What type of employment law cases does your firm handle?
We offer consulting services to employers and represent them in defense of employment litigation on an hourly and sometimes fixed fee basis. We always provide a case budget at multiple points in the representation so that our clients know what they are getting into from the outset. We handle plaintiffs cases on a highly selective basis, with a preference for accepting whistleblower cases, for the reasons spelled out below.
What services do you offer employers?
Given our substantial experience handling employment law cases, we can help a business audit its employment law practices and spot potential weak spots. We can assist an employer in implementation of a number of practices and generate or review documentation that will go a long way towards (reducing exposure to insulating an employer from) frivolous employee lawsuits. The cost of such service is usually a tiny fraction of the cost that would be entailed in defending even a frivolous case. Bear in mind that our experience in handling plaintiff’s cases provides a powerful background to spot the potential weak points in an employer’s practices. Please contact our office to schedule a consult to see how we can be of assistance.
Why does the firm take so few plaintiffs’ cases? What are the firm’s criteria for taking a plaintiff’s case?
Florida is an employment-at-will state. Under the employment-at-will doctrine an employer can discipline, demote or terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all, even a “wrong” reason, unless doing so violates a written contract providing a specific term of employment or the action violates a specific statutory prohibition. Florida and federal statutes prohibit employment discrimination on a variety of bases including race, sex, religion, national origin and disability and a variety of laws prohibit retaliation and whistleblowing. In order to prevail a plaintiff must not only technically state a case but also needs to have supporting proof. Our practice currently only accepts plaintiff employment cases that state an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine, are backed up by sufficient supporting evidence (either in the form of supporting documents or witnesses willing to testify in court) and state a case for substantial damages, usually exceeding $100,000 in case value. If a prospective client is able to present such a case to us on first contact we will consider handling such case on a contingency fee basis from the outset. In all other circumstances we will, at minimum, charge a reduced hourly fee to investigate the case to determine whether we can thereafter take the case on a contingency fee or continue to represent the client on an hourly fee. The reason we are forced to do so is because many plaintiff’s employment law cases are defeated at the summary judgment stage and thus never go to trial. We would never want to subject you not only to wasted time but even the possibility of paying a former employer’s attorney’s fees and costs.
Does your firm have a preference for taking a certain type of plaintiff’s case?
Yes. We are particularly interested in handling whistleblower cases. There are two types of whistleblower cases. The first type of case is a retaliation case in which the defendant’s illegal activity has been disclosed, or threatened to be disclosed, has been opposed or has been the subject of an investigation in which a plaintiff has participated, and as a result, the plaintiff has been terminated or retaliated against in some way. The second type of whistleblower case is known as a qui tam case. Generally, such case involves blowing the whistle on fraud against the government. For example, Medicare fraud, government contractor fraud and the like. One can, but does not have to, be an employee to bring such case. Qui tam cases are difficult and very time-consuming cases to bring but the award may be a percentage of the amount recouped by the government and can be quite large.