Incompetent Lawyer

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Latest post Fri, Jan 23 2009 8:07 PM by The Insider. 6 replies.
  • Mon, Jan 19 2009 10:07 PM

    • gradtogo
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 13 2003
    • Posts 90

    Angry [:@] Incompetent Lawyer

    I have attempted effective communication with my WC lawyer. He is never available and neglects my case very often. And as I have reported to this board before, this lawyer is quite arrogant and disrespectful to me.

    As a result, the IC have continued interfering with my claim. As a result, I have not been able to secure necessary treatment for my injuries already fully disclosed and establised in WCB hearings. My wages have been reduced, my time has not been restored, I have received no payments and my doctors are claiming they are not getting paid.

    So I requested a hearing directoly with the Board. As a result the judge granted what is owed to me. But I was puzzled to hear from the lawyer's representative reprimanding me for writing to the Board and requesting the hearing and circumventing my lawyer. I believe that I am not committing no violation by requesting a hearing myself and at this point I should simply fire this incompetent lawyer. Was she right to reprimand me in fornt of the judge?
  • Wed, Jan 21 2009 5:17 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Incompetent Lawyer

    Hi...are you sure your lawyer is incompetent? Did you check his track record before you hired him? Has he been a WC lawyer for a while?

    WC lawyers know that anything can happen with a case, so talking to claimmants before a hearing, and making observations that may not pan out is time comsuming to them. When I was on WC,(five cases between 1997-2008, some of my best info for me came from the lawyers secy/legal assistant.

    RFA-1 was one of my best tools during my time on WC, and I used it myself at least five times with great results. Also talking to my case manganger at the WCB was great help too.

    You are asking for a judgement call as to weather it was right or wrong as to what happned to you at the board? Who's to say? You didn't lose any money did you? Then I would do it again myself if necessary.

    Your lawyer probably wants to win your case for you, I don't think he is in business to waste his own time......
  • Wed, Jan 21 2009 11:33 PM In reply to

    • Chanel49
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sat, Nov 15 2008
    • NY
    • Posts 22

    re: Incompetent Lawyer

    I always ask for my lawyers' voicemail when i call and leave a detailed message instead of interrupting him . That way he could decide the urgency of the situation and decide how to proceed. He would always call me back if he needed more info . If he filed for a hearing i got it in the mail a few days later.
  • Wed, Jan 21 2009 11:41 PM In reply to

    • gradtogo
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 13 2003
    • Posts 90

    Question [=?] re: Incompetent Lawyer

    What is RFA-1 ?
  • Thu, Jan 22 2009 12:56 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Incompetent Lawyer

    This is a RFA-1 web site:


    It is used to file a request for a hearing.

    You need to trust your attorney and realize that he/she can't be at your beckoned call 24-7. You should of asked when you
    Retained him/her, what the process for communication was.
    My attorney told me to contact his secretary, gave me her name
    and number, for maters of imitate attention, and to also
    write a letter to him with the details and who he spoke with and when. But, if the matter wasn't urgent to just write a letter via US Mail and he/she would get back to me on a specific day of the week (wednesday) when he would have time for a phone meeting.
    Try to reach out again, we know its frustrating but having an attorney representing you is in your best interest!
    Good luck
    Also review the NYSWCB web site.
  • Thu, Jan 22 2009 12:58 AM In reply to

    More [=+=] The CORRECT web site for a RFA-1

    I'm sorry, the web site should be:
  • Fri, Jan 23 2009 8:07 PM In reply to

    re: Incompetent Lawyer

    Let me start out by saying, yes there are incompetent attorneys. And there are a lot of arrogant attorneys. And sometimes they are one and the same.

    Be that as it may. How did you find your attorney? If through references, you should check with them again. Some attorneys are extraordinarily busy and can be brusque with the claimants, preferring to spend their time winning a case than holding hands.

    If you are really that uncomfortable with your attorney, then talk to another one about your case. It will not cost you anything to talk to another attorney. But be sure to bring all your files with you. And even then, you may end up speaking to a para-legal or a secretary, some of whom are as knowledgeable as an attorney. And do not be surprised if they tell you that your current attorney is serving you well, even if not politely.

    To your specifics: I have reduced legal fees for an attorney (or their representative) who mistreats their client in front of me. On the other hand, there is an attorney I do not like at all, personally. But when a friend of mine had a case, I told him to call that attorney because, as tough as he would be with my friend, he would be twice as tough on the carrier.

    Look, your attorney is like your doctor. Each person has different needs as to what makes a good fit. If you really are not comfortable with him, get another one. If an attorney does poorly for a claimant, the Board can do nothing as the attorney is licensed by the state. Licensed reps can have their licenses revoked or a renewal denied - it happened twice in my twelve years at the Board.

    As for the RFA-1, it is a request to open a case that has been closed because there were no open issues. You do not need an a attorney to file an RFA-1 or any other document with the Board. But if there are complex issues and you are busy working, you would be best served with an attorney or a licensed representative (someone who passes a very difficult test and can practice comp law at the Board, but not anywhere else - they are as good as an attorney. A chapter in my book "Behind The Closed Doors" discusses these reps.).

    Good luck
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