Guinn v. Berryhill
ORDER granting 15 Motion for Attorney Fees. Signed by Senior Judge Graham Mullen on 6/2/2021. (brl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
ANDREW M. SAUL,
Commissioner of Social Security,
Civ. No. 1:19-cv-00135-GCM-DCK
Plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion for approval of attorney fees under section 206(b) of the
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), in the amount of $19,968.65. Attorney fees awarded
under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) may not exceed 25% of the total of the claimant’s past-due benefits.
Plaintiff previously has been awarded attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act
(EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412, the amount of $3,666.00. Defendant filed a response, stating that,
under Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789 (2002), it is the duty of the Court to determine a
Plaintiff’s counsel requests a fee of $19,968.65. This amount is derived from subtracting
the $683.00 fee received under 42 U.S.C. § 406(a) from $20,651.65 (25% of the past due
benefits awarded in this case). The Court has reviewed the amount requested by counsel and
finds it to be reasonable in light of the fee agreement and amount of work expended by counsel.
The fee is in line with the results achieved, and there is no indication that counsel caused
unnecessary delay or that “the benefits are large in comparison to the amount of time counsel
spent on the case.” Gisbrecht, 535 U.S. at 808.
It is ORDERED that Plaintiff’s counsel be awarded fees under 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) in the
amount of $19,968.65. Plaintiff’s counsel will refund to Plaintiff the smaller amount between
this amount and any fee amount that previously was received under the EAJA.
Signed: June 2, 2021
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