Author Topic: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?  (Read 21257 times)

BuffaloStache

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #200 on: August 01, 2018, 10:20:13 PM »
...
I guess the strange feeling for me, and I think I've posted about this before, is that I have no intent on turning my firm into a huge multi-attorney firm or working like crazy.  I just want to gross anywhere from $80-120k per year, and that is basically my current trajectory. If I land a couple huge settlements in a year then I will probably just take it easy for the rest of the year and re-charge.
...

This my friend, is a great dream to have, and seems well within your reach. Good luck!

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #201 on: August 03, 2018, 08:30:43 AM »
RSM - On your desire to keep yourself solo at the 100k+ mark - I think that is pretty wise. I've got my firm going now where we have 6 total people working and our gross receipts (not my profit) is up at 450k-650k consistently for the last 6 years. I keep thinking, I'm really close to being "Fire by 35" but what am I going to do with this firm? I've got 230+ cases and it will take drastic action to reduce the size of my firm. Plus, if i do that, I'd have to let go of my employees (who now are counting on me for a good, stable job). Anyway, if you build a solo practice into a mini-firm then it becomes harder to walk away. Although, I also am redundant in my business so I do take multi-week vacations and lots of days off because I have people around to handle business while I'm away. Double edged sword, ya'know?

At the same time, I know those 230+ cases have a lot of value. So, if I just quit taking cases and closed down what I've got, I bet I could easily clear 500k in profit and easily cross my FIRE threshhold. So, should I sell, wind down, partner up or what? Anyway, the point is, "Mo' Money, Mo' problems!"

I like the idea you are floating. Keep it simple. Make 100k+ along with your wife earning and working. Take the court appearance biz, some court appointments, look for some premium contingency cases and co-counsel referral cases when you can. You won't work like crazy, you'll have lots of flexibility and you'll make more than enough over the long term. Couple that with some MMM financial badassity and you'll be golden.

crimwell

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #202 on: August 10, 2018, 10:23:16 PM »
Just finally finished reading through new posts in this thread. Extremely inspiring!

Awesome trajectory, RSM!

When/if I get tired of the government job thing, I might actually be able to do something like this

TVRodriguez

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #203 on: August 29, 2018, 11:47:42 AM »
Met with the CPA for lunch today.  He advised sole proprietorship.  Ohio has no state income tax for sole proprietors up to $187,500.  We discussed possible numbers and he said the differences would be so small that the complications of an S-Corp wouldn't be worth it for a long while.

He also noted (correctly) that going from a sole proprietorship to an S Corp is very easy, but going from an S-Corp and dissolving it and all that and back to a sole proprietorship is more difficult.

Finally paying myself this Friday!

Congrats!  This is a great example, btw, of turning to a professional in your local area who can give proper advice.  Nicely done. 

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #204 on: August 31, 2018, 02:22:09 PM »
Met with the CPA for lunch today.  He advised sole proprietorship.  Ohio has no state income tax for sole proprietors up to $187,500.  We discussed possible numbers and he said the differences would be so small that the complications of an S-Corp wouldn't be worth it for a long while.

He also noted (correctly) that going from a sole proprietorship to an S Corp is very easy, but going from an S-Corp and dissolving it and all that and back to a sole proprietorship is more difficult.

Finally paying myself this Friday!

Congrats!  This is a great example, btw, of turning to a professional in your local area who can give proper advice.  Nicely done.

100% agree.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #205 on: October 09, 2018, 11:49:11 AM »
**Five Month Update**

Work is a little slow this week, so I wanted to come here and provide an update for those who have been following. Next month will technically be six months, but I'm slammed in November, so I wanted to come here and give a five month update.

Amount Invoiced:
-May: $7,765.50
-June: $7,422.50
-July: $5,195.74
-August: $3,742.50
-September: $7,329.66
TOTAL: $31,455.90
Monthly Average: $6,291.18

Notes: August really slowed down because I got very, very involved in two contingency matters (employment law).  One case is on the verge of settling (probably in the range of $20-25k, so $4-5k for me), and the other is likely in the six figure range.

Amount Collected:
-May: $7,765.50 (100%)
-June: $3,732.50 (50.29%)
-July: $4,691.74 (90.30%)
-August: $3,742.50 (100%)
-September: $0.00 (Just mailed)
TOTAL: $19,931.74
Monthly Average: $4,982.94 (excluding September since those just went out)

Notes: One client is responsible for the non-100% months (the same one that didn't pay before).  Their trial is set for this January.  They have always paid, even though it takes some time.

Furthermore, I'm hoping for a big boost when these employment matters settle.

Another Note: I also have about $2,500 sitting in IOLTA.  These are active matters that I'm billing regularly.

Appearance Fee Work:
-May: $500.00
-June: $1,450.00
-July: $1,460.74
-August: $2,112.50
-September: $1,537.15
TOTAL: $7,060.40
Monthly Average: $1,412.08

Notes: This is just for appearing at hearings.  I basically do not turn these down under any circumstance.  It's leading to judges knowing me on a first name basis, which can't be a bad thing.

Monthly Business Expenses:

I can't seem to get a monthly breakdown at the current moment, but I've spent $7,862 so far this year.  The breakdown is as follows:

-Rent: $2,400 ($400/month)
-Materials and Supplies: $1,300
-Insurance: $1,200
-Taxes: $1,000
-Everything Else: $1,900

Notes: Most of my expenses were startup.  I'm averaging about $650/month since June. The "everything else" includes a lot of meals and entertainment that I would otherwise do anyway, but include in my business.

Other Notables:

Criminal Appointments: Per the suggestions here, I am on the criminal appointment list.  This is leading to a decent stream of work.  I've made about $1,300 thus far because I am only doing the area courts (misdemeanors).

Office Situation: I mostly like my office situation -- good location, good conference rooms, and a quiet place to work for the most part.  However, with things getting consistent and a little busier, I'm a little cramped in my 9x9 space.  I think I want to get consistently to about $8,000/month before upgrading.  I'm hoping to stay at the same location, but I'm keeping expenses low and playing this by ear.

Contemplating Home Office: Even with the above, I'm contemplating an entire home office setup and renting a space for conference rooms only.  This is something I'm kicking around in case I can't upgrade my office at my current location.

Taxes: As you might expect for someone on this forum, I'm very on top of taxes and making sure I get every deduction I can.  Because we can live on my wife's income alone, I'm transferring all my profit to an HSA and Solo 401(k).  My tax liability should be very, very low this year.

Paid Myself!: As referenced earlier, I paid myself $10,000 the other day.  That's enough to max our HSA and cover any slight overages we have on the household front.

Could Be Doing More?: I have this aching feeling that my numbers could be even higher.  I've had trouble focusing recently, so I'm hoping to get back into the groove.  Any productivity recommendations would be great.

I Should Have Done This Sooner: I want to end on some high notes -- this has been great.  If you're thinking about doing this and have the finances to ride things out for a bit, do it.  I am an average joe schmuck and I'm doing just fine.  The autonomy cannot be beaten.

Personal News: Since going out on my own, I've lost 12 pounds and my cholesterol has lowered 16 points. I'm exercising every day, and I never, ever, ever did that when I was in a 9-5 job. The autonomy has relieved stress, had me eat a better diet, and allowed me to exercise more.

Even Bigger Personal News: My wife is pregnant! We find out the gender on 10/17/2018.  We are having the OBGYN put the news in an envelope, and then we are driving to Portland, Maine (where we went on our honeymoon).  We are going to go out to eat and learn the gender over a nice dinner.  We are very, very, very excited to be parents.

Year End Goals:

#1 - Have $50,000 in receipts by the end of the year (would mean I was on pace to average a $75,000 profit in year one)

#2 - Settle my employment law claim, which will go a long way in helping out the above

#3 - Continue building networks for referrals

#4 - Continue making myself available for court appointments and appearance work.  This is easy money.

Lastly, and I say this with almost all of my posts in this thread -- thanks to all of you for encouraging me to take the plunge and for giving me constant advice.  Aside from marrying my wife, this is the best decision I ever made.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 12:00:12 PM by ReadySetMillionaire »

lhamo

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #206 on: October 09, 2018, 12:12:34 PM »
What an awesome update!  So pleased how things have turned out for you. Congrats on the pregnancy, too.

crimwell

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #207 on: October 09, 2018, 02:13:56 PM »
Fantastic, what an inspiration!

Lady SA

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #208 on: October 09, 2018, 02:38:25 PM »
Congrats on the pregnancy, and I'm so glad everything is going so well!

A big thing that has boosted my working productivity is organizing my to-dos into a kanban board. Every time something occurs to me, I add it to a post-it and slap it under to-do. The To-do column is also in priority order, with the big important ones at the top and the less important ones further down, and I pick as many high-priority/high-impact items as I can before I get down into the smaller tasks. Then I limit what I can be actively working on at any one time (promoting focus), generally 2-3 items is the guideline. Then once you are completed with a task, you move it to "done" and get a nice dopamine hit.

I like this model because then I know tasks are logged, but I dont have to worry about them until I've actively chosen them to work on. And once they are chosen, I can focus exclusively on them until they are done. If you hit a roadblock, you can move it back into to-do and pick up something else.

You can also add any kinds of columns depending on your workflow, and you can even color-code your stickies. The trick is to have the board visible and front-of-mind and the items on post-its so you can move them from column to column.

So your to-do board might look like this:

To-Do    |  Doing  |   Done
[][][][][][] |     [][]     | [][][]

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #209 on: October 10, 2018, 06:05:10 AM »
Congrats on the pregnancy, and I'm so glad everything is going so well!

A big thing that has boosted my working productivity is organizing my to-dos into a kanban board. Every time something occurs to me, I add it to a post-it and slap it under to-do. The To-do column is also in priority order, with the big important ones at the top and the less important ones further down, and I pick as many high-priority/high-impact items as I can before I get down into the smaller tasks. Then I limit what I can be actively working on at any one time (promoting focus), generally 2-3 items is the guideline. Then once you are completed with a task, you move it to "done" and get a nice dopamine hit.

I like this model because then I know tasks are logged, but I dont have to worry about them until I've actively chosen them to work on. And once they are chosen, I can focus exclusively on them until they are done. If you hit a roadblock, you can move it back into to-do and pick up something else.

You can also add any kinds of columns depending on your workflow, and you can even color-code your stickies. The trick is to have the board visible and front-of-mind and the items on post-its so you can move them from column to column.

So your to-do board might look like this:

To-Do    |  Doing  |   Done
[][][][][][] |     [][]     | [][][]

Hmm.  You might be onto something with this board.  I don't know if would do exactly that, but perhaps a whiteboard in here would be a great idea.

I guess I get bogged down in the opposite -- I do a ton of small things, or work on small things related to my practice (e.g., logging miles, categorizing charges, sending emails, etc.); and before I know it, it's 4:00 PM, and it's too late to start something big.

Need to be able to just come in, work on 2-3 billable things, and then get to all that.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 06:07:47 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #210 on: October 10, 2018, 08:04:21 AM »
@Lady SA Hope you're proud.  Although this did have me procrastinate a little this morning.


FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #211 on: October 10, 2018, 08:18:05 AM »
RSM -

Awesome to see you are thriving. Believe it or not, the most likely path forward is that your income goes up year-over-year. These are the "hard times!" Wait till you hit those contingency cases and, if you keep at it, you develop your sense for the type of contingency case that leads to big paydays and you have many of them in your case load. Then it is literally crazy - but not really more work.

As for the organization convo, I make To-Do lists. The way I have done them has changed many times over the years as my firm and practice has grown. But, I have always kept a list of every case in my office/practice and reviewed it weekly/bi-weekly to make sure I don't forget about any case.

The most important thing I read is your appreciation for the absolute freedom associated with running your own law practice. I can tell you that after 8 years I am still discarding my self-imposed ideas of what "work" is. You mean I can write on a MMM forum to get my work day started? Sure. I can leave early? Take the last Friday of the month off? Yes, please! Hit a 5 week vacation every winter? Oh yeah!

Somehow, it doesn't slow my business. Actually, being in a clear, calm, relaxed mental state allows me to find solutions to cases that overworked, over stressed, less organized attorneys can not. Often they paint themselves into a corner by ignoring their cases until the last minute and it creates an opportunity for me. So, time off, vacations and general self-maintenance (physical and mental) are just part of being a good solo - I think.

Anyway, I can tell you the freedom and how much of it you have will reveal its full magnitude and unfold over years. Your child will benefit tremendously from a Dad who can drop them off at school, pick them up, coach their sports (or other activities), be at every conference, pick them up on sick days and still be wealthy. Think about it - that is an amazing deal.

Keep at it, there is so much promise in this path.


Lady SA

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #212 on: October 10, 2018, 10:51:31 AM »
Hmm.  You might be onto something with this board.  I don't know if would do exactly that, but perhaps a whiteboard in here would be a great idea.

I guess I get bogged down in the opposite -- I do a ton of small things, or work on small things related to my practice (e.g., logging miles, categorizing charges, sending emails, etc.); and before I know it, it's 4:00 PM, and it's too late to start something big.

Need to be able to just come in, work on 2-3 billable things, and then get to all that.
@Lady SA Hope you're proud.  Although this did have me procrastinate a little this morning.

<snip>

Awesome! I think project management is a skill that can always be continually refined, and finding easier/better ways to organize your workflow can only make both your life easier and your clients happier with the speed and quality of your work.

I was curious to see if other lawyers also use a similar kanban system so I googled this morning and found this article that you might find interesting/inspirational! https://www.lawpracticetoday.org/article/dawn-agile-attorney/
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:05:52 PM by Lady SA »

civil4life

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #213 on: October 10, 2018, 12:57:08 PM »
Kudos on the success so far.

I am a project manager and yet I have still not perfected the art of my to-do list and work load.  I think the best thing that has helped me are the following:

*Do NOT check your email first thing in the morning.  If you absolutely must, make it to only check for emergency issues that have to be done immediately.
*Setup specific times you will check your email. People will learn your habit and adjust
*Each day I have 2 to 3 tasks, typically ones that either are time consuming or require more mental focus.  I then figure anything I get done beyond those tasks as gravy for my day.
*It is best that before you leave for the day to decide on those 2 or 3 tasks.  When you arrive in the AM you are ready to go.

It sounds like you are getting a little bogged down on some of the minutia that is not billable.  There many programs out there that can help with these things.

One I can think of is there are several apps that track work mileage automatically for you.  I have used Everlance.  It tracks your miles and you can label them work, personal, volunteer, or whatever.  You can also make certain trips automatically define like your daily commute.  It will recognize work to home and automatically define it appropriately.  You can also track receipts and other business items.  It can all be downloaded to various softwares like excel.

Some good books that are not necessarily about time management, but have some interesting sections.

The 4 Hour Work Week - A lot of this books goes into how to get a work from home deal, but it does have some strategies about reducing work.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F.... - This one is more of a self help book, but again goes into all the things we waste time worrying about and wasting time on.  And it is a good book in general.

These are some other philosophies that I cannot recall what book I got them with.

Only deal with email once.  There are 3 Ds - Do it, Delegate it, Delete it.  This goes along with only checking the email at set times during the day.  Many times we look at our email so often we will save certain emails that take more time than we have at the moment.  If you only check email when you have set aside time you will not need to save things for later.

The 80/20 rule.  - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

TVRodriguez

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #214 on: October 17, 2018, 10:56:48 AM »
Woohoo!!  Great update!  Your expenses are amazing.  I'm super impressed.  Way to go! 

Congrats on your wife's pregnancy!  Very exciting.

I echo Fireby35's comments about "being there" for your kids.  I LOVE the flexibility that I have in running my own solo practice AND in working so close to home and school.

On the productivity front, I use a Bullet Journal.  I do well with the flexibility of the dotted blank pages.  I list out each week on one page, and I use the following pages to make daily to-dos or sometimes just use one weekly to-do list.  Some months I plot out the whole month--sometimes I don't.  I take this thing with me everywhere and use it to take notes at CLEs, for example.  I cannot express how much I love my bullet journal.  Writing it all out by hand works better for me than putting it in a spreadsheet.  I can make one list of current to-do items that includes work and personal stuff.  That is key for me to make sure that today's priorities will get accomplished, because some days the work priorities come after the personal.

I also use my online calendar (I use Microsoft 365, so I use Outlook), which syncs to my phone, for appointments.  I have one calendar that is personal and business--everything goes on there.

I also use a small white board at work on which I have a list of all current matters, divided by type (for me, that means Estate Planning in one column, Estate Administration in another, and a third Other down by the bottom).  I honestly hand write that list on a yellow legal sheet and stick it up on the white board with magnets.  The white board sits on my desk and leans against the wall, and I can take it down when I have clients in my office so they can't see it.  I revise it as necessary but definitely every two weeks at least.  It really helps for those cases that can get lost in the shuffle.

Thanks again for the update! 

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #215 on: October 30, 2018, 06:31:19 AM »
Also, one other big update: I have formed a co-counseling relationship with another attorney who I've known for years.  She mostly handles domestic but those clients eventually get employment related claims. She has brought me on board for two BIG employment law contingency cases. These are her clients, but we are going to split the fee and the work 50-50.  I've known her for years (she represented my mom in her divorce) and I trust her a ton.

The first case involves a veteran who worked for our county's Veteran's Office.  He served in Iraq and has PTSD.  His employer put him through a bunch of tests, ignored his own doctor's reports, and then fired him for having PTSD.  I mean that's the headline -- "Local Veteran fired from Veteran's Office for Having PTSD."  He was making $78k/year.  Should be a great case if I can figure out all the public sector BS that comes with these claims.

So, on this case, yesterday was probably my greatest day as a lawyer.

We had a mediation in the State Personnel Board of Review, which is just an agency that can offer the affected employee with back pay and reinstatement. But this case was exhausting me -- I've probably put in around 100 hours, so I was looking for a global settlement to resolve all the FMLA and ADA issues.

Leading up to the mediation, my demand letter was nine pages.  Then I made a state law FOIA request that required them to produce 1,200 pages, and they knew I wasn't done. I've been a major pain in their ass for three months.

Having been defense counsel for about 4 years, I called every bluff they made at yesterday's mediation.  They were at $100,000 and then took that off the table and just wanted to settle the agency issue.  After a couple hours they put it back on the table and eventually got up to their "top dollar" offer of $200,000.  Take it or leave it -- this was the most they would ever offer and it was off the table after yesterday.  I told the mediator I wanted to speak to their counsel directly.  Basically gave her the riot act -- that I was going to file suit on FMLA within the week, that we were going to file suit on the ADA when the EEOC investigation was complete, and that we were going to take this case to the press. 

Ten minutes later my client had a $250,000 settlement without me even needing to file suit.  For the record, his best case scenario in court, if literally everything broke his way, was probably $300,000.

So that's about $42,000 for me (had to split the 1/3 with my co-counsel, who was great and it was her client anyway).  So, so, so pumped.

As I said I would, taking it easy for the rest of this week.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 06:33:44 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #216 on: October 30, 2018, 07:16:38 AM »
Oh man, I love it. RSM, you are the man! Just take a moment and think about what it would have taken to get a 42k bonus working for someone else. (Silence) That's right, it would never happen!

But it happened to you because you took the risk to set up shop for yourself.

Keep your eyes open, it can happen again and again and again and again....

Great work!

Dicey

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #217 on: October 30, 2018, 07:36:12 AM »
Yeah, yeah, work is great, so happy for you...but what about the gender reveal date? Are you going to keep us in suspense?

Just kidding - funny how a whopping success makes everything in life look better. Congratulations on all counts!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #218 on: October 30, 2018, 07:47:08 AM »
Yeah, yeah, work is great, so happy for you...but what about the gender reveal date? Are you going to keep us in suspense?

Just kidding - funny how a whopping success makes everything in life look better. Congratulations on all counts!

Itís a boy!!!

TVRodriguez

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #219 on: October 30, 2018, 12:24:08 PM »
Yeah, yeah, work is great, so happy for you...but what about the gender reveal date? Are you going to keep us in suspense?

Just kidding - funny how a whopping success makes everything in life look better. Congratulations on all counts!

Itís a boy!!!

Yay for little boys! 

FIREby35

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #220 on: October 30, 2018, 07:03:52 PM »
For the record, I totally forgot about the pregnancy. But, that makes the entire thing even more amazing. I remember winning my first "big" fee (smaller than 42k!) after my son was born and I'd been practicing for all of 6 months. That was a great feeling.

Enjoy it RSM. Enjoy it.

civil4life

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #221 on: November 02, 2018, 12:43:29 PM »
Also, one other big update: I have formed a co-counseling relationship with another attorney who I've known for years.  She mostly handles domestic but those clients eventually get employment related claims. She has brought me on board for two BIG employment law contingency cases. These are her clients, but we are going to split the fee and the work 50-50.  I've known her for years (she represented my mom in her divorce) and I trust her a ton.

The first case involves a veteran who worked for our county's Veteran's Office.  He served in Iraq and has PTSD.  His employer put him through a bunch of tests, ignored his own doctor's reports, and then fired him for having PTSD.  I mean that's the headline -- "Local Veteran fired from Veteran's Office for Having PTSD."  He was making $78k/year.  Should be a great case if I can figure out all the public sector BS that comes with these claims.

So, on this case, yesterday was probably my greatest day as a lawyer.

We had a mediation in the State Personnel Board of Review, which is just an agency that can offer the affected employee with back pay and reinstatement. But this case was exhausting me -- I've probably put in around 100 hours, so I was looking for a global settlement to resolve all the FMLA and ADA issues.

Leading up to the mediation, my demand letter was nine pages.  Then I made a state law FOIA request that required them to produce 1,200 pages, and they knew I wasn't done. I've been a major pain in their ass for three months.

Having been defense counsel for about 4 years, I called every bluff they made at yesterday's mediation.  They were at $100,000 and then took that off the table and just wanted to settle the agency issue.  After a couple hours they put it back on the table and eventually got up to their "top dollar" offer of $200,000.  Take it or leave it -- this was the most they would ever offer and it was off the table after yesterday.  I told the mediator I wanted to speak to their counsel directly.  Basically gave her the riot act -- that I was going to file suit on FMLA within the week, that we were going to file suit on the ADA when the EEOC investigation was complete, and that we were going to take this case to the press. 

Ten minutes later my client had a $250,000 settlement without me even needing to file suit.  For the record, his best case scenario in court, if literally everything broke his way, was probably $300,000.

So that's about $42,000 for me (had to split the 1/3 with my co-counsel, who was great and it was her client anyway).  So, so, so pumped.

As I said I would, taking it easy for the rest of this week.

Mine is similar situation...When I requested FMLA and then ADA they had me jump through hoops and get various medical exams.  In the end their doctor had the same recommendation as my doctor.  Suing for Rehab Act., Harassment, Hostile Work Environment.

I wish my former employer would even sit down for mediation.  I was basically told by my lawyer that since the government entity that I worked for is self insured that they rarely if ever settle even with a slam dunk case.  They use their own lawyers who are salary so their expenses do not really matter.  This all happened in 2015-16.  Filed suit a year ago last month.  We are still in discovery.  Both sides having well over 2500 pages of discovery.  My depo has been cancelled 3 times. 

I hope mine works out as well as yours in the end.

BuffaloStache

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ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #223 on: November 08, 2018, 05:20:29 PM »
Settled another employment case today.  Girl worked part time and made $12.75 an hour and I got her a $28,000 settlement without pursuing litigation.  My cut is 27.5% ($7,700). Another very, very good day.

That 27.5% number comes from a graduated fee agreement, which I generally like -- 27.5% for pre-litigation settlement, 33.33% if I have to file suit, and 40% if I have to try the case.

I think everyone expects the 33.33%, so I'm thinking that pre-litigation number should either be deleted or come up to at least 30%.  In this case, 30% would have been another $700, and 33.33% would have been another $1,633.

I'm happy, but I think I'm cutting myself short.  But at the same time, this gives plaintiffs a dog in the fight, and this now makes two clients who have settled pre-litigation, perhaps in part because they got to keep a higher percent.  And that's a lot less work for me, so maybe that carrot is worth it.

lhamo

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Re: Employment Dilemma--Take New Job?
« Reply #224 on: November 08, 2018, 05:28:23 PM »
Settling more cases pre-litigation really frees up your time to take more cases.  And gives the client a huge incentive to take the early offer.  I would stick with the rates you have. Less work on each case means more work overall.  And 27.5 or more of an extra case you can take/settle is going to be WAAAY more than the marginal gain of raising your pre-litigation settlement rate.

Oh, additionally -- I think the lower pre-litigation rate is going to get you a lot more referral clients as well.  You are getting good settlements for clients without even filing suit, and they get to keep more of the money.  They should be very happy with the results, and will send you more business.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 05:30:02 PM by lhamo »