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Colosi v. Jones Lang LaSalle Ams., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

March 17, 2015

BRENDA C. COLOSI, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JONES LANG LASALLE AMERICAS, INC., Defendant-Appellee

Page 294

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland. No. 1:13-cv-00505--Donald C. Nugent, District Judge.

ON BRIEF:

Robert W. McIntyre, Kevin P. Shannon, WEGMAN, HESSLER & VANDERBURG, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellant.

Stephanie Dutchess Trudeau, ULMER & BERNE LLP, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee.

Before: KEITH, COOK, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 295

COOK, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellant Brenda C. Colosi lost a wrongful termination suit against her former employer, Defendant-Appellee Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. (JLL). As the prevailing party, JLL filed a $6,369.55 bill of costs that the court clerk approved without modification. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). Colosi objected to most of the charges and moved the district court to reduce the bill to $253.50. The district court denied the motion, finding each cost reasonable, necessary to the litigation, and properly taxable under statute. See 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Colosi renews her objections on appeal. We AFFIRM the district court's judgment.

I.

Section 1920 circumscribes the types of costs district courts may tax against the losing party. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 445, 107 S.Ct. 2494, 96 L.Ed.2d 385 (1987). We review de novo whether taxed expenses fall within § 1920's list of allowable costs. BDT Prods., Inc. v. Lexmark Int'l, Inc., 405 F.3d 415, 417 (6th Cir. 2005), abrogated on other grounds by Taniguchi v. Kan.Pac. Saipan, Ltd., 132 S.Ct. 1997, 182 L.Ed.2d 903 (2012). But " [a]s long as statutory authority exists for a particular item to be taxed as a cost, we do not overturn a district court's determination that the cost is reasonable and necessary, absent a clear abuse of discretion." Id. (quoting Baker v. First Tenn. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, No. 96-6740, 1998 WL 136560, at *2 (6th Cir. Mar. 19, 1998) (per curiam) (internal punctuation omitted)).

II.

Most of the costs Colosi challenges relate to witness depositions. She contests, as a matter of law, the recoverability of the costs associated with the synchronization of her deposition video and transcript as well as costs flowing from a cancelled deposition. She also challenges transcription costs for the depositions of Robert Roe, Susan Abraham, and Margaret Barnes. These transcripts, she maintains, were unnecessary because each witness appeared at trial and because Roe and Abraham worked for JLL, obviating the need for deposition transcripts because JLL would not seek to impeach them.

The taxing statute allows the prevailing party to recover " [f]ees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case." 28 U.S.C. ยง 1920(2). " Ordinarily, the costs of taking and transcribing depositions reasonably necessary for the litigation are allowed to the prevailing party. Necessity is determined as of the time of taking, and the fact that a deposition is not actually ...


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