About the Attorneys and Staff Who Handle Our Social Security Disability Cases
McChesney and McChesney is a Social Security Disability law firm
We are lawyers who help people get social security disability benefits, primarily in South Carolina and North Carolina. Recently, our practice has expanded to cover more states. We have handled Social Security disability cases for 40 years.
Our firm’s mission is to get basic income and medical care for disabled people. This mission mattered to our founder, Paul McChesney, and now matters to each of us, because it is about money at the level of survival, and about medical care, which is more important than money.
We have attorneys who help take care of you. Paul is still very active in the firm. He has presented seminars at the state and national levels. He handles hearings and Federal Court work. Mark Dunning handles hearings and Appeals Council work. Caroline Rollins helps develop cases.
Paul McChesney, our founder, grew up in Spartanburg, SC and lives here along with his wife Anne. His father, Paul S. McChesney Jr, was the first family court judge in Spartanburg County.
Hirak Pati, an associate attorney, spent most of his childhood growing up in the area and, after living in other locations, has returned to live and work in his hometown.
Mark received his legal training in England. He has represented claimants before the Social Security Administration since 1996. He has a Masters’ Degree in Modern History and co-authored a book about capital courts-martial in the British army during the First World War. Mark is a member of the New York bar and has been associated with McChesney and McChesney since 2011.
Caroline M. Rollins
Caroline is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (BA in History) and of Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama where she served as Student Materials Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She has been practicing law since 1988 and in the area of Social Security disability for over 30 years. She served as a Sr. Attorney for the Social Security Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals for 8 years. Since 2006, Caroline has been with McChesney & McChesney where she speaks with clients, reviews files, and prepares Hearing Memos.
Jenifer is a 2014 graduate of Virginia College where she majored in legal studies. She began working at McChesney and McChesney in 2016 as a paralegal. Jenifer has worked in case management, appeals, and Federal District Court work. In 2022, she became a non-attorney representative.
Sarah, Gena and Vicky run our front desk. Betty, Ashley, Erica, Erik, Amanda, Anna and Melanie develop cases for hearings. Carmen, Steven, Pearl and Josiah help with that process, and Trina handles office matters. Deb, the world’s greatest paralegal along with Jenifer, Tiffany and Paul are a team which handles our Federal Court work. Jenifer will soon be appearing at hearings with clients as well.
What are we trying to do on this site?
- We like the idea of guerilla marketing: My hope is that this website shows that I do, and that it will incline you to hire our firm.
If we have been helpful, no obligation, except the obligation not to rely on anything on the site until you sit down with a lawyer and talk to him or her about the very important ordeal that you are about to go through, if you are thinking about filing a claim.
If you want to thank us for whatever help this website is to you, do one of these things:
- Brag on our law firm and our web site if we have done a good turn for you, and
- Encourage people with websites to link, with questions to ask, and with Social Security problems in the Carolinas, to call or come by out firm.
How we help you win your Social Security disability case
Our goal in our practice is to handle each person’s disability claim well and fairly, to win every claim that should be won. We are not perfect and do not always succeed, but, if we can develop a sound theory of disability, we will take every reasonable step to prevail in your case.
We handle every case as a team. Each lawyer in our firm has studied Social Security law for years, and each of us has his or her strengths. Paul is talented at initial interviews, Caroline is good at finding critical evidence in a large mass of medical records, Mark and Paul at handling hearings, Mark at Appeals Council work, and Paul, with the help of our paralegal Deb Dempsey, at District Court work. In the typical case 3 or 4 lawyers would worry about different aspects of your case, and you would be assigned an experienced paralegal who works closely with them and you throughout the case. We typically talk among ourselves about each case many times.
One of our central philosophies is to develop our cases vigorously. Though it varies a lot depending on the case, our typical case strategy is to develop a tentative theory, gather all medical evidence, adjust the theory, and try to gather the evidence to prove disability. For most impairments, we try to document your claim with hard objective data, to make sure you develop consistent treatment records, and to get a clear statement of disability from at least one doctor.
If a Social Security case is denied at the hearing level, the case can be appealed to the Appeals Council and from there to the District Courts. We handle these appeals for our own clients and for the clients of more than 20 other lawyers.
This means three things to you: lawyers are in a position to know what lawyers are good. First, other lawyers would not be sending us these cases unless they thought we were good. Second, we know how to develop a case so that it is likely to be reversed on appeal, which increases your chance of winning on appeal if that becomes necessary. Third, every judge knows that if he denies your case, and we have good proof, we are going to appeal it. That can’t help but influence his decision.
We are not interested in winning cases for anyone who is not in fact disabled, which tends to protect our credibility, and thus benefit you if you are in fact disabled.
If you are disabled, and if you live in North or South Carolina, we will be happy to speak to you personally if you have questions, and probably to represent you when you first file a claim, or if you are turned down at any level in a claim for Social Security disability or SSI.
Click here to contact us, or call us at 864-582-7882
If you live in other parts of the country we can often help. For details, click here for help finding an attorney.
If you hire us, we generally charge nothing up front, ask for a percentage of any recovery, and ask that you pay us back what we spent out of our pocket.
Serving the disabled in other ways
In addition to developing your case as outlined above, we will try to give you some guidance to help them benefit from other sources of assistance, such as the worker’s compensation system, the vocational rehabilitation system, veteran’s programs, the food stamp system, long term disability policies, claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, health insurance programs including continuation of insurance under the COBRA act, sources of free medical treatment and free medication, and other community resources.
We will be happy to talk to you if you have a serious impairment, but are not yet disabled. If that is so, we will try to give you guidance as to other community resources that might help you get or keep work. We will help you develop a plan to ensure that if you become disabled you will have the best possible chance of getting continuing income and medical coverage.