I'm hearing that Binder and Binder, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is telling Social Security's hearing offices that it can no longer afford to update medical records on the people it represents. Binder and Binder is asking Social Security to do it.
Social Security isn't going to do it, at least not routinely. Many decades ago the agency could do this but not today. The staffing isn't there. This means that Binder and Binder's clients won't be competently represented. Most people would argue that they never were but now there's no argument.
This raises some questions in my mind:
- What kind of idiots are running Binder and Binder now? The company is still in business. They're still paying their employees. They're still paying rent on their offices. They're still paying for phone service. How can they continue to stay in business if they're not going to pay for medical records? It's basic to what they do. Getting medical records is not inexpensive but it's not that big a deal. It only runs to about 2% of my firm's total expenditures, far less than what my firm pays in salaries and rent.
- Charles Binder is listed as the attorney of record for most of the claimants that Binder and Binder represents. While the Binder and Binder that just went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy isn't a law firm, Charles Binder is definitely licensed to practice law. What are his ethical obligations as an attorney when he knows that he is incapable of providing them with competent representation? Doesn't he have an ethical obligation to withdraw from representing them or at least to warn them? If Binder and Binder is sending letters to Social Security saying that it can no longer pay for medical records, is it sending copies of this letter to its clients? Shouldn't Charles Binder insist that this letter be sent to his clients?
- What are Social Security's obligations in this situation? Should it warn Binder and Binder's clients? Is there anything more it can do? Could it contact the New York bar about the situation since that is where Charles Binder is licensed?