Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs
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Do I Have A Case?

This is the question that the firm receives most often. However, there is no easy answer for this question. A number of different factors impact whether someone has a legal case. Factors to be explored include: were any laws violated; were deadlines met in making any claims; and were any damages incurred. Even if you have a case, it may be discovered that the cost of pursuing the case may outweigh any monetary amounts that you may obtain from winning the case. During a formal consult with RAMBSY LAW, these factors and more will be discussed to determine if you have a case, and the potential value of that case. A formal consult will include a discussion of the specific facts of your case; the next best steps to take; pros/cons of the next steps; possible timeline to resolve the case; any fees/costs associated with the case; and the possible outcome of the case. After a formal consult with RAMBSY LAW, we can then better determine if you should move forward with a formal legal claim.

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Can the firm take my case without payment upfront, and then take a percentage of anything that I recover?

If RAMBSY LAW takes a case on a contingency basis, the firm will not charge any legal fees to represent a client. However, the firm will receive a specified percentage of any recovery made by the client. RAMBSY LAW does take some cases on a contingency basis. After a consult, where the specific facts of your case are discussed, the firm can make a decision as to whether your case can be taken on a contingency basis. If RAMBSY LAW does not agree to take your case on a contingency basis, it does not mean that you do not have a good case. Because of business reasons, the firm is unable to take every case on contingency.

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How long will it take to complete my case?

There is a saying that “the wheels of justice turn slowly”. This statement reflects the fact that the legal process can be a lengthy process. If a case results in formal litigation, it can take approximately 1-2 years from the time that formal legal action is initiated until the time of the trial. However, many cases settle before formal legal action is initiated.

If a case is settled before formal legal action is initiated, the case may be resolved in a few weeks or a few months. How fast the case resolves will depend on how fast the parties can come to a resolution about the provisions of any settlement agreement. The time that it takes to resolve a case can also depend on the amount of time that it takes to gather certain information and evidence related to the case.

During a consult with RAMBSY LAW the possible timeline for resolution of your case will be discussed. This will include a discussion of the different scenarios that may impact the time that it takes to resolve your case.

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How much will I win?

The amount that you may win in a legal case depends on the damages that you have incurred. Damages are determined by calculating the value of what you have lost and the amounts that it will take to make you “whole” again. You also have a duty to mitigate your damages, which means that you must make some attempts to prevent your damages from increasing. If you believe that you have a legal claim, keep accurate records of the damages that you believe that you have incurred. Also, talk with an attorney about any other damages to which you may be entitled.

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How long do I have to pursue my case?

There are very specific deadlines to initiating a legal claim. The deadlines will depend on the kind of case. If you think that you have a legal claim, it is always good to contact an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that no deadlines are missed. If the deadline to filing a legal claim is missed, you will not be able to bring a legal claim—even if you have been wronged or otherwise have legal claims for which you would have been entitled to compensation.

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If I file a lawsuit, will everyone know about it?

Most lawsuits can be found on various databases or through online searches. Therefore, it is possible for the details of most lawsuits to be found through online searches and/or public records searches.

Many times legal cases are settled privately between the parties. Settlement agreements often include confidentiality provisions which provide that the parties cannot disclose the terms of the settlement. In circumstances where a lawsuit has already been filed, and the parties settle the matter before trial, the fact that a lawsuit was filed can be discovered through searches. However, the manner in which the matter was resolved can remain private.

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Employment Law 101: FAQ

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My employment is “at will”; does this mean I can be fired for any reason?

“At will” employment means that an employee can be fired for any legal reason. However, employees have a number of protections that prohibit unlawful termination. For instance, employees cannot be fired for their race, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. Employees also cannot be fired for making complaints about discrimination—this is “protected activity”.

Employers will often not give a reason for firing an employee; or the employer may rely on the fact that the employment was at will. However, an employee will often realize that there was a discriminatory reason for their termination. There may be enough evidence to prove that an employee was fired for unlawful reasons. If so, it does not matter that the employment was at will. If an employee has been fired for unlawful reasons, the employee has a legal claim.

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Should I quit if I am being treated unfairly at work?

Sometimes the workplace can be so rough that you may want to quit. However, if you voluntary quit, you may hurt your chances to later bring a legal claim against your employer. There are very limited circumstances where an employee can allege “constructive discharge”—that the workplace atmosphere was so hostile and egregious that the employee had no choice but to quit. For the most part, if an employee quits, it is considered voluntary, and the employee may not be entitled to damages. Before you quit your job because you think that you are being mistreated, make sure you consult with an attorney. Of course, your physical and mental health is most important. If you feel unsafe or otherwise unable to cope with the workplace environment, you should take the steps necessary to protect your well being.

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I have made some mistakes at work...

“I have made some mistakes at work, been late a few times, had disagreements with other employees, etc., does this mean that I cannot bring a legal case against my employer?”

Few employees are perfect; therefore, most employees have made some mistakes. Employees can be fired for mistakes. However, just because an employee has made some mistakes does not mean that the employee has not been unlawfully discriminated against, wrongfully terminated, or otherwise have legal claims against an employer. Additionally, employees who make mistakes and who are disciplined by their employers, may also have legal claims. If the employer, for unlawful reasons, disciplines an employee more harshly than other employees who have made the same mistake, the harshly disciplined employee may have legal claims.

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If I make a legal claim against my employer, will they quickly offer me a large settlement to avoid negative public relations fallout?

You should not depend on employers to offer large and prompt settlements because they fear negative public backlash.  The truth is, most employers have been sued before.  Employers have attorneys and public relations experts to assist in protecting the employer’s reputation.  Even more, it is rare that routine claims against employers will capture widespread attention.  The media may not be interested in your case against your employer.  Even if the media is interested in your case, publicity about the case may also harm you. There will be some people who do not believe your claims or who believe that you have done something wrong.  In essence, attempts to use “publicity” to make an employer settle a case could backfire.  For these reasons, threats to go the media or otherwise cause bad publicity are not good strategies in attempting to resolve legal claims.

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If I tell my employer that I have an attorney, will they be scared and settle any legal claims that I may have?

Most employers have attorneys.  In fact, many employers have attorneys on staff who are dedicated to handling claims made by employees.  Telling an employer that you have an attorney usually means that the employer’s attorney will contact your attorney.  While it is a good idea to have an attorney represent you in any legal claims that you may have, the fact that you have an attorney will not necessarily make an employer more likely to settle legal claims on your terms.

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Can my employer fire me once I have an attorney making legal claims on my behalf?

It is unlawful to fire employees for engaging in “protected activity”—making certain legal claims, either by themselves or through an attorney.  Therefore, an employer should not fire an employee who has had an attorney assert legal claims for them.  This would be unlawful retaliation.  However, just because something is unlawful, does not mean that an employer will not do it.  An employee should always be prepared for retaliation after making a legal claim.  But if an employee is retaliated against for engaging in protected activity, an attorney can assist the employee with taking the next steps in initiating formal legal action.

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Can I take documents or other information from my employer to prove my case?

There may be documents, including electronic messages or other evidence that will help prove your case.  Much of this information may be located at your workplace, or possessed by your employer’s representatives.  However, some of this information may be considered confidential and/or the property of your employer.  You may not have a right to take this information without your employer’s permission.  You should not take documents or other information from your employer without first consulting with an attorney.  If you pursue a formal legal claim, any information relevant to your case will be sought during the discovery phase—the process where relevant information is requested.  Taking this information without permission or by illegal means could hurt your case.

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Can my employer search my emails to try to get information to use against me?

You should not expect that the information in your work email account(s) will remain private.  Your employer may search or monitor your work email.  In fact, your work email account is technically the property of your employer.  Your employer can, in fact, search your work email address to find evidence to use against you.  Be careful in the information that you send/receive through your work email. In particular, you should not communicate with your attorney through your work email. 

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