Oceanside California Employment Attorneys
Stephen Danz and Associates is one of the largest plaintiff-side law firms in California. We are dedicated to representing employees in Oceanside and throughout California. Each of the employment lawyers on our team has the experience and knowledge to represent employees in both state and federal courts. We are highly aware of the difficulties in employment law cases and therefore leverage our resources and abilities to optimally bring forth cases. Further, our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as states’ landscape. In Oceanside, California, our counselors are highly specialized in handling complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation via our online form or call our office.
What Makes a Good Employment Case?
Employment issues are central to individual lives and to the lives of our community, state, and country. How good is my case? The question comes up early in almost every conversation with a new potential client. In the larger context, employment statistics are central to any metric of the health of our economy at any political level, and it takes a seasoned attorney to know whether a case is a winner or a dud.
In good times, and even more so in bad times, employment law cases make up a huge percentage of the caseloads of the federal and state courts. They provide our attorneys with rewarding opportunities to provide critical and valuable services to clients. Therefore, it should not be surprising that employment law is a highly developed area with important common law and statutory components in both federal and state jurisprudence. Potential remedies are quite broad. Our lawyers (and resourceful staff) will set out the array of legal and equitable remedies available in employment actions, and are at the ready to maximize the value of service to employment clients.
What Are Common Employment Remedies?
The remedies available in employment litigation are varied and broad and depend on the causes of action alleged and the forum in which they are sought, whether state or federal court or administrative forum. They include compensatory and special damages, penalties, liquidated damages, and such equitable relief as reinstatement, promotion, and alteration of personnel records, among others.
The remedies in employment settlements can be even broader. In addition to those noted above, remedies in the settlement of an employment action may include maintaining healthcare or pension benefits, extra damages to cover tax liabilities due on a lump-sum award of wages (e.g., large payment for front and back pay), and attorney fees. Settlement might also include various nonmonetary remedies, such as acknowledgment of wrongdoing or apology for harm caused, a letter of recommendation, and an agreement as to which personnel at the employer’s business will be responsible for handling future inquiries about the employee.
Good attorneys understand the spectrum of remedies available in an action, no matter what the causes of action alleged or the forum in which the action was instituted, and they work to resolve the dispute through proof at trial or negotiation to an acceptable settlement.
How Likely is an Employment Law Case to Settle?
The reality in California is that fewer than five percent of civil cases filed go to trial. We believe it is actually less than one percent. While some actions are dismissed or terminated on motion, most cases settle. The questions for those that settle are when settlement will be achieved and for how much.
It is not reasonable to assume from day one that a case is among the five percent or less that will go to trial. Indeed, if an attorney does assume this without justification, important opportunities to achieve the values of settlement may be missed or forfeited. A more prudent assumption is that the case will settle. The goal then becomes to take steps to achieve the best results in settlement.
Early settlement is preferable because it can save significant time and money for both sides. In many cases, however, there is not enough information known by the sides to make early settlement possible. It is important, therefore, to gather information as quickly as possible to assess possible strategies and outcomes. This enables the parties to get a sense of the risks and costs of litigation or arbitration. Risks and costs are the factors that inform and drive settlement.
Should You Choose to Settle?
By law, settlement of a case is a choice that must be made by the client. The attorney cannot make this choice for the client. A client cannot choose whether to win or lose; that is in the hands of the judge, the jury, and the court. The client’s choice is both more simple and more difficult: settle or go to trial? Make a deal or suffer the ordeal?
Any settlement is by definition a compromise. Most compromises are undesirable. A potential settlement must never be viewed simply in the abstract, however. It always must be viewed in light of the alternatives. One must always consider the “BATNA” (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). This requires analysis of the likelihood of success at trial. A mediator can help with this analysis, but the analysis starts with the attorney.
What is the Settlement Process?
The settlement is a process, not an event in the course of litigation. Many lawyers see litigation and settlement as completely separate processes and tend to treat mediation as an afterthought. Such a position is shortsighted and, indeed, it is illogical. The end product of most litigation is agreed-on resolution through some kind of settlement. Ultimately, the choice of whether to settle is up to the client. The attorney, however, should present the client with the better of the two options—litigation or settlement. The attorney should prepare the client to accept the best resolution to the case, whether through trial or settlement.
Attorneys who are best prepared for trial generally are also, largely for that reason, best prepared to effect a positive settlement. In the vernacular, those who best “walk the walk” are usually those best able to “talk the talk.” Although for reasons of personality and style, a good litigator may not be a good negotiator, it is undeniable that the process of trial preparation is the foundation for the process of resolution through settlement.