Frequently Asked QuestionsKeep Reading for Answers to Some Common Questions
How Much Is My Case Worth?
It depends. Many factors influence the value of a case, including, but not limited to, the following: how long you have been harassed (has it been weeks? months? years?); how frequently you have been harassed (for example, are you being harassed on a daily basis or something less frequent?); , whether the harasser has physically touched you and, if so, how often and where; whether the harasser has used graphic, vulgar language and, if so, how often; whether the harasser has harassed anyone else and, if so, how many others; whether you or other employees have made prior complaints about the harasser, and what your employer did in response to each of those complaints; and many other factors. I will obtain some of this information from you. Other information can be obtained only by filing a lawsuit and engaging in discovery (the taking of depositions and the sending of written requests for information and documents).
What Happens in a Lawsuit?
Once you and I decide that a lawsuit must be filed, I will draft a document called a “Complaint.” This is the first paper filed with the court, and it sets out the legal theories we are alleging as the basis for your claim for money. A copy of the Complaint is then served on each defendant. The defendants must file a written response with the court within 30 days. After that, the case goes into a phase called “Discovery.” During Discovery, the parties send written requests to each other to obtain factual information and documents supporting their claims and defenses. The lawyers then take the depositions of key individuals. Once key depositions have concluded, the case may then be in a position to settle. If not, the parties continue to work the case up and get ready for trial.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
It’s possible. But generally, about 90% – 95% of all cases settle.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a process that is designed to settle your case. The parties typically split the cost to hire a neutral third person to evaluate the case and bring about a settlement. This neutral third person is often a retired judge. Sometimes it’s a lawyer who once practiced in the area of law that your case falls in, such as employment law or personal injury.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a substitute for a trial in a courthouse. Many employers are afraid of jury trials, so they force their employees to sign an agreement to arbitrate, often as a condition of employment. If you have signed an arbitration agreement, it may or may not be enforceable. If it is enforceable, you have given up your right to a jury trial. This means that a person called an “arbitrator” will decide your case. An arbitrator is often a retired judge, but can also be a lawyer or even a non-lawyer. This person steps into the shoes of both the judge and the jury, meaning he or she decides what the facts are, how the law applies to those facts, and, if you win, how much money you’ll get.