Stacy v. Colvin, No. 13-36025 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the denial of his social security benefits. In a case of first impression, the court held that the law of the case doctrine and the rule of mandate apply to social security administrative remands from federal court in the same way they would apply to any other case. In this case, the court concluded that, given the new evidence - highly probative testimony about plaintiff's ability to perform his past work and a new finding supporting that testimony - the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply the law of the case doctrine. Given the expansive remand orders in this case, the ALJ did not violate the rule of mandate. The court also held that the ALJ properly categorized plaintiff’s past work and correctly found that he was still able to perform that work as it is generally performed in the national economy. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.