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The following discussion will make more sense if you have a passing familiarity with the material contained in these articles:
Please keep in mind that I want to talk to you even if your type of case seems not to fit the criteria I list for special cases. Relatively few cases are special. Most cases are more ordinary, and many of those are worthwhile to pursue
Each case stands or falls on its facts and circumstances. Cases of any type can be strong or not, depending on the particular facts and circumstances. If you think you want to talk to a lawyer, please call no matter what type of case you think you might have.
When you call and talk with an employment lawyer, he or she is quietly considering how your circumstances might fit within the framework to be a special case. Employment lawyers are on the lookout for some or all of the circumstances and types of cases I describe on this page. But even when your facts seem, at first, to indicate that you have a special case, further interviewing most often reveals significant problems that weaken your position. Such is the nature of employment law.
Generally, just about any case can be special. A few circumstances must meet, whether by accident or design*. The closer your case comes to having these features, the closer you are to having a special case:
*”Design” as used here means that you obtained legal advice early in the case, before a lawsuit was filed, and planned with a lawyer as to how you could strengthen your potential case. So you then took certain steps, or refrained from taking certain steps, with the goal of being in a stronger legal position if the time came when you needed to go to court.
Some categories of cases seem, in general, to have a greater chance of being special. Here is a little bit about what might make these categories special:
Some types of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination cases, and certain types of circumstances in other cases, just might provide the opponent with some additional incentive to resolve the matter acceptably. Sometimes the incentive might be that the historical court precedents are more favorable to the plaintiff than in other types of cases, so the legal risk to the employer is greater. Sometimes the incentive might be the delicacy of the situation. Some of the case-types on this page have a greater tendency to fall into one of those categories, in the right circumstances.
If settlement opportunities fail, these same types of cases provide a somewhat less rocky road (for highly technical legal reasons) if the case needs to be resolved by the judge and jury. Employment discrimination related cases are, statistically speaking, more likely than most types of cases to lose in court (if they don’t settle). However, most cases seem to settle at some point prior to an ultimate court decision. For most plaintiffs, a modest settlement is as close as they will come to getting any justice in the case.
Here are a few examples of types of Discrimination, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination cases that might have a higher than average tendency to be special, in no particular order of importance (but any case can be special – it all depends on the facts)
I know that I left off the list a lot of kinds of cases. Any case can be special. But as I sit here today, the above came to mind as more likely to be special. I left some cases off the list on purpose. In my opinion, ADA (employment-related) and Age Discrimination cases tend to have more than their fair share of problems, due to some very unwelcome court decisions. On the other hand, retaliation cases under the ADA and Age Discrimination laws are much more attractive to lawyers, in general, than pure discrimination cases.
What about general discrimination cases, such as race, gender, etc? I left off mention of these ordinary discrimination cases, because most people do not have strong facts. They might have worthwhile cases though. But the legal challenges facing them in court are, in some important ways, more difficult than the challenges facing other types of cases. Discrimination cases can be very strong. For one example, cases get stronger when you overhear management making discriminatory comments (which is a circumstance that I listed above).
Other types of cases can be special as well. Here is a short list of some non-discrimination, non-retaliation, and non-wrongful termination case-types that are potentially special (I could list many more and I will add to this list at some point).
Why didn’t you describe a case like mine?
This list was not meant to be the Final Word as to what makes a case special to me. Any type of case can be special.
Article written by | Tim Willoughby
***** END OF ARTICLE *****
Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law
Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.
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