Banis, Dominic v. Saul, Andrew
ORDER granting 24 Motion for Attorney Fees. Attorney Dana Duncan awarded attorney fees in the amount of $6,619.00. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 9/14/2022. (arw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
OPINION and ORDER
Acting Commissioner of
Dana W. Duncan, counsel for plaintiff Dominic Banis, moves under 42 U.S.C § 406(b)
for a fee award of $11,369.00. Dkt. 24. That figure represents 25 percent of Banis’s award for
past-due benefits,2 so it falls within the amount allowed by statute and the parties’ fee
agreement. Dkt. 24-1. The motion is unopposed. Dkt. 26.
Duncan spent 20.8 hours on this case for proceedings in this court, Dkt. 24-3, so his
requested fee results in a proposed effective rate of approximately $546 per hour. Duncan’s
requested rate is on the high side, but this court has approved similar rates before under
§ 406(b). See, e.g., DeBack v. Berryhill, No. 17-cv-924-jdp, Dkt. 31 (W.D. Wis. May 4, 2020)
(approving effective rate of $800 per hour); Fischer v. Saul, No. 17-cv-327-jdp, 2019 WL
5310676 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 21, 2019) (approving effective rate of $641 per hour). And
Duncan’s paralegal staff spent an additional 9.15 hours working on Banis’s case, Dkt. 24-3,
The court has updated the caption pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d).
The total amount of Banis’s past-due benefits isn’t in the record. But a notice from the agency
provides that $11,369.00 represents 25 percent of the benefit award, Dkt. 24-2, at 2, and the
commissioner doesn’t dispute that figure.
which further supports the reasonableness of this rate. See Richlin Sec’y Serv. Co. v. Chertoff, 553
U.S. 571, 581 (2008) (reasonable attorney fee under EAJA includes paralegal time); Missouri
v. Jenkins, 491 U.S. 274, 285 (1989) (reasonable attorney fee under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 includes
The court concludes that Duncan’s requested fee is reasonable in light of his risk of
non-recovery, the work he performed, the results he obtained, and the amounts awarded in
similar cases. The court will grant the motion. For simplicity, the court will subtract the $4,750
fee that Duncan received under the Equal Access to Justice Act, which would otherwise have
to be refunded to Banis.
IT IS ORDERED that Dana Duncan’s motion for attorney fees under 42 U.S.C.
§ 406(b), Dkt. 24, is GRANTED. The court approves a representative fee of $6,619.00.
Entered September 14, 2022.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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?