How to Prepare to Meet With Your Labor Lawyer

Finding the right labor lawyer to represent your case can make your break the success of your litigation. Having a successful first meeting with your lawyer is also extremely important. It is up to you to provide your lawyer with all the information that will quickly get him or her up to speed on your case. Here are a few tips on how you can best prepare to meet with your lawyer that will make good use of his or her time and your money.

First of all, your lawyer should have the necessary details of your contact information. Be sure to provide your lawyer with your home and work address, your home, work, cell/pager, and fax number, and your e-mail address.

Second, you want to brainstorm a list of goals that you want the lawyer to help you achieve. This will keep your discussion–and your case–focused. A clear-cut, defined problem is easy to defend and your lawyer will appreciate you taking your own case seriously. Some typical goals may include:

o To have a contract or other legal document reviewed

-What are the areas of concern?
-How should you respond?
-How have other clients addressed similar issues in the past?
-How is the other side to the document most likely to respond?

o Discuss a strategy for negotiating an employment agreement, or for stopping harassment of discrimination
o Receive advice on how to respond to a letter that threatens suit against you
o Evaluate legal claims or if a suit if viable

Because of the nature of labor suits, you need to prepare a chronological summary of the facts leading up to your decision to meet with a lawyer. These facts include your date of hire, the names of the employer and key players in the dispute, background facts such as your performance evaluations, achievements, and promotions, the date that the dispute or problem began, the nature and key events of the dispute, and the current status of your dispute. Pay careful attention to dates and be accurate.

Also bring to the meeting all the documents you have that are related to the case. It is also a good idea to organize these documents logically before you meet with the lawyer so they can be accessed at necessary times. Important documents to gather can include:

o Employment agreement
o Employee handbook
o Benefit plans
o Performance evaluations
o Non-competition agreement
o Severance agreement
o All correspondence relating to the matter
o Witness statements

A final step to take in preparing to meet with your lawyer is to spend some time thinking of possible conflicts of interest within the case. This will save you and your lawyer both time and money if these are fleshed out from the get-go. If a possible conflict of interest makes the lawyer unable to represent you, thank him or her for the time and move on to a new lawyer. You deserve to be represented in the best way possible and it is not in your interest to stick around in the face of possible conflicts.