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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

What If My Lawyer And I Don't Agree On What To Tell The Judge?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Jan 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

When you hire a lawyer to represent you in your Social Security disability benefits claim, you expect that you and the lawyer will be in general agreement about how to proceed. If you have hired a reputable, local attorney, you should be just fine. But what happens if you and your lawyer disagree about your claim?

Cash, Cash Money

To use a hypothetical, suppose you have been working for cash and earning more than is allowed for Social Security disability to consider you disabled. There

Ill-Gotten Gain

are no records of your cash income. You don't want your lawyer to tell the Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing your case about this income. Your lawyer, meanwhile, is obligated to do so.  Neither side will give in. What happens next?

No Option But To Withdraw

Your lawyer has no option but to drop your case. He cannot present false facts to a judge and keep his license to practice law. That is the easier part of the problem.  How the lawyer goes about withdrawing from your case is where it gets interesting.  Due to client confidentiality, your lawyer probably cannot tell the ALJ about your income. But, what if the ALJ demands to know why he wants to withdraw before she will allow it?

Walk A Fine Line

Your lawyer has to walk a fine line. He must respond to the ALJ without prejudicing your chances of getting approved. Social Security regulations

I Cannot Tell A Lie

say that in these circumstances, the lawyer must tell the ALJ that he has a reason to withdraw, but he cannot say what the reason is without violating client confidences.  

Now The ALJ Doubts You

Keep in mind that the lawyer's request to withdraw and not say exactly why is going to make the ALJ suspicious. By the time you get in front of her, she is thinking something is amiss in your claim. The ALJ is likely to ask you more questions than she might otherwise. She will likely be more inclined to deny your claim.

An Easy Solution

So, what is the solution? First, don't put your lawyer into an ethical quandary as in this hypothetical. Always tell the truth. If it is too late, you can try to work out with your lawyer an explanation for his withdrawal that does not make the ALJ suspicious. You could simply say you want to change lawyers because you have lost faith in your current one. Keep in mind, your lawyer cannot dispute this characterization without revealing privileged information. He is still your lawyer until the ALJ releases him.  If you are lucky, the ALJ might simply grant your lawyer's request to withdraw. On the other hand, she might not and keep

The Choice Is Yours


Always Do The Right Thing

The bottom line is that you need to be as honest as possible. If you do that, all these problems go away.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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About Our Firm

John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have about Social Security disability. I never charge for a consultation. In fact, there is no charge at all until we win your case. Unlike most lawyers, I never charge extra for things like telephone calls or making copies.