The Social Security disability system involves a lot of paperwork and thousands of rules, regulations and procedures. You can be denied benefits if forms are not completed correctly, your doctor doesn’t know the legal definition of disability or a Social Security employee fails to obtain medical evidence on your behalf. You may also lose your case if an appeal is handled improperly.
Whether you live in Roanoke, Greensboro, Johnson City, Kingsport, Norton, Wise or other towns in southwest Virginia and east Tennessee, here is what we can do for you:
- Assist you with the paperwork that you must complete during the initial application and appeal process
- Walk with you through the initial application and appeal process
- Review your claim file through direct access to the Social Security database
- Analyze and develop your Social Security claim file
- Prepare your disability case and determine the best strategy for success
- Request and submit evidence from your doctors and medical providers
- Make legal arguments, prepare you for your testimony and submit written briefs
- Question you and your witnesses
- Cross-examine medical and vocational experts and respond to interrogatory questions sent to experts before and after your disability hearing
Meet the Team
As a teenager growing up in South Carolina, Jim saw suffering. Jim decided then he would go to law school and dedicate himself to helping people through the difficulties of life. His first client as a lawyer sustained serious injury in an accident at work. Jim was able to get him the benefits he deserved. He continues to be Jim’s client forty years later.
For over twenty years, Jim was a partner in a large firm. Even while serving as head of the litigation practice and a member of the management committee, Jim knew he could do more to help people. Starting his own firm allowed Jim to concentrate on helping people with a variety of legal issues. Jim handles Social Security disability and long-term disability claims, construction issues, and helps people set up, buy, and sell businesses.
Today Jim enjoys using his forty years of experience to help people unable to work get the benefits they deserve, help small businesses create opportunities for people, and help with the wide range of legal issues facing contractors and construction companies. Jim’s life experiences allow him to understand his clients and fight for their needs.
Jim is married and has four children and eight grandchildren. He enjoys living in the country where he can mow grass with his Kubota and hike up the ridge into the mountains with his family.
David witnessed the difficult and lengthy process his father endured to receive the disability and health benefits he deserved. It was this profound personal experience that instilled in him the desire to help the injured and unable to work. David was born and raised in the coalfields of West Virginia. The son of an educator, David understands the importance of working with individuals from all walks of life. David was a young adult when his father was forced to stop teaching due to a rare and debilitating neurological disorder.
David received a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College where he graduated cum laude. After graduating college, David worked several years as an SSA disability paralegal in SWVA before graduating magna cum laude with a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Appalachian School of Law. While in law school, David served as President of the Student Bar Council, received twelve academic achievements (book) awards, West’s Outstanding Achievement Award, ASL Student of the Year and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Trial Advocacy Award.
Upon graduation, David followed his calling to practice Social Security Disability law. David has zealously represented SSA disability clients for over eighteen years and is well respected by his colleagues. He has represented thousands of clients throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee and is a sustaining member of the National Organization of Social Security Representatives. David has taught continuing legal education classes in handling Social Security Disability cases. He is licensed in both Virginia and West Virginia.
David is married and enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren. For the past twelve years, David has coached and administered the Thunder Gold Sports fast-pitch softball program.
Amber Wilson Barton Legal Assistant and Intake Specialist
Amber received her associate’s degree of applied science in Respiratory therapy from the Jefferson College of Health Science. She has over 10 years of experience helping families in times of crisis and over seven years of experience in patient care and customer service. As our intake specialist, Amber’s kind and compassionate nature automatically put people at ease as she asks questions to determine how we can best assist with their disability issues. Her training and knowledge of community resources have provided her with the tools to help guide people through the complicated maze of Social Security and Long-Term Disability.
Amber is married with a son and a daughter. She loves being a mother and spending time with family and friends. When she is not helping people with their disability claims, she enjoys crafting, often giving friends and loved ones heartfelt gifts. She also enjoys shopping and traveling.
Terry has a master’s degree in psychology and a certificate of advanced graduate studies. She has over 30 years of experience helping people with disabilities during her work in the fields of vocational rehabilitation and special education. As our case manager, Terry helps our clients with the challenging task of completing multiple forms required by the Social Security Administration. Her background in vocational rehabilitation and special education have uniquely positioned her to effectively communicate employment issues faced by our clients to Social Security decision makers.
Terry is married and has two daughters and three grandchildren. When she is not helping people with disability claims, she enjoys living on a small farm with her husband, where her pastime activities include gardening and preserving fresh produce. She also enjoys feeding and watching hummingbirds and playing with her grandchildren.
Linda has worked in various areas of people service since a teenager. Recently she spent 10 years working for a manufacturer of military equipment as the government security clearance officer. Linda helped people through the difficult and deeply personal process of obtaining and maintaining security clearances. Linda also owned her own small business providing claims services for Social Security applications. She knows first-hand how to help people through the Social Security and Long-term disability maze.
Linda earned a business management degree from Mary Baldwin University. She is married with four children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys living in the country with her husband and two cats, hiking, biking and spending time with her grandchildren.
Prior to joining the law firm in 2005, Carol worked as a pension specialist and IT specialist for a major life insurance company, an IT Specialist and LAN administrator for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and owned a specialty retail store handling all aspects of the business. Carol has a servant’s heart and throughout her career has focused on customer service and assisting people. Her various work experiences and education majors in computer science and business allow her to wear multiple hats supporting both the law firm team and our clients.
Carol is married, has two dogs and is “aunt” to many children. When she is not working, Carol and her husband enjoy traveling, camping and hiking. She is very active in her church and enjoys teaching, women’s ministry, and children’s ministry. Carol also enjoys baking, paper crafting, crocheting and spending time with her “adopted” children.
There’s nothing like personal experience to help a person understand how devastating a disability can be to a family. Jennie’s daughter, Jennifer, was born two months premature and with cerebral palsy. Jennie has been through the disability process with Jennifer and has felt its impact on her family.
Before joining the firm in 2019, Jennie worked for 19 years as a court reporter for Social Security Administration administrative law judges, primarily in Virginia and West Virginia. That experience taught her about the disability process at the hearing level.
Jennie is a native of Beckley, West Virginia, and she has lived in the Roanoke region since 1978. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has previous work experience in community and economic development.
Jennie has two children and one granddaughter. She lives on a Black Angus cattle farm in Bedford with her husband and two rescue dogs, Rocky and Roger. Jennie and her husband invest in real estate in their spare time.