If you missed Part 1, which described the first three things to think about when deciding whether you need a new Labor/Employment Attorney, you can find that post here. Here are the next three factors you must consider when you are deciding whether to get a new Labor/Employment attorney.
#4 Your Lawyer Has Not Personally Taken Employment Cases To Trial Through Verdict
Yes it is true that most cases settle before trial. However, for your lawyer to properly evaluate your case and give you advice on whether to settle or go to trial he or she must have substantial trial experience through verdict. A lawyer who knows every nook and cranny of the substantive law may not know how it all comes together before a judge or jury. On the other hand, a very experienced trial lawyer could pick up quite a bit about employment law but never know as much as the expert who advises employers every single day. The bottom line is that when you ask your lawyer about experience ask him or her how many employment law jury trials he or she has personally tried to verdict, (many cases settle well before trial). Think about finding someone new if the answer is “none.” Similarly, you can decide how comfortable you are if the answer is just “one or two”. PS: Don’t feel you have to drop your employment law attorney just for being somewhat junior and without significant trial experience—just be sure a partner who has the requisite trial experience is supervising him or her.
#5 Your Lawyer Has Not Taken Time to Learn About Your Business
Your lawyer should be asking you numerous questions about how your particular business works. That way he or she can truly understand your business interests and better advise you on day to day matters or the pros and cons of possible settlement of a claim. Many lawyers want to visit your business and actually see what your employees do. Some lawyers ask for a tour of the plant, (and will not charge for the time if it does not relate to a pending case), just to get to know you and your company better. The bottom line: be sure your lawyer has asked lots of questions about your company.
Watch for Part 3 of this series. We’ll identify and discuss issues that arise from bills and from a lawyer’s unwillingness or inability to give succinct, practical advice.