ARCHIVED -  Taxation Order CRTC 98-8

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 Taxation Order

 Ottawa, 8 June 1998
 Taxation Order CRTC 98-8
 In re: Implementation of Price Cap Regulation, 1997 Contribution Charges and Related Issues, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-11
 Reference: 8085-RP0003/97
1.  Mr. James A. Wachowich for the Consumers' Association of Canada (Alberta Branch) (CACAlta).
2.  Mr. Denis E. Henry for Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) on behalf of BC TEL, Bell Canada, The Island Telephone Company Limited, MTS Communications Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited, NewTel Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications Inc.
3.  Taxing Officer: Ms. Anne-Marie Murphy
4.  This Order constitutes the taxation of costs awarded to CACAlta in the proceeding initiated by Implementation of Price Cap Regulation, 1997 Contribution Charges and Related Issues, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-11, 25 March 1997.
5.  Costs were awarded to CACAlta pursuant to Telecom Costs Order CRTC 98-6, 18 February 1998 (Costs Order 98-6), in accordance with section 44 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure.
6.  By letter dated 18 March 1998, CACAlta submitted a Bill of Costs claiming a total amount of $20,351.40 in fees for their legal counsel, a total of $14,776.27 for their consultant, and a total of $1,292.49 in disbursements. CACAlta's claim included GST on fees and disbursements. I understand that CACAlta is not entitled to a rebate in connection with the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST).
7.  In a letter dated 15 April 1998, Stentor filed written comments with respect to the costs claimed. CACAlta did not file a reply.
 Counsel and Consultant Fees
8.  CACAlta claimed a total of $20,351.40 representing a total of 98 hours of work of which 64 hours were claimed at a rate of $175 per hour and 34 hours at a rate of $230 per hour for their legal counsel, Mr. James A. Wachowich. He has been practising law for 11 years as of 31 July 1997. CACAlta claimed the two hourly rates on the basis that the number of years of practice had increased during the course of the proceeding and that Mr. Wachowich was therefore entitled to the higher rate as of 31 July 1997.
9.  In its comments, Stentor objected to the counsel fees claimed on the basis of two different hourly rates. In particular, Stentor noted that section 13 of the Legal Directorate's Guidelines for the Taxation of Costs (the Guidelines) stipulates that the hourly rate applicable to a particular counsel shall be calculated as at the date of commencement of the proceeding. Accordingly, Stentor requested that the claim for counsel fees should be reduced. CACAlta did not file any comments in reply.
10.  In this regard, I note that section 13 of the Guidelines indicates that the date of the commencement of the proceeding should be applied to determine the number of years of legal practice. In addition, I find that there is no reasonable basis warranting a departure from the Guidelines in the present circumstances. Accordingly, I have reduced the amount claimed for counsel fees.
11.  I note that the rate specified in Appendix A of the Guidelines for lawyers having six to ten years of experience is set at $175 per hour. I accept this rate as appropriate. Moreover, I find that the time claimed is reasonable. Accordingly, I will allow an amount of $18,350.50 for counsel fees, including GST.
12.  CACAlta also claimed $14,776.27 for their consultant, Mr. Jeffrey Jodoin of Professional Regulatory Services Inc. This amount represents 115.08 hours of work at a rate of $120 per hour. Mr. Jodoin has been a consultant for eight years.
13.  I note that the rate claimed is in accordance with the rates specified in the Guidelines. Moreover, I accept the rate and the time claimed as appropriate.
14.  CACAlta claimed $44.14 for in-house photocopies (at a rate of $0.15 per page plus GST). Since GST is not applicable to costs incurred in-house, I have reduced this amount to $41.25. CACAlta also claimed $289.37 for fax transmissions. In addition, CACAlta claimed Mr. Wachowich's travel expenses amounting to $550.48 for air travel, $246.50 for accommodation, $56.00 for intra city travel, $10.00 for the Airport Improvement Fee and $96.00 in meal allowances. I find these amounts reasonable and will allow the amounts claimed. The total disbursements allowed, excluding GST on in-house photocopies, amount to $1,289.60.
15.  I hereby tax the fees and disbursements, including GST, where applicable, as follows:
 Legal Counsel Fees
 Mr. Wachowich $18,350.50
Consultant Fees
Mr. Jodoin $ 14,776.27
Total fees   $33,126.77
Total  Disbursements $ 1,289.60
Total Payable $34,416.37
16.  The costs, as taxed, shall be paid by Stentor in accordance with Costs Order 98-6.
 Anne-Marie Murphy
 Legal Counsel
 Canadian Radio-television and
  Telecommunications Commission
 This document is available in alternative format upon request.
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