A small security business, the victor in a long, expensive battle with the federal government over back wages, has won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that “prevailing parties” under a fee shifting law can recover paralegal fees from the government at the market rate for those services.

In Richlin Security Service Co. v. Chertoff, No. 06-1717, the justices unanimously rejected all of the government’s arguments that the Equal Access to Justice Act limited recovery of paralegal fees to the attorney’s cost — which was lower than the billed rate.

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