When to Hire Counsel
Today I had to break the news to three DOD service members seeking to retain counsel for formal hearings that there was no way in which I could effectively represent them in hearings that were only a week away. You see, by the time that you reach the formal hearing stage, you have been in the process for almost a year and there have been significant procedural steps along the way where the input of counsel is essential. I draft my clients’ rebuttals, letters of exception, appeals, case outlines, VA one-time reconsideration requests and drafts of nonmedical evidence letters for prospective witnesses. By building the case together from the outset, we dramatically enhance your odds of winning. This is not like fighting a traffic ticket. It would be exceptionally difficult for an attorney to review hundreds of pages of medical records, personnel data and previous IPEB decisions with only a few days’ notice and prepare a winning case strategy. Could it happen? Yes- but such occasions are very rare indeed. If you wish to hire civilian counsel, do so as soon as you can so that they can increase your odds of winning early on in the process, as opposed to trying to save a sinking ship. And, yes, I did turn down those three cases- because it was the right thing to do.