Employment Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of employment disputes does your firm deal with?

Really, the full range of employment issues from hiring to discharge to post-termination benefits. Sometimes, the law does not offer a solution to the problem and if not, we will endeavor to provide you practical employment advice.

How do I know if I need a lawyer?

If you even think you may need a lawyer, you should talk to one and find out. Certainly, if you believe you have been treated unfairly in the workplace, you should contact a lawyer. But, you should also seek legal advice if your employer has asked you to sign a document that can affect your rights or has asked to meet with you regarding disciplinary or performance issues.

How do I know if I have found the "right" lawyer for me?

Hiring the right lawyer is perhaps the most important decision you will be called upon to make. Academic qualifications and experience are obviously important considerations in choosing a lawyer, but your comfort level with your lawyer is perhaps equally important. We encourage potential clients to speak with and visit us and other lawyers to find a lawyer with whom they are personally comfortable. After all, depending on the case, you may be spending a significant amount of time with your lawyer.

How much should I expect to pay to find out if I have a case?

If we can determine from an initial telephone consultation whether, in our judgment, you have a case, there will be no charge. If, on the other hand, we need to review documents, or perhaps meet with you face-to-face to obtain a better understanding of your problem, and to determine whether we might be able to help you, we charge a modest consultation fee, the amount of which may vary depending on the complexity of the case.

What happens at the face-to-face meeting?

At the meeting, which may last 30 minutes to an hour or longer, we will discuss your employment history and ask you about the facts relevant to your potential claims. You should bring with you to the meeting important documents that may have an impact on your case, including documents you have received from your employer.

By the end of the meeting, we typically will be in a position to give you advice on how we would proceed to protect your rights. Of course, you may wish, and we encourage you, to speak to other lawyers before deciding how to proceed. The initial meeting does not obligate either party.

How much should I expect to pay if I hire you to take my case?

Cases may be taken on an hourly basis, a contingency basis, or a blend of the two. Only infrequently, however, will cases be accepted on a pure contingency basis. If we take a case on a contingency basis, our fees are paid only if we achieve a favorable outcome whether by settlement or by judgment. However, even in a contingency case, you should expect to pay filing fees, deposition expenses and perhaps other out-of-pocket costs. If you decide to retain our firm, we will describe in the retainer agreement the anticipated litigation costs for which you will be responsible.

What is our approach to cases?

Before filing suit on behalf of a client, we carefully explore alternatives to litigation that might provide a favorable resolution of the dispute. If litigation proves necessary, we will aggressively pursue your claims in an appropriate forum.

What is our philosophy on the practice of law and client service?

Personal attention. We pride ourselves on treating an individual as if he or she were the firm’s only client. We also pride ourselves on maintaining open and full communication with clients to ensure that they understand not only what we are doing on their behalf but also why.

Does a decision not to represent you mean that you do not have a case?

Not necessarily. You may have a case, but a number of factors, including a conflict of interest, may preclude us from representing you. You may have a case, but the value of your claim may not be substantial enough to warrant representing you on a contingency basis. Of course, we also may conclude that the case does not have significant merit, but this does not mean that other lawyers necessarily would agree with our evaluation.

Do you handle cases in Virginia and Delaware?

The firm’s practice is focused in Maryland and the District of Columbia, but we would be pleased to consider taking a case in Virginia or Delaware.

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