MANAGING ATTORNEY, DISABILITY PRACTICE
Intro: Brian joined our team in 2011 and currently serves as the Managing Attorney for our Disability Practice. This practice area focuses on representing individuals for disability benefits before the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Brian is involved in disability cases in our office from the initial client conversation once a case is opened, through all aspects of claims handling, and finally to case resolution. He has personally represented SSD/SSI claimants at all administrative levels (initial, reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council) and federal court. Additionally, he has represented claimants in more than 1,500 ALJ hearings, many veterans before the VA in proceedings with decision review officers (DRO), veteran law judges (VLJ), and railroad workers in hearings before RRB hearing officers.
Background: During high school and college, Brian worked various jobs such as a farmhand (produce), warehouse laborer, golf shop assistant, call center representative, and dry cleaner assistant/cashier. While earning his Master of Public Administration from Troy University, he worked full time as a credit union teller/new account representative while attending school full time at night. Brian worked at the Disability Determination Service (DDS) in Birmingham, deciding over 1,000 SSDI and SSI claims. He went on to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law and launch his career at Wettermark Keith.
Brian’s “Why”: Brian has found that helping clients through the cumbersome process of dealing with Social Security, the VA, and the RRB is personally rewarding. Daily, he is honored by compliments and appreciation from our clients, who put their trust in him to assist them during difficult times.
- Alabama State Bar
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- American Association for Justice
- Alabama Association for Justice (Chair, Social Security Caucus)
- Birmingham Bar Association
- National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (Sustaining Member)
- National Association of Disability Representatives
- National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc.
- Alabama Veteran, Advisory Board Member (2022)
- National Association of Disability Examiners (2007-2011)
Honors and Awards:
- Super Lawyers Mid South Rising Stars 2017-2021
- Social Security Disability Leadership, 2022 Top 100
- Lee Fernon, Rebecca Gilliland & Brian Smith, INSURED BEWARE: Potential Conflicts Between Your Disability
Just For Fun: Brian enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, and being outdoors.