Wakaya ordered to pay Youngevity reasonable attorney's fees

By Elizabeth Alt | May 22, 2018

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted part of the attorney’s fees be paid to Youngevity International Inc. in its suit with Wakaya, a brand allegedly created from former Youngevity distributors.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted part of the attorney’s fees be paid to Youngevity International Inc. in its suit with Wakaya, a brand allegedly created from former Youngevity distributors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhart wrote the court order on May 7 for Wakaya to pay reasonable attorney’s fees to Youngevity by June 4.

Youngevity filed the motion to request “fees for researching, drafting and finalizing the motion for protective order and reply, and for preparing and participating in the hearing” after the court granted in part and denied in part Youngevity’s motion for a protective order and sanctions in October 2017.

In its motion for a protective order, Youngevity claimed that “Wakaya impermissibly provided incorrect legal advice to a third-party deponent, improperly urged the witness to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, intimidated the witness with allusions to criminal liability, and sought information relating to securities violations outside the proper scope of discovery.”

During the September 2017 hearing, the court noted their concern over “the propriety of counsel’s conduct in the deposition” regarding Wakaya’s attorney and granted Youngevity’s request for a protective order. The court issued a protective order “foreclosing Wakaya from inquiring into alleged instances of insider trading but denied Youngevity’s requests to strike deposition testimony and issue monetary sanctions against Wakaya’s counsel.”

Burkhart noted in the court order that some of Youngevity’s counsel hours were not reasonable and deducted a percentage for errors that were excessive or not standard. 

Finding that “the request for attorney hours expended drafting and editing the motion is reasonable,” Burkhart added that in reviewing the billable hours entered by the law clerk, “not all of the time spent drafting the reply was reasonable.”

Burkhart noted that the “amount of fees plaintiffs seek in relation to preparing for and attending the hearing” was not reasonable as the attorney for that instance was a senior attorney who should not have spent excessive time preparing for the hearing.

The order granted Youngevity $17,698.03 in attorney’s fees and costs related to their protective order motion and hearing.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Case Number 3:16-cv-00704-BTM-JLB

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