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Federal Circuit Opens Split Over Paralegal Reimbursement Under EAJA

January 12, 2007

In a 2-1 decision which rejected a decision of another circuit, Judges Dyk and Rader in Richlin Security Serv. Co. v. Chertoff (Fed. Cir. Dec. 26, 2006) held that, under the Equal Access to Justice Act, prevailing parties can only recover the actual cost to the parties' law firms of paralegal services, not the market rates billed by the firms. Judge Plager in dissent found an analogous Supreme Court precedent convincing and argued that a prior Federal Circuit decision had already held to the contrary, requiring en banc reconsideration.

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J. Chris Haile
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