Today is a terribly sad day for all disabled retired New York police officers with integrity who have legitimate psychological disabilities related to their heroic service during and after the 9/11 tragedy. As reported in the NY Times and other media outlets across the globe, one lawyer and certain police “facilitators” have allegedly been engaged in this disability scam since 1988 (one year before I graduated from law school)!
It is also a sad day for the overwhelming majority of New York Disability lawyers with integrity. The lawyer who allegedly orchestrated the decade’s long scam, Raymond LaVallee, was a person I never met despite being a Social Security disability lawyer myself for over 22 years. I never saw him at local or national Social Security Bar Association events or seminars. Like many such alleged fraudsters, he appears to have slithered in the isolated murky waters that often accompany those who live to scam – rather than live to serve.
This is still a breaking story and I will have much more to say about this shameful scheme in the coming days on this blog. For now, I will head out to teach my first class tonight of “Protective Legislation for Workers” at St. John’s University School of Law. As you can see from the attached syllabus, Protective Legislation for Workers – Spring 2014, I will be teaching law students about representing clients vigorously, but ethically, in Social Security disability claims, while sadly acknowledging the relatively few bad apples in our midst who tarnish all our reputations.