Our Founding Partner, Mark DeBofsky, recently had the honor to be a guest on Marc Siegel’s Consult the Negotiator Podcast.  This podcast provides essential strategies, tips and information for those wishing to become better negotiators, which is in turn essential to becoming a better lawyer.

In this Consult the Negotiator Podcast Episode, ‘Inside Look at the ERISA Litigation’, Marc Siegel shared that 25% of Americans are disabled. Yet, many of them never receive disability benefits from their employers because of the barriers put in their way to receive them. The two attorneys discussed how to overcome the odds and obtain needed benefits for clients.


Mr. DeBofsky covered these insights and takeaways for attorneys who maybe interested in disability law:

  • Working in disability law is a chance to do good for individuals and to solve concrete and timely legal problems.
  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was designed to help claimants, but is in fact now being used mostly to favor the interests of employers and companies in social security cases. This can make things very difficult.
  • A common mistake lawyers make is being too eager to reach a resolution; be more patient and stick to your guns (though you must have a high tolerance for risk).
  • Explain the process of mediation properly to clients to prepare them for the process. Don’t ask them for their bottom line (they should come in with a completely open mind and be willing to listen).
  • The goal is to have the case ready to go to trial on the day it is filed.
  • As a disability lawyer, you need to know the claim record of your client inside and out. You’ll be dealing with a host of medical conditions, some of which translate into a disability more easily than others in the support of a claim.
  • Be prepared to spend 50% of your day being a psychotherapist due to the nature of this work.
  • There is rampant discrimination in insurance policies for psychiatric considerations, and some people assume that there must be some fault on the disabled person for becoming disabled (another form of discrimination).
  • Media coverage is absent on this area.

Mark DeBofsky:  A Top-Rated and Prolific Disability Attorney

Marc Siegel kindly summarized Mark DeBofsky’s credentials as follows:

‘Mark DeBofsky is the top disability lawyer in the state of Illinois. He was named a Super Lawyer in Employee Benefits/ERISA in every year since 2009, and since 2011, he has been listed among the Top 100 Lawyers in the State of Illinois and among the Top 10 in Illinois in 201

He is the founder and a shareholder of DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. law firm as well as an adjunct professor of law at University of Illinois-Chicago School of Law. He is a prolific author who has written many journal articles and has been a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin since 2004 and for Law360′

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