You don’t really know. It depends on the jurors’ perception and background, the judge to whom you are assigned and credibility of all witnesses, as well as testimonial and documentary evidence uncovered during the discovery process. You have to remember that you are not 100% correct about everything, all the time. Everyone has their own point of view. If you can see the other side’s point of view, you are in the home stretch!
It depends on how reasonable your opposing counsel is, whether his or her client is and whether their client is flexible, or intolerant, and whether he or she is carrying non-monetary “emotional baggage.” It also depends on many factors, such as possible ripple reactions from other workers, the court’s calendar problems, judicial proclivities and requirements and the opposing attorney’s experience or lack of experience. It also depends on you. If you cooperate fully, disclosing both favorable and unfavorable aspects, it helps your attorney formulate an efficient strategy.
You can never prevent a lawsuit. You can only minimize your risk by using and establishing written, uniformly applied human resources policies. You should also place all required postings in a conspicuous place. Use compliant itemized wage statements and time recording systems. Effective listening and mutual communication may also resolve disputes before they escalate. If you obtain an early settlement, or a negotiated separation agreement, it can frequently obviate potential problems on a less costly basis.
I have a problem employee and would like to get rid of them. What can I do? Usually, “problem” employees hate their jobs. These employees are seeking the “big fight.” Take the opposite position and be helpful. Ask them why they seem so unhappy. You could offer to move them to a different position within the company or offer to change their supervisor or hours of work. You could also offer a separation package and a neutral reference. That way, they can move on and have a happier life. If all else fails, document problems as they happen and do so on an even-handed basis with all workers. Do not single people out for unfavorable treatment.
Yes and no. I prefer to fight smart. I am polite and courteous but firm and persistent in my position. I am not afraid to challenge judges and other attorneys but maintain professional decorum in doing so. If you appear to be a bully, or are arrogant or overbearing, the judge and jury are less likely to like you and your client’s case. Remember, it is better to be strategic and likeable when presenting your case to a jury. You can stand your ground without compromising your principles.