Jonathan Anderson brings a wealth of experience in the medical realm to his Social Security Disability practice at the Disparti Law Group.
Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Anderson developed strong medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and property loss practices at two prominent Tampa law firms. At Disparti, Anderson has continued to devote his practice to medical cases, representing clients who are unable to work due to their medical impairments.
Due to his extensive background working with medical files, including their voluminous medical records and difficult medical terminology, Anderson is able to quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of a claim.
As he explains, “Each file is unique, but I can typically tell within a short amount of time what hurdles we’ll face, if any. More importantly, I am able to pinpoint both the issues to be reinforced and the ones to be worked around in order to win.”
One of the keys to getting a Social Security claim awarded, Anderson contends, is the development of a successful strategy based on the evidence of record.
“You have to identify and focus on the impairments most supported by the medical record, refrain from over-emphasizing those which are not, and get the client on board with that strategy. I tell clients: in Social Security Disability cases, ‘less is more.’ I explain to them that bringing a plethora of impairments before the judge – especially ones with no evidentiary support – has the tendency to water down their overall credibility. In such instances, judges often get the impression the client is merely throwing as much as possible against the wall in the hopes something sticks. In some cases, alleging unsupported impairments goes as far as contradicting other information in the record. I reiterate to the client they hired us for a reason and ask that they trust me; I know what I’m doing.”
Anderson implements this approach at the Hearing by framing his argument around the most relevant aspects of the client’s medical record and avoiding the portions that, no matter how intensely emphasized, do nothing more than distract the judge from that focus. In addition to helping win the case, it’s a method that many judges respect, and it’s one that has strengthened Anderson’s credibility with them.
“My reputation with the judges has gone a long way. I’ve won cases that had limited treatment records or difficult procedural hurdles largely due to prior experience with the judge. To them, candor is king. When I stress something, they know it’s because I firmly believe it. In turn, the judge believes it. They know I’m not one to emphasize everything under the sun and, perhaps more importantly, I’m one who does not attempt to mask or downplay evidentiary deficiencies. This is not an adversarial system; it’s not like what you see on television. However, some attorneys are more concerned with putting on a show for their client and persist in hammering away with every single alleged impairment in the exact same manner, irregardless of evidentiary support. Judge’s don’t appreciate that. They also don’t appreciate it when those same attorneys pretend their cases are perfect. If they were (perfect), they would have already been awarded without the necessity of a hearing.”
By contrast, Anderson has built a reputation for maintaining a relaxed composure during hearings, irrespective of how good or bad things seem to be going. “No matter how much you prepare, you can’t entirely control every aspect of a Hearing. However, what I can control is my reaction. I maintain a calm, confident, collected demeanor during the Hearing – one that is not dependent on the circumstances. You do get thrown curveballs at times. I’ll admit, it’s an unsettling feeling. The key is not letting the judge see that. You can’t let those things phase you.”
Anderson’s approach has garnered success at many hearings. A number of judges have paid him the ultimate compliment: that he made the difference in the outcome. While he takes pride in seeing his preparation pay off, nothing compares to the joy he gets in seeing his results displayed on the faces of his clients. “It’s not common, but every now and then a judge will state their decision at the conclusion of the Hearing or do something that indicates they are going to award the case. When we get out of the Hearing room and I give the client the good news, well, you can imagine the types of reaction I get. In that moment I am able to see just how vitally important this was to them. Their expression tells me just how dependent they were on me to do my job …. and do it well. Those moments are invaluable. They are invaluable because they allow me to go home with a huge smile on my face, knowing I’ve helped better someone’s life.”
A Kentucky native, Anderson received his undergraduate degree in political science and business in 2002 at Eastern Kentucky University, where he also excelled as a member of the men’s intercollegiate basketball team. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2005. Anderson drafts the firm’s Appeals to the Social Security Administration Appeals Council, as well as those to the United States Federal District Court. He also serves in an of-counsel capacity in matters involving business, contractual and corporate law.