Should you preemptively argue an issue even when it has not yet been brought to the fore? Is it better to raise the proverbial “red flag” at the outset, or take the chance that no one will notice the “elephant in the room” (another metaphorical reference) and hope that the potentially problematic concern will be overlooked?
It depends (yes, yes, what a lawyerly response, as expected, from a lawyer). Art and legal argumentation are part and parcel of what it means to “practice law”. For, law is not science; it is not always the precision of the word-games which wins the courtroom battle, but rather, the strategic focus placed along with the when and where.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition which necessitates filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, it is always important to remember which arguments should be primary, which secondary, and what extraneous issues should be left out of the initial application process.
Will the issue come up later? Maybe. But as with Shakespeare’s Queen Gertrude’s response to the over-reaction from another character, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” — it is generally best to leave the sleeping dog alone (yes, another lawyerly, in-artful metaphorical reference — or, is it an analogy?), and deal with slumber of red flags left for another day.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.