Attention Missouri Social Security Disability Applicants Who Are Represented By Another Lawyer – Please Do NOT Call My Firm Looking For Answers When Your Springfield Disability Lawyer Will Not Respond To You.
Please don’t call our office to answer questions when other lawyers or advocates represent you. Unfortunately our office receives many calls from those represented by big disability law firms and advocates (some local, some national). It’s not that we don’t want to help you, but the Missouri and Arkansas ethics rules frown on this practice. As you can imagine, one lawyer is not supposed to give advice to someone who is represented by another disability lawyer.
It is understandable that you want and need advice – you are going through a scary and complicated process when you enter the world of a Social Security disability claim. You need (and should demand) that advice from your lawyer. Who promised to help you. Who knows your situation backwards and forwards, including all of your medical information. Well, they should know your situation.
Maybe this is why they are not calling you back as your “lawyer” simply does not know your situation or maybe even who you are. These large places are sometimes called “mills” or “warehouses” as the clients appear to just be a number or a name. Everyone is treated the same and sadly that often means being treated poorly.
Please note I’m not trying to defend your lawyer (or even non lawyer advocate). I’m simply pointing out that if one lawyer or advocate “represents” thousands and thousands of folks who desperately need help, how can that one person know their files? How can they have time to call you back? Or to be “pro-active” and let you know what is happening even before you ask questions? There are just not enough hours in the day and that one person probably has a family. So you can see that you are simply a number and not what you and I would think of as a “client”. Clients are to be counseled and guided. Numbers are just processed.
Regardless, you have a right to have your lawyer give you advice and that is what you should demand from your lawyer, just keep in mind you may have to wait a long time and repeat this process every single time you want even simple information.
To be blunt, another reason I can’t help you is it is unfair to my clients to take time away from their files to speak with those who are now seeking my advice because their representative won’t return their calls. Everything I said above holds true of my clients. They expect to be able to schedule a call with me and have their questions answered. They expect to be kept informed, without having to beg, of what is happening in their case. I purposely limit the number of clients I take so I can do my job of being their actual lawyer. But I can’t do my job to my high standards if I’m trying to clean up the messes left by the big firms that won’t do their job.
We get calls from many frantic people who cannot get ahold of their lawyer for whatever reason. Maybe it about their current treatment or in some instances not feeling prepared for their upcoming hearing (or wanting to meet the person that will be handling their hearing). My suggestion is that you start in this order:
1. Make sure you are leaving an actual message – don’t assume the lawfirm will call you back just by seeing your caller id
2. Send an email or a website inquiry to your lawyer
3. Send a certified letter – this is where you get the green card back – it is called “Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested”
4. Go drive to the lawyer’s office and wait to speak to them if the above is not working or if you don’t want to go through all the steps above.
I wish you only the best. There was a reason you picked the big firm so I hope there is some advantage that outweighs the essential right to be able to speak with your lawyer. Best wishes with your case.