Hypotheticals & OPM Disability Retirement

What do you suppose the evidentiary value of a hypothetical statement is, and how is it often utilized to advance an argument?  For instance, hypotheticals seem to be a frequent verbal tool used by lawyers.

If you needed an architect or an engineer, and after very precisely describing what you needed, what type of building you were requesting to be built, would you be impressed if they presented you with a hypothetical response to your painstakingly planned request?

Let’s begin, first, with asking what is a ‘hypothetical’?
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A hypothetical is supposed, but not necessarily real or true. In more detail, it is a proposition of non-existence, but with elements of reality that might have occurred or could exist, in an attempt to make or prove a point.

It is most commonly used as a means of analogical content to prove a point and to enhance the evidence that has been collected.

A lawyer who defends a bank robber, for example, meets his client for the first time. The criminal defense lawyer raises a hand to signal his client to remain silent, and says,  “a hypothetical for you, Mr. Dillinger:  A man walks into a bank and hands a slip of paper to the bank teller that reads, ‘Give me everything in your drawers.’  The man was afterward arrested.  No cash was ever exchanged; no weapons were ever found. What was meant by that note?  Hypothetically, if the man meant to obtain the contents of the teller’s drawer, it could mean ten years in prison.  But on the other hand, if the note meant to be a lewd proposition regarding the teller’s anatomy beneath her undergarments, it would more than likely only be a misdemeanor offense. So, which was it, Mr. Dillinger?”

A presentation such as this may be viewed as rather unethical on the part of the lawyer for suggesting which intended meaning the defendant possessed at the time the note was given to the teller. A hypothetical such as this is intended to represent the importance of hypotheticals within the purview of the law. Hypotheticals allow for options by way of analogy and allow people to see the differentiation in paradigms or examples.

For federal or postal employees who are unable to perform one or more of the essential duties of their job because they suffer from a medical condition, hypotheticals become a reality that must be dealt with in the realm of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service that seems unable to appropriately handle an employee whose health is failing.  Every so often you may come across someone within your agency that actually cares and expresses as much.  Many will find, much to their dismay, that such care amounts to no more of a reality than hypotheticals. When that harsh realization crashes down around you, the battle between hypotheticals and reality must be confronted. For many employees, it is time to get down to brass tacks and prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

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