination/slander case resulting a verdict for our client of $400,000.00. More recently, in McGowan v. Payroll Management, Inc., Case NO. 2010-CA-004869 (2012 Alachua County Circuit Court), I served as lead counsel and obtained a plaintiff’s verdict in the sum of $161,015.10 (plus attorney’s fees and costs) in an alleged FMLA retaliation matter. Also, in this public accommodation/ADA matter, I defended as lead counsel Oak Spring, Inc. in the the case of Access 4 All v. Oak Spring, Inc., Case No. 5:04-cv-75-Oc-GRJ, (M. D. Ocala) in 2005 and prevailed in that case on summary judgment. I also defended successfully the Defendant in the alleged unpaid wage matter of Quintana v. High Springs Family Practice Clinic, Case No. 01 2008 CA 005175 (2009 , Alachua County Circuit Court).
6. Many of the cases I take are on a contingency basis, and some I receive no compensation at all; however, I still have gained relevant experience from these matters. For example, in the FMLA retaliation matter of Bennett v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., Case No. 5:11-cv-00176-WTH-GJK (2012 M.D. Ocala), I served as lead counsel for the plaintiff; the jury found in favor of the Defendant. Similarly, in the wrongful termination allegation made in Chamblee v. Plumley Properties of Florida, Inc., Case No. 04-339-CA-K (2006 Circuit Court, Marion County), I served as co-cousnel and the jury found against our client. I also served as lead counsel in the alleged wrongful termination matter of McCullen v. RDR, LLC, Case No. 5:06cv176 –OC-10GRJ (2007 M.D. Ocala), wherein the jury found for the defendant.
7. I have both prosecuted and defended many other employment and labor law cases in both the Northern and Middle Districts (and, similarly, in the Alachua and Marion County courthouses) which were amicably resolved. The examples set forth in the proceeding two paragraphs are only those cases that were successfully submitted to a Jury. The vast majority of the cases I handle are amicably resolved prior to trial and listing them all in this Affidavit would be very time consuming.
8. I am seeking an hourly rate for myself of only $350.00. As is my customary practice, I keep contemporaneous time records of my hours spent on my contingency cases and have attached those records for this case hereto as Exhibit 1. I have, consistent with the Plaintiff’s simultaneously filed Motion for Attorney’s fees, recently grouped the time spent into various categories (e.g. “Post Trial”) with the total time spent for each category to the right of that category.
9. I am familiar with the hourly rates charged by and awarded to attorneys in and around Marion County and for work performed therein. As recognition of the same and my reputation in the Marion County legal community, I was retained to provide expert testimony in the matter of Fortner v. Hampton Manor, Inc., Case No. 08-CA-00896 (2011 Marion County Circuit Court) regarding the amount of fees incurred by plaintiffs’ counsel and their reasonable hourly rates. In my experience, an hourly rate of $350.00 per hour for lead (and in this case sole) counsel is both conservative and reasonable and the amount of time reflected in the attached Exhibit 1 is also reasonable.
10. Finally, upon my review of the file and the hours claimed in the Exhibit 1, I have noticed that not all of the time I spent on this case was captured in the time records. For example, numerous emails between my client and I and between opposing counsel and myself were not included in my time records. Therefore, I believe the time reflected is a conservative accounting of the actual time I spent on this case.
I, Michael Massey, hereby swear under penalty of perjury that this Affidavit and the information contained herein is truthful and accurate to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief. Under penalties of perjury, and pursuant to 18 USC 1621 and 1623, I declare that the above facts and statements are true and correct to the best of my knowledge:
Gainesville and Ocala Fee Affidavit
Attached is a draft affidavit in support of an attorney fee petition.
Michael Massey, Esq.