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NVLSP and Its Private Law Firm Partner Persuade the Federal Circuit to Overturn 19-Year Precedent

In a sweeping legal victory for veterans, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a 19-year lower court precedent which prohibited the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from awarding disability benefits to a veteran for disabling pain if it was not linked to a medical diagnosis. “What this ruling means is that if a physician cannot diagnose the cause of the pain the veteran is experiencing, but the pain is related to an event, injury, or disease that occurred during the veteran’s military service, the veteran should now win disability benefits,” said Bart Stichman, executive director and co-founder of NVLSP and one of the attorneys who represented the veteran in the case. [more]

Released 4/4/18 | Tags: Class Actions

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Questions about PACER fees swirling in court disputes

Released 4/18/18 at The Indiana Lawyer | Tags: Class Actions

A recent ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia provided insight into the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system’s financial health and raised more questions. The case, National Veterans Legal Services Program et al. v. United States of America, 1:16-cv-00745, is a dispute over PACER funds. The plaintiffs claim the fees charged by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts exceeded the amount that could be collected under the E-Government Act of 2002. [more]

Federal Judge Rules That Judiciary Is Misusing PACER Fees

Released 4/6/18 at Justia News | Tags: Class Actions

On March 31, a federal district court judge in Washington, DC, held that the fees collected by PACER—the electronic records system of the federal court system—are being used for purposes not authorized by law. PACER has a complex fee structure, but simply described, it charges users 10 cents per page, with a maximum of $3 per document. The National Veterans Legal Services Program filed a class-action lawsuit challenging PACER’s fees, alleging that the law authorizing PACER to charge fees only permits it to charge “reasonable fees” necessary to cover the operation and maintenance of PACER itself. PACER actually makes significantly more money than is required to maintain the system, and the courts have used this windfall for such purposes as updating technology in courtrooms. [more]

Court Rules: No PACER Money for Court Tech

Released 4/5/18 | Tags: Class Actions

In what's being hailed as a win for the public, one federal court judge ruled (over the weekend) that the federal court system has been misusing the profits generated by the PACER and the CM/ECF system. The Saturday ruling in the National Veterans Legal Services Program v. U.S.A. case found that several programs and purchases funded by the profits generated by the PACER systems, which climbs into the millions annually, were improper. [more]

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