Why is My Case in Federal Court?

By Attorney Kirsten Wold

Not many attorneys will appeal Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denials to the Appeals Council, and even fewer will appeal them to Federal Court. I’ve written previously about the Federal Court process and what you should know before taking your claim to that level. What I didn’t mention is why we do it.

I believe that every client of ours deserves the best representation and the best opportunity to have their claim heard. Sometimes, an ALJ has written such a poor decision that we have no choice but to appeal it to the Federal Court to seek justice for our clients.

Federal Court appeals involve a deeper knowledge of the laws regarding Social Security claims. Every attorney practicing Social Security law should have a basic understanding of the rules and requirements placed on the ALJs and Administration. However, when those rules are violated there is also case law that governs the Federal Court who is then responsible for determining if legal errors were made. Cases at the Federal Court become more about the law and less about the facts. It is this knowledge of the law that I strive to make my focus.

I have worked at the Hankey Law Office for over ten years, and in that time my knowledge of Federal Court litigation has grown dramatically. So much so that it has become my primary focus. I obtained my law degree from Indiana University-Indianapolis. I started working at the Hankey Law Office as a law clerk, and now serve as their primary federal court attorney. Luckily, Federal Court case work can be easily conducted online which has allowed me to relocate to Florida, while still serving the clients at the Hankey Law Office. I am grateful to Mr. Hankey for granting me the opportunity to stay with his amazing law firm while living out of state.