Monday, October 31, 2016


Friday, October 28, 2016

Many #SocialSecurityDisability hearings this month #lawyerslife

I like being in court. Social Security Disability hearings are enjoyable to me. I know that may make me boring, but my clients have waited years to have their "day in court" so it is nice to see them get to tell their side. it is exciting to me. Nothing is more compelling than hearing from a claimant. It humanizes the case, and it can drive home strong medical evidence. It can also make up for weak medical evidence.

Smart lawyers let the story come through the claimant, NOT the lawyer. It isn't about the lawyer. It is about the claimant.

I've done my best to make it about the claimant. If I do that, then I've done my job well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#SocialSecurityDisability ODAR judge website isn't a panacea

Here's the link: Take it for what you will. It isn't the Oracle of Delphi, though.

This is a useful site in that it gives you the statistics for an ODAR judge; I do not know if they are reliable statistics, however. In other words, it tells you how they have decided cases in the past, at least statistically. The problem here is: past rulings aren't necessarily indicative of a future decision in your case. I suppose it does give you a barometer, but you don't know the fact patterns, the evidence, or the testimony. These are all very important factors as is the ability of the lawyer. You don't know any of this from these statistics. Tread lightly.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mondays should be productive #lawyerslife

Mondays are 1/5 or more of your work life depending upon how much you work. They can be the most productive day. Mondays and Fridays tend to be my most productive days because I want to either get going on stuff or wrap stuff up. So both motivate me in different ways.

I manage hundreds of Social Security Disability cases and dozens of PI/WC cases. In other words, I have to be thinking months and years ahead. There are always issues of medical records, liens, and a myriad of deadlines.

Those who hate Mondays are at a disadvantage. I don't love them, but I view them as a chance to start the week off on a good note.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Avoid toxic lawyers #lawyerslife

We've all seen them, the nasty ones. They are critical of everything, always in a foul mood, and they suck the life out of law firms. For whatever reason, they are mean to clients. And they blame the clients for the lawyer's shortcomings as a lawyer and as a person. I make it my practice to avoid this kind of lawyer, and it is wise for you to do the same, constant reader.

Stay away from toxic lawyers. Let them be toxic and wallow in their own filth. Life is too short to spend much time around them.

Note: avoid toxic staff people too, but that's another topic for another day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

#SocialSecurityDisability cases are life changing #lawyerslife

Today I received a wonderful phone message from a client who has followed me across a few law firms. And I've kept track of him all over North Carolina. We have followed each other, I suppose. It is one of the cases I've wanted to win badly because this person is the embodiment of everything Social Security Disability is supposed to stand for. Note: I want to win all my cases, but some touch my heart in ways I never forget. They cut through the rational machinery of my lawyer's mind and appeal to me on a deep and unspoken level.

My client told me the benefits he has received have been "life changing" and he has something he's never had before, a chance. He is able to see his grandchildren, be near his family, and enjoy life. This kind of thing reminds me why I became a lawyer, and it is life affirming to hear this. It makes me proud to be a lawyer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More #SocialSecurityDisabilit hearings, and it's all about the narrative

Hearings are about the narrative. You aim to put together a plausible story, the difficulty being encapsulating years of suffering into less than an hour. It needs to hit hard, but not being overbearing or canned. It can't come across as empty. So many words are empty and don't tell us anything. We need to be told specifics to be persuaded. Judges need to hear specifics. There are magic words, and my job is to uncover them during the course of the claimant's testimony. But it is my job. It isn't the claimant's job. It is always the lawyer's job.

Monday, October 10, 2016

#WorldMentalHealthDay is an important day for #SocialSecurityDisability #lawyers and others as well

I see too many people with mental health issues. Many of my clients do not receive adequate mental health medical care, and that has only gotten worse in North Carolina. Our governor and legislature helped deny North Carolina Medicaid for 500,000 people. That's drastically cut services for people who have mental health issues. In many instances, this has led to people taking their own lives.

We need to do more. We need to understand more.

Read all you can about mental health issues. Be an advocate. It isn't too late for some.

#ChristopherColumbus was a savage, and we shouldn't celebrate #ColumbusDay

Christopher Columbus was a savage. He was a genocidal maniac, and a slaver. These are his worst two character traits--there are so many more. There is nothing redeeming about him in the least. We shouldn't celebrate Columbus Day, and we should cut out any reference to him. He is the anti-thesis of what we want in America. He was absolute scum.

No more Columbus Day!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

#DanishParliament #Coppenhagen

I saw this on the way to into Coppenhagen today.


Stupid people are voting for #DonaldTrump

I wish I could say they are just stupid, but they are mean, sadistic assholes. We don't need them in our country; not now, not ever. Empowered idiots are dangerous because they don't have the good sense to be constrained. These people need to be stopped even after Trump is defeated because they aren't going down easily.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

#SwedishParliament in #Stockholm

The architecture is impressive and the city sprawling, but I found the parliament building most impressive.