How do I pick my lawyer?

The law is very specialized; you should look for a lawyer who has expertise in the issue you need help with.

When would I need you as my lawyer?

When you think there is a legal problem, for example, in the area of employment, in which I specialize, you weren't paid for your work or overtime, or you were discriminated against based on age, sex, race, etc.

Can I handle my own legal problems?

NO, NO, NO. There is a famous saying that "a person who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer." The problem with our legal system is that many people cannot afford a lawyer and are stuck in the system, and often forgo pursuit of their legal rights.

Can I change attorneys?

Yes, but when you have an agreement with your attorney, that is a contract
and you have to abide by its terms, as does the attorney. That said, you can change attorneys if you desire to do so. Remember, however, you may end up paying more when you change attorneys, as the new attorney has to learn what the prior attorney learned.

What should my attorney expect from me?

That you always keep the attorney informed of your contact information and notify me should you move, change your e-mail address or telephone number. That you respond promptly to inquiries from me and tell me the truth.

What should I expect when I hire an attorney?

That the attorney knows what s/he is doing, that s/he always keeps you informed and consults with you as to legal strategy, and that s/he is always open and honest with you about the case.

What should I look for in an attorney?

You should look for someone who is experienced with the issues in your case so there is a low learning curve. Check the attorney's website, ask to contact former clients for references.

How do you set your fees?

It depends on the case and my evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses, and the client's financial situation. I offer to do it on an hourly basis, a contingency basis, or a hybrid of both.

What do you specialize in?

I specialize in employment law and my website details the kinds of employment matters I handle,

Why do you specialize in this?

I have worked in employment law since I became a lawyer in 1972. I have handled many high-profile cases. When a person loses his/her employment, s/he loses the ability to pay for all the necessities of life, e.g. food, shelter, clothing, education, transportation, etc. Our nation has an unfortunate history of race, sex, age, and other forms of discrimination and employers often do not pay what the employee is entitled to. I am the author of the overtime chapter in Massachusetts Continued Legal Education (MCLE) and I have given seminars on this subject over the years and I continue to update the chapter on overtime for MCLE.

What happens if I decide to file a lawsuit against my employer?

It is a distinct possibility that your employer may retaliate against you and you have to weigh having the job with the discrimination continuing or trying to stop it legally. In any event, if you are still working for that employer, I recommend that you begin to look for another job, as that may be the reality you face whether you file a lawsuit or not.

I am still working for my employer. If I take action against them to protect my rights, will they fire me?

See answer above. But, also, please know that retaliation is a separate unlawful act and you can amend the complaint to claim retaliation. It has happened that the employee loses the underlying discrimination case, but wins the retaliation claim, or vice versa.

Will you contact my employer about a possible settlement prior to filing a lawsuit?

It depends on the nature of the case, what I can learn about you and your relationship with the employer, and time limits. See below.

Are there time limits in which I must act to protect my rights or bring a claim against my employer?

Yes. It is called the statute of limitations, which, translated into English, means that you have only so much time to file a complaint in court. And in employment discrimination cases the complaint must first be filed with the administrative agency within 300 days of the act of discrimination. In Massachusetts, it is the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination or the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. There are different time limits for different types of unlawful employment acts, so the best advice I can give is to contact a lawyer as soon as you think there has been an unlawful act by the employer, e.g. discrimination, unpaid wages or overtime, etc. In the case of severance agreements, the employer gives the employee a specified time limit to review the agreement to accept or reject it.