United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 
C. RICHARDSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court on the Motion for
Attorney's Fees Pursuant to the Social Security Act
Section 206(b)(1) (“Motion”) (Doc. 29), filed by
Plaintiff's counsel on November 13, 2019. Plaintiff's
counsel makes a timely request for an award of $19, 721.12 in
attorney's fees pursuant to Section 206(b) of the Social
Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 406(b). (Id.)
Defendant does not oppose the Motion. (Doc. 29-8.) For the
reasons stated herein, the undersigned recommends that the
Motion be GRANTED.
April 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court,
appealing the Commissioner's denial of Social Security
Disability benefits. (Doc. 1.) On May 22, 2018, the Court
reversed the Commissioner's decision and remanded the
case to the ALJ for further proceedings pursuant to sentence
four of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). (Doc. 24.) On December 10,
2018, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for
Attorney's Fees Pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice
Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d), to the
extent it awarded Plaintiff's counsel fees in the amount
of $3, 660.17, and expenses in the amount of $43.17 pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1). (Doc. 28.)
remand, the Commissioner issued a decision finding Plaintiff
disabled since April 3, 2013. (Doc. 29-2.) Pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 406(b), the Commissioner withheld $29, 721.25
from Plaintiff's past-due benefits in the amount of $118,
885.00 for the possible payment of attorney's fees. (Doc.
29-3.) Plaintiff's counsel now seeks an award of $19,
721.12 in attorney's fees pursuant to the contingent fee
contract with Plaintiff,  less the previously awarded EAJA fees
and expenses, totaling $3, 703.34. (Doc. 29.)
42 U.S.C. § 406(b), attorneys who secure a favorable
result for their clients upon remand from federal court may
petition the Court for a fee “not in excess of 25
percent of the total of the past-due benefits to which the
claimant is entitled.” 42 U.S.C. § 406(b)(1)(A).
In capping the fee at 25 percent, “Congress . . .
sought to protect claimants against ‘inordinately large
fees' and also to ensure that attorneys representing
successful claimants would not risk ‘nonpayment of
[appropriate] fees.'” Gisbrecht v.
Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, 805 (2002).
Gisbrecht, the Supreme Court stated:
[Section] 406(b) does not displace contingent-fee agreements
as the primary means by which fees are set for successfully
representing Social Security benefits claimants in court.
Rather, § 406(b) calls for court review of such
arrangements as an independent check, to assure that they
yield reasonable results in particular cases. . . . Within
the 25 percent boundary, . . . the attorney for the
successful claimant must show that the fee sought is
reasonable for the services rendered.
Id. at 807.
first place that the Court should turn to in assessing the
reasonableness of a fee is the parties' fee agreement.
Id. at 808. In conducting its independent check to
ensure that a fee is reasonable, the Court may appropriately
reduce the fee for a number of reasons, including “the
character of the representation and the results the
representative achieved, ” any delay caused by counsel
“so that the attorney will not profit from the
accumulation of benefits during the pendency of the case in
court, ” and/or benefits that “are large in
comparison to the amount of time counsel spent on the
In this regard, the court may require the claimant's
attorney to submit, not as a basis for satellite litigation,
but as an aid to the court's assessment of the
reasonableness of the fee yielded by the fee agreement, a
record of the hours spent representing the claimant and a
statement of the lawyer's normal hourly billing charge
for noncontingent-fee cases.