Watkins v. Colvin

Filing 29

ORDER granting 27 Motion for award of attorney's fees. Counsel's fees are approved in the amount of $11,688.50. Signed by Judge Douglas L Rayes on 8/21/2017. (MMO)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 9 10 Patrick Fitzgerald Watkins, Plaintiff, 11 12 ORDER v. 13 No. CV-16-00168-PHX-DLR Commissioner of Social Security Administration, 14 15 Defendant. 16 17 Plaintiff Patrick Watkins applied for supplemental security income in November 18 2011. (AR 22, 166-74.) The applications were denied. (AR 1-3, 15-35.) Plaintiff 19 thereafter sought judicial review, and on March 31, 2017 the Court reversed Defendant’s 20 decision and remanded the case for an award of benefits. (Docs. 1, 23.) 21 Counsel for Plaintiff has filed a motion for award of attorney’s fees in the amount 22 of $11,688.50. (Doc. 27.) Defendant has no objection to the motion. (Doc. 28.) For 23 reasons stated below, the motion is granted. 24 Counsel seeks a fee award pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), which “provides that 25 whenever the Court renders a favorable judgment to a social security claimant, the Court 26 can award reasonable attorneys’ fees for representation of the claimant.” Flaherty v. 27 Colvin, No. CV-09-08106-PHX-JAT, 2013 WL 5447684, at *1 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2013). 28 Section 406(b) does not displace contingent-fee agreements as the primary means by 1 which fees are set for successfully representing social security claimants in court, but it 2 does limit the reasonable fee to 25% of the past-due benefits. § 406(b)(1)(A); see 20 3 C.F.R. § 404.1730(b)(1)(i). Section 406(b) “calls for court review of such arrangements 4 as an independent check, to assure that they yield reasonable results in particular cases.” 5 Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, 807 (2002). 6 reasonable, the Court should consider “the character of the representation and the results 7 the representative achieved.” Id. at 808. In determining whether a fee is 8 Here, the results achieved by counsel were favorable and his representation was 9 more than adequate. Having considered the factors outlined in Gisbrecht, and the record 10 as a whole, the Court finds that $11,688.50 is a fair and reasonable fee award. The 11 unopposed motion for award of attorney’s fees therefore is granted. 12 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s attorney’s motion for award of attorney’s fees 13 under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) (Doc. 27) is GRANTED. Counsel’s fees are approved in the 14 amount of $11,688.50. 15 Dated this 21st day of August, 2017. 16 17 18 19 20 Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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