Trying two Social Security Disability cases on the same morning in DC requires a lot of preparation. We had invested time, resources and money in our clients’ spinal cord injury cases and felt ready to go to trial. Special medical reports were secured from the treating doctors and a highly regarded vocational expert was retained, interviewed the disabled and prepared evidence for the Federal Administrative Law Judge.
But having met with the families, the disabled claimant and the expert vocational witness, my clients and I were shocked to see a lawyer walk into the waiting room and ask if "Mrs. X" was there. Mrs. X asked if he was her lawyer ! We could not believe what we were seeing. The lawyer said he was covering for another lawyer. Mrs. X said she had never spoken to the lawyer he was "covering" for; she only spoked to a paralegal ! They then met, for the first time, moments before they had to appear before the judge. We felt so sorry for them. Mrs. X looked so nervous and their lawyer appeared so unprepared. I don’t think they were going to get a "fully favorable" opinion. I hope they did, but we do not think that they will. If you, someone in your family or a friend, is seeking Social Security disability benefits, then get a good, experienced lawyer that you can visit with, prepare with and win with. You, your family and your friends deserve to be ready for the "day in court."