From time to time, people will contact me with a case that’s not a good fit for me. I’m very active in our legal community and I can almost always refer such people to a fellow lawyer I know well. However, I occasionally have to search for lawyers by reviewing websites and I know what I want to read. I want to know this is someone with whom I can talk. And, I want to know why they do what they do. In light of that, I’ve tried to provide that same snapshot here about me:
I’m a Tidewater native. My first job was delivering the Ledger Star newspaper and my second job was delivering the Virginian Pilot after they merged. After that, the majority of my summers were on a lifeguard stand on the Virginia Beach oceanfront and at water parks. It was my first taste of public service and not my last. After graduating from Virginia Tech and then law school, I joined the Marine Corps and served as a judge advocate. I was set to leave the Marine Corps in September 2001, except that it was September 2001. I served two more years spending most of 2002 in Kuwait and most of 2003 in Iraq with infantry. My six months on the streets of Iraq with my dear Iraqi friends was life-changing and I’m proud to maintain my contact with them.
Upon my full transition to civilian practice in 2004, I spent many years providing regulatory defense to banks and debt collectors. It was a period of almost non-stop litigation in state and federal court to include the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. During this time, it was also my honor to serve two years as the Chief Deputy Director of Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Those years at DPOR are extremely important when I assist clients in responding to actions from DPOR. However, through all of this, my reserve career was shaping my focus on disability law.
You see, I left active duty after 7 years and it’s hard to believe I have now served 16 more years in the Marine Corps reserves. As a reservist, I had the honor to help create a billet where I help navigate our wounded warriors through the medical separation and medical retirement process and with their initial approach for VA disability benefits. As a result, I began my shift away from regulatory litigation and focus exclusively on serving my disability clients. I have been part of the process at the earliest stage of a VA claim and I rely on this experience to serve my fellow veterans.
With regard to Social Security disability, I am always eager to help break through some of the myths that are out there regarding eligibility or what happens to a person’s first application. Disability is a process and my strategy is to partner with my clients. The more I can help the client understand the process, the better we will work together. Whether VA or Social Security disability, it’s essential for my clients to feel informed and confident about where they are in the process and what is the next step.
Not only is it an honor to specialize in disability law, it’s an uncannily good fit for me. My wife is an RN with 20 years as a critical care nurse. My younger sister is an ER doctor. We don’t talk about clients, but we love to talk medicine. And of course, it’s not just that discussions of medical conditions and medical records are a frequent topic. My family is very aware of my specialty as a lawyer. Just like my military service, it’s a source of pride for them and they know how important it is for me. I strongly believe it is this array of support and knowledge that gives my clients an extra edge.
Thank you for taking time to learn about your lawyer. Looking forward to learning about you.
David is a regular contributor to the Avvo.com Q&A section. Perhaps some of these answers are helpful to you: