KOEHLING v. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONER
ORDER granting 18 Motion for Attorney Fees in the amount of $3,450.27 By JUDGE JON D. LEVY. (jwr)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MAINE
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,
ACTING COMMISSIONER OF
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES
Following a favorable judgment after remand to the Social Security Agency, Tracy
Koehling seeks attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act
(“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412. ECF No. 18. The motion is unopposed.
The EAJA allows the reimbursement to the prevailing party of “fees and other
expenses” incurred in prosecuting or defending a suit against the United States. 28
U.S.C.A. § 2412(d)(1)(A) (2017). The moving party bears the burden of establishing
the reasonableness of their fee request. See Mason v. Maine Dep’t of Corr., 387 F.
Supp. 2d 57, 60 (D. Me. 2005). Under the so-called lodestar methodology, the court
determines whether the amount of time spent on the case and the requested hourly
rate are reasonable, and then multiply those factors together to come up with a
reasonable fee amount, which may be adjusted if special circumstances warrant. See
id. at 59-60.
Koehling’s fee request is accompanied by an affidavit and an itemization of the
time spent by counsel on this case. She seeks compensation for a total of 24.7 hours,
comprising 8.9 hours of attorney time and 15.8 hours of paralegal time. This is a
reasonable total. See Dowell v. Colvin, No. 2:13-cv-00246-JDL, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
1128, at *11 (D. Me. Jan. 5, 2015) (“typical” Social Security case requires
approximately 20–30 hours of work); see also Haskell v. Social Sec. Admin. Comm’r,
No. 1:11-cv-00289-GZS, 2012 WL 1463300, at *2 (D. Me. Apr. 24, 2012) (5.55 hours of
attorney time and 31.5 hours of paralegal time reasonable).
Koehling requests an hourly rate of $192.39 per hour for attorney time and
$110.00 per hour for paralegal time. The hourly rate for attorney time is consistent
with the rates typically awarded in these cases. See Dowell, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
1128, at *15.
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s motion (ECF No. 18) is GRANTED, and the
Plaintiff is awarded attorney’s fees and costs as follows: $1,712.27 for attorney time
($192.39 x 8.90 hours) and $1,738.00 for paralegal time ($110.00 x 15.8 hours) for a
total award of $3,450.27.
Dated this 15th day of August 2017
/s/ JON D. LEVY
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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