Effectively Using Nonmedical Evidence Witnesses in Formal Hearings
In order to illustrate for board members how your various service-disqualifying medical conditions adversely impact you both at home and in the military workplace, you should employ a combination of nonmedical evidence letters and witness testimony at your formal hearing. While the interaction between you and your counsel will be critical to establishing your symptoms and limitations, do not underestimate the importance of presenting corroborating evidence from coworkers, supervisors and relatives. Nonmedical evidence letters from coworkers and supervisors can provide board members with vital corroboration of your testimony regarding your work/duty limitations. Strong witnesses may also testify live or via speakerphone during such hearings. In addition, I like to have spouses or significant others testify as well, as they can provide examples of many activities of daily living that have been compromised by your injuries but which might not be discussed in your medical records. The key is to corroborate your testimony using nonmedical evidence-whether it is via live testimony or written statements. In the 500+ cases that I have argued over the past 28 years, nonmedical evidence almost always has played a critical role in winning the client’s case. Ignore it at your peril.