Do you ever have those days when you did your job so well your client actually got what she wanted?
As you know, my daily work revolves around your work life. I routinely handle a whole assortment of employment law cases from minor to the complex wrongful termination, discrimination and severance negotiation cases. I carry my obligation to advocate for my clients best interest a little too far. I often find myself buried in the minutia of every single factoid, inference and emotion emanating from the client fact pattern- seeking to make the relevant connections within. I overindulge in developing the hot trigger points in the drama my clients share with me, ever looking for the inside story the company would be most concerned about being publicly disclosed. I fixate on the highest level of pain I can inflict on the employer for the sake of my clients’ best interests.
I can transition clients along my process in an easy to understand and comfortable way. I empower clients to stand up to large companies and tell them “no”! I fully explain all the possible options to choose from, including the risks of doing so. So, the clients are well informed and grateful to receive all the new information their employers never dreamed of disclosing to them. I even give my clients a 90 minute free consultation with a seasoned Human Resource Director who I contract with.
Well, in some cases I do my job too well. Recently, I was pushing a case along through early settlement discussions, but not getting any real traction from the employer in terms of a higher dollar figure. In fact, they were offering roughly $25,000, a low ball offer in anyone’s mind. After explaining to the client that she needed to leverage up further and draft a complaint to file in court, the client understood and agreed. We gave the employer an immediate deadline and a new counter offer, way above what the employer was willing to pay during mediation. I drafted the complaint and continued researching every angle. The client added her input to the complaint and I polished the complaint, digging deep into the theme of the case and the employer’s weaknesses, i.e. prior employment practices and internal examples of bad behavior they never would tell their public pension fund clients. In the end, that employer, absent objection, actually paid my client’s number nearly $400,000 (nearly double her salary). The client was even released from a two year noncompetition agreement she never wanted in the first place. The Client reported sleeping calmly that evening, shedding tears of relief.
I did my job too well and kept the client out of litigation; saving us all taxpayer money by not pushing this case through the courts.