OPM Disability Law: Arguing by Logical Extension

Often, in legal argumentation, one must simply use the available evidence garnered, and make the best of it.  In many areas of law, especially in administrative legal venues involving Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the law favors agencies which hide behind the shield of “efficiency of the Federal Service”, in implementing sanctions, adverse actions, restrictions of leave usage, proposing and deciding upon removals (whether based upon reasons of medical conditions or other basis), etc.

In a typical OPM Disability Retirement case, however, there are just as many procedural and substantive legal precedents which can be utilized effectively to favor the Federal and Postal employee.

For Federal and Postal employees under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, who intend upon filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the vast array from the arsenal of statutes, case-law, legal precedents and interpretive advantages gained through years and decades of predecessors to one’s present filing, should be recognized, researched and reapplied at every available opportunity.  For, if the greatest compliment that one can accord to another in the world of art, is one of mimicry and plagiarism, so in the world of law, it is to take the precedent of past legal victories, and to argue to the fullest the logical extension thereof.

That often occurs, unfortunately, only when it is a “hard case“, as opposed to the ones where there is little to no room for argument because of the overwhelming evidence available.  It is, in the end, an unfortunate circumstance that, often the test of brilliance manifests when the case is weak, and one must utilize the capacity available through means of arguing by logical extension, because that is precisely what is left — argument, logic, and extension of the first two principles.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


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