Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dead End: Disability Attorney Tina Laine's Sloppy Forms Lost Our Trust

My wife and I had a very, very negative experience with Tina Louise Laine and would not recommend her. 

Tina Laine bills herself as a social security disability insurance attorney. That may be the case, but I describe her more accurately as simply slow to return phone calls. As far as I could tell, she did not put much effort into my wife's case. (My wife has TBI and is unemployable. She isn't even allowed to drive right now.) Tina Laine met with us once, took our deposit check, and then had me get some medical information from my wife's doctors. 

The forms Tina Laine gave me were copies of copies, which made for a sloppy and unprofessional presentation. I was embarrassed to hand such low quality forms to our doctors.

Her relatively minor effort to help us with our appeal ended in failure. In retrospect, I felt like I did most of the work myself which was mainly gathering together the pertinent documents. In my opinion, she did little to make a difference for us beyond adding these two sloppy forms to our application. In retrospect, the sloppiness of those forms may have been part of the reason we lost our appeal. 

FYI: Her amateur, out-of-date, website gives you insight into the quality of her work. By the way, Tina Louise Laine passed the bar exam in 1986, see The State Bar of California. She graduated from a for-profit law school called Western State College of Law. According to Wikipedia, her alma mater failed to obtain accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1987.


As we appealed the appeal, she was dead wrong about when our new, administrative hearing would take place. It was only due to my efforts that we eventually learned from her that three judges had retired and that my wife's case would be dealt with next year and not this year. This was a total, unpleasant surprise that she did not inform us about until I called her to ask about the untimely delays. 

Tina Louise Laine was also quite rude. She said that I did not tell her the truth about our issues with the IRS. (Due to my wife's unemployment and medical bills, we have fallen behind on our taxes.) Frankly, she never asked about them and never indicated that they were relevant. It was unprofessional for her say I was untruthful and that slip of the tongue cost her our business, loyalty and respect. 

I have a well-deserved reputation for being straightforward and honest. She ended up dropping our case and threatening to keep our deposit, reminding me it was non-refundable. 

As far as I'm concerned working with Tina Laine was an unpleasant chore that cost us a little money and a lot of time and left us with almost nothing of real value.

I am quite surprised to see a number of people praising her at Yelp.com. Only the negative on-line reviews reflects my experience. As one person wrote
She lacks in professionalism and compassion.Very unorganized and critical. You walk out of her office asking yourself, "What just happened in there?" Honestly, she comes off as being only interested in money that she can make off your case and is rather RUTHLESS about it. Save yourself the self-image beating and go to another. After all, lawyers like this one are a dime a dozen.
Now that I have more knowledge, I think we are in a position to hire a less sloppy disability attorney or simply handle the matter ourselves. We have a letter from Coastline College that indicates my wife is now unemployable, the DMV will not let her drive a car. I don't see what the big deal is or why an attorney is even necessary at this point. Tina Laine tried to imply that there were mysterious legal details that would cause her to spend many hours on our case. She refused to even explain one of them so she did not earn my confidence in her abilities or her value. I wouldn't recommend her to anyone. When she accused me of not telling her the truth, I knew she was bad news and did not share our values.

As an interesting side note, I should point out that Tina Louise Laine is a failed Democrat party politician. She tried, unsuccessfully, to secure a seat in the U.S. Congress. She has a lot of Democrat party photos around her office which display her political interests and affiliations. 

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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