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Photographer Beats  Real Estate Agents By Default For $55000 Lawyer at $350 an Hour

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 31 – Photographer Brian Totin sued real estate agents Giancarlo Zabaleta and Ahmed Khalil for stealing his photos to market apartments.

The defendants never showed up.

On July 31 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 Judge Failla was of the mind to grant default judgment but to her credit asked a lo to questions. How did Totin value his photographs?

He calculated it off the commissions the real estate agents sought and obtained, and indicia of bad faith like taking the watermark off the photos.  

Judge Failla asked Totin's counsel Nicholas Netram Loaknauth why he charged $350 an hour - he said it's his rate, he graduated from Albany and specializes in intellectual property.

Judge Failla told him to order the transcript, so that those defaulting could one day read it.

She awarded the photographer $55,040 and the lawyer his requested $350 an hour.

The case is Totin v. LG Fairmont, Inc. et al., 19-cv-9701 (Failla)


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