I was trained in Philosophy, first; obtained my undergraduate degree in Philosophy; then went on to graduate school to study Philosophy. Somewhere along the line, I decided to switch lanes and go to law school. However, the training I received in philosophy — of symbolic logic; of the analytical discipline of evaluating the logical consistency, force, soundness and validity of argumentation and methodology of argumentation, has remained with me throughout my legal career.
In recent years, I have found that logic, validity, soundness of arguments, and consistency of argumentation, has become a rare breed. Whether this has more to do with a greater lack of rigorous education, or the belief that there is little to distinguish between “objectivity” and “subjectivity”, I do not know. I do know, however, that there remains, even today, a sense of the “integrity” of an argument. An argument’s integrity is found in an objective, dispassionate description of a case.
That is the role of an attorney — to give the narrative of the Federal Disability Retirement applicant under FERS & CSRS a sense of proper context, a picture of objective validity, and a substantive presentation of the issues which are relevant: medical, life, impact, occupation, and the intertwining of each issue with the others, without undue and over-reaching emotionalism which can often undermine the very integrity of the narrative presentation.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire