Who to Avoid: 4 Warning Signs of a Bad Lawyer

You have been wrongfully dismissed from your job and want to pursue a lawsuit as your financial future hangs in the balance. Because this matter is of utmost importance to you, you want to hire a skilled employment lawyer to represent you in the process to increase your chances of receiving a favourable settlement. In order to know what type of employment lawyer will best meet your needs, it is good to know what characteristics to steer entirely clear of. The following are signs that the employment lawyer you are considering will not represent your best interests and it may benefit you to look elsewhere for legal assistance.

1. Lack experience

For your wrongful dismissal lawsuit, you want a lawyer who has years of experience and a proven track record in winning favourable settlements for clients. What you do not want is a lawyer who has more experience in defending companies being sued for actions similar to your former employer. This may cause the lawyer to lack empathy for your situation and skew their view regarding whether or not the company’s actions were unlawful.

Lawyers that represent the plaintiff in employment lawsuits can review the merits of a case and determine whether it should be pursued in court. They have experience in employment law and are up to date on similar cases that may affect the outcome of your case. It is definitely possible that a lawyer that has just graduated law school may be invaluable to your case, but because it is crucial that you are successful you may not want to take this chance.

2. Does not pay attention

If you meet with your lawyer for a scheduled appointment to go over your case and he or she is constantly checking emails or texts, is continuously interrupted with telephone calls, or is badgered by assistants constantly asking questions, you may want to take your business elsewhere. These are indications that your case is not being given the undivided attention that it deserves and requires.

Such disregard for details of your case may be the difference between receiving an acceptable settlement in court or leaving you unemployed and unable to meet your financial obligations. Hire an employment lawyer who is attentive to the particulars of your case.

3. Will not discuss fees up front

During an initial meeting with an employment lawyer you are considering, ask for their fees up front. That way, if their fees are outside of your budget, you will not waste your time on legal services that you cannot afford. A good employment lawyer will be open about their fee structure so no misunderstandings occur down the road and will not dodge any questions regarding costs that you may have. It would be beneficial for you to discuss a timeline of when costs are due so you are not blindsided when the time to pay arrives.

4. Talks about past cases

Each individual case that a lawyer handles is confidential, meaning it should not be discussed with people other than those involved. If any attorney breaks confidentiality privilege, disbarment from practicing law is possible. If you are meeting with your lawyer and he or she starts talking about past cases, maybe in an attempt to compare it to your current case, it is reasonable to think that he or she will one day talk to others about your case. The specifics of your lawsuit are no one’s business outside of those involved in the case. This is a sign that the attorney you are considering is disrespectful of others and may not me professional and mature enough to help you in your legal endeavour.

Kelly Young is a writer born and raised in Toronto. Proud of her simple and cozy life, a perfect evening for Kelly would be to snuggle up in bed with her cat and a well-written historic memoir.