Mark Shapiro was hired by the Social Security Administration as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in 1997. Throughout his career as an ALJ Shapiro failed to meet agency productivity standards. He averaged about 10-12 decisions a month while the agency was expecting around 50 a month. Shapiro was given additional training and many warnings but his productivity remained low. Finally, the agency asked the federal Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to remove Shapiro from his position as an ALJ. The MSPB agreed to remove Shapiro from his job. Shapiro appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That Court has affirmed the MSRP decision.
My view is that the agency standard of 50 or more decisions a month is somewhat too high. However, 10-12 decisions a month is way too low. I don't know what Shapiro's problem was but he had no business being an ALJ. My advice for any ALJ struggling to get out, let's say, 35 decisions a month, is to find something else to do. ALJ positions aren't some calling from God. They're jobs. It's not a job for everybody. Life is too short to spend years working at a job you aren't cut out for.