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There Are Bad Employment Attorneys Out There – Don’t Hire Them

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Federal Law Update, Race Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

Unfortunately, there are many lawyers out there that think they can just do employment law. They throw employment law up on their website with the car accident and criminal representation stuff and figure that they can figure out employment discrimination cases out as the go. “How hard can it be?,” they think. Unfortunately, this type of thinking leads to a lot of employees losing their claims.

Another example of bad employment lawyering comes to us from the recent case Moore v. Am. Fed’n of State, Cnty. & Mun. Emps. Loc. 1095, No. 22-1123-CV, 2023 WL 4145004 (2d Cir. June 23, 2023). In this case, Ronnie Moore, an African-American male, was employed as a truck driver for Erie County beginning in 1993. As part of a routine audit in February 2016, his employer discovered an issue with his Commercial Drivers License (“CDL”), which was necessary to perform his job. As a result, Moore was fired. Because Moore claimed that white drivers were treated differently by being given time to correct CDL issues, he asserted that this was disparate treatment race discrimination and that he was wrongfully fired.

However, during the litigation process, Moore’s attorney did not properly request the records to identify the similarly situated comparators and establish how they were treated differently. Then when the employer filed a motion for summary judgment, Moore asked for more time because he had no evidence to oppose it. The district court denied the motion, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed, holding:

In arguing before the Magistrate Judge that additional time was needed to conduct discovery, Moore’s counsel explained that he believed — mistakenly — that discovery would follow mediation, notwithstanding the District Court’s contrary order that mediation “should not delay or defer other dates contained in the Scheduling Order and has no effect on the progress of the case toward trial.” Dist. Ct. Dkt. No. 59. Moore also justified the need to reopen discovery by blaming the delay in completing discovery on the COVID-19 pandemic and his counsel’s pressing personal obligations.

Id. at *1. That does not paint Moore’s employment attorney in the best light, to say the least. But the Court was not done pointing out the bad lawyering:

Moore next argues that important factual disputes preclude summary judgment … We reject this argument because Moore, the nonmoving party … failed to submit an opposing statement in response to [the employer]’s statement of undisputed facts under Rule 56(c) and the Western District of New York’s local rules. “… those facts will be deemed admitted unless properly controverted by the nonmoving party.” The District Court was thus entitled to deem these facts as admitted and to conclude that they foreclosed, as a matter of law, Moore’s claim [of race discrimination].

Id. at *2. So, not only did this attorney fail to do discovery, the attorney also failed to properly oppose the motion for summary judgment.

This is what happens when you hire a bad lawyer. It is important to research potential attorneys to find out if they have expertise and focus in employment law; does the firm have the resources to support your claim; have the attorneys been recognized for their work in employment law and wrongful termination cases; and most importantly, have the attorneys actually tried employment discrimination cases to juries and gotten good results.

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How do I find an experienced employment law lawyer near me?

If you are in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, or Kentucky, you can call our experience trial lawyer at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, where we only focus on employee’s rights cases. You can call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?).

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