When he was in private practice at Hogan & Hartson, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. did not handle veterans’ benefits claims. So, he understandably found “startling” information with which lawyers for veterans are only too familiar: In litigating with veterans, the government more often than not takes a position that is substantially unjustified.

In oral arguments Monday in Astrue v. Ratliff, an attorney fee case under the Equal Access to Justice Act, James Leach of Rapid City, S.D., told the Court that 42 percent of Social Security cases result in an EAJA attorney fee award.

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