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Choosing an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Over my 25 years of legal practice, I have seen many people who have made the sad mistake of choosing the wrong lawyer to represent them.

They usually come in very angry and quite skeptical about lawyers in general. They come in with a stack of papers they obtained from their first lawyer that they can hardly understand and to their dismay, an empty wallet.

They feel like they've been through a long con by an unscrupulous car salesman, left with a hulk of junk that won't run and a stack of repair bills. Deep down they know they've been sold a bill of goods. In truth they know they should never have hired that lawyer on in the first place. There are signs that warn of a bad lawyer or of one who is just not the right fit for you.

If you just listen to what these lawyers are saying, you can usually avoid them before you find yourself in a bad situation. 

Here are a few tips:

  • If a lawyer sounds like a used car salesman or any type of salesman, run!!! Good lawyers don't sound like second rate salespeople. A good lawyer will give you both sides of the situation honestly. They don't just tell you what you want to hear so as to collect a retainer regardless of the case before them. Sure your case may be great, but as with most things in life, there is always a risk of losing.
  • Most employment law specialists require a retainer to take on your case, so don't let the request for a retainer, by a specialist, divert you to a less knowledgeable lawyer. The practice of employment law is jam-packed with specialists on the employer side, so consider hiring a specialist if you want a level playing field.
  • If you tell an employment discrimination lawyer that you want no less than a million dollars to settle your case and he says "sounds about right to me" with no reservation, please question him or her thoroughly! Many employment cases have very solid caps on damages that may bring the value of your case well below a million bucks, unless a substantial back pay award is possible.
  • Lastly, lawyers are people too, so find someone who reflects integrity and honesty in their communication with you. All lawyers are not liars. Many lawyers, like people in general, are good people who care about people and exercise honor in their profession. Others simply do not. Choose a lawyer like you would a friend or a colleague, exercise wise judgment and you will make the right choice. 

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