2016 Top Lawyers of Acadiana Recognition

2016 Top Lawyers of Acadiana

Acadiana Profile Magazine recently published its list of Top Lawyers of Acadiana 2016, and I was honored to be included in the field of Administrative/Regulatory Law for my representation of Acadiana residents before the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Acadiana Profile Magazine’s 2016 list of Top Lawyers includes 414 listings in 46 categories. The results are based solely on an online peer-review survey sent to all licensed lawyers in the Acadiana area.

I greatly appreciate the local lawyers who found my work worthy of recognition for the second year in a row.

ZIEGLER & LANE, LLC Changes Name to MATTHEW D. LANE, JR., LLC

I am proud to announce a change in the name of my law practice from Ziegler & Lane, LLC to Matthew D. Lane, Jr., LLC. The change was effective with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office on October 29, 2015, and will be reflected in the firm’s advertising and marketing beginning in January 2016.

My mentor and law partner, William “Bill” J. Ziegler, Jr., established this practice over many years by providing quality legal representation in the field of Social Security disability. On July 1, 2010, Bill and I formed Ziegler & Lane, LLC. Thereafter, in October 2010, Bill died at the age of 54 from pancreatic cancer. Since that time, I have honored his contributions and memory by properly operating under the name Ziegler & Lane, LLC, and by continuing to provide high-quality representation to individuals wrongfully denied disability benefits.

Over five years have now passed and for the sake of clarity and transparency, I have changed the name of the firm to Matthew D. Lane, Jr., LLC. The new name reflects my ownership but also provides clarity to prospective clients that I am the attorney personally handling their disability claims.

The firm’s address in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana as well as phone and fax numbers will remain the same. In January 2016, I will begin using the website address www.MatthewLaneLaw.com, but www.ZieglerLane.com (and associated e-mail addresses) will remain operational and will be redirected to www.MatthewLaneLaw.com for the foreseeable future. Thank you.

Admission to CAVC Bar

I received notice on August 31, 2015, of my formal admission to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). Being a member of the CAVC bar will enable me to help Veterans obtain judicial review of erroneous VA decisions.

Notably, before the CAVC was created in 1988, veterans had no court of law in which to appeal the Government’s decisions on veterans benefits. Veterans had no right to judicial review until passage of the Veterans Judicial Review Act in 1988.

While spreading the word that I now am representing Veterans, I’ve been asked multiple times about what drew me to the work. It was a long path yet is simply explained.

I am a veteran; I served with great people and had many formative experiences in the Army. After deploying for the first Gulf War, I was fortunate enough to return whole and to obtain an education using the G.I. Bill. I spent the next twelve years practicing law and acquiring the skills to advocate effectively for my clients. And then, in 2014, I realized that I could put my legal skills to work on behalf of my fellow Veterans. After that insight, my path forward was clear.

Less than 1% of our Nation’s population serves in the armed forces. And currently, twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day. Any observer of recent events is aware that our Nation is not fulfilling its duty to provide for those who served. I have personally represented veterans who fought for years to establish entitlement to Social Security benefits due to disabling service-related impairments caused by Agent Orange, PTSD, TBI, Gulf War Syndrome, psychiatric disorders, or traumatic physical injuries. I was outraged by the experiences my clients reported having while seeking VA benefits. Something needed to be done.

Fortunately, I have found a way to harness my angst and to apply it for the benefit of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who voluntarily serve with dedication and vigilance.