Hull v. Social Security Administration
ORDER granting 19 Motion for Attorney Fees, as modified. The Court awards a reasonable attorney's fee of $12,220.20 (65.7 hours at $186 an hour), payable to Hull, and costs of $86.90, payable to Hull's lawyer. Both checks should be mailed to Hull's lawyer. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/15/14. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
TAMMY LODA HULL
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Commissioner
The motion for attorney's fees and costs, NQ 19, is granted as modified.
The parties agree that Hull is entitled to a reasonable fee in the wake of this
Court's remand, but they dispute the particulars.
1. Hourly Rate. Taking into account the Consumer Price Index, as well
as the Equal Access to Justice Act fee awards from past cases in Arkansas, and
the parties' proposed rates, the Court believes that an hourly rate of $186.00
will reasonably compensate Hull's lawyer for his work in this case. Theis v.
Astrue, 828 F. Supp. 2d 1006, 1009 (E.D. Ark. 2011); Stone v. Colvin, 2013 WL
1811945 (E.D. Ark. 2013).
2. Hours. After a trim at the margin, the hours spent are approved. The
Court deducts 1.5 hours for time spent performing activities that could have
been done by support staff. Granville House, Inc. v. Dep't of Health, Educ. &
Welfare, 813 F.2d 881,884 (8th Cir. 1987). The Court makes no reduction for
the number of hours spent preparing the complaint, brief, and reply brief.
The total of 50.7 hours may seem like a bit too much time for an attorney
experienced in social security cases; but the issues were well briefed and
necessarily fact heavy. Outlining, writing, and revising take time. The time
spent preparing the EAJ A fee petition is reasonable and therefore allowed.
Vaughn v. Heckler, 860 F.2d 295, 296 (8th Cir. 1988).
3. Assignment of Claim.
Despite plaintiff's assignment, EAJA
attorney's fees are directly payable to the plaintiff. As true v. Ratliff, 560 U.S.
586, 591 (2010). The Court awards a reasonable attorney's fee of $12,220.20
(65.7 hours at $186 an hour), payable to Hull, and costs of $86.90, payable to
Hull's lawyer. Both checks should be mailed to Hull's lawyer.
United States District Judge
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