Hiring an Employment Law Attorney – What to Discuss or Not Discuss at Your Initial Consultation

Most people will spend a third of their lives at work. Most of us are not independently wealthy or, own our own business therefore, one third or more of our adult life will be spent furthering the goals of our employer, which may or may not align with our own personal goals.

Many of us that work for our employers are full time employees. It is hard enough to wake up, commute and be at your place of work at a specific time each day however, when your work environment becomes uncomfortable die to harassment, jealousy, discrimination, retaliation, or grievances over hours worked and or pay, you may discover yourself depressed, uncomfortable, upset. unstable, confused and even feeling strange to show up at work.

Considering so much of your life is spent at work, when thing go south it is very much comparable to a divorce situation.

Are you currently unhappy in your job? Have you recently quit or been terminated? You are not alone…According to a US Bureau of labor Statistics, the average length of employment ach year falls to a shorter term of employment in the same position and or company. Approximately, two out of every three employees either plan to leave their job by the end of their initial year, or would leave their job immediately if something better came along.

When it comes to employer and employee litigation suits, very few lawsuits that are filed ever actually go to trial, and of those that go to trial, most plaintiffs don’t fare as well as they had hoped.

In today’s business environment, the job market has dramatically changed. To sum up, there appears to be less loyalty on both sides of the employment equation. Employment loyalty by the employee is becoming more and more impatient causing employment churn to increase. Each year, greater numbers of discrimination lawsuits are being filed, but approximately 99% of them aren’t going to trial. The cases that do end up in court typically obtain smaller verdicts.

With this in mind and, understanding the new job environment, and the changing roles by both the employer and employee, what should you be looking for in an employment lawyer? The following is a list of subjects to consider discussing for your first interview with an employee attorney.

Topics to Discuss or Not Discuss with Your Lawyer:

1.) How Well Does the Attorney Communicate: Your lawyer must be easy to talk to, easy to reach and, who is willing to regularly follow-up with regular case updates. Your attorney must be computer and texting-literate.

2.) Private Investigator Services: Investigators can dramatically increase the value of an employment case. A competent licensed private investigator will obtain information about the people involved in the dispute go benefit its client. Ask your new attorney if he or she uses an investigator when applicable, and when and why the private investigator will be brought into the case.

3.) Full Disclosure: You must be 100% honest with your attorney and hold nothing back but, be detailed and specific. Your employment attorney must know that you documented and reported everything that is relevant in a detailed and precise manner. It is important you provide all of the information regardless “good” or “bad” to your lawyer before any outside surprises catch your employee lawyer off guard or unprepared for a response. Your employment lawyer can’t help you unless you provide full discloser.

4.) Resolve Early, or Litigate: Many employment lawyers litigate first, resolve later. Many employment lawyers try to resolve first, litigate later. Both type of attorney practices has their benefits and drawbacks. Litigation is unpleasant, stressful, time consuming and expensive for everyone. Ask your attorney what percentage of his or her practice emphasizes early resolution. Meaning, stay away from a lawsuit if at all possible. You want to also discover how well known your attorney is in the area and court room and, that they are recognized as a leader in the industry. You also want to make sure, because your lawyer is not afraid of a legal court room battle.

5.) Contingency Fee: It is common for an employment lawyer to charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of your case if it settles “win”, and nothing if your case never settles “loss” or “stalemate”. Some legal practices charge 40% of the gross recovery, and take that fee “off the top,” Other than representation of minors, whereby fees are determined by the court, the attorney fee may be negotiated freely between the parties.

6.) Questions to Ask: Don’t be afraid to ask the lawyer about the strengths and weaknesses regarding your case. Ask your attorney straight up “do I have a case?”

7.) Testimonials/Witnesses: Bring a documented list of people who have agreed to speak to your lawyer about what happened to you at work. Include with this list their name, address, email and phone numbers.

  1. Do Not Bring Up “How Much Can I Win”: Good lawyers will not offer a response. A good lawyer understands based upon your first meeting. It is almost impossible at this early stage to offer a legitimate response to your compensation question.

Have a legal problem and need some help with your employer or employee?

Contact us today for a Free consultation at one of our 3 convenient locations:

SAN DIEGO OFFICE

5820 Oberlin Drive, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800-507-9470
Fax: 858-622-9540

About the Author