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A TEAM EFFORT FROM BASEBALL TO THE HEARING ROOM
While the rest of the nation goes mad over college basketball this month, I keep a watchful eye on Major League Baseball’s spring training. I’ve been a fan of America’s pastime ever since my grandfather, “Poppy,” first started taking me to games as a kid. I always get excited to see these first exhibition games before the season kicks off in earnest. You see, this is the time of year we get to see professional teams work out the kinks that have accumulated in the offseason. Old hands have to warm up, rookies have to get used to a whole new level of play, and both have to learn how to communicate with each other. You can usually tell which teams are going to do well before the season even starts by watching how well these players learn to communicate with one another during the spring. The client-attorney relationship works best when viewed as a sports team. As the managing attorney at the Gillette Law Group, I have created a legal team including an intake specialist, case managers, a legal assistant, and a legal nurse, among others. Sometimes overlooked is the fact that the client is also a very important part of the team, not just a spectator in the stands.
If you start seeing a new doctor or receive a new diagnosis, let your case manager know. If your legal team leaves you a message, return the call as soon as possible. Do what you can to get the medical care needed to treat your conditions and prove your claim. If you are having trouble getting medical care or paying for medications, call your case manager for referrals to community resources. If you are thinking about returning to work, call to schedule an appointment to talk with your attorney to discuss how this may affect your claim. Always make an appointment before coming to the office, so your legal team can be prepared to provide you with the exceptional service you deserve. Just like when a baseball player doesn’t back up a teammate, when a client doesn’t keep in communication with their legal team, their opportunities to win can be lost. This is especially true in the field of Social Security disability. The Social Security Administration sometimes fails to send copies of important notices to our office. Do not assume that just because you receive a notice, we have also received a copy. Doing your part to ensure we are up-to-date on your latest Social Security decision and any medical issues or treatment that has occurred since we last talked makes it easier for us to represent you effectively.
Protecting your legal rights is a very personal, involved process, requiring both the client and their legal team to be in it together, 100 percent. While it is the attorney’s role to know the law and how to apply it to the facts of a case, the client has to keep their legal team abreast of any relevant life events that may affect their case.
Much like baseball, law isn’t a game defined by star players. It’s the teams with players who work together and are always on the same page that carry the day. We have different roles. I know your rights under the law and how to present strong arguments in support of your claims, and you know your medical conditions,
treatment, and living situation. Bringing those two roles together leads to effective representation.
For example, if you move or change your phone number, your legal team needs to know. How else will they be able to reach you if they need important information from you, or if they need to update you on a hearing date?
N e x t D o o r Bu
While we don’t get to travel to Florida to hone these skills, I hope you’ll keep them in mind. We are so fortunate to have worked with so many team players over the years. Thank you for being a part of this team with us! –Brian Gillette
If you receive a form from your case manager or the Social Security Administration (SSA), complete the form and return it to your law firm for review and submission to the SSA.
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