For a lawyer, it is indeed the “lost cause” which is the most challenging of cases. This is no less true in Federal Disability Retirement cases for Federal and Postal Employees under FERS & CSRS. In fact, in some instances it is all-the-more-true, because there is necessarily involved a physical or psychiatric medical condition which makes the case all the more worthwhile in fighting for.
The concept of the “lost cause” is evocative of the famous scene from Frank Capra’s classic movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, of course; and no lawyer, no matter how good, should be so arrogant as to think that he or she meets with the standard of what Jimmy Stewart was fighting for. For one thing, lawyers get paid for what they do. Yet, it is indeed the “lost cause” cases which often spur the attorney in any area of law, with eagerness and pride.
Whether to obtain Federal Disability retirement benefits for an individual who was wrongfully terminated for extraneous reasons; proving to the Judge that, despite post-termination medical documentation, one can and should logically extrapolate that the medical conditions existed prior to separation from Federal Service; to persuade the Office of Personnel Management that the Agency knew, or should have known, of the medical condition, and should have terminated the individual for his or her medical inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, as opposed to the manner in which the Agency went forth; these are all microcosmic examples of “lost causes”; and it is indeed the lost cause which is the most challenging of cases for an attorney.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire