There are a lot of factors that you should consider when selecting an employee’s rights attorney to represent you in your employment discrimination, wrongful termination, or sexual harassment claims against your employer. Our employment law attorneys have discussed the importance of skill, knowledge, resources that a large firm provides, and the experience of successfully standing in front of a jury. Given Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm’s size, resources and demonstrated ability to bring home the big wins, there are not many firms that exclusively focus on employee’s rights out there that can measure up to what we provide our clients.
But there are also other factors to consider, namely professionalism and reputation. The Merrium-Webster dictionary defines professionalism to mean, “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” While recognizing that litigation is an adversarial process, professionalism is a concept revolving around how attorneys should work with each other and the court to effectively move the case forward without being personally antagonistic. This means that attorneys should conduct themselves with courtesy and civility; should not engage in yelling, name calling, or other hostilities; and should grant opposing counsel reasonable accommodation in all matters that do not directly impact the merits of the case, such as extension of time or rescheduling matters as the need arises.
There are a lot of reasons that professionalism matters. One big factor is that attorneys will eventually find themselves on the opposite side of a request for an extension or professional favor. When Spitz was a small firm, certain large defense firms would not extend professional courtesies because our cases were such a small part of their caseload such that they did not worry about needing a favor in return; and they wanted to test our resources to fight every small issue with the Court. Of course, now that we are larger, these firms know they will regularly face us, need courtesies, and that we have the resources to press the issue with the Court as necessary.
This brings us to the issue of reputation. When the failure of an attorney to act with professionalism is repeatedly brought to the attention of the Court, the Court tends to remember that. There are very few concrete examples of the Court’s memory of such conduct, which makes the recent opinion issued by the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina important. In Summers v. City Of Charlotte, No. 318CV00612RJCDSC, 2022 WL 17417183 (W.D.N.C. Dec. 5, 2022), Will Summers sued the City of Charlotte for race discrimination, and after significant work on the matter, the City made an offer of judgment, which Summers accepted. Importantly, because of the way the offer of judgment was made, this entitled Summers to also seek his attorneys’ fees from his employer. As part of that request, the District Court for the Western District of North Carolina remembered how Summer’s counsel acted in a prior matter and held them accountable:
Plaintiff’s counsel are all qualified attorneys with significant experience handling employment law matters. However, as the Court expressed during [the prior] Smith-Phifer’s trial, counsels’ inability to communicate across the aisle, demonstrated lack of professionalism on certain occasions, and tendency to put forth excessive or duplicative evidence put unnecessary strain on the justice system. The Court gleans from the submitted time records evidence from which it may reasonably infer, the same waste, duplication and excessiveness permeated the general handling of these related matters. Quality of counsel is offset by the misuse of talent.
Id. at *3. That is a hell of a Scarlet Letter to permanently pin on these lawyers. More importantly to the client, the Court reduced the legal fees to be paid by the employer as a result of this conduct, which means that left more to either be paid by Summers out of his pocket or out of the settlement. So, professionalism, or the lack there of, has very real and tangible consequences.
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How do I hire an attorney to sue my employer for discrimination and wrongful termination?
Best Employment Lawyer Answer: If you are looking to hire an attorney to sue your job because your manager or supervisor wrongfully fired or terminated you based on your gender, age, religion, race, national origin, or disability; or you were denied FMLA leave or overtime wages, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?). Reach out to our lawyers in Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
This employee’s rights website is an advertisement. The employment law information available on this website are for educational purposes only and are not published to give you specific legal advice relating to your legal needs. Again, it would be best for you to contact our top attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.