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Prevailing Party Requirement in Hardt

In the November issue of Best’s Review, Frank N. Darras, the founding partner of DarrasLaw (link to site) in Ontario, California wrote an article, “Prevailing Party Not a Requirement” (pdf). The article discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.:

“In Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., the Supreme Court held that an [ERISA] claimant need not be a “prevailing party” to be eligible for attorney’s fees. Rather, a court may award fees as long as the claimant has achieved “some degree of success on the merits.”

The article concludes:

“Under Hardt, claimants can argue that a remand order constitutes success in order to receive an award of attorney’s fees. But the question of whether a remand alone, without more, constitutes sufficient success on the merits to justify an award of attorney’s fees remains unclear.”

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