The Social Security Administration frequently reduces lawyers' fee requests. Steve Maguire '96 spoke to Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly about his experience.

Upcoming Events

Secrets & Scandals

Alumni Weekend

Secrets & Scandals

Alumni Weekend

Second Amendment Debate
SEP
24
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room 283
Prepare for Practice Information Session
SEP
24
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Room 262
15th Annual Law Alumni Association Scholarship Golf Tournament
SEP
28
12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Metacomet Country Club, 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway, East Providence
Info Session for Prospective Students
OCT
10
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
RWU Law, 10 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809

Trending@RWULaw

09/22/2014
By Raquel Ortiz
Attorneys maintain their knowledge of the law and legal practice skills through continuing legal education. As 1Ls, law students begin to learn how to think and write like a lawyer, the foundations...


Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

Archives

Newsroom

Maguire '96 on SSA Fee Reductions

The Social Security Administration frequently reduces lawyers' fee requests. Steve Maguire '96 spoke to Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly about his experience.

From Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: "Lawyer challenges fee reduction, with some success" by Julie McMahon

Stephen P. Maguire '96CRANSTON, R.I., May 27, 2013: After devoting more than 74 hours to O’Connor v. Colvin, Cranston lawyer Stephen P. Maguire [RWU Law '96] believed the fee request he submitted under the Equal Access to Justice Act was perfectly reasonable.

The Social Security Administration apparently thought otherwise: The agency’s commissioner contested Maguire’s $13,000 fee — at an hourly rate of $180.59 — and asked that it be slashed by more than 50 percent. Maguire then had to justify the sum before the U.S. District Court, where he had previously appealed his client’s Social Security Disability Income claim. When all was said and done, Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan determined the award should be $11,000. [...]

Maguire recently spoke to Lawyers Weekly reporter Julie McMahon about the O’Connor case:

Q. How often are the fees you request under the Equal Access to Justice Act disputed?

A. [The Social Security Administration’s lawyers] always [try] to reduce the fee. Sometimes they are more reasonable than other times, but sometimes they are unreasonable. Anytime the fee is over $7,000 you run into a dispute. If it’s over that, it’s been a difficult case and it’s hard to do — but it’s still a lot of money on their end. I think the general counsel for the commissioner is required to get some kind of reduction. It exceeds the authority of the first-level decision makers. [...]

For full story, click here.