New enviro scam pockets taxpayer cash through nuisance suits

William Pendley exposes Gang Green's latest scam, abusing a federal law (the Equal Access to Justice Act) to pocket millions in taxpayer cash by flooding federal courts with lawsuits over petty, technical violations of law.
Last month, Karen Budd-Falen, a Cheyenne, Wyo., lawyer, presented her findings on the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) to the 100th Anniversary Conference of the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute in Vail, Colo. After spending years researching court documents — the federal government keeps no records of EAJA disbursements — Ms. Budd-Falen found that environmental groups have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in EAJA awards.
The EAJA was written for nobler purposes, which was to allow Americans forced to litigate against the federal government to be paid their attorneys’ fees and expenses if they prevailed and if the government’s legal position was not “substantially justified.” There is a cap on the hourly fees for which recovery is permitted, which, according to Ms. Budd-Falen, has not limited fees paid to environmental groups, and an eligibility restriction based on net worth ($2 million for individuals and $7 million for entities), which specifically excepts tax-exempt (environmental) groups. The use of the EAJA by environmental groups is unique in two other ways, one not intended by Congress, the other not anticipated. Environmental groups recover fees for suing over noninjurious, technical violations of federal law, whereas most other EAJA applicants sue to vindicate constitutional or statutory rights. Finally, while environmental groups are paid quickly — federal lawyers rarely challenge their EAJA demands, and the groups often file open-and-shut cases, such as missed deadlines — private litigants are paid only after years, if ever...

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