Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From the Bench: How My Case Should Have Gone Down

Nearly 20 years and this case is riddled with holes . . . This guy has been on disability for 20 years, twenty years. He might have been placed on disability at age 37, 38, 39, 40 years old.  He's now 57 years old.   I don't know what he is doing on disability.  There's no evidence of disability.  There's no evidence of mental illness.

This is a case that's been screaming to everybody for years . . . This is a case unlike all the rest of them. This does not involve intelligence or intelligent lawyering. There is only one question here, did the guy make violent threats, act in a disruptive manner or didn't he make violent threats and act in a disruptive manner? That's the issue. Right? If he didn't do that, you can't win. If you can't prove that, you can't win.

I don't care how many mental health experts you can get to testify that he might become violent, he could become violent. Where is the evidence he acted in a violent manner or that he threatened anyone?  Where is the evidence -- reasonable, persuasive evidence -- that would tell an expert he had a propensity to act out violently?  Where is the evidence other employees were afraid of him? All I have before me is a confidential memo a lawyer wrote saying people were afraid of him. All I have before me is a confidential memo -- a memo that says a psychiatrist who never evaluated him said he had mental illness. And by the way, the memo doesn't even identify the psychiatrist who said that. What kind of a lawyer writes a memo to his confidential file intended to memorialize events that is so vague that it says virtually nothing?  Just what does this memo memorialize? Virtually nothing. As far as I can see this memo isn't evidence of anything other than the figment of an attorney's imagination. It says virtually nothing.  All this memo says to me is that unidentified people said unspecified bad things about Petitioner. 

And how the Social Security Administration got suckered into basing a disability determination on the basis of this memo is beyond me. The memo says nothing.

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