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Inline Packaging, LLC v. Graphic Packaging International, LLC

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 26, 2019

Inline Packaging, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Graphic Packaging International, LLC, Defendant.

          Kyle R. Kroll, Esq., Robert R. Weinstine, Esq., Justice Ericson Lindell, Esq., and Brent Lorentz, Esq., Winthrop & Weinstine, PA, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Plaintiff.

          Felicia J. Boyd, Esq., Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Minneapolis, MN; David B. Hamilton, Esq., Barry J. Herman, Esq., and Victoria Ann Bruno, Esq., Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Baltimore, MD; Jason C. Hicks, Esq., and Amanda Norris Ames, Esq., Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Washington, D.C.; John G. Berry, Esq., Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Atlanta, GA; and Brent F. Powell, Esq., Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Winston Salem, NC, on behalf of Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge for a ruling on Defendant Graphic Packaging, LLC's (“Graphic”) Motion for Review of Cost Judgment [Docket No. 1066] and by Plaintiff Inline Packaging, LLC's (“Inline”) Motion for Review of Cost Judgment [Docket No. 1068]. For the reasons stated below, Graphic's Motion is denied and Inline's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In July 2015, Inline filed this lawsuit against Graphic alleging antitrust violations, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets. See Compl. [Docket No. 1]. In September 2018, this Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order [Docket No. 1035] granting summary judgment to Graphic on all claims and entered Judgment [Docket No. 1037] in favor of Graphic. Inline has filed a Notice of Appeal [Docket No. 1040].

         On October 5, 2018, Graphic filed a Bill of Costs [Docket No. 1039] seeking $304, 930.89 as reimbursement for: (1) Clerk fees ($800); (2) fees for transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case ($64, 159.41); (3) fees for witnesses ($12, 751.70); and (4) fees for the costs of making copies necessarily obtained for use in the case ($227, 219.78). Inline filed an Objection [Docket No. 1053] to Graphic's Bill of Costs on October 19, 2018.

         On May 2, 2019, the Clerk of Court entered a Cost Judgment [Docket No. 1065] awarding Graphic $47, 767.90 in costs. The Cost Judgment includes Clerk fees of $800 for the pro hac vice fees of Graphic's counsel; transcript fees of $35, 238.95; witness fees of $10, 646.10 (including witness travel costs); and copy fees of $1, 082.85. See Cost Judgment at 1. The Clerk denied $226, 137.53 in e-discovery related costs that Graphic claimed as fees for the cost of making copies. Taxation Costs Summary [Docket No. 1065, Attach. 1] at 7. The Clerk's stated reason for denying these costs was that “E-Discovery costs . . . are not taxable by the clerk.” Id.

         Graphic now seeks review of the Clerk's decision not to award electronic discovery expenses to Graphic. Inline seeks review of the Clerk's decision to award Graphic its witness travel costs and pro hac vice fees.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides in relevant part: “Unless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party.” A cost award must, however, fit within the categories of taxable costs enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Little Rock Cardiology Clinic PA v. Baptist Health, 591 F.3d 591, 601 (8th Cir. 2009). Section 1920 permits taxation of the following categories of costs:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title; [and]
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services ...

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