Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,800+ case briefs...

Biestek v. Berry Hill

United States Supreme Court
139 S.Ct. 1148 (2019)


Former construction worker Michael Biestek (plaintiff) applied for social security disability benefits, claiming eligibility as of 2009. The Social Security Administration held a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). A vocational expert testified that there were 120,000 sorter and 240,000 bench assembler jobs nationwide that were unskilled, sedentary jobs Biestek could have performed. The expert said she obtained those numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and her own private surveys. Biestek’s attorney asked the expert to produce her data, but the expert refused, citing privacy concerns. Biestek’s attorney suggested the expert redact employee names and produce the data, but the ALJ intervened and said the expert would not need to produce redacted data. The ALJ concluded that Biestek could have worked from 2009 until 2013, when he turned 50 and would have had a harder time finding a job. Biestek appealed, arguing that at least one other circuit had adopted a categorical rule that expert testimony without any supporting data never suffices as substantial evidence of other available jobs. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, noting other circuits had rejected a categorical rule. The Supreme Court granted review to resolve the split among the circuits.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

Dissent (Gorsuch, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 450,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 450,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,800 briefs, keyed to 224 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial