I often get calls from people who have filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, from people who are represented by an attorney but who, for one reason or another, are not satisfied with the work that the attorney has performed. It is not, in my opinion, proper for an attorney to criticize or judge the work of another attorney, because each attorney has his or her particular methodology in the practice of law.
The fact that another attorney’s methodology of practicing a specific area of law (in this case, Federal disability retirement law) may differ from mine is not a basis for me to criticize another attorney. The mere fact that a disability retirement application, prepared and submitted by another attorney, is denied by the Office of Personnel Management, is not a basis for concluding that the application packet was prepared in less than a professional manner. Indeed, if that were the case, I would be subject to the same type of criticism each time one of my client’s disability retirement application was denied at any given stage of the process.
Further, and more to the point, it is a waste of time to criticize the past; what another attorney did or failed to do is besides the point. The focus needs to be: What is necessary to move forward, compile additional supporting documentation, and help get the disability retirement packet approved at the next stage of the process. As to whether or not an individual should switch attorneys mid-stream, that is not for me to say; as with everything in life, such determinations must be made based upon consideration of all of the facts and circumstances of the case, and the client must do what is in the best interest of his or her future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire