7 reasons to hire an unemployment lawyer

Posted by: Apr 18, 2016By Brian Stutheit

Talk to an attorney before your unemployment appeal.

  1. Subpoenas.  A lawyer knows how to get a subpoena issued from the Appeals Office. Lawyers can help decide what should be subpoenaed, and persuade the Hearing Officer to issue the subpoena.  Lawyers also know how to get the subpoena served once it has been issued.  This is important, because there is often not much time between issuance of the subpoena and the hearing.

2.  Lawyers can act like jerks so you don’t have to.  Let the Hearing Officer or opponent       think your attorney is persistent and aggressive, rather than thinking you are.  Lawyers are supposed to be persistent.  It is expected of them.  Clients not so much.

3.  You need to be calm, cool and collected.  A lawyer can help you do that by focusing on what is most important, and being the advocate for you.  A good lawyer will also tell a client candidly when a certain approach is just going to make everyone mad, or will be taken as a sign of weakness.

4.  You start the appeal off with credibility.  Your lawyer will, or should, be known to the Hearing Officer and have a reputation for integrity and good sense.

5.  Lawyers know the law and you don’t. Hearing officers are attorneys.  They want to know how the facts apply to relevant law.  They don’t care if you think you were discriminated against due to your age, if you quit due to illness.  They don’t care if some coworker was mean, unless the coworker was so mean an employee was forced to quit.   They don’t care if you gave an employee an reprimand two years ago.  Stutheit & Gartland have had many clients who are capable of learning the law, but they need to know where to look for it and how it has been interpreted by the courts.  We can usually help our clients to understand the law pertinent to their appeal in an hour or less.

6.  Your attorney has done this many times.  He knows the hearing process.  I always tell my clients the first 5 questions they may expect to be asked at an appeal hearing.  Knowing in advance how things will proceed does wonders for one’s nerves.  A nervous witness never, ever, thinks as well as a calm witness.

7.  You only get one hearing.  Appeals from hearing officer rulings are based on the hearing record.  In almost no case do you get a do over from scratch.  We encourage people to come in for a consultation not only because it puts a few bucks in our pockets.  We want you to do it right the first and only chance you get.  Sometimes clients are able to handle their hearing based on a single consult.  Too often people call us and say, I guess I should have called a lawyer before the hearing.