Please do not think I am defending your atty, by no means am I doing that. If it were me I would have fired them probably a week after I met with them or most likely not hired them to begin with. No, this is not how we treated a client, no there was never a "prep" by phone for anything, my boss hated the phone. You wanted to talk to him, you called me and I gave you an appt, real simple. In 18 yrs my boss never scheduled an appt for anything, thats what he hired me to do and he would tell you to call back and ask for me simply because he did not know how to put a call on hold & transfer the phone call lol. The man had no clue how to operate the phone system at the office, other than to place a call out or pick up a call and alot of times that was done wrong with alot of cussing & hollering because he screwed it up lol. True story. I made his haircut appts, his dr appt, I scheduled his surgery because of colon cancer, I scheduled his life. We were very laid back in office, our waiting room was fulll every morning, he worked till noon every day and thats its. He owned the place and we had our trial layers who handled litigation. We had two sections in the firm, pre-lit & lit. He & I were prelit. He never typed, wrote or dictated a letter in 18 yrs either that I worked for him, let alone sign a letter. He never read a letter, thats what he paid me to do lol. He paid me very well to take care of him and his practice. Litigation the same way. Our attys were taken care of and so was our clients. I settled cases, I was a licensed insurance adjuster (he sent me to school) which alot of plaintiff firms started doing in the 80's. I knew how to evaulate a claim. Our clients trusted us very much, if a client had a problem it generally got resolved, if not then no one would ever make that person happy and there are those kinds out there.
Furthermore, I do not agree with how your atty's office handles things, but my answer to that is every office is different on how they do things. Lawyers good or bad have one thing in common, they are greedy just like drs. Losing a case is a big deal, especially in a place like that when as I said its their bread & butter. Rude or not they do not want to lose a case. Frances hit on some good points about how many offices run things, I know how we did and it was not like that. I would probably never make a good client because I know how I would expect to be treated, the way I treated our clients. They spent more time with me than they did my boss ,lol. They trusted me and I heard more personal problems than I should have, but I would always listen, If I did not have an answer I got the answer for them. I realize not all offices do this too. In other words our clients were our paychecks and we handled them with kid gloves. We did not advertise on tv, thats repulsive the ones that do, we did not take out a $60,000 ad in the yellow pages, his business was built on word of mouth.
I know PaLady apparently had a bad experience with an atty and that happens. I can tell you or anyone else, there are no two cases alike, no for sure cases, no slam-dunk cases, each case has a different set of facts and the cases are won based on the merits of the case. We did take some cases that were denied in the very beginning but with the understanding that did not mean hiring the atty was an instant win, We had to take the case to a full blown trial with a jury of 12 people. Those 12 people decided the fate of the claim. They would either win or pour us out. If we lost, then the firm lost money, it was the firms money funding the case, So, we were very selective in what we took in. Most SS attys do not take cases on unless they feel they can win at the hearing level. This is just good business sense. Why take a case on that you don't think you can win, that makes no sense and it is costing that firm money. Granted I would not be happy like you over how this meeting business is turning out, but knowing from a business side I still say the guy will do you a good job at the hearing. You don't throw good money after bad.
I will tell anyone, if you ever need an atty-do your homework. There are many ways of checking out attys. Most towns have a local bar association that does nothing but give out names of atty that handle different types of cases. You call in and tell them what you need, they give you names & phones numbers of attys that handle that particular type of work. Stick with a board certified atty. That means he is certified in his field, he does continuing education courses that keeps his certification up and I am not talking about online courses either. Do not sign one sheet of paper unless it has been fully explained to you, you must read it, if you are unsure ask to take the paperwork home to review and then you can read it and take your time. Then call to bring the paperwork in and always ask for a copy of what you signed, you are entitled to it. Do not let someone hurry you along on signing anything either.
Dilane I agree, its probably too late to change attys. I think you would have a difficult time finding an atty to come aboard on such short notice. I would not ask to have my hearing canceled because its up to the judge to agree to it and they do not like canceling hearings because of the backlog.
Personally I would much rather meet with the atty in person to go over my SS claim rather than a telephone conference. i don't believe in those, sorry. I would be more interested in meeting him in person. Yes, form letters are a must and I did change up how I ended the letters. One day may be one way and different the next, I had no rule on how to end the letter. A paralegal is pretty much the same as a secretary difference being of schooling and they get paid more money. Many firms hire paralegals only based on their education, now a days the market is flooded with paralegals looking for work. I was a paralegal and I had a secretary. Nine times out of ten he has never seen those letters he just knows they exist. Unless its a one person operation attys do not type letters. The calendar was our lifeline and my secretary was not allowed to jack with it, I took care of it.
All and all I still think he will do a good job at the hearing unless he is a slime ball which you should have picked up on at the first meeting. I wish I could help you more.