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Dezinna v. Barnhart

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


July 10, 2008

TONI A. DEZINNA, PLAINTIFF
v.
JO ANNE B. BARNHART, DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge

(Judge Conner)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 10th day of July, 2008, upon consideration of plaintiff's amended motion (Doc. 23) for $27,900.00 in attorney's fees pursuant to the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), and it appearing that defendant does not oppose the motion for attorney's fees (see Doc. 25), and the court finding that the Social Security Act authorizes "a reasonable fee" for legal services that is not to exceed "25 percent of the total of the past-due benefits to which the claimant is entitled by reason of" a favorable judgment, see 42 U.S.C. § 406(b), that the requested award of $27,900.00 is a reasonable fee for the 37.2 hours of work expended by plaintiff's counsel, Thomas D. Sutton, Esquire ("Attorney Sutton"),*fn1 (see Doc. 24 at 3); see also Perez v. Barnhart, No. 02-3779, 2006 WL 781899 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 23, 2006) (approving as reasonable an effective hourly rate of $810), and that the requested award constitutes less than 25% of the $160,000 in past-due benefits that were awarded to plaintiff, (see Doc. 24 at 1), it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The amended motion for attorney's fees (Doc. 23) is GRANTED.

2. Attorney Sutton is awarded attorney's fees in the sum of $27,900.00 in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 406(b) and is ordered to reimburse plaintiff in the sum of $5,800.00 for attorney's fees which were previously provided in accordance with the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d). (See Doc. 21); see also 42 U.S.C. § 405(b) (providing that where attorney's fees are awarded pursuant to the Social Security Act, "no other fee may be payable or certified for payment").


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