Frustrations getting through to the unemployment office; Here's what you  need to know

Denver Unemployment Attorney Serving Clients Throughout Colorado

Unemployment Appeals, Audits and Overpayment Problems

Brian Stutheit is an Colorado unemployment lawyer who has represented clients in over 120 unemployment hearings. He serves as consultant regarding unemployment law for Colorado Public Radio. 

We also litigate unemployment matters before the Colorado Court of Appeals, the highest level which unemployment appeals can go.

A Colorado unemployment lawyer you can trust.  We will be with you every step of the way.

 Jennifer R: “I researched attorneys for unemployment benefits dispute, and Mr. Stutheit’s name appeared as a top result. After reviewing his credentials, I hired him for my appeal. Boy am I glad I did. Mr. Stutheit was knowledgable, patient, and communicative. He put my mind at ease and helped me win my appeal. It is also nice that he charges a flat fee. I would recommend hiring him.”

We represent both employers and employees. 

Unemployment Appeal Attorney Fees

Call us to chat for free about whether your issue is one we can help you with.

We handle your appeal with a hearing officer for a flat fee. For $975 we take over the entire handling of your appeal and attend your appeal hearing with you by telephone. Unemployment appeals hearings are all conducted by telephone call.  We usually attend the hearing with our client on a speaker phone from our conference room. We write off any charges above $975.00.  For your fee, we have as many client meetings as necessary, prepare filings with the Department of Labor, conduct prehearing  investigation and witness preparation, obtain subpoenas of witnesses or records, and act as your attorney at your hearing.

Some clients pay us to meet for an hour or hour and a half.  During that time we help word their appeals, tell them what they should do to prepare for their hearing, and give our own opinion what is good and bad in their case.  Then they feel prepared to represent themselves. The charge for this is $275. We charge this same fee to advise employers or employees what to say when a claim is first opened. If you hire us to manage the entire appeal through hearing, the $275 is credited against our $975 fee.

We charge $875 for appeals of hearing officer decisions to the industrial claims appeals panel.  The appeals panel makes its decision on the basis of the evidence in the record previously submitted in the case, and the testimony taken by the hearing officer. The panel will not hear new evidence or arguments which could have been raised before the hearing officer, but were not.  The best time to get legal representation from a Colorado unemployment lawyer is at the hearing officer stage, where chances of success are highest.

We charge by the hour for defense of unemployment audits. Our rate is $275.00.

Why You Should Get Legal Representation at the First Appeal (Hearing Officer) Stage

It is not the hearing officer’s role to explain the Colorado Employment Security Act, or tell you about cases interpreting the Act. If you are a claimant and the employer wins the appeal, your benefits will be stopped and you will likely be asked to repay benefits you already received.

The hearing officer’s decision is based only on evidence presented at the hearing. You must present and defend your position thoroughly before the hearing officer. You must know what facts are going to be important to the hearing officer based on the law.  Without a lawyer your unemployment appeal could be flawed.

The appeal hearing before the hearing officer is your only chance to present all your arguments, witnesses and evidence. You won’t get another opportunity. If you don’t have a lawyer for your hearing, you are endangering your claim and further appeals.

Before you appeal a deputy’s determination, or respond to an appeal from the other side, you should have a lawyer.  What you say in your appeal documents must track the law.  Careless statements written in your appeal will hurt you at the hearing. New arguments cannot be introduced for the first time at the hearing. Evidence and requirements of proof in an appeals hearing are more like being in court than you expect. The law for unemployment appeals hearings says the rules of evidence shall conform, to the extent practicable, with those in civil cases in the district courts of Colorado.

Other Suggestions:

Under many circumstances an employee who quits work can still qualify for benefits. But never assume that you will qualify for unemployment if you quit. The how and why you quit are crucial. Talk to a lawyer before you resign.

Talk to a lawyer before you write a letter explaining what happened at work, or apologizing. These often backfire. For example, one client wrote his supervisor to acknowledge he had made a mistake and ask for leniency.  To the unemployment hearing officer, this was an admission the employee  was at fault.

If you are an employer and do not want to pay the employee benefits, make sure your documentation supports denial of benefits when you terminate.  Most employers assume wrongly that just because they have the right to fire an employee, that means the employee will not get unemployment.

You Must Prepare and Participate

File appeals and responses on time. Never assume the Division of Unemployment will catch or correct its own mistakes.

While your appeal is pending, keep claiming benefits.

You Must To Present Your Best Unemployment Case to the Hearing Officer.  Don’t think you can handle your own hearing, then start over with an attorney on the next appeal.

Hire an experienced Colorado unemployment lawyer you can trust.