Employment Litigation: Who’s Your Enemy?

employment litigation

When an organization is sued by an employee, the corporate naturally views the worker because the problem.  But in lots of cases, another equally dangerous enemy exists in employment litigation – disguised because the company defense lawyer.  The legal fees paid to defense firms can easily eclipse the quantity paid to unravel the case.

The legal profession as an entire has come under attack for being too expensive and inefficient.  Law school applications are declining and compensation paid to lawyers is falling as clients demand better value.

Many sectors have adjusted to the recent climate, however the major employment defense firms remain largely unchanged. Let’s explore.

Your Legal Bill May Exceed the price of Settlement

Most employment defense firms today are made from hundreds of lawyers and support staff in offices located within the country at prestigious addresses.  The lawyers are well compensated and luxuriate in large private offices.

Who pays for this huge overhead?

You do once you hire one among them to defend you. These giant legacy operations thrive on inefficiency.  They have a financial incentive to protract disputes to generate fees. It is because these firms send two lawyers to take the plaintiff’s deposition.  And it can be why these depositions last a complete day or more.

That deposition, however, could easily be handled by a single lawyer in a single or two hours.

Multiple Seven Hour Depositions of Employees

A recent wage and hour case brought by security guards serves as an instance of billing abuse.  In that case, the safety gaurds sued to recover overtime pay.  The issues were simple.  The job of a safety guard isn’t any secret.

Yet the defense firm deposed each guard for a complete day.  Two lawyers for the defense were present at each deposition.  The settlement obtained by the guards mostly likely was lower than the price earned by the defense lawyers.

The business owner would had been at an advantage paying the guards early within the case.

Slim Odds and massive Bills

Summary judgment is another billing bonanza for cover firms.  In almost every case, these firms file motions and generate sizable bills.  The motions, however, are rarely effective and will easily be defeated as a result of showing a cloth factual dispute.

Material fact disputes exist in most employment cases.

Affordable Alternatives and Better Service

The large traditional defense firms are safe choices for giant enterprises with deep pockets or insurance.  The problem with these firms is they aren’t cost-effective.

Why pay $80,000 to unravel a $40,000 problem?

Here is an easy road map:

Assess Legal Costs in Advance

Conduct an early realstic assessment and take a look at to solve the problem before legal costs mount.  The employee and their firm are equally motivated to solve the problem early and should achieve this at a coupon.

Minimalistic Defense

If early resolution is just not possible, take an aggressive, focused and minimalistic defense of the claim.  Do only what’s abosultely essential to win the case.  Most all cases are winnable.

Seek Project Pricing

Use a law firm that provides project pricing with upfront, agreed upon prices for every task. Let’s say, the deposition of the plaintiff should take not more than two hours and price $2000 or less.  Consider hiring an organization the also represents employees as they might have a more balanced approach.

Mediate a Resolution

Mediate a resolution if possible. Know that 95% of employment cases settle and your case can even. So keep your costs down but be prepared to win at trial if necessary.

Court Photo via Shutterstock

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