September 4, 2008

U.S. District Court, Northern District of N.Y. Case Summaries: August 22, 2008

U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

Social Security

Attorney's Fees

Bagley v. Commissioner of Social Security


Judge Sharpe

Background: Following a favorable Social Security ruling, the plaintiff moved for an award of attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act and the Commissioner opposes Bagley's motion on grounds that special circumstances make an award of attorney's fees unjust. Bagley was notified that his disability and SSI payments would end in 1999 and this suit was filed after the decision became final in 2002. After case law began to suggest that the existence of a plaintiff's disability in SSI cessation cases must be considered based on all evidence presented throughout the administrative appeals process and not merely as of the initial cessation date, the parties negotiated a settlement.

Ruling: Since the court finds it cannot conclude that Bagley prevailed "through circumstances entirely divorced from counsel's efforts," an award of fees under the EAJA is appropriate in the amount of $16,527.

Howard Olinsky for the plaintiff and William H. Pease, Assistant U.S. Attorney, for the defendant

Originally published by Daily Record Staff.

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