If you are as old as I am (and I hope you are not), you probably remember advertisements from American Express. Way back in the day, people going on vacation would buy Traveler's Checks from American Express. You could use these checks to pay bills at hotels and restaurants. The American Express advertisements always showed thieves stealing all of some tourist's money, leaving him stranded. Karl Malden was the pitchman for American Express. He generally finished each advertisement with "What will you do? What will you do?" I thought of that today. I finished a hearing and the judge told me he might not have his scheduled afternoon hearings. This was because the law firm representing the clients for the afternoon calendar sent word they were not sending representatives. The judge did not say it, but the firm apparently is Bender and Bender. You may recall that this esteemed outfit is already in bankruptcy. They
stopped ordering medical records a long time ago. Now, it seems, they are not even sending lawyers to hearings. I cannot help but feel for the clients who hired Bender and Bender. These clients waited years for their hearings to come up. Then, on the appointed day, the find out they have no representative. The clients likely have to start all over again. These disabled people are looking at months of additional delays and the burden of finding new lawyers. Though there is no way to say this without being self-serving, let me say it anyway: HIRE LOCAL. If a lawyer does not have an office within a few zip codes of yours, keep looking. I have had so many clients come to me with lawyers (and even non-lawyer representatives) they found online. When I ask where these lawyers are, I hear things like New York City or Miami or Los Angeles. Do you really want to hire somebody an entire country away to handle something as important as your disability claim? I can hear Karl Malden now, telling your tale of woe, about hiring a lawyer only to find out, without warning and at the very last minute, that he is not showing up. "What will you do? What will you do?"