Rodriguez-Hernandez v. Miranda-Velez ( 1998 )


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                    United States Court of Appeals
                                United States Court of Appeals
                        For the First Circuit
                                    For the First Circuit
    
                                             
    No. 95-2027
    
                     SANDRA RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ,
    
                         Plaintiff, Appellee,
    
                                  v.
    
                     EDWIN MIRANDA-VELEZ, ET AL.,
    
                       Defendants, Appellants.
    
                                             
    No. 96-1416
    
                     SANDRA RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ,
    
                         Plaintiff, Appellee,
    
                                  v.
    
                     EDWIN MIRANDA-VELEZ, ET AL.,
    
                       Defendants, Appellants.
    
                                             
    No. 97-1444
    
                     SANDRA RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ,
    
                         Plaintiff, Appellee,
    
                                  v.
    
                     EDWIN MIRANDA-VELEZ, ET AL.,
    
                       Defendants, Appellants.
    
                                             
    
    No. 97-1445
    
    
                     SANDRA RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ,
    
                        Plaintiff, Appellant,
    
                                  v.
    
                     EDWIN MIRANDA-VELEZ, ET AL.,
    
                        Defendants, Appellees.
    
                                             
    
            APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
    
                   FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO
    
            [Hon. Jose Antonio Fuste, U.S. District Judge]
                                                                     
    
                                             
    
                                Before
    
                        Lynch, Circuit Judge,
                                                        
                      Cyr, Senior Circuit Judge,
                                                           
                   and DiClerico,* District Judge.
                                                             
    
                                             
    
    Judith Berkan,  with whom  Rosalinda Pesquera and  Mary Jo  Mendez
                                                                                  
    were on brief, for plaintiff.
    Eugene  F. Hestres, with whom  Bird, Bird & Hestres  was on brief,
                                                                   
    for defendants.
    Frank D. Inserni on brief pro se.
                                
    
                                             
    
                           January 6, 1998
    
                                             
    
                    
                                
    
    *  Of the District of New Hampshire, sitting by designation.
    
    
              LYNCH, Circuit  Judge.   Sandra Rodriguez-Hernandez
                          LYNCH, Circuit  Judge.
                                               
    
    was discharged from her job at Occidental International after
    
    complaining  to her  employer about  being  subjected to  the
    
    sexual demands of a high-level executive at Occidental's most
    
    important customer.  The main issues presented by this appeal
    
    are  whether the  jury's  verdict in  favor  of the  customer
    
    dictates that the  verdict against her employer  be reversed;
    
    whether   the  court's   evidentiary  and   juror  peremptory
    
    challenge rulings were  correct; whether  the district  court
    
    evinced  bias against the defendants; and whether the court's
    
    attorney's fees award was adequate.   We affirm the  verdict,
    
    but we vacate and remand on the attorney's fees issue.
    
                                  I.
    
              We review the facts in  the light most favorable to
    
    the jury's verdict.  See Ansin v. River Oaks Furniture, Inc.,
                                                                            
    
    
    105 F.3d 745
    , 749 (1st  Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 118 S.  Ct.
                                                                
    
    70 (1997).
    
              Rodriguez   worked   as  an   office   manager  for
    
    Occidental International, a Florida  company with offices  in
    
    Florida  and  Puerto  Rico.   Rodriguez  started  working for
    
    Occidental  in  December of  1988 in  the Traffic  and Claims
    
    division of the Puerto Rico  office.  She was twice promoted,
    
    and was put  in charge of overseeing the  daily operations of
    
    her office in February of 1990.  While she was never formally
    
    
    evaluated during  her employment, Rodriguez  received regular
    
    praise for her work, and  before the suspension and dismissal
    
    that led to this lawsuit,  she had never been the subject  of
    
    disciplinary action.
    
              Occidental  International   sells  electrical   and
    
    industrial equipment.  Occidental's most important market was
    
    Puerto Rico, and its most  important customer was the  Puerto
    
    Rico Electric  Power Authority  ("PREPA").   At  the time  of
    
    Rodriguez's  dismissal,  approximately  80%  of  Occidental's
    
    business in Puerto Rico was with PREPA.
    
              Omar Chavez was the President and sole  shareholder
    
    of  Occidental.   Chavez  lived  in Florida,  and  would make
    
    monthly  business trips  to Puerto  Rico.   Chavez pursued  a
    
    number  of strategies which he thought would ensure continued
    
    good  relations   between  Occidental   and  its   customers,
    
    particularly  with PREPA.  Evidence presented at trial showed
    
    that Chavez primarily employed young, attractive women, known
    
    to customers as "Occidental Gals," and  instructed them to be
    
    especially cordial to PREPA employees.  
    
              Good  relations  were particularly  important  with
    
    high-ranking PREPA  officials like  Edwin Miranda-Velez,  the
    
    Chief  of  PREPA's  Materials  Management  Division  and  the
    
    overseer of  PREPA's public contracts  for the type  of goods
    
    sold  by Occidental.  Chavez introduced Rodriguez to Miranda,
    
    and told her that Miranda was very important for Occidental's
    
                                 -3-
                                              3
    
    
    business and that she and  the other employees should be nice
    
    to him and "keep him satisfied."  She was instructed to visit
    
    Miranda every time she went to the PREPA offices.
    
              Occidental  pursued  other  strategies.    It  made
    
    political contributions to  the Popular Democratic  Party, of
    
    which  Miranda  was  a  very  active  member,  and  solicited
    
    donations on its  behalf.  Chavez financed  social activities
    
    for  PREPA employees  and gave  Christmas  presents to  PREPA
    
    officials.   In December  of 1990, Chavez  threw a  party for
    
    PREPA  officials  at a  local  hotel.    The members  of  the
    
    Occidental  Puerto Rico staff, all female, were instructed to
    
    attend the event unaccompanied, so they would be available to
    
    dance with the  PREPA executives.  The  night's entertainment
    
    at  that party included a dancing  show performed by scantily
    
    clad women.
    
              The  close   relationship  with   PREPA  benefitted
    
    Occidental, and Chavez, in several  ways.  Chavez was able to
    
    learn from  Miranda in advance  what bids would be  coming up
    
    and  how much Occidental's competitors were bidding.  Miranda
    
    helped to steer  business to Occidental through  requests for
    
    proposals  that were  handled  outside  the ordinary  bidding
    
    process.   For example, Miranda helped Occidental to obtain a
    
    transportation  contract  on an  "emergency" basis.   Miranda
    
    signed all pertinent  documentation and recommended  payments
    
                                 -4-
                                              4
    
    
    to suppliers.   There were also allegations that  Miranda was
    
    able to help Occidental avoid trouble over tax disclosures.
    
              Miranda  began  to  make  unwelcome approaches  and
    
    suggestive  comments to  Rodriguez.   He invited  her out  to
    
    dinner.  He  asked her to visit his office after hours and on
    
    Friday evenings.   He  anonymously sent  her flowers for  her
    
    birthday  and included a  sexually explicit card.   Rodriguez
    
    complained to Chavez about this behavior; Chavez responded by
    
    stressing that Miranda  was an important client,  but assured
    
    her that he would deal with the problem.  
    
              The culmination, as it were, of Miranda's  advances
    
    came on February 28, 1992.  Miranda called Rodriguez and told
    
    her he  would  come pick  her  up to  take  her to  a  motel.
    
    Rodriguez, upset  by Miranda's latest advance,  called Chavez
    
    to  complain about  Miranda's  call.    Chavez  responded  by
    
    defending Miranda, and  saying that Rodriguez should  respond
    
    to Miranda  "as a woman."   Rodriguez told Chavez  that if he
    
    would  do  nothing about  the situation,  she would  take her
    
    complaints to the Director of PREPA.
    
              That weekend, Chavez flew to Puerto Rico.  On March
    
    9, 1992, Chavez  gave Rodriguez a  letter informing her  that
    
    she  was suspended  from work  for thirty  days.   The letter
    
    stated the reasons for her suspension as unauthorized  use of
    
    company property,  contracting  for services  in the  company
    
    name without  authorization, and  absenteeism.   On April  6,
    
                                 -5-
                                              5
    
    
    Rodriguez  received  a  second  letter  dismissing  her  from
    
    employment at Occidental.  The grounds for her dismissal were
    
    an unexplained  imbalance of $157.00 in petty  cash funds and
    
    negligence  in executing daily  functions such as  picking up
    
    company mail,  as well as the  problems noted in the  March 9
    
    letter.   Rodriguez  had  never been  notified  of  any  such
    
    deficiencies before.
    
                                 II.
    
              In  September of 1992,  Rodriguez filed a complaint
    
    against Occidental  and Chavez  with the  Anti-Discrimination
    
    Unit  of the  Puerto Rico  Department of  Labor and  with the
    
    Equal  Employment  Opportunity  Commission.   In  November of
    
    1992, while that  complaint was before the  agency, Rodriguez
    
    sued Miranda  in district  court under 42  U.S.C.    1983 for
    
    violations   of  her  rights  under  the  Fifth,  Ninth,  and
    
    Fourteenth  Amendments, and sued both Miranda and PREPA under
    
    Puerto Rico tort law and the Puerto Rico Constitution.
    
              After  exhausting   her  administrative   remedies,
    
    Rodriguez received  a right-to-sue  letter from  the EEOC  in
    
    June of  1993 and  amended her complaint  to name  Chavez and
    
    Occidental  as defendants.   The  amended complaint  asserted
    
    claims under Title VII  of the Civil  Rights Act of 1964,  42
    
    U.S.C.    2000e-2000e-17, as well as claims under Puerto Rico
    
    law.  
    
                                 -6-
                                              6
    
    
              In July of 1994, the district court issued an order
    
    eliminating some of  Rodriguez's claims.  The  district court
    
    dismissed  the    1983 claim,  but  not the  Puerto Rico  law
    
    claims, against  Miranda.  Thus  only Puerto Rico  law claims
    
    remained  against Miranda  and PREPA,  over  which the  court
    
    retained  jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.    1367.  The district
    
    court granted summary  judgment in favor of  defendant Chavez
    
    on  Rodriguez's Title VII  claim against Chavez,  but allowed
    
    the Puerto Rico law claims against Chavez to go to  the jury.
    
    Thus the only federal claim that remained at the start of the
    
    trial was Rodriguez's  Title VII claim against  her employer,
    
    Occidental.  The  only claims which went to  the jury against
    
    Miranda were based on commonwealth law.
    
              The  trial   was  hotly  contested   and  extremely
    
    contentious.  In the course  of the trial, the district court
    
    sanctioned  defense counsel for violating an order in limine.
    
    After a five week trial,  the jury held Occidental and Chavez
    
    liable  to  the plaintiff,  but found  Miranda and  PREPA not
    
    liable.   The jury form  simply asked that the  jurors answer
    
    yes or no as to whether each of the defendants was "liable to
    
    plaintiff  Sandra Rodriguez."  Rodriguez received an award of
    
    $200,000  in   compensatory  and  punitive   damages  against
    
    Occidental  and Chavez.    The  jury answered  no  as to  the
    
    commonwealth law claims against Miranda.
    
                                 -7-
                                              7
    
    
              The  district  court awarded  Rodriguez  attorney's
    
    fees.    But  in  the   face  of  a  documented  request  for
    
    approximately $440,000 in  fees and costs, the  court awarded
    
    only $150,223.26.  The district court disallowed some work as
    
    duplicative,  some as having been performed by attorneys when
    
    the court thought it should have been done by paralegals, and
    
    further reduced the award because of the plaintiff's "lack of
    
    success."
    
              Occidental and Chavez appeal from  the jury verdict
    
    in cases  number  96-1416 and  97-1444,  alleging a  host  of
    
    errors and  demanding a new  trial.  Defense  counsel Inserni
    
    appeals in case number 95-2027 from the contempt order issued
    
    against  him during the  trial.  Plaintiff  cross-appeals, in
    
    case  number 97-1445, arguing that the district court's award
    
    of attorney's fees was in error and insufficient.
    
                III.  Appeal of Occidental and Chavez
    
    A.  Jury Inconsistency Argument
                                               
    
              Occidental and  Chavez's flagship  argument, simply
    
    put, is that because the jury did not find either  Miranda or
    
    PREPA  liable to Rodriguez,  Chavez and Occidental  cannot be
    
    held liable either.  Rodriguez  could not have been dismissed
    
    for refusing  to submit to  (or threatening  to complain  of)
    
    Miranda's  advances,  defendants  argue,   because  the  jury
    
    verdict  shows that Miranda  never engaged in  the conduct of
    
                                 -8-
                                              8
    
    
    which she  complains.   This  argument  is founded  upon  the
    
    erroneous assumption that the jury's verdict that Miranda and
    
    PREPA are not "liable to plaintiff" under Puerto Rico tort or
    
    constitutional  law necessarily means  that the jury  did not
    
    believe  that  Miranda made  unwanted  sexual advances,  that
    
    Rodriguez complained of these advances, and that her employer
    
    fired her in response.
    
              The defendants'  argument fails, as the  jury could
    
    quite plausibly have  found a set of facts  that would render
    
    Chavez  and Occidental, but not Miranda and PREPA, "liable to
    
    plaintiff" on the claims asserted.
    
              In  order to evaluate the defendants' arguments, it
    
    is important to  understand the nature of  the claims brought
    
    against each of the four  defendants in this case.  Rodriguez
    
    sued  the  customer, Miranda  and  PREPA on  two  theories --
    
    liability  under  Puerto  Rico  tort  law  and  violation  of
    
    Rodriguez's  rights to "privacy and dignity" under the Puerto
    
    Rico Constitution.   The jury  was instructed  that, to  find
    
    Miranda liable to the plaintiff in negligence, it had to find
    
    "that there was  an act or omission, by  fault or negligence,
    
    that caused the plaintiff's injury."  See P.R. Laws Ann. tit.
                                                         
    
    31,   5141  (1991) ("A person who  by act or omission  causes
    
    damage  to another  through  fault  or  negligence  shall  be
    
    obliged to repair  the damage so done.  Concurrent imprudence
    
                                 -9-
                                              9
    
    
    of  the party aggrieved  does not exempt  from liability, but
    
    entails a reduction in the indemnity.")
    
              For  Miranda to be liable under the Constitution of
    
    Puerto Rico, the  jury was instructed that it  must find that
    
    Miranda "engaged  in  conduct  against  the  plaintiff  which
    
    adversely affected her dignity, honor, or reputation . . . ."
    
    See P.R. Const. art. II,   1 ("The dignity of the human being
                   
    
    is  inviolable. .  . .  No  discrimination shall  be made  on
    
    account of .  . . sex  . . .  ."); P.R. Const.  art. II,    8
    
    ("Every person has the right to the protection of law against
    
    abusive  attacks  on  his honor,  reputation  and  private or
    
    family life.").  
    
              If  Miranda was not liable to Rodriguez under these
    
    two  theories,  then  PREPA  could  not  be  found liable  to
    
    Rodriguez either.   PREPA's liability was only  in respondeat
    
    superior for the actions of Miranda.
    
              Both of the claims as described to the jury contain
    
    an element  of causation.   The jury may simply  have decided
    
    that  Rodriguez's   injuries  resulted  not   from  Miranda's
    
    actions, but from  those of Chavez and Occidental.   Thus the
    
    jury may have  declined to hold  Miranda liable, not  because
    
    the jurors did not believe  that he made sexual advances, but
    
    rather  because they  concluded that  this  behavior did  not
    
    itself cause the harms Rodriguez suffered.
    
                                 -10-
                                              10
    
    
              In contrast, the  plaintiff asserted four different
    
    theories of liability  against Chavez under Puerto  Rico law,
    
    none of which is inconsistent with the jury's refusal to hold
    
    Miranda  and PREPA  liable.    In addition  to  the tort  and
    
    constitutional claims described above, Rodriguez sued  Chavez
    
    for  sex discrimination  and retaliatory  discharge.   Puerto
    
    Rico's Law 100  forbids sex discrimination by  employers, and
    
    provides for civil liability and damages.  See P.R. Laws Ann.
                                                              
    
    tit.  29,    146 (1995).   Puerto Rico's  Law 17  defines sex
    
    harassment  as  a  type of  sex  discrimination,  and forbids
    
    retaliation  against  persons  who  "reject"  the  employer's
    
    sexually discriminatory practices.   See P.R. Laws  Ann. tit.
                                                        
    
    29,    155-155l  (1995).  Under Puerto Rico  law, an employer
    
    is  held responsible  for  "the  acts  of  sexual  harassment
    
    towards his  employees  in  the work  place  by  persons  not
    
    employed by him if the  employer or his agents or supervisors
    
    knew or  should have known  of such conduct and  did not take
    
    immediate  and adequate  action  to correct  the  situation."
    
    P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 29,   155f.
    
              The  plaintiff  also  sought  separation  pay  from
    
    Chavez  and Occidental for unjust dismissal under Puerto Rico
    
    Law 80.   See P.R. Laws Ann.  tit. 29,   185a  (1995) ("Every
                             
    
    employee  in  commerce .  .  .  who  is discharged  from  his
    
    employment without good  cause, shall be entitled  to receive
    
    from  his employer,  in addition  to the  salary he  may have
    
                                 -11-
                                              11
    
    
    earned:  (a)  The  salary  corresponding  to  one  month,  as
    
    indemnity; (b) An additional progressive indemnity equivalent
    
    to  one  week for  each  year  of  service.").   Further,  in
    
    addition to the same four  causes of action under Puerto Rico
    
    law  asserted against  Chavez, Rodriguez sued  Occidental for
    
    sex discrimination under Title VII.
    
              We  cannot, based on the jury form, determine which
    
    of   Rodriguez's  claims   against   Chavez  and   Occidental
    
    succeeded.  The jury was asked only to answer yes or no as to
    
    whether  each  defendant  was  "liable  to  plaintiff  Sandra
    
    Rodriguez."   The jury  could have  properly decided  to hold
    
    Chavez  and  Occidental  liable  because  they  discriminated
    
    against Rodriguez  on the basis  of her sex, or  because they
    
    retaliated  against her  for her  complaints about  Miranda's
    
    behavior.  
    
              Sexual  harassment  is  an  unlawful  form  of  sex
    
    discrimination,  and both Chavez and Occidental could be held
    
    liable for sex  harassment on either of two  theories -- quid
    
    pro quo or hostile work environment.  
    
              Under  the   quid  pro   quo  theory,   Rodriguez's
    
    continued  employment  was  conditioned  on  coerced  sex,  a
    
    condition that was  inherently linked to her  gender.  Puerto
    
    Rico  law, see  P.R. Laws  Ann.  tit. 29,    155f,  and other
                              
    
    circuits,  interpreting Title VII,  have said  that employers
    
    can be liable for a  customer's unwanted sexual advances,  if
    
                                 -12-
                                              12
    
    
    the  employer  ratifies  or   acquiesces  in  the  customer's
    
    demands.  See  Folkerson v. Circus Circus  Enters., Inc., 
    107 F.3d 754
    ,  756 (9th  Cir. 1997).   This  is a  case in  which
    
    Rodriguez's employer  not only acquiesced  in the  customer's
    
    demands, but explicitly told her  to give in to those demands
    
    and satisfy the customer.  This conduct is clearly an example
    
    of  quid pro quo  sexual harassment, as  Rodriguez's employer
    
    conditioned her  future with the company on her responding to
    
    the unwanted sexual demands of a customer.
    
              Under  the hostile work  environment theory  of sex
    
    discrimination,  the jury  could  have reasonably  found that
    
    Chavez and Occidental  had established a  working environment
    
    hostile to women.   The jury was instructed  that this theory
    
    of  sex discrimination  "involves  forms of  sexually-related
    
    misconduct which  are severe  and pervasive  and unreasonably
    
    interfere  with  work   performance  or  create  a   hostile,
    
    intimidating  or  offensive  working  environment.    It  can
    
    include  demeaning  comments  or  expectations  of  a certain
    
    sexual behavior in the workplace."  This environment would be
    
    a product not  only of Chavez's refusal to  do anything about
    
    Miranda's advances, but  also of incidents  such as the  1990
    
    Christmas party.
    
              Likewise, the success  of a retaliation claim  does
    
    not  require  that  the alleged  wrongful  conduct  itself be
    
    illegal.   For her  retaliation claim  to succeed,  Rodriguez
    
                                 -13-
                                              13
    
    
    merely needed to show that she "reasonably believed" that the
    
    conduct of  which she  complained or  threatened to  complain
    
    violated Title VII.  See Wyatt v. City of Boston, 
    35 F.3d 13
    ,
                                                                
    
    15 (1st Cir. 1994);  Petitti v. New England Tel.  & Tel. Co.,
                                                                            
    
    
    909 F.2d 28
    , 33 (1st  Cir. 1990); Drinkwater v. Union Carbide
                                                                             
    
    Corp.,  
    904 F.2d 853
    , 865 (3d  Cir. 1990) (noting that a long
                     
    
    line  of  cases   holds  that  a  "plaintiff   establishes  a
    
    retaliation claim  if she  shows that  she  had a  reasonable
    
    belief  that  the   employer  was  engaged  in   an  unlawful
    
    employment practice and that the employer  retaliated against
    
    her for protesting that practice.").  The jury may have found
    
    that the close relationship between PREPA and Occidental made
    
    it  reasonable   for  Rodriguez  to  believe  that  Miranda's
    
    unwanted  advances  constituted  unlawful  sexual  harassment
    
    about which she had a right to complain.
    
    B.  Peremptory Challenges
                                         
    
              Defendants   challenge    the   district    court's
    
    disallowance  of two of their peremptory challenges.  Because
    
    this  determination is fact-sensitive, we review it for clear
    
    error.   See Brewer v.  Marshall, 
    119 F.3d 993
    ,  1004-05 (1st
                                                
    
    Cir.  1997); see  also Purkett  v.  Elem, 
    514 U.S. 765
    ,  767
                                                        
    
    (1995) (per  curiam).  Initial  juror selection in  this case
    
    began with a panel of  sixteen jurors containing nine men and
    
                                 -14-
                                              14
    
    
    seven   women.    The  court  then  granted  each  side  four
    
    peremptory challenges, leaving eight jurors.  
    
              Plaintiff  objected to the  defendants' use  of all
    
    four of their peremptory challenges to exclude women from the
    
    jury panel, arguing  that these peremptory challenges  were a
    
    violation  of the  Equal Protection  Clause  under J.E.B.  v.
                                                                         
    
    Alabama ex rel. T.B., 
    511 U.S. 127
     (1994) (extending  Batson
                                                                             
    
    v.  Kentucky, 
    476 U.S. 79
     (1986) to  gender-based peremptory
                            
    
    challenges in civil  cases).  The defendants  explained their
    
    challenges on gender-neutral grounds, but the  district court
    
    disallowed two of the peremptory challenges, stating that the
    
    explanations   were   merely    a   pretext   for    unlawful
    
    discrimination.
    
              The  district  court  noted,  properly,  that   its
    
    decision  to disallow the two peremptory challenges was based
    
    on the totality of the  circumstances of the litigation.  See
                                                                             
    
    Hernandez  v. New  York,  
    500 U.S. 352
    ,  364  (1991).   Upon
                                       
    
    examination  of  the  judge's  justification  and  the  trial
    
    record,   we  do  not  find  his  decision  to  disallow  the
    
    peremptory challenges to be clearly erroneous.
    
    C.  Evidentiary Rulings
                                       
    
              We review  a district  court's evidentiary  rulings
    
    for abuse  of discretion.   See General Elec. Co.  v. Joiner,
                                                                            
    
    No. 96-188, 
    1997 WL 764563
    , at *3 (U.S.  Dec. 15, 1997); A.W.
                                                                             
    
                                 -15-
                                              15
    
    
    Chesterton Co. v. Chesterton, 
    128 F.3d 1
    , 9 (1st Cir. 1997).
                                            
    
    Errors in  evidentiary rulings are  harmless if it  is highly
    
    probable that  the error  did not affect  the outcome  of the
    
    case.  See Harrison v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 
    981 F.2d 25
    , 29-
                                                           
    
    30 (1st Cir. 1992).
    
    1.  Rulings under Rule 412
                                          
    
              Defendants continually  sought to make an  issue of
    
    plaintiff's   sexual  history.     In  the  course   of  this
    
    litigation, defendants attempted  to paint  the plaintiff  as
    
    sexually insatiable,  as  engaging in  multiple affairs  with
    
    married men, as  a lesbian, and as suffering  from a sexually
    
    transmitted  disease.2  Defendants claimed that plaintiff had
    
    an  affair with  a  married  man that  caused  her to  become
    
    distracted from work, and led to the lapses for which she was
    
    fired.
    
              Fed. R. Evid. 412 was designed to prevent misuse of
    
    a  complainant's sexual history  in cases  involving "alleged
    
    sexual misconduct."   In a civil case, the  sole exception to
    
    Rule 412's prohibition of evidence offered to prove "that any
    
    alleged  victim engaged  in other  sexual  behavior" or  "any
    
    alleged victim's sexual predisposition" is that
    
            evidence offered to prove the sexual behavior
            or  sexual  predisposition   of  any  alleged
            victim  is  admissible  if  it  is  otherwise
    
                        
                                    
    
    2.  During  discovery,  defendants requested  that  plaintiff
    submit  to an  AIDS test,  apparently  to substantiate  their
    allegations of promiscuity.  The request was denied.
    
                                 -16-
                                              16
    
    
            admissible   under   these  rules   and   its
                                                                     
            probative value  substantially outweighs  the
                                                                     
            danger  of harm to  any victim and  of unfair
                                                                     
            prejudice  to any  party.    Evidence  of  an
                                                
            alleged  victim's  reputation  is  admissible
            only  if it has been placed in controversy by
            the alleged victim.
    
    Fed.  R. Evid.  412(b)(2)  (emphasis added).   Rule  412 thus
    
    reverses the usual  approach of the Federal Rules of Evidence
    
    on admissibility  by requiring that the  evidence's probative
    
    value "substantially outweigh" its prejudicial effect.  
    
              Rule  412  mandates procedural  safeguards  for the
    
    introduction of such evidence under the  412(b)(2) exception.
    
    A party intending  to offer such evidence must  file a motion
    
    specifically describing the evidence and its purpose at least
    
    fourteen days before trial, serve  the motion on all parties,
    
    and notify the alleged victim.  Before admitting the evidence
    
    the court  must conduct  an in camera  hearing to  afford the
    
    victim and parties  a right to be  heard.  See Fed.  R. Evid.
                                                              
    
    412(c).
    
              The district court  ruled that evidence  concerning
    
    plaintiff's  moral character  or promiscuity and  the marital
    
    status of her boyfriend was inadmissible under Rule 412.  But
    
    the court  allowed defendants to introduce  evidence directly
    
    relevant  to  their   theory  that  plaintiff's  relationship
    
    distracted her from work.   The court also held that evidence
    
    concerning plaintiff's allegedly  flirtatious behavior toward
    
                                 -17-
                                              17
    
    
    Miranda  was   admissible  to  determine   whether  Miranda's
    
    advances were in fact "unwanted."
    
              These  evidentiary  rulings  were  well within  the
    
    district  court's discretion.  The court struck an acceptable
    
    balance between the danger of undue prejudice and the need to
    
    present  the  jury  with relevant  evidence,  particularly in
    
    light of Rule 412's special standard of admissibility.
    
    2.  Rulings under Rule 403
                                          
    
              Nor  is  there  any  abuse  of  discretion  in  the
    
    district  court's other evidentiary  rulings.  Under  Fed. R.
    
    Evid.  402,  all  relevant  evidence  is  admissible   unless
    
    otherwise provided  by federal law.   See Fed. R.  Evid. 402.
                                                         
    
    Under Fed. R. Evid. 403, relevant evidence may be excluded if
    
    its  probative value  is  "substantially  outweighed" by  the
    
    danger of prejudice or confusion.  See Fed. R. Evid. 403.  
                                                      
    
              Defendants  challenge  the   exclusion  of  certain
    
    telephone  records, rebuttal evidence  by some of plaintiff's
    
    co-workers, and an answering machine tape.  We agree with the
    
    district court  that the  testimony and  phone records  would
    
    have been, at best, cumulative.  The district court conducted
    
    lengthy proceedings  over the  admissibility of  an answering
    
    machine tape  produced by  Chavez that  purportedly contained
    
    several  messages from Rodriguez  to Chavez that  could imply
    
    that they had been intimate.   The defendants argue that this
    
    piece  of evidence would  have shown that  "plaintiff treated
    
                                 -18-
                                              18
    
    
    Chavez  affectionately and could not have been complaining of
    
    sexual harassment."  An FBI analysis of the voice on the tape
    
    was  inconclusive.    The  court  ruled  that  the  tape  was
    
    inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid.  403, and we agree that this
    
    dubious evidence had  minimal probative value, and  had great
    
    potential to confuse the jury.
    
              Defendants complain of  a "double standard" because
    
    the  district   court  allowed   information  introduced   by
    
    plaintiff while excluding  evidence introduced by  defendant.
    
    The  court allowed evidence concerning the close ties between
    
    Occidental  and   PREPA,  including  evidence   of  political
    
    donations, Occidental's tax  status, the dancing show  at the
    
    1990  Christmas party,  and a  letter  regarding Occidental's
    
    sales volume.  In fact, as to the  excluded evidence, Fed. R.
    
    Evid. 412  required the  district court  to apply a  stricter
                                   
    
    standard  with regard to admission of evidence of plaintiff's
    
    sexual history than to  the evidence admitted under the  more
    
    liberal standard of Fed. R.  Evid. 402 & 403.   This evidence
    
    was  directly relevant to  the theory of  Rodriguez's case --
    
    that Chavez and Occidental were  willing to fire her when she
    
    complained about  Miranda in  order to  maintain their  close
    
    relationship with Miranda and PREPA.
    
              Having  examined  each  of  the  district   court's
    
    evidentiary rulings, we find none that represents an abuse of
    
    its discretion.  Even if  the court's exclusions were  error,
    
                                 -19-
                                              19
    
    
    none of the excluded evidence would have had an impact on the
    
    outcome  of  the  trial,  as  it  would  have  at  best  been
    
    duplicative of evidence that was admitted.
    
    D.  Claims of Judicial Bias
                                           
    
              Occidental and Chavez argue that the district court
    
    judge's  admonitions to  defense counsel  evince bias,  which
    
    tainted  the jury  verdict.   They claim  that this  bias was
    
    further  demonstrated  by  the  judge's  rulings  on  defense
    
    counsel's peremptory  challenges, exclusion of  evidence, and
    
    his sanctioning defense counsel for violating an  evidentiary
    
    ruling under  Fed. R. Evid.  412.  The contested  rulings are
    
    discussed elsewhere, and they were  entirely proper.  Most of
    
    the comments  appellants complain  of were  made outside  the
    
    hearing of the jury.  
    
              At the  very latest,  this claim  should have  been
    
    raised  in defendants'  Rule 50  motion  before the  district
    
    court.   It is  therefore waived.   See In  re Abijoe  Realty
                                                                             
    
    Corp.,  
    943 F.2d 121
    , 126-27  (1st  Cir. 1991).   Claims  of
                     
    
    judicial partiality  must be  raised at  the earliest  moment
    
    that a litigant becomes cognizant of the purported bias,  and
    
    certainly not for the first time on appeal.  See id.;  cf. In
                                                                             
    
    re Marisol Martinez-Catala, 
    129 F.3d 213
    , 219 (1st Cir. 1997)
                                          
    
    (explaining  procedures  for  judicial  disqualification  and
    
    noting that "disqualification is almost never required  where
    
                                 -20-
                                              20
    
    
    the judge's opinions are based on the proceedings").  A party
    
    may not simply wait to see what outcome he or she receives in
    
    a trial before an allegedly  biased judge.  See In re  United
                                                                             
    
    Shoe Mach. Corp., 
    276 F.2d 77
    , 79 (1st Cir. 1960).
                                
    
              To allay any suspicions of judicial taint, however,
    
    we note  that, having read  the entire trial record,  we find
    
    none.   The isolated, occasional comments cited by appellants
    
    fall  far  short  of  prejudice  and do  not  come  close  to
    
    supporting  a contention that  defendants were deprived  of a
    
    fair trial.  See United States v. Devin, 
    918 F.2d 280
    , 294-95
                                                       
    
    (1st Cir. 1990); Aggarwal v. Ponce Sch. of Med., 
    837 F.2d 17
    ,
                                                               
    
    22 (1st Cir. 1988).  The judge's scattered critical  comments
    
    were largely made out of the jury's hearing, and usually were
    
    in  direct response  to defense  counsel's interruptions  and
    
    unsuitable conduct.   See United States  v. Polito, 
    856 F.2d 414
    ,  418 (1st Cir.  1988) ("Charges of  partiality should be
    
    judged  not on an isolated comment  or two, but on the record
    
    as a whole.").  The  entirety of the record reveals  that the
    
    judge evinced  not bias, but  rather a desire to  conduct the
    
    trial  in as  civil a manner  as possible.   That  desire was
    
    evidently  not  shared  by counsel  for  the  defendants, and
    
    rebukes for this lack of civility were entirely warranted.
    
               IV.  The Sanction Order Against Counsel
    
              Attorney  Inserni  appeals   the  district  court's
    
                                 -21-
                                              21
    
    
    decision   to  sanction  him  for  violating  a  court  order
    
    prohibiting mention of matters such  as the marital status of
    
    plaintiff's boyfriend  without first  clearing such  evidence
    
    with the  court to allow it to make  a final Rule 412 ruling.
    
    During  plaintiff's  testimony,  the  court  ruled  that  the
    
    marital status of plaintiff's  boyfriend was not  admissible,
    
    and  admonished counsel to  approach the bench  before asking
    
    any  question that  might  raise  concerns  under  Rule  412.
    
    Attorney Inserni subsequently asked plaintiff's psychologist,
    
    in front  of the jury,  "Did [the plaintiff] tell  you during
    
    your interviews or during your clinical work on her case, did
    
    she ever  mention to you that she  had multiple relationships
                                                                             
    
    with married men?"3   The district court  properly noted that
                                
    
    this  question violated  its  ruling,  rebuked counsel  after
    
    first dismissing  the jury,  and fined him  $500.   The court
    
    later instructed the jury that  counsel had violated a  court
    
    order  and  jurors  were to  disregard  the  question.   This
    
    response  was fully  justified, and  we find  no error.   See
                                                                             
    
    Polito, 856 F.2d at 418.  Inserni shall pay the costs  of his
                      
    
    appeal to plaintiff.
    
                        V.  Plaintiff's Appeal
    
              Rodriguez appeals the district court's reduction of
    
                        
                                    
    
    3.  We  add, as the  district court understood,  that defense
    counsel  knew from her deposition that the psychologist would
    answer "no" to that question.
    
                                 -22-
                                              22
    
    
    her  attorney's  fees  and  costs  award  from  approximately
    
    $440,000 to $150,223.26.  As  noted above, the district court
    
    justified  this reduction on  several grounds: duplication of
    
    effort by  plaintiff's attorneys,  the use  of attorneys  for
    
    "paralegal  work," and the plaintiff's lack  of success.  The
    
    court  uniformly cut the attorneys' requested hourly rates by
    
    fifteen  dollars, except  for Attorney  Berkan's out-of-court
    
    rate, which it cut by ten dollars.  The court reduced the fee
    
    request to $346,211.53, and then reduced this amount by sixty
    
    percent because of the plaintiff's "lack of success."
    
              Starting  with the  "lodestar"  calculation of  the
    
    hours  worked by each  attorney multiplied by  the attorney's
    
    hourly rate, the  court deducted time that  it determined was
    
    duplicative  or unnecessary.  The court  deducted 97 hours of
    
    attorney time because  it viewed the  time spent on  indexing
    
    depositions as excessive, and agreed with defendants that the
    
    work was  a "paralegal task."   The court  noted a  number of
    
    entries on  plaintiff's counsels' time  sheets that suggested
    
    duplicative   efforts.    The  court  calculated  that  these
    
    duplicative  efforts  totaled  120 hours,  and  deducted this
    
    amount.  Thirteen more hours were deducted for excessive time
    
    in preparing the attorney's fees petition.
    
              The  court  determined that  it  was  excessive for
    
    three  attorneys to  be present  at trial,  and  adjusted the
    
    hours so that  the time compensated amounted to  that of only
    
                                 -23-
                                              23
    
    
    two attorneys at any given time.  The court uniformly reduced
    
    the  requested  hourly  rates  of  Rodriguez's  attorneys  by
    
    fifteen dollars,  except for  Attorney Berkan's  out-of-court
    
    hourly rate,  which it  reduced by ten  dollars.   Because it
    
    determined that the plaintiff enjoyed only limited success in
    
    each  of  her theories  of  recovery, the  court  reduced the
    
    lodestar figure by sixty percent of the total amount.
    
              Fee awards are reviewed  deferentially, and will be
    
    disturbed only for  mistake of  law or  abuse of  discretion.
    
    See Coutin  v. Young  & Rubicam Puerto  Rico, Inc.,  
    124 F.3d 331
    , 336  (1st Cir. 1997);  Lipsett v. Blanco, 
    975 F.2d 934
    ,
                                                             
    
    936  (1st Cir. 1992)  (noting that "because  determination of
    
    the extent of a reasonable  fee necessarily involves a series
    
    of judgment calls,  an appellate court is far  more likely to
    
    defer  to the trial court  in reviewing fee computations than
    
    in many  other situations.").   Even  under this  deferential
    
    standard, however,  we  conclude that  the  district  court's
    
    attorney's fees orders must be vacated.
    
    A.  Lack of Success
                                   
    
              The district court  reduced the fee award  by sixty
    
    percent  for  "lack  of success"  because  Rodriguez  did not
    
    prevail on all of her claims and she did not receive the full
    
    amount  of damages  she  sought.   According to  the district
    
    court,  the plaintiff "ultimately  succeeded on her  claim of
    
    retaliation" and  while the "unsuccessful  claim, the  sexual
    
                                 -24-
                                              24
    
    
    harassment  claim,  was  linked to  the  successful  claim of
    
    retaliation,  this fact alone does not preclude any reduction
    
    based on the failure to establish sexual harassment."
    
              The district court did not  explain how it had come
    
    to  the  conclusion  that the  jury  had  decided Rodriguez's
    
    claims  in   this  way.     When  a  fee  award   is  reduced
    
    substantially, a more detailed explanation is in  order.  See
                                                                             
    
    Brewster v. Dukakis,  
    3 F.3d 488
    , 493 (1st Cir.  1993) ("As a
                                   
    
    general rule, a  fee-awarding court that makes  a substantial
    
    reduction  in either documented  time or  authenticated rates
    
    should  offer reasonably explicit findings, for the court, in
    
    such circumstances, 'has  a burden to spell out  the whys and
    
    wherefores.'") (quoting  United States v.  Metropolitan Dist.
                                                                             
    
    Comm'n, 
    847 F.2d 12
    , 18 (1st Cir. 1988)).   As our discussion
                      
    
    in  part III.A above demonstrates,  the jury could have found
    
    that  Rodriguez's  sex harassment  claims against  Chavez and
    
    Occidental  succeeded, on  either a  quid pro quo  or hostile
    
    environment theory.  
    
              The district court  may have made the  same mistake
    
    that  the defendants  have  made  in  arguing  that,  because
    
    Miranda was not  found liable, no "sex  harassment" occurred.
    
    As  noted, this  conclusion  is not  mandated  by the  jury's
    
    general verdict.   Neither did Rodriguez's sexual  harassment
    
    claims  fail when  the district  court  dismissed her  claims
    
    under  Title VII against  Chavez, as she  continued to pursue
    
                                 -25-
                                              25
    
    
    sex  discrimination claims under Puerto Rico law.  Indeed, it
    
    appears Rodriguez has "prevailed up and down the line" on her
    
    claims  against Chavez  and  Occidental,  in  which  case  "a
    
    claims-based,  results-obtained   fee  reduction   is  wholly
    
    inappropriate."  Coutin, 124 F.3d at 340.
                                       
    
              The  district  court's  reduction  of the  lodestar
    
    figure  by  sixty  percent  of  the  total   because  of  the
    
    plaintiff's "lack of success"  was error.  Three measures  of
    
    "success" pertain to civil rights lawsuits  such as this one:
    
    "plaintiff's success  claim  by  claim,  .  .  .  the  relief
    
    actually achieved, . . . [and] the societal importance of the
    
    right which has  been vindicated."  Coutin, 124  F.3d at 338.
                                                          
    
    The plaintiff  was clearly  successful under  the latter  two
    
    definitions.  
    
              Rodriguez  received  a substantial  monetary  award
    
    constituting full compensation  for her injuries, as  well as
    
    punitive damages.  The jury awarded Rodriguez all three types
    
    of  monetary compensation provided  for in the  verdict form:
    
    compensation  for back pay and/or front pay and other related
    
    job benefits;  punitive damages; and compensatory damages for
    
    her emotional and/or mental suffering.
    
              Congress  has encouraged  private suits  to counter
    
    sex  discrimination through the  award of attorney's  fees to
    
    successful  litigants.  See City  of Riverside v. Rivera, 
    477 U.S. 561
    , 574-75 (1986) (plurality opinion); Coutin, 124 F.3d
                                                                   
    
                                 -26-
                                              26
    
    
    at  337.  In  a civil rights  lawsuit, "[t]he result  is what
    
    matters," Hensley v. Eckerhart, 
    461 U.S. 424
    , 435 (1983), and
                                              
    
    in  this case plaintiff  apparently vindicated her  Title VII
    
    claim and  received substantial damages.   See also  Aubin v.
                                                                          
    
    Fudala, 
    782 F.2d 287
    , 291  (1st Cir.  1986) ("[A]  plaintiff
                      
    
    should receive  significant fees  when he  has won a  partial
                                                                             
    
    victory on a civil rights claim while receiving substantially
    
    the relief he there sought .  . . .") (emphasis in original).
    
    Both the plaintiff's employer company and her boss were found
    
    liable for the harms she suffered.  
    
              We  do   not  view  plaintiff's   claims  regarding
    
    Miranda's  unwanted  sexual advances  as  "unrelated" to  the
    
    claims upon  which she  prevailed such  that attorney's  fees
    
    should  not  be  awarded  for  pursuing  these  claims.   See
                                                                             
    
    Hensley, 461 U.S.  at 434-35.  Indeed, the close relationship
                       
    
    between Occidental and PREPA, and between Chavez and Miranda,
    
    was a foundational element  of her claims against Chavez  and
    
    Occidental, and would  have needed  to be  developed even  if
    
    plaintiff had not  sued Miranda or PREPA.  It  was this close
    
    relationship  among   the  defendants   that  made   credible
    
    plaintiff's contentions that her boss asked her to respond to
    
    Miranda's  sexual advances  because  Miranda  and PREPA  were
    
    valued customers,  and that he  fired her  when she  refused.
    
    See id. at 440 ("Where  a lawsuit consists of related claims,
                       
    
    a  plaintiff who has  won substantial relief  should not have
    
                                 -27-
                                              27
    
    
    his  attorney's fee reduced simply because the district court
    
    did  not adopt each contention raised."); Scarfo v. Cabletron
                                                                             
    
    Sys., Inc., 
    54 F.3d 931
    , 962-66 (1st Cir. 1995).  Rodriguez's
                          
    
    unsuccessful claims were based both on a common core of facts
    
    and on related legal theories.  See Hensley, 461 U.S. at 435.
                                                           
    
              While it is  true that plaintiff's fee  request was
    
    more  than twice the  damages awarded, the  Supreme Court has
    
    held that the  size of the verdict does not  bar the recovery
    
    of large attorney's fees awards.   See City of Riverside, 477
                                                                        
    
    U.S. at 574-75; see also Coutin, 124 F.3d at 338 (discrepancy
                                               
    
    between award requested and received does not "amount to more
    
    than  one element  in the constellation  of factors  that the
    
    court  considers when  determining  the  quality  of  results
    
    obtained"); Foley  v. City  of Lowell, 
    948 F.2d 10
    ,  19 (1st
                                                     
    
    Cir.  1991).   Thus,  because  the district  court  failed to
    
    articulate its reasons for finding "lack of  success," and no
    
    sound reasons are apparent in  the record, we must vacate its
    
    order and remand for reconsideration.
    
    B.  Other Fee Reductions
                                        
    
              On remand, the district  court should also  revisit
    
    the reductions  for duplicative  efforts and  paralegal work.
    
    Of course,  ordinarily we  defer to  the court's  judgment on
    
    these  matters,  because staffing  issues  are  usually "best
    
    resolved  by the trial  court's application of  its intimate,
    
    first-hand  knowledge  of  a  particular  case's  nuances and
    
                                 -28-
                                              28
    
    
    idiosyncracies."  Lipsett, 975 F.2d at 939.  In setting fees,
                                         
    
    the  district court has  "broad discretion to  determine 'how
    
    much was done, who did it, and how effectively the result was
    
    accomplished.'"   Id. (quoting  Wagenmann v. Adams,  
    829 F.2d 196
    , 224  (1st Cir.  1987)).   In the  "gray areas,"  such as
    
    deciding  whether a  given task  is properly  entrusted  to a
    
    paralegal,  "the   district  court's  judgment   carries  the
    
    greatest weight."   Id. at 940.  Clerical tasks  ought not to
                                       
    
    be billed at lawyer's rates,  even if a lawyer performs them.
    
    See id. 
                       
    
              Time spent  by two  attorneys on  the same  general
    
    task   is  not,  however,   per  se  duplicative.     Careful
                                                   
    
    preparation often  requires collaboration and  rehearsal, and
    
    the court  should not  reward defendants  for their  vehement
    
    "Stalingrad  defense," a tactic they have continued to employ
    
    on  appeal.   Id.  at  939.    Indeed, because  a  litigant's
                                 
    
    staffing  needs  and  preparation time  will  often  "vary in
    
    direct  proportion  to  the  ferocity  of  her   adversaries'
    
    handling of  the  case, this  factor  weighs heavily  in  the
    
    balance."  Id.   In this  case, the record  reveals that  the
                              
    
    defense was  indeed extreme.   As we  find that  the district
    
    court's   unexplained   reduction   for   lack   of   success
    
    independently requires a remand, we consider the entire issue
    
    open  for reconsideration  and need  not  decide whether  the
    
                                 -29-
                                              29
    
    
    other  alleged errors  in calculating  attorney's fees  would
    
    alone prompt reversal.
    
                           VI.  Conclusion
    
              To conclude, we find any residuum of claimed errors
    
    to be without merit and unworthy of extended discussion.  The
    
    jury verdict  is affirmed.   The award of attorney's  fees is
                                         
    
    vacated,  and we  remand this  case for recalculation  of the
                       
    
    attorney's fees award in accordance with this opinion.  Costs
    
    are awarded to Rodriguez.
    
                                 -30-
                                              30