ALDRICH, Senior Circuit Judge.
Plaintiff Lamphere, a female faculty member of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, brought a class action in the district court pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., alleging discrimination against women with respect to tenure. Lengthy discovery and other pretrial proceedings, preparation and negotiations, occupying in total over 3,500 hours, led eventually to a settlement and consent decree. Three plaintiffs obtained tenure and substantial back pay awards; a fund was set up to pay other members of the class upon proof, and an elaborate administrative procedure was established for the general avoidance, handling, and disposing of such matters by the University in the future.
Without going into the details, we agree in general with the district court's approach.
Two individual matters require more attention. Counsel received a modest
The second, a somewhat different question arises with respect to paralegals, including law students. Counsel paid some $12,000 to paralegals not regularly in their employ.
Both parties seize on the last-quoted language. Defendant points to the "only," and says counsel should not receive a windfall on nonlegal expenses. Plaintiffs say that there was no windfall, that they had in fact agreed to pay over any excess receipts to the paralegals, and that the record at least so suggested. While this may be questionable, we will assume plaintiff correct.
Accordingly, we face the question whether, if nonlawyers volunteer personal services at less than what may be thought a fair and reasonable rate, but with the hope that they will share in the recovery, we should apply the same rule we have recognized, ante, for tangible donations and hold that an award of costs should be at whatever amount is found to be the fair rate. It takes but little imagination to realize that this could be a very complicated, difficult, and perhaps dangerous principle, however fair it might be in the present case. Defendants would always be faced with a claim that services had been underpaid. We therefore limit our holding to volunteered cash contributions; the excess paralegal awards over the actual payments must be eliminated, regardless of the arrangements.
Finally, we deal only briefly with counsels' hourly rates. No useful purpose would be served by rehearsing the details. We are somewhat surprised that the court equated the City of Providence with Boston, a city with an unenviable reputation for high costs. Further, we have a general feeling that both rates — most particularly that for the younger Mr. Stanzler — and the total, were on the generous side. If the consent decree had not involved much more than the dollar recovery, present and future — calculated for us, incidentally, by plaintiffs without discounting
Affirmed, except as to paralegals.
The court found, "The heavy time demands of this case inevitably resulted in a loss to [plaintiff's counsel] of other, possibly more profitable, business." Factor (4) is not relevant unless counsel affirmatively establish not merely that they lost business, but that the foregone opportunities would have been more profitable than what the court otherwise would propose to award.