When you have decided to hire a lawyer to assist with your employment law issues, you will want to take the time to consider several lawyers before choosing one. Taking your time will help you to make a good decision. Finding the right employment lawyer will save you time and it may save you money as well.
Not every lawyer has had experience in employment law, and that’s the first reason you’ll want to choose a specialist. But even when you have narrowed the field to employment law specialists, you will still have to make choices. Here are some suggestions to make your difficult search and your final decision easier.
What to Look For, What to Do, and What to Expect
Most employment law firms in New Jersey have websites, and you can learn quite a bit by looking through each page of these sites. You’ll see the name, the bio, and usually the photo of all lawyers associated with the firm.
Before you select a firm and identify a particular lawyer to contact, do yourself a favor. Have a document prepared in advance with all the facts of your employment law issues. Remember, any lawyer you select will need to compile the facts of your case in a concise manner for presentation to the court. Preparing in advance gives you and your future lawyer what is needed to prepare for the courtroom. In addition, being prepared before an initial meeting will help you to avoid forgetting aspects of your case if you become flustered during the meeting and it will help you to remember all the information during the period of time before your case goes to court.
Many lawyers have a questionnaire for you to fill out and return before you meet. It’s still a good idea to prepare your own document with the facts because there will undoubtedly be questions requiring you to provide facts, such as names, dates, witnesses, and other circumstances.
It may be obvious, but tell the whole truth in preparing your document with facts and in filling out a lawyer’s questionnaire. Don’t leave out unpleasant or unflattering details. Your lawyer will need the whole story, so make sure you write it down in detail.
Ask about a lawyer’s fees upfront. Even though it feels impolite, do not avoid the subject of payment. Asking for hourly rates and any other possible fee structures is crucial for your understanding and for your budgeting. Further, a good lawyer wants you to understand the cost you will incur. It’s common practice to provide this information to clients in writing, before presentation and signing of a retainer agreement.
Once you choose a lawyer to help you with your employment law concern, you will face the reality every lawyer and every client deals with in New Jersey—the process will take quite a while to resolve, in court or out of court. Employment law involves some specific requirements, depending on the nature of your complaints. So you may have to go through one or more government agencies before you are cleared to file a lawsuit.
What to Avoid
Employment law is not an exact science. It is a set of laws and court decisions based upon those laws. This is true in NJ and other states, in state courts and in federal courts as well.
Many people are confused about the difference between fee arrangements for accident cases and fee arrangements for employment law cases. Lawyers handling accident cases are generally paid on contingency. In this situation, after there is a settlement or a judgment with a court-ordered payment to the plaintiff. Meaning, your lawyer gets paid only if and when you get your money as an accident victim.
Employment lawyers are not paid on a contingency basis. You can expect to pay a retainer fee upfront and then receive regular bills for the lawyer’s time. Some lawyers have different fee structures, and that’s why you need to get a clear understanding about payment for legal services. In contrast to typical accident cases, legal fees for employment law cases are not easy to finance.
Avoid expecting large payments for monetary damages or swift settlements or judgments. Employment law cases tend to move very slowly because there are so many steps involved and because the law is complex.
John J. Zidziunas & Associates want to provide you with expert help in all your NJ employment law matters. Contact us for a consultation at no charge. We can be reached either by email or at this toll-free telephone number: 973-509-8500.
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