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Home / Case Digests / Guadagno v. Astrue

Guadagno v. Astrue

U.S. District Court, WDNY

Attorney’s Fees


Guadagno v. Astrue
Judge Telesca

Background: The plaintiff brought the action against the commissioner of Social Security after she was denied Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. The parties had stipulated to remand the case to the Social Security Administration for further proceedings as portions of the administrative transcript could not be located. The plaintiff then moved for attorney’s fees to be paid directly to the plaintiff’s attorney. The commissioner argued that the fees were unreasonable and could only be paid to the plaintiff.

Ruling: The court ordered a 10 percent fee reduction as the time records of the plaintiff’s attorney were confusing. The attorney used block-billing tasks which complicated the court’s determination of whether the fees requested were reasonable. Pursuant to a recent decision, Astrue v. Ratliff, the court also ordered the fees to be made payable to the plaintiff directly.

Jere B. Fletcher for the plaintiff; Kathryn L. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the defendant