Kacy Hagerty: Do you feel your employer is treating you unfairly or maybe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, what should you look for when hiring an employment lawyer? Well, Atty. Jim Higgins with The Higgins Firm recently stopped by with the top five key things to consider. Take a look.
Jim, thanks for being here.
Jim Higgins: Sure.
Kacy Hagerty: All right, let’s start with how to know when we need an employment lawyer, how do you determine that?
Jim Higgins: Well, you know, that - a lot of people have trouble at work or problems with their boss, but not always do they need a lawyers. But, sometimes it’s just important to know where you stand. So, I think, the easiest way is, you know, we have an employment law section in our office, people are welcome to call them and, you know, I have conversations with people every day that I’ll say, “Oh, my God [00:00:39] need somebody,” or I’ll say, “You know what, you don’t, and, you know, it’s unfortunate what you’re going through, but you may need employment lawyers.” But, you just got to pick up the phone and call.
Kacy Hagerty: Exactly. So, once someone knows they need one...
Jim Higgins: Yes.
Kacy Hagerty: ...picking one is a different story. There’s a lot of things to consider. You’ve got a few ideas for us. First tip is knowledge and expertise is something that is really important to consider, why so?
Jim Higgins: I think so because, you know, the law - it used to be, I think that a lawyer would handle a lot of different things. The law has gotten so complicated and so vast that lawyers and law firms now tend to really focus in one area. So, like in our office we have lawyers and paralegals, but that is it. That is all they do. That’s all we want them to do, is employment law, they know it. They know the law when it changes. They know how to litigate those cases. So, I think one of the first things you want in an employment lawyer case or to find employment lawyers is get someone that does that and focuses in that area.
Kacy Hagerty: Yes, it makes sense. Secondly you say believe in your case, you got to have someone on your side who really believes in it.
Jim Higgins: Yes. I - you know what? I think that’s a relationship thing. You got - and I always say, I think, you know, they got to believe in it and you got to like them, you know?
Kacy Hagerty: Right.
Jim Higgins: And, there is a comfort level, a litigation - any litigation is stressful. Employment litigation can be very stressful. So, if I’m going to go through this with the client, they better like me, and I better like them.
Kacy Hagerty: You spend a lot of time with them too.
Jim Higgins: That’s right. You do and it’s tough and you want somebody that, you know, when they call me that they feel that they could trust me. And, that when I tell them something I want to know that they’re going to believe me. So, you know, that first part of our meeting when we have new employment case is making sure that we all feel comfortable together...
Kacy Hagerty: Right.
Jim Higgins: ...and that they are comfortable with us.
Kacy Hagerty: Good to know. Another thing to consider is the fee structure of the firm.
Jim Higgins: Yes.
Kacy Hagerty: It’s important to know that’s a - on the front-end.
Jim Higgins: Absolutely, you know, unlike some cases, the largest charge all over the board are employment cases. The majority of our employment law cases are contingency base, which means, you know, if we don’t win anything, you don’t get anything. We don’t - you don’t owe us anything. We base our fees on whether we’re able to win the case or obtain a settle and we do a percentage.
That’s a majority of what we did. Some lawyers charge hourly, some people rather pay the lawyer hourly. So, but - what you want on the front-end and what we always make sure to do is you got to be clear on it and make sure that they understand what the charge is, and make sure they understand what the fee structure is, how that works.
Kacy Hagerty: Exaclty.
Jim Higgins: And, so, you’re not getting slammed by that on the back-end of the case.
Kacy Hagerty: Right. Good to know. Another thing to consider, of course, experience, you got to do your research. Jim, thank you so much.
Jim Higgins: Thank you.
Kacy Hagerty: The Higgins Firm is serving Tennessee. Give them a call at 615-353-0930 or go to higginsfirm.com.
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The Higgins Firm
525 4th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37210