Category Archives: Employee Info/Tips – Pre-Litigation – Considering Compl

Dangers of Bad Message-Board Advice to “Go File a Legal Complaint With ______”

Internet message boards about legal issues can be helpful for (1) general educational information; (2) looking for attorneys who seem to know what they’re talking about, so you can contact one; and (3) familiarizing yourself with issues that you could raise with an attorney when discussing potential legal rights. But message boards are usually terrible places to get ADVICE to ACT upon.

One common example of terrible message-board “advice”: the adviser who reads your question and replies you should “Go file a legal complaint with [name of govt. agency, etc.].”  Often, such advice comes from non-attorneys.  Sometimes, even attorneys will make this horrific and flip message-board statement to “Go file a complaint…”: when an attorney does this, it’s almost always someone who doesn’t practice in the area of law they are talking about.

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Filed under Employee Info/Tips - Pre-Litigation - Considering Compl, Employee Info/Tips - Pre-Litigation - Hiring an Attorne

Why Pay an Attorney Consult Fee?

In the employee-rights legal field, it is common for attorneys to charge initial consultation fees in the hundreds of dollars. Some attorneys offer free consultations, although that depends on the attorney, their availability, the type of matter, etc. Such an attorney may set conditions on a free consult, e.g. it can only be by phone, or be under a certain time limit, etc.

My own practice at present is to not charge a fee for initial email or phone communications.  During those initial communications, I try to give a worker a sense of whether there are potential legal claims or issues I could assist with, and if so, whether it is the type of matter for which I could represent the worker on a contingency-fee basis, on another basis involving out-of-pocket fees.  But after the free initial communications, there are some matters for which I provide hours of advice, and charge hundreds of dollars for that advice.

Say an employee rights attorney wants to charge you by the hour for an initial office meeting, which may total several hours and, per market rates, may cost $150 to $500 or more.

Is such a fee worth it? My answer is yes. But I come from the biased perspective of an attorney who is paid fees. (Incidentally, most of my fees do not come from my worker-clients; the majority of earned fees come from via long-term litigation and contingency payments from opponents).  What matters about a consult fee is YOUR sense of value, and what YOU think of an attorneys’ reasons for that fee.  My reasons as to why a consult fee is worth it are listed below.

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Filed under Employee Info/Tips, Employee Info/Tips - Litigation - Mediation, Employee Info/Tips - Pre-Litigation - Considering Compl, Employee Info/Tips - Pre-Litigation - Hiring an Attorne

Were You a Shareholder Who Was Removed or Financially Harmed By Majority Shareholders or Board of Directors? You May Have Strong WI Law Rights (Even Without a Contract)

In some instances, a shareholder of a company is also employed by that company, and compensated via salary, bonuses, dividends or other financial benefits.  If you were a shareholder of a Wisconsin company and were removed from duties or suffered financial loss due to actions of majority shareholders or board of directors, you may have strong legal rights.  These rights may exist even if you did not have a contract, and even if you were labeled an “at will” employee.

Below I give an overview of what at-will employment is.  Then I explain why a Wisconsin at-will employee– if he or she is a shareholder deprived of employment or income– may have strong legal rights notwithstanding an “at-will” label or a lack of a contract.  Continue reading

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Filed under Employee Info/Tips - Pre-Litigation - Considering Compl, Employee Tip - Considering a Legal Action