Answers to common questions

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At Wrongful Termination Law Group, we offer a free case evaluation. So it will cost you nothing to contact us and get an initial appraisal of your case. In addition, when we agree to accept your case on contingency, we don’t get paid until you do.

During your free case evaluation, we will evaluate the merits of your case and help you determine whether it is ultimately worthwhile to pursue.

Employment discrimination is when an employee is treated differently due to being a member of a protected class of people, that is, on the basis of gender, disability, age, national origin, race, religion, or ethnicity, or when an employer’s policies have a negative impact on one or more protected classes.

There are a number of federal and state laws which exist to protect employees. See our Employment Law page for specifics on those laws.

California courts take approximately one to two years to get matters to trial.  During this timeframe, you and your former employer will ask questions of one another in writing to prepare for trial.  This is called written discovery, and we will work closely with you to truthfully answer the employer’s questions and simultaneously protect your legal rights.  At the same time, we will ask your former employer difficult questions to establish your claims.

After written discovery, depositions are taken. Depositions are verbal questions where the parties will ask one another questions in front of a court reporter, who will transcribe what each party says.  Once again, we will work closely with you to prepare you for your deposition, and tell you what questions to expect.  We will also take your former employers deposition(s), to establish that the reason they gave for your termination was not truthful.

Sometimes, in an effort to avoid trial, employers will then file a motion for summary judgment.  This is a request to the Court to dismiss your case without a trial based on what was said in written discovery and during your deposition.  At Wrongful Termination Law Group, we are very skilled in opposing motions for summary judgment, and we have an incredibly high success rate at beating summary judgment.

At trial, you will testify, and we will call the other witnesses we need to establish each element of your claims against your former employer.  In addition, we often use the admissions of your former employer from written discovery and depositions to establish your claims.

Mediation is a process that helps parties to a legal matter resolve the dispute without going through a trial. Mediation often helps both parties obtain faster and less costly results than would have been achieved by going to trial. The majority of mediated cases are successful in reaching settlement.

The mediation process is 100% confidential, and a mediator is not permitted to disclose mediation content unless all parties give their consent to do so. Information from the mediation cannot be used as evidence in the legal case. Attending mediation is usually voluntary, though sometimes a legal authority may require mediation. However even when attendance is required, each party’s decision about settling, and the terms of settlement, is voluntary.

Arbitration is another means of resolving legal disputes. Arbitration is less formal, less costly and less time-consuming than traditional litigation. Arbitration is different than mediation in that parties agree to submit their dispute to an impartial arbitrator who has been authorized to resolve the dispute with a binding and final decision. Arbitration commonly takes place over a number of months, instead of the multiple years often required to complete a court case.

Arbitration takes place in a conference room rather than a court. Courtroom evidence rules are not strictly applicable, so there is usually no significant motion practice. Neither do formal discovery rules apply, though the arbitrator may allow for some discovery, like production of relevant documents and sworn depositions. Written transcripts are not required.

The decision of whether to settle your case lies with one person – you. Based on the responses to discovery and deposition testimony, we can provide you with a good idea of the value of your case, and advise you whether your former employer’s settlement offer is reasonable. More than ninety percent of cases settle before trial. This is because the adverse publicity, as well as the cost and uncertainty of going to trial is too big a risk for many employers.

Often, cases are referred to mediation before trial. Mediation is a process by which a confidential summary of your case is submitted to an independent third-party mediator, who is familiar with the relevant law implicated by your claims. The employer also submits a confidential summary of its defenses to the mediator. The mediator can only share confidential information with the other side with your specific permission, and nothing said during mediation can be used at trial.

This way the sides can explore settlement without risk, and if your case does not settle at mediation, the matter simply proceeds to trial. Keep in mind that your personal appearance is required at your deposition, at mediation, and during trial.