Filing 30

ORDER - 27 Motion for Attorney Fees is denied. See order for details. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 11/8/2017. (MEJ)

Download PDF
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION IT S. NOBLE, JOHN IS FURTHER ORDERED that the application and this Order are sealed until ) ) otherwise ordered by the Court. ) Plaintiff, ) vs. ) CAUSE NO. 1:14-cv-1307-TWP-MJD IT IS SO ORDERED ) CAROLYN W. COLVIN, ) Commissioner Social Security, ) ) Defendant. 1/27/2017 ) Date: ORDER DENYING ATTORNEY ________________________ FEES PURSUANT TO § 206(b)(1) Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge Plaintiff, by counsel, Charles D. Hankey, petitions the CourtDistrict Court fees pursuant to § United States for attorney Southern District of Indiana 206(b)(1) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)(1). In the Petition, counsel seeks a total fee of $22,136.50, which represents 25% of the Plaintiff's award; pursuant to his contingent-fee agreement for representation of Plaintiff in federal court. Counsel was previously approved an attorney fee of $12,065.00 and he seeks an additional $10,071.50. The court is required under § 406(b) to review the fee request for "reasonableness for the services rendered." Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, 809 (2002). The Court declines to award Hankey the additional fee of $10,071.50 because the fee is not “reasonable for the services rendered.” Hankey seeks $22,136.50 for 19.70 hours of work and 9.40 hours of work by his paralegal. This equates to an “effective rate” of $760.70 per hour. As courts in the Northern District have held, this type of benefit seemingly constitutes a windfall, as “the benefits are large in comparison to the amount of time [he] spent on the case.” See Smith v. Astrue, 2009 WL 35223 *3 (N.D. Ind., Jan. 5, 2009); Evans v. Astrue, No. 1:06-CV-00165, 2008 WL 4775505 *3 (N.D. Ind., Oct. 27, 2008); Schimpf v. Astrue, No. 1:06-CV-00018, 2008 WL 4614658 *3 (N.D. Ind., Oct. 16, 2008). In addition, counsel has received EAJA compensation in the amount of $5,728.57. The Court recognizes the risk of loss in social secuirty disability appeals, however, awarding additional fees in this case is not reasonable. For these reasons, the Petition is DENIED. Date: 11/8/2017 Distribution to all electronically registered counsel of record via CM/ECF ________________________ Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge United States District Court Southern District of Indiana

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?