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Jul 24, 2023

Administrative – Social Security Disability – Treating Physician – Weight

The administrative law judge cited specific examples to explain why the 2018 opinion of treating physician Dr. Paul Weaver was not entitled to controlling weight: (1) Weaver’s treatment records “reflect no significantly adverse mental health findings” and (2) Weaver noted in April 2018 that plaintiff was riding a bicycle for exercise. However, the ALJ did […]

May 3, 2023

Administrative – Social Security Disability – RFC – Depression & Crohn’s Disease – Physicians’ Opinions

Although plaintiff’s depression is severe, the administrative law judge carefully considered plaintiff’s entire medical record, including his responsiveness to medication, multiple expert reports finding that he maintains a high degree of mental functioning and the capacity to work, and his own treating physician’s assessment that working will “help him psychologically.” The ALJ also inc[...]

Feb 10, 2023

Administrative – Social Security – Disability – Subjective Pain Complaints – Daily Activities

In this social security disability case, the administrative law judge erred by disregarding the claimant’s statements about her abdominal pain because the ALJ could not find an objective medical explanation for the intensity of her pain. The ALJ also erred by discrediting the claimant’s assertions of disabling pain based largely on her ability to perform […]

Feb 10, 2023

Administrative – Workers’ Compensation – Appeals – Reinstatement Denial – Lack of Findings

Where the Workers’ Compensation Commission summarily denied a motion to reinstate an appeal without engaging in a rational analysis of the good cause standard, the commission failed to exercise its discretion; consequently, there was no exercise of discretion to which we would defer. Plaintiff’s counsel mistakenly placed the due date for his appellate brief on […]

Feb 10, 2023

Administrative – Taxation – Appeals – Untimely Protests

In letters dated February 14, 2018, and August 16, 2018, the Department of Revenue denied the appellant-taxpayer’s claim of refunds on her 2012 and 2013 tax returns (filed on August 11, 2017, and August 13, 2018, respectively). Both the denial letters and S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-450 required the taxpayer to file any protest within […]

Aug 17, 2022

Administrative – Social Security Disability – Narcolepsy – New Evidence – Contradictory 

Plaintiff’s claim for social security disability, based on his narcolepsy, was denied. Thereafter, his doctor completed a one-page questionnaire in which she said that, if plaintiff were taking the appropriate level of stimulant medication, it would nevertheless be most probable that he would fall asleep at unpredictable times during the working portion of each work […]

Feb 22, 2022

Administrative – Jurisdiction found lacking over Navy contractor’s suit

Where a federal contractor sought clarification on whether the nature of its Navy service contract made it subject to California’s labor laws, the suit was dismissed because the contractor failed to satisfy the exhaustion requirements of the Contract Disputes Act or CDA. Background In 2015, employees of a Navy services contractor, Systems Application & Technologies […]

Feb 11, 2022

Administrative – ALJ improperly relieved OSHA of its burden of proof

Where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, did not argue that a company’s safety program was inadequate to prove constructive knowledge during the trial or in its post-trial brief, the administrative law judge, or ALJ, erred by relying heavily on the inadequacy of the safety program in holding that the OSHA violations were […]

Feb 11, 2022

Administrative – Agency failed to properly consider pipeline’s impact on fish

Where the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to adequately evaluate the “environmental baseline” and “cumulative effects” for the Roanoke logperch and the candy darter within the right of way of a proposed pipeline, its biological opinion and incidental take statement was vacated. Background A collection of environmental nonprofit organizations challenge the Fish and Wildlife Service’s [&h[...]

Feb 1, 2022

Administrative – Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to consider overpayment claim

Where a statute allows a taxpayer to appeal an adverse administrative ruling of the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, to the tax court, but here the IRS then determined that the taxpayer owed no money, the tax court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the taxpayer’s independent overpayment claim. Background Brian McLane filed a tax return for […]

Feb 1, 2022

Administrative – Government failed to consider pipeline’s impact on environment

Where the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, failed to account for data suggesting increased sedimentation along the route of a proposed gas pipeline, and approved the use of the conventional bore method to cross streams within the Jefferson National Forest without analyzing its environmental effects, its decisions were […]

Dec 16, 2021

Administrative – Environmental – Landfill Changes – Notice & Request for Review

The 15-day period for filing a request for review of a decision of the Department of Health and Environmental Control does not start to run upon a party’s receipt of actual notice of the decision. The General Assembly chose not to include an actual notice trigger when it enacted the statutory provisions governing the procedure […]

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