Approvals of Federal Disability Retirement applications under FERS & CSRS, for an attorney who specializes exclusively in that area of law, are self-evidently a professionally satisfying bit of news. If the OPM Disability approval occurs at the initial stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, all the better; it means that everything was properly prepared and executed.
Disapprovals, of course, constitute a temporary setback. It is a disappointment. Professionally, it means that the Office of Personnel Management found something wanting; it may not be substantive; it may be as simple as the OPM Representative being in a bad mood on a given day. At the same time, it is a challenge for the Attorney — a time to redouble one’s efforts, discern what is needed to win at the Reconsideration Stage, and win the full confidence of the client. Winning a case only lasts for the day of the win. Every attorney worth his or her salt wants to win every case.
Watching the Olympics during these couple of weeks, it is interesting to see how “winning” is an inherently human desire. But as with everything in life, it is not just winning; it is how one wins. Watching each athlete conduct him or herself, it is interesting to observe how there are “winners for the moment”, and “winners in a greater-context-of-life”. This is not to even discuss the “losers” — or those who believed they should have gotten a gold medal, but instead had to “settle” for silver or bronze. How one loses at anything in life — a sporting event, a contest, competition, or a legal case — and how one responds to the “loss”, is what is important.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire