The worth of advice is unique in that it is valued based up multiple facets of judgments: the source of such advice; the reputation and historical successes of that source; the soundness of the advisory statement, based upon all information available; and, ultimately, the receptiveness of such advice on the part of the person who seeks it. When advice falls upon deaf ears, of course, then the very value and effectiveness of such advice has been lost forever.
In the legal arena, there is an added component — that the attorney is unable to, for obvious ethical reasons, to render advice unless there has been established an attorney-client relationship. The “obvious reasons” have to do with the fact that proffering advice in particular circumstances can only come about if and when an attorney has received the confidential and specific information pertaining to a “client”. Guidance of a general nature, without reference to individualized details, can be given in a generic sense.
In Federal Disability Retirement law, where each case is unique because of fact-specific medical conditions, position descriptions which are impacted by the particularized medical conditions of the individual case, and the nexus which must arise with the interaction between the two — because of this, legal advice must be tailored within a context of an attorney-client relationship.
General guidance can be given; but the Federal or Postal employee seeking help in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, should understand that the importance of getting good legal advice is dependent upon the value and worth the Federal or Postal employee places upon his or her unique and individualized case.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire