Disability, physical, psychological or combination of both; also have a special understanding of immune system disorders and environmental sensitivities. In my past, I was a Legal Aid/Legal Services attorney and funding was beginning to be cut so the office needed to prioritize the cases they were handling. We saw that if the disability cases were referred to private attorneys who would handle the cases, it would free time for Legal Aid to work with other civil cases. I then moved into private practice specifically handling the disability cases in 1985.Example cases
Published Decision: Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, full reversal of unfavorable decision based on Social Security legal error in administrative handling of case: Holohan v. Massanari, 246 F.3d 1195(9th Cir.2001).
Recently obtained a favorable decision for child disability, which determined the person had been disabled before the required age of 22 even though she was near 30 years of age at the time of the Hearing.
P.O. Box 426
Larkspur CA 94939
Free initial consultation
Maximum Contingent Fee not greater than 25% of Retroactive Disability Benefits with a limit of $6,000 if do not go beyond one Hearing (awarded only if win case); if appeal beyond first Hearing is necessary, Contingent Fee not greater than 25% of Retroactive Disability Benefits (awarded only if win case).
For Non-contingent cases: $150 - $200 sliding scale
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
None, but I will work with interpreters
Physical and psychological impairments and disabilities is something that occurs, is real and changes ones entire situation. Often the client is not believed. I feel honored to work with people to assist them in obtaining disability and medical benefits so their lives can become more whole. Some eventually heal and return to work; others are assisted by having more support to make their lives a little easier.
I have referred people to Nolo Press for years. It is important for some people, in order to feel grounded and centered, to understand the environment, in this case, the laws dictating their particular issue. I often simply educate people as well as refer them to other self-help sources.
I feel it adds a special insight to each case. What is important about the case to the client is an essential aspect. Also, it is a way for a client to record information that they may forget to tell me or I may not know to ask about when we speak or meet.
I always inform the client that they are free to represent themselves, especially at the early administrative levels, but it would not be advisable before a Judge. However, since my clients are dealing with a disability, they need to look at the path that will cause the least stress in their life. If I feel, after talking with them, that they have a clear case at the early level and a high chance of winning without at attorney, I advise them of that fact.
I was a counselor for children at risk in a residential setting/New York; University Professor/Peace Corps; teacher for Time-Life/Tokyo; Attorney for Legal Services Corporation/Marin County.
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer as well as a teacher for Time-Life in Asia which helped me understand the various ways people may think and feel differently about the same factors or situation. I also practice and teach Buddhist Meditation which assists me in dealing with stressful situations as well as to be more present and compassionate. For me court is like surfing: to be able to feel the waves and the currents and know which way to go to where you want to be.
I am able to hold a multitude of information at once and have an easy recall of facts within the documents. I work well with the Judges and the clerks which allows me to follow a direct route with minimal blockages. I win many cases without going to court. I also write well and can verbally present cases in a non-confrontational way. However, infrequent, when needed, the legal warrior is present.
Every case has a story as well as legal principals. My gift is a cogent presentation of the legal principals along with the heart of the individual story. Given a fair trier of fact in a Judge, usually the conclusion (a favorable disability decision) is obvious. I also value my relationship with the client remembering to hold their confidence and their trust.
I enjoy nature, hiking, dancing, family/children/people, travel, animals, and spirituality, not necessarily in that order.
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