Most clients (employee side) have never had to retain a lawyer to represent their interests in an adversarial context until they are wrongfully dismissed. It is a daunting process for many, however, by consulting with an experienced employment lawyer, you will be in a position to make an informed decision.
I receive calls from people who want to ask me a “quick question” over the telephone and my response is always that I never provide legal advice over the telephone. You will be relying upon what the lawyer advises you and in order to properly advise you, they need to know all the relevant facts.
During the initial consultation, an experienced employment lawyer will thoroughly review matters with you. We are not merely there to address your questions in the initial consultation but we will ask you probing questions in order to determine whether there are any other issues that need to be raised in the context of settlement negotiations. In some instances, by asking these probing questions, we will determine that in fact you may have been a long term employee elsewhere when you were solicited away by your new employer to join their organization. This fact may be relevant to the assessment of damages in a wrongful dismissal case depending upon a number of other variables which will also be identified during the initial consultation. Similarly, there may be an issue of discrimination arising from inter alia, a perceived disability which will increase the heads of damages claimed in a settlement thereby increasing your total monetary claim against the company.
If you have been wrongfully dismissed and offered a severance package, you want to know if you should accept it or whether you should try to negotiate for more. As such, the initial consultation is very important because your decision about whether to proceed further is largely influenced by what transpires in that meeting.