In this case, the plaintiff was seeking expert witness fees in the amounts of $5,400 for a Geodemographic Consultant and $27,413.42 for an Associate Political Science Professor from the University of Michigan. Raleigh Wake Citizens Ass’n. v. Wake Cty. Bd. of Elections, No. 5:13-CV-607-D, 2017 WL 4400754 (E.D.N.C. Sept. 29, 2017). The court was charged with finding whether these fees were unreasonable, and the court ended up concluding that the fees were unreasonable. Id. The court found the fees were unreasonable for a couple of reasons, the first being that on their face they were too high. Id. Second, the court said that the plaintiffs did not fully succeed on their claims such that their expert fees can be fully recouped. Id. Thus, because the plaintiff was successful on 40% of its claims, only 40% of the requested expenses can be reimbursed, resulting in fees of $19,688.05. Id.
The court then went on to further reduce the fees because of their unreasonable nature and the unreasonableness of the time keeping method used by the experts. Id. The experts were not explicit in reporting their time such that the court could not conclude whether the time spent on the case was reasonable or not. Id. Given the unclear timekeeping used, the court reduced the expenses by an additional 10%, resulting in total fees of $17,719.24. Id.