An “Attaboy” for Judge Simandle

Cooper University Hospital v. Sebelius, 396 Fed. Appx. 854 (3d Cir. Oct. 12, 2010).  It is rare for a published Third Circuit decision simply to adopt an opinion of the district court.   Here, however, Judge Barry, writing for a unanimous Third Circuit panel, did just that.

The case presented a “difficult legal issue” that required “an analysis of the interaction between, and the intersection of, the Medicare and Medicaid statutes,” which, the Third Circuit noted, had been described by the Fourth Circuit as “among the most completely impenetrable texts within human experience.”  The specific issue related to the amount of Medicare reimbursement that a hospital serving a disproportionate share of low-income patients could receive.

Judge Barry’s opinion noted “the patience and skill with which Judge Simandle has handled this case from its very inception until its conclusion, when he rendered an Opinion that thoughtfully, thoroughly, and articulately decided what had to be decided.  We could not do it better, and we will not try.”  The court then affirmed his “excellent” decision substantially for the reasons he gave.  An appellate decision like this is truly every trial level judge’s dream.