The outcome of your DBA case can be dramatically affected by the lawyer you choose to handle your case. Therefore choose wisely. We suggest that you make sure to ask at least two very important questions when hiring your DBA lawyer.
1. How much experience does your lawyer have in handling DBA cases? A Defense Base Act case is a very specialized type of case; there are not many lawyers who handle this type of case effectively. In our opinion, the outcome of your case can be greatly enhanced if you have a lawyer with years of experience in handling the issues of this specialized area of the law. I have been handling Defense Base Act cases for over 21 years. My partner has been handling Defense Base Act cases for over 14 years. I was trained by Donald D. Gillis, Esq., who had over 35 years of experience in handling these cases. I have handled these cases at every level from the OWCP, to the OALJ, to the BRB, to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. I have handled these cases from the very beginning, through informal conferences, to evidentiary trials and through the appeals process. I have handled almost every type of injury imaginable. I understand the issues that can arise at each level. I have seen them over and over again, and I know how to handle them to maximize the situation for my client. Therefore, I have the experience you need for your DBA case. Make sure your lawyer can say the same.
2. How much of your lawyer’s professional career is/has been devoted to representing injured workers under the Defense Base Act? Many lawyers or law firms have just recently decided to start handling DBA cases, or only have a few of these cases while they are handling several other types of cases at the same time. In our opinion, you would be better off with a lawyer who is fully immersed in this field of law and devotes at least 50% of his time and practice on DBA and or Longshore cases. Our firm is devoted almost 100% to the representation of injured workers, primarily under the DBA, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and/or the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act. More than 75% of our time is devoted to workers injured under the DBA and/or the LHWCA. Make sure your lawyer is fully immersed in the representation of injured workers under the DBA so that you know you do not have a lawyer who has recently decided to dabble in this highly specialized area of the law.
If you have any questions about your benefits under the Defense Base Act, please contact DBA Attorney Clifford R. Mermell, Esq.
8603 South Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33143