Employment Law Office Servicing Poway California
Stephen Danz and Associates devotes its practice to fighting for workers’ rights. Employment law in California is a specialized area and cases are hard-fought. Therefore, having the one of the largest employee-side law firms on your side is critical. If you are in Poway, California and searching for attorneys that are both experienced and aggressive, look no further and contact our office. When encountering discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation in the workplace, many California employees have turned to our offices for guidance. In turn, we represent employees throughout California in their fight against employers that have taken advantage of their upper hand. Our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape.
How Do Our Attorneys Distinguish Ourselves from the Rest?
The best litigation advocates usually develop their cases with a view to persuading all potential audiences of the merits of their cases. We pay attention to the applicable law: statutes of limitations, elements, defenses, tax considerations, and so forth. Further, we identify critical facts and the evidence necessary to establish those facts when those are often overlooked by other attorneys.
In addition, we develop and maintain good working relations with opposing counsel. Civility promotes resolution; acrimony inhibits it. Therefore, our mission is never to be the barrier to achieving a good result for the client. At every stage of communication—pleading, discovery, preparation, and trial, we consider the settlement option, but are also ready to litigate if necessary.
When Does an Employment Action Begin?
An employment case begins when the employee client informs an attorney of an adverse employment action or situation, or the employer client reports an employee’s accusation or complaint. Employment litigation can be highly charged. Both sides in an action may be emotional about the case. Careers, reputations, and economic futures may be at stake for both employees and employers. An employee who has been terminated or whose rights have been violated may feel embarrassed, humiliated, and even ashamed. He or she may fear economic adversity, either in the form of lower pay or extended unemployment.
There is a perception that it takes a job to find a job in the current market; some job postings state, “must be employed to apply.” An employer accused of wrongful termination or violation of antidiscrimination statutes may fear negative publicity that might affect its reputation. If sued by a current or former employee, an employer might worry that the lawsuit will polarize the remaining employees, damaging morale and increasing tensions in the workplace. Both sides may be concerned with the costs of litigation and the time it will take, to the detriment of their lives or business.
Given the serious ramifications of employment litigation and the range of possible legal options, it is important to begin a dialogue with the client early on about options and goals and how to proceed. Our attorneys make sure we go through a number of steps. Experience has taught us what works.
How Do Our Attorneys Assess the Employment Law Case?
Our attorneys begin their work in employment cases by ascertaining the facts from their clients and through further investigation and discovery. We then should analyze the legal theories, claims, and defenses that arise from those facts.
For plaintiff’s attorneys, the plaintiff feels wronged and no doubt wants monetary damages. But damages may be limited, and the client may have other wishes or needs and may not be aware of additional remedial options that may apply.
For defense attorneys, the defendant client wants advice as to the possible outcomes of the matter and how best to defend the case. But the client also may have other options, and it is equally important to know the client’s goals about the case. In short, each side has its own goals, and therefore, attorneys should discuss the issues with the client and evaluate whether the client’s goals are reasonable and whether they can be obtained in the action at hand.
How Do we Best Understand the Case in Preparation For Optimal Results?
The next step in a case is to learn why the client has those goals. What losses or needs underlie the request for damages? What concerns underlie an employer’s position not to settle? What reasons do the employee and employer have for their positions regarding continued or resumed employment (especially if those positions differ from each other)? This process of understanding the reasons for the client’s goals (in mediator parlance, the interests underlying the positions) is critical to success in settlement.
Any discussion of client goals has to be conducted in light of the available legal options. We therefore review the statutory and common law remedies available in the employment arena to determine the legal possibilities based on the facts of the case at hand as ascertained during investigation and discovery.
After investigation and analysis, we help the client set reasonable goals and expectations, grounded in the facts and law. It is counterproductive to generate unwarranted expectations as to outcome. The biggest barrier to settlement is often unreasonable expectations created at the commencement of the case. Unfounded expectations lead parties to reject reasonable settlements and charge into ill-advised litigation.
One common example is when a plaintiff genuinely and with justification feels mistreated by an employer. There is, however, a substantial legal question (regarding, for example, statute of limitations, causation, “at will” employment) with arguably no triable issues of material fact. The client’s untempered expectations of success cause the client to ignore the mediator’s concerns about what the client may see as dry and “technical” legal issues. The client rejects a substantial settlement offer and proceeds to see the case terminated by the granting of a motion for summary judgment. The attorney’s failure to help the client set reasonable goals in light of the totality of the evidence and circumstances has ill served the client.
Some attorneys will not worry about causing their clients to entertain unreasonable expectations, seeing it as the mediator’s job to control such expectations. Indeed, the mediator will endeavor to do so, but the mediator alone may not be able in one session to counteract the tone that has been set over the months and often years of litigation by the lawyer. The best lawyers choose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and give the mediator all the help they can.