How do I find a Labor Attorney?
A labor attorney specialized in helping clients who need help with legal issues arising in the workplace. This can include numerous legal issues, but most commonly labor attorneys handle the following:
– Advising employers or employee groups about their legal rights and responsibilities in the workplace
– Negotiating employment terms and handling lock-outs and strikes if necessary
– Handling grievances, arbitration, and negotiations between employers and employees for events that occur in the workplace.
A labor attorney can work with both employees or employers, however most will specialize on one specific side to focus their practice. If you have a labor issue that requires legal advice or representation, contact a labor attorney, who will either help you with your case or can guide you to a labor attorney who works in the area you need help.
What to tell your labor attorney.
A labor attorney will need to know all about your situation before they can determine the best course of action to help you. It is important that you are prepared to discuss as much about your case as you can provide your attorney. You may need to describe your employment history, your finances, and any events that occurred in the workplace connected to your legal issue.
Do not be afraid to disclose all information, even if you feel some might harm your case. Your labor attorney will be held to strict confidentiality and cannot disclose the information your provide them.
Where to look for a labor attorney.
In most areas, several labor attorneys are locally available for both employees and employers to consult. While some may advertise, many labor attorneys do not and instead rely on referrals or word of mouth to obtain new clients. You should first set out to ask other employees, or local business owners, or family and friends if they have had any experience with a local labor attorney.
The internet can also provide a good resource for finding the labor attorney that is right for you. Search through local listings or find reviews throughout the internet. This website can provide you with a good start, as there is a lawyer search function at the top of the page, or you can consult with a legal professional using the ask a question feature.
Do I need a Specialist?
Labor laws and the issues that arise during employment can be very technical and require the work of a specialized attorney who knows the various rules and regulations that apply. Therefore, you should only seek the help of a well experienced labor attorney who has represented clients similar to you in the past.
It is just as important that you find a specialist that works with a similar client base that you are in. If your are an employee seeking the help of a labor lawyer, find one that only represents employees. For employers, find a labor lawyer that has experience working on the employer side of labor disputes.
Preparing for an appointment.
Before meeting with any labor attorney, you must ensure that you come prepared with all relevant information for your lawyer to review. This will include your employment contract, paycheck information, and any paperwork involved in your legal issue. You will also need to discuss with the attorney all about your case, so be prepared to provide details such as the names, places, times, and dates involved in your case.
The preparation of questions before meeting with a lawyer can help both you and the lawyer understand the case better and the process that will be required. Remember to write down any questions that you have prior to the meeting to ensure that you do not forget to ask them.
Evaluating a Labor Attorney.
All lawyers must complete three years of law school, pass ethical tests, and pass the bar examination of their state just to meet the minimal requirements to practice law. While any lawyer can represent you, it is important that you seek only a lawyer with significant experience working in the area of the law in which you need help.
Discuss with the lawyer their previous experience handling cases. Do not be afraid to ask if their prior cases have been successful and what their best and worst outcomes have been.
Personality & Values
All experienced labor attorneys will have a strong understanding of labor laws, rules, and regulations that apply to your case. Depending on your type of employment, a labor lawyer should have a basic understanding of your work and the typical relationship employees and employers have in this area. Labor attorneys will use their knowledge of the law, the different procedures that may be required, and their negotiation skills in helping to achieve the legal result that you seek.
While these are all necessary skills, it is also important that you and your labor attorney develop a strong professional relationship during your case. It is important that you select a lawyer that you can get along with, especially considering that you may have to work with this same lawyer for months or even years on your case.
As most labor attorneys are trustworthy, you must be always be cautious that any lawyer representing you has you best interests in mind. Always beware of questionable behavior, especially if your lawyer is acting strangely in regards to your payments or time spent on the case. Report any suspicious behavior to the local or state bar associations to protect your rights.
Rates, Fees & Retainers
Labor attorneys can charge their clients a number of fees using different methods of calculating rates and expenses. Typically, a labor attorney will require an upfront flat fee or an hourly fee which will be finalized after all legal work is completed. As with any lawyer, make sure to discuss your fee structure in detail and get any agreements in writing.
A contingency fee is payment made to a lawyer upon successful completion of a case in which the client receives a monetary award. While some labor disputes might allow for this type of fee, most labor lawyers will not use it, as a monetary award is not always what their client seeks.
An Hourly or Flat Fee is a payment given to a lawyer whether the case is successful or not. A flat fee is a one time upfront payment used for specified legal work. Hourly fees may be charged by some lawyers who cannot determine how much work will be required for your case. Always be cautious with hourly fees, as they can become very large if your case drags on for a long period of time.
Interviewing your attorney
When meeting with your attorney, consider asking the following:
What are your fees and how do you determine them?
Are there any additional expenses I may incur?
How long do you believe my case will take?
What is the best case scenario for my case?
What is the worst case scenario?
When can I contact you?
When will you contact me for updates about my case?