Title 38 employees are beholden to a stringent set of procedures and rules. Since the laws governing the Veteran’s Association and other federal entities are so complex, most employees find they benefit from a knowledgeable Title 38 attorney. But how do you know that you’re getting someone who has the credentials, experience and moral compass to guide you effectively to your outcome? Take these 7 questions with you for your initial face-to-face meeting.
- How much experience do you have specifically working on Title 38 cases?
Some law firms claim to do it all – family law, employment law, divorce, criminal. These “jack-of-all-trades” firms often spread themselves too thin, however, and thus cannot stay up to speed on all relevant cases and nuanced legal developments in the field. Choose a firm that focuses extensively on federal employment cases and that has a track record of handling Title 38 matters successfully.
- What payment schedule do you use?
Every firm has a method for billing their clients. Some don’t bill unless they win at trial or achieve a settlement. Others charge upfront retainers and an hourly rate. Have a frank discussion with the attorney, so you know what to expect and understand why the firm uses its fee structure. Bear in mind that, in some situations, attorneys need to hire outside experts, such as doctors to confirm a diagnosis.
- Give the basics of my case, what strategies leap to mind as most appropriate, and what outcome might I expect?
Each case is unique, and your attorney will likely need substantial information about your wage and hour issue or disciplinary issue (or other concern) before offering strategic insight. However, a seasoned Title 38 lawyer should be able to catalogue your case and compare it to similar situations that he or she has seen in the past.
- Roughly how long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
Federal processes can be drawn out ordeals, especially when they involve disputes over payment, compensation, medical leave or disciplinary actions. However, based on past experience, an attorney might be able to provide an approximate time frame.
- How does your communication process work?
Get assurance that your concerns will be addressed. Does the firm prefer you communicate via phone or email? Will you correspond mostly with the attorney or with paralegals and other staff? Know what to expect and what the law firm expects from clients.
- What distinguishes your firm’s approach to Title 38 cases?
Find out the attorney’s values and reasons for doing the work. They matter. Also, ask about the firm’s particular process: what makes it different from how other federal employment law firms operate, and how do those differences translate into benefits for you?
Whether you’re struggling to understand and come to terms with a disciplinary action, so you can return quickly to practicing medicine, or you’re incensed by an unfair or baffling wage issue, please call the seasoned legal team at The Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC for a free consultation.