Jan 2, 2015

Details On Binder And Binder Bankruptcy

     A non-attorney group has a website about the Binder and Binder bankruptcy. It urges those affected to "Fire Binder And Binder Now." It has some information about Binder and Binder's bankruptcy including a document showing that Binder and Binder is planning a lot of layoffs:
  • 20 Advocate employees will be fired by December 2016
  • ALL 109 call center employees will be fired in the next six months
  • 113 clerical employees will be fired by December 2016
  • 10 Fee employees will be fired by December 2016
  • 118 Hearing Casework employees will be fired by December 2016
  • ALL 75 IA/Recon employees will be fired in the next year
  • 14 IA/Hearing employees will be fired by December 2016
  • ALL 28 Interview employees will be fired in the next six months
  • 18 Management employees will be fired by December 2016
  • ALL 52 Open Files employees will be fired in the next six months
  • 12 Operator employees will be fired by December 2016
  • 4 Travel employees will be fired by December 2015
  • 34 Writer employees will be fired by December 2016
  • IN TOTAL, 611 people will lose their jobs because of Binder & Binder’s bankruptcy
     According to the website, Binder and Binder came into Chapter 11 behind on health care insurance and utility payments.
     By the way, the Binder and Binder website says nothing about the bankruptcy. I suppose they don't know what to say. In the best of times the Binder and Binder website was like their TV ads, amateurish.


Anonymous said...

Binder and Binder's financial woes surprise me, and I would not put it past the organization that it was somewhat planned.

The wages they pay the staff are well below market rate and it is a sweatshop atmosphere. They provide their employees little to no benefits whatsoever.

It is not unusual for an "advocate" to have days when they are doing six hearings. Of course, with little or no time for any preparation. One individual working in a large city for the organization out of his home told me he had 30 hearings in one week.

In the previous post, there were many comments on the whole non-attorney issue. Would anyone have any rationale of why the Agency agreed to open up the floodgates to such individuals? Was Binder and Binder instrumental in this decision, using their influence with NOSSCR? The salary rate for non-attorneys was significantly lower than for attorneys. And the requirements and "test" for a non-attorney to perform this work is almost laughable.

Is there any chance of attorneys forming their own national advocacy organization to promote their own public interest.

Anonymous said...

First, there were never "floodgates" opened to non-attorney representatives. The overwhelming percentage of representation is done by attorneys and not commercial non-attorneys. (Not counting representation by friends or family)

Second, from the very beginning of Social Security, non-attorneys were permitted to represent people at all stages. What changed was the ability of non-attorneys to have fees withheld just like attorneys

Third, NOSSCR was not supportive of fee withholding for non-attorneys. In fact, the President of NOSSCR at the time testified against the measure before Congress. This was fairly divisive since a large part of NOSSCR had always included representatives from Legal Services and similar groups that used non-attorney para legals extensively. This led, in part, to the creation of NADR, a group that openly supported that representation.

Anonymous said...

I think this points out the problems that can occur when you take something that works well on a small scale and expand it to a near-industrial scale with significant bureaucratization. The business model falls apart.

Anonymous said...

The Binder and Binder fiasco also points out the pitfalls of attorneys advertising. Many of the "TV Attorneys" puff their experience, abilities and make promises they cannot keep. Binder and Binder's ads stated that they were the most successful disability advocacy firm. Unfortunately, the general public believes claims like that. It appears that currently 57,000 claimants believed Binder and Binder. The practice of law is not a business it is a profession. I am an old school attorney in that I do not advertise. All of my cases come to me by word of mouth. I have handled over 5,000 disability cases which is much less than Binder and Binder. The difference is that I have handled my cases one at a time. Although, I have assistants in my office I talk to my clients on the phone, in my office and at the hearing.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard of Quikaid, the company that is trying to get Binder&Binder clients to switch to them? I have never heard of them.

Anonymous said...

To 10:33 - the requirements and test for non-attorneys to obtain fee withholding parity were not at all laughable. The majority of professional non-attorney representatives match, if not surpass attorneys in their knowledge and skills (read the October 2007 GAO report comparing attorneys and non-attorneys, based on ALJ feedback). Binder's policy of withholding material evidence was a separate issue from his business model and his decision to switch from being a "lawfirm" to an "advocacy" firm, in order to take advantage of non-attorney representatives. The bankruptcy may foreshadow DOJ action, or it may simply be a predictable byproduct (karma?) in response to their greed.

To 6:50 - You don't have the full story about NOSSCR. Yes, initially, they vehemently opposed non-attorney representatives obtaining fee withholding, which was disingenuous to their non-attorney members - it certainly drove me away (I never gave NOSSCR another dime, joined NADR, and became very active in committees and on the board). The NOSSCR leaders changed their stance, however, when non-attorney fee withholding parity was married to extending fee withholding and direct payment in SSI cases to attorneys (which they previously did not have). Because it was then attractive to both their attorney AND non-attorney members, the leaders grudgingly got out of the way.

NADR getting the bill passed for fee withholding - and later getting the bill passed (with unanimous consent) to make it permanent - were extraordinary, David-and-Goliath moments.

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Anonymous said...

Led by Dave Wright, Quikaid is based in St. Petersburg, Florida and has former Binder employees on staff. However, these workers know what they're doing; they aren't the average doltish Binderites.

I urge you to read the Quikaid breakdown of Binder's creditors; that the union is owed money is only the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and then there was the issue of not paying utility bills so now we know, the Binderites really have been in the dark for years.

Anonymous said...

Quikaid is a joke. They don't put any personal attention into claims. They have an office in Tampa. You're a number to them and strictly a number. I interviewed there last year (I'm a direct pay non-attorney representative by the way)and their way of doing this is the exact opposite of the way any law office would do it. B & B may be going through bankruptcy, but how unprofessional is it to say "fire them now!". The guy who owns Quikaid (Dave) - has NO idea what he's doing from a client representation standpoint. They have ONE attorney in their office. (maybe two now since one just graduated law school) They're hardly a reputable source.

Jack said...

I can report that Binder and Binder handled my case in a professional manner, and won my case very recently after a two year wait for my hearing.

The advocate was right on her game, and as professional as any attorney I have ever hired.

For me it was a good experience and outcome.

Mark Jacobsen said...

My local SS office told me to " get as far away from B and B as possible!" I tried, with more legal help, to escape this nightmare of stupidity and enept handling of my case, but was not successful. To say the least, B and B is pathetic and run and manager by people who would be better suited working at Taco Bell!
My SS hearing is coming up Sept 15 after 3 court "re-schedules". I sure hope it goes well. If not, my wife and I are done financially. I'm 62 and we've been waiting and failing at this for over 3 years now.

Anonymous said...

You're 62 and you're going after SS? Jesus, man at this point they should just hand it to you.

Anonymous said...

Binder & Binder won my case after I went to them after several tries on my own .after I hired Binder & Binder it went thru the First Time.
They always kept me Informed on how my case was going. I even moved to different States.which keptnmy case Bouncing around.
So all of you out there can sit and put your two cents in.but they I know they did a GREAT JOB for me.
I was reading how they were going to fire people
In different positions
My question is this
Are they Firing....or laying them off
Big Big Big Difference in Wording there
They're saying they have to restructure the Business
That means changes must be made
Apparently laying people off is one of them
Whoever wrote that...you put ###### but divide that by how many STATES
I Don't know much
II just hired them to get my Social Security
..........But it Sure as it is The WOLVES are doing there best to get a big BITE of there Business
......just saying

Karoline Peak said...

I know all too well how a bankruptcy can affect a family. We lost everything and then were punished for these mistakes for years after we filed. We can not buy a house, we have trouble applying for a rental, and many times we are denied for even the simplest of credit because of this one black mark on our record.

Karoline Peak @ Ruffi Law Offices, S.C.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Nancy Shor, NOSSCR executive director at the time, is married to Charles Binder