hours of time spent by Mr. Watt, 1/2 hour spent by Mr. Bowlus,
22 hours spent by Ms. Herrmann, 212 1/4 hours spent by Mr.
Froikin, and 5 1/4 hours of a law clerk's time.
Finally, we address the question of the appropriate hourly
rate. The EAJA provides, "attorney fees shall not be in excess
of $75 per hour unless the court determines that an increase in
the cost of living or a special factor, such as the limited
availability of qualified attorneys for the proceedings
involved, justifies a higher fee."
28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(2)(A)(ii) (Supp. V 1981).
Ms. Mills sets her "medium" hourly rate at $100 per hour. The
government objects to this rate, arguing that there are many
other attorneys qualified to handle this case, so that no
special circumstances exist justifying a rate higher than $75.
Our earlier discussion of plaintiff's behavior refutes this
position. The record in this case clearly demonstrates that few
attorneys would have tolerated plaintiff. Nevertheless, we
agree for the reasons stated above that the taxpayers should
not absorb the cost of plaintiff's behavior. No contention is
made that there are a limited number of attorneys with the
technical expertise to handle a case such as this, nor do
plaintiff's attorneys document their assertion that the cost of
living justifies a rate higher than $75 per hour. No court has
ever awarded more than the statutory rate, adjusted for
inflation, and in the absence of a very compelling showing the
statutory rate should be employed. See Tyler Business
Services, Inc. v. NLRB, 695 F.2d 73, 77 & n. 17 (4th Cir.
The statutory rate is also appropriate for plaintiff's other
attorneys, except for Mr. Froikin, who has less experience than
the others, and whose hourly rate is usually set at less than
$75. Sixty dollars per hour is an appropriate rate for Mr.
In sum, plaintiff's award under the EAJA is as follows. 71 1/4
hours of Ms. Mills' time at $75 per hour or $5,343.75; 2 1/4
hours of Mr. Watt's time at $75 per hour or $168.75; 1/2 hour
of Mr. Bowlus' time at $75 per hour or $37.50; 22 hours of Ms.
Herrmann's time at $75 per hour or $1,650.00; 212 1/4 hours of
Mr. Froikin's time at $60 per hour or $12,735.00 and 5 1/4
hours of a law clerk's time at $55 per hour or $288.75.
Plaintiff also seeks $786.26 in costs and expenses, a request
to which defendants do not object.*fn7 There being no just
reason for delaying entry of final judgment, the clerk is
expressly directed to enter judgment in favor of plaintiff and
against defendants in the sum of $21,010.01, payable directly
to plaintiff's attorneys. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b).
Plaintiff's attorneys also request that to the extent that we
do not compensate them for all of their time under the EAJA, we
order plaintiff to compensate them out of her recovery. Soon
after we requested that Ms. Mills represent plaintiff, she
approached plaintiff and requested that plaintiff sign a fee
agreement to pay her attorneys one-third of any recovery
obtained through their representation of her.*fn8 Plaintiff
refused to sign the agreement and Ms. Mills' subsequent
representation of her was without any fee agreement.
The threshold question which we face is whether we have
jurisdiction to order plaintiff to compensate her attorneys.
This dispute is in essence a contract claim between citizens of
the same state. If independently brought in this court it would
clear that there would be no federal jurisdiction to entertain
it.*fn9 However, it has long been recognized that where a
controversy arises which "has direct relation to property or
other assets actually or constructively drawn into the court's
possession or control by the principal suit," there is federal
jurisdiction over the controversy. Fulton National Bank v.
Hozier, 267 U.S. 276, 280, 45 S.Ct. 261, 262, 69 L.Ed. 609
(1925). See Aldinger v. Howard, 427 U.S. 1, 9-12, 96 S.Ct.
2413, 2418-19, 49 L.Ed.2d 276 (1976). Here, plaintiff's
recovery has been paid into a registry maintained by the clerk
of this court and hence the court is in control of the funds
plaintiff's attorneys seek. Since the fund to which plaintiff's
attorneys lay claim is in the court's possession, we have
jurisdiction to entertain this dispute between plaintiff and
her attorneys over the attorneys' compensation. See Rosquist
v. Soo Line Railroad, 692 F.2d 1107, 1110 (7th Cir. 1982);
Grimes v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 565 F.2d 841 (2d Cir. 1977)
(per curiam); Cappel v. Adams, 434 F.2d 1278 (5th Cir. 1970);
Garrett v. McCree, 201 F.2d 250, 253-54 (10th Cir. 1953);
Moore Bros. Constr. Co. v. City of St. Louis, 159 F.2d 586,
588 (7th Cir. 1947); Andrews v. Central Surety Insurance Co.,
295 F. Supp. 1223, 1227-29 (D.S.C. 1969). We therefore hold that
we have jurisdiction to adjudicate this controversy to the
extent it involves funds in the court's possession.*fn10
Plaintiff's attorneys argue that they should be awarded
one-third of the value of plaintiff's recovery, or some
$79,000, less their recovery under the EAJA. That would have
the effect of binding plaintiff to a fee agreement which she
did not sign. Plaintiff and her attorneys clearly had no
contract; that being the case, her attorneys cannot be entitled
to a contractual recovery. Rather, the law governing this
situation is clear. Where an attorney and her client have no
express fee agreement, the attorney may recover only the
reasonable value of the services rendered to the client in
quasi-contract or quantum meruit. See Greenbaum & Browne, Ltd.
v. Braun, 88 Ill. App.3d 210, 43 Ill.Dec. 303, 410 N.E.2d 303
(1980); Slater v. Jacobs, 156 Ill. App.3d 636, 14 Ill.Dec. 1,
371 N.E.2d 1054 (1977); Neville v. Davinroy, 41 Ill. App.3d 706,
355 N.E.2d 86 (1976); In re Estate of Bort,
75 Ill. App.2d 322, 221 N.E.2d 24 (1966); Sullivan v. Fawver,
58 Ill. App.2d 37, 206 N.E.2d 492 (1965).
Plaintiff has objected to our consideration of her attorneys'
request at this time. She has filed two motions, one a "Motion
to Stay Petitioner's Martha A. Mills Petition for Fees and
Expenses, Court Appoint Attorney
to Respond to Said Petition, Which Plaintiff Deems Required and
Warranted in the Interests of Justice," and the second a
"Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, for Appointment
of Legal Counsel, and an Extension of Considerable Time (at
Least 180 Days) for Court Appointment Attorney, When
Subsequently Being Appointed by the Court, to File a Brief
Directed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Plaintiff's appeal divests this court of jurisdiction to
consider her motion that an attorney be appointed to write a
brief on her behalf in the court of appeals. It is denied for
lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff should direct that motion to
the court of appeals. The same is true of her request that she
be permitted to proceed in forma pauperis in the court of
Because of plaintiff's recovery in this action we can no longer
say that she is unable to pay fees and costs. In light of
defendants' deposit with the clerk of this court, plaintiff is
now a person of some means. As a result, we lack authority to
appoint an attorney for her under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d) (Supp. V
1981), or any other statute of which we are aware. If plaintiff
wants an attorney to represent her, she should hire one.
We are not adverse to granting plaintiff a period of time to
attempt to retain an attorney. We do think it would be useful,
however, to indicate our tentative view on Ms. Mills request
for fees. We are convinced that plaintiff used significant
amounts of her lawyers' time on unproductive client
conferences. Our own staff has spent significant amounts of
time trying to cope with plaintiff's numerous visits and
telephone calls. To avoid unjust enrichment, plaintiff should
compensate her attorneys for the reasonable value of the time
which she demanded they expend. In the context of this case,
the reasonable value of the services should be the same as that
utilized in our award of fees against the defendants. It would
be anomalous for plaintiff's attorneys to be paid at one rate
by defendants and at another by plaintiff. Thus, we intend to
compensate plaintiff's attorneys for the time they spent
communicating with plaintiff for which they have not been
compensated by defendants. That amounts to a total of 152 1/2
hours of Ms. Mills' time at $75 per hour or $10,087.50, and 59
1/2 of Mr. Froikin's time at $60 per hour or $3,030. The total
compensation plaintiff owes her attorneys would therefore be
While the preceding represents our view of plaintiff's
obligations, we will not enter judgment until plaintiff has had
an opportunity to respond. Plaintiff may file a written
response within 30 days. The court will not grant plaintiff any
additional extension of time. In all other respects,
plaintiff's motion to stay is denied.