A Top-Rated San Diego Employment Attorney Law Office
At Stephen Danz and Associates we aggressively represent employees in lawsuits against companies. Our attorneys have experience arguing cases in both state and federal courts throughout California and especially in San Diego County. In addition, we have knowledge gained from years of advocating for our clients alongside of agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor. Our resourceful attorneys cover cases within cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape. Our San Diego employment lawyers are highly specialized and handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts.
When Potential Clients Should Contact Our San Diego Office?
Analysis of what results are reasonably achievable may well lead the attorney to conclude the strength of the client’s case. It is important to identify the client’s real interests, that is, to determine not only what the client wants but why he or she wants it. Therefore, our experience in both litigation and arbitration is key. Further, the settlement is a process of compromise; parties rarely get everything they want, but in the settlement they often can get what they need.
Our attorneys work with their clients toward identifying a reasonable potential compromise resolution that would meet the client’s needs and still be preferable to the alternative of litigation or arbitration. This process will set the stage for a reasoned approach to settlement efforts. One example is a plaintiff who wants an amount of money that does not seem warranted by the evidence and the law. Probing by the attorney reveals that the plaintiff wants that money because of the need to care for a handicapped child. Although the defendant employer may not be willing to pay the sum in cash, there may be a way for the employer to secure appropriate insurance for less money. Asking the “why” question early in the case can set a course toward getting what the client needs.
When Do Employment Cases go to Arbitration?
Many employment cases are arbitrated. Depending on the arbitration clause and rules, arbitrators usually have broader latitude than judges in evaluating evidence and fashioning awards. Preparing for an arbitrator is similar to preparing for a judge and a jury. Our attorneys in San Diego are familiar with many arbitrators in California. A review of an arbitration award may be limited, as compared to a review of a decision made by a judge or juror. Therefore, obtaining an attorney who is familiar with the exact language of any provisions under which arbitration is mandated or elected and then tailor the presentation of the case accordingly is crucial.
When Do Employment Cases Go to Mediation?
Many employment cases are mediated. In fact, employment and other contracts increasingly are providing that attorney fees cannot be recovered (pursuant to the contract) in litigation or arbitration unless the parties mediate the dispute first.
Mediators often have substantive expertise in the field of employment law, but that is not always the case. What is almost always the case is that mediators do not have the benefit of the usual pretrial run-up that educates most judges and arbitrators about a case. It is important to recognize the need to bring the mediator up to speed quickly.
Indeed, there are important differences between a mediation and a settlement conference in California, especially with respect to confidentiality.
How Do Our San Diego Attorneys Ensure Proper Representation in Employment Cases?
The typical decision-makers in an employment action (judge, jury, arbitrator, or mediator) are fairly easy to recognize as being amongst the audience an attorney and client must keep in mind. We must always remember that the audience also includes the players on the other side of the case. It is they who must be persuaded of the strength of a case for it to settle on terms favorable to the client’s side. The task of educating opposing counsel begins when the attorney opens the case file.
Often, parties leave it to a mediator to persuade the other side in a few hours. Such a strategy (or lack thereof) is often unproductive. The settlement process begins when the case begins and continues until settlement, however effected, or judgment is achieved. In employment cases, emotions can run high for both clients, and the opposing attorney may be an effective ally when it comes to moving the case towards resolution.
Sometimes, especially if the case is emotionally charged and the clients are extremely hostile to each other, it can be easy to demonize the other side, including opposing counsel. Remember that opposing counsel are not enemies but are advocates for their client’s interests. We always treat them professionally and with courtesy and respect so that they remain willing to work toward a mutually satisfactory resolution.
The opposing attorney is not the only person on the other side who must be persuaded. The ultimate decision to settle resides with the clients. Often the opposing attorney needs the other side’s help in persuading a client to settle. An attorney should be sure his or her approach to the case is designed to help the opposing side’s client grasp the costs and risks of proceeding to litigation or arbitration without creating or increasing tension and rancor.
Do Not Forget Who Will Most Likely Pay – The Insurer or Risk Manager
In high stakes cases, including employment cases, there will almost always be an insurance company, or a corporate risk manager for self-insured or high-deductible clients, who controls any decision to pay money. Therefore, we handle cases in a manner to make sure these decision-makers are well informed about the case.
This takes time, experience, and knowledge. Such decision-makers rarely respond to a fact or argument raised for the first time in mediation. Many plaintiffs’ counsel send a detailed and documented demand letter to opposing counsel weeks in advance of mediation, with the intent that it be forwarded to insurance and risk manager decision-makers. Similarly, defense counsel will normally provide their own detailed analyses of costs and risks to the deciders well in advance of any settlement discussions, in order to develop positions and strategies.