If you have ever been a first-time caller to our office seeking assistance with a federal employment matter, you have probably been asked by our staff: “What is the nature of your problem?” While a consultation appointment can be scheduled for you to discuss your issue in depth with one of our attorneys, it is always helpful to get an initial brief overview of your issue when you call to schedule a consultation. For instance: Did you receive a proposed disciplinary action? Are you considering filing a discrimination complaint? Or are you experiencing an issue with your security clearance? Having a general idea of your issue will help our administrative staff in scheduling your consultation appointment and in determining what types of documentation we might need you to send to us prior to your consultation appointment.
When you call in for your scheduled consultation appointment, after paying the consultation fee of $100, you will be patched through to one of our attorneys to discuss your employment issue in detail. The purpose of the consultation is to determine what, if any, legal recourse might be available to you to address your employment concerns, and to review the potential legal fees for representation with respect to the legal recourse that might be available to you.
Having a consultation with one of our attorneys does not obligate you to retain our services. We are often asked up front what our fees are for representation, and the honest answer is: It depends. Every employment situation is different, which means that every case is different. Oftentimes, we charge at the hourly rates of our attorneys, but because the number of hours spent on any particular case can vary, it is impossible to determine from the outset exactly how much or how little the fees will be for representation. There are also some occasions when we can offer flat fees and/or quasi-contingency fee arrangements for representation, but again, this depends on the particular circumstances and case at issue.
Even if you do not know if you are in a financial position to retain an attorney, you can still have a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your particular employment issue and determine what your best options and strategy are going forward. A consultation costs $100, and typically lasts for up to one hour. Even if you are not planning to retain our legal services, we try to use that consultation time as wisely as possible, listening to your employment concerns and providing as much information as possible about the potential legal avenues available to you.
Whether you are considering scheduling a legal consultation with our office or you already have a consultation on the calendar, here are some general tips for preparing for your consultation with an attorney from our office:
- Send us Documents! From EEO complaints to disciplinary actions to security clearance issues, you are almost guaranteed to have some sort of documentation corresponding to the issue you are consulting with the attorney about. Lawyers like seeing documents for ourselves; often times, we are looking for very specific language, dates, and/or timeframes contained within those documents.
- Be ready to discuss specifics! At some point prior to your consultation appointment, develop a list or timeline of events that you want to address with the attorney. Come prepared to discuss the specific incidents involved in your federal employment matter, including what specifically happened, when it happened, who was involved, and who may have witnessed the incident(s).
- Address your most pressing issue first! In order to be able to devote the majority of the consultation to addressing your most pressing issue, discuss that issue up front with the attorney. At that point, the attorney will be able to ask you follow up questions and determine whether additional background information is necessary.
If you have concerns related to your federal employment and would like to discuss your situation with an attorney, please call the law firm of Bonney, Allenberg, O’Reilly, & Eddy, P.C. to set up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.