When we review potential cases from workers facing disputes with their employers, our goal is always to provide the best possible legal support and advice. There are, however, times when we must make the tough decision not to take on a case. It’s important to us that you understand this decision is often more about our firm’s policies than the merits of your situation.

There are a number of factors we consider when deciding to accept or decline representation. This page explains some of the most common reasons we decline representation.

Will we leave you better off?

Litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, both in terms of costs and attorneys’ fees. We strive to avoid putting you in a situation where the costs of pursuing your case might outweigh the potential benefits we can achieve on your behalf.

We also consider the long-term impacts on our potential clients. This includes not just the immediate case outcome but also the emotional and personal costs of litigation. If the risks appear too high relative to the potential outcomes, it may lead us to conclude that moving forward with your case with our help might not be the best idea.

We’re here to advocate for our clients, but part of our job is to ensure that advocacy is in our client’s best interest, financially and emotionally. If we believe the our representation might hurt you more than it will help you, we may decline representation.

Did we lose contact with you?

Communication is the cornerstone of an effective attorney-client relationship. There are times when, despite our best efforts to reach out and proceed with a case, we lose contact with a prospective client.

If a potential client becomes unresponsive and we are unable to communicate with them over a significant period, we are forced to make the difficult decision not to continue with their case. Regular communication is essential for gathering necessary information, providing legal advice, and forming strategies, which is why ongoing responsiveness from both parties is crucial.

If this happened to you, please feel free to reach out to us again to re-open your inquiry. We’d love to hear back from you.

Can we meet your expectations?

Our aim is always to build strong, transparent relationships with our clients to meet their goals. We never want our clients to feel unsatisfied at the end of their case. To do this, we strive to avoid misunderstandings about the legal process, overly-optimistic assessments of a case’s worth, and unrealistic timelines for case resolution.

But oftentimes, because the pain caused by an employer is so felt so personally by our potential clients, the expectations can be high. In some situations, for example, news stories of large jury verdicts or settlement awards can distort what is realistically achievable within the constraints of the law and the evidence at hand.

We have found that successful representation requires that our expectations closely align with those of our clients. While we aim to secure the best possible outcome, predictions about settlements or awards must be grounded in reality. So, if we feel the likely results of a potential case might not meet your expectations, we may decline representation.

Are we a good fit for your case?

Our goal in deciding whether we take any case is to ensure that our potential clients receive the best possible representation, tailored to the specific needs of their case. In some cases, that isn’t always us.

For example, we often receive inquiries from employees of public agencies, such as those who work for cities, counties, state, or federal governments. Because specific rules and procedures apply for those types of claims, we often decline representation in those cases.

While we handle a wide range of employment disputes, there are some highly specialized areas where we may lack the depth of experience to provide you with the strongest possible representation. In those cases, we may decline representation.

This limitation doesn’t diminish the validity of your situation but rather reflects our commitment to providing high-quality representation in the areas we know best.

Is your dispute work-related?

Our expertise and resources are specifically tailored to resolving employment-related disputes. When a case presented to us does not involve a work-related issue, it falls outside the scope of our practice.

This can include personal disputes, commercial disagreements, or other legal matters not connected to the workplace or employment relationships. In such instances, we may decline representation because we believe the prospective client would be better off speaking to a firm that specializes in the relevant area of law.

Did you decide not to pursue your case?

There are occasions when, after initial consultations and evaluations, a prospective client decides not to move forward with their case. This decision can be influenced by various factors, including personal considerations, a reevaluation of the case’s potential impact on their life, or a decision to seek alternative resolutions.

When a client informs us of their decision not to pursue legal action, we respect their choice and close out their potential case in our system.

How strong is the evidence?

Our ability to take on cases depends heavily on the available evidence. Cases based on word-of-mouth testimony or those supported only by circumstantial evidence can create significant risks for our clients. In those cases, we may decline representation.

An unfortunate reality of our legal system is that a person’s story, even if true, might not be successful in court if we can’t prove it. We therefore try to look at the big picture in evaluating whether to accept representation, by examining the case’s strength, legal basis, and credibility. When any one of these points are lacking, proving the case can become very difficult and create unnecessary risks for our clients.

Importantly, this evaluation isn’t a reflection of our belief in your story. Rather, it’s about the strict requirements of the legal system that we must work within.

Has the case already started?

We often take a unique approach to cases, applying specific strategies and tactics that other firms may not. When we encounter cases that have been heavily litigated by another attorney or law firm, we often decline representation because their approach is likely to differ from ours in significant respects.

The reason for this is straightforward: every attorney has their own style, perspective, and methodology for building and arguing a case. If a case has been significantly shaped by another’s legal strategy, it may not align with our approach. This misalignment isn’t about the quality of the previous attorney’s work but about the difference in our legal philosophies and tactics.

When faced with a case that has already been initiated, we often have to make the difficult decision to decline representation. This decision is rooted in our commitment to ensuring that every client we take on receives the best possible representation, according to the strategies and principles that our firm has developed and that we stand by.

Have all deadlines been met?

Sometimes when cases come to us the legal timeframe to act has unfortunately passed. These deadlines are set by law and are out of our hands. When this happens, the opportunity to pursue legal recourse may be severely limited or entirely lost, regardless of the merits of the case.

The applicable deadlines vary depending on the type of claim and jurisdiction. Once these deadlines pass, however, the law typically bars us from proceeding with a case. We understand that this can be deeply frustrating. But, as much as we would like to find a way to extend or bypass legal deadlines, they are often out of our control.

How recent are the claims?

Over time, evidence can become stale, making it more challenging to present a compelling case. This isn’t just about physical evidence; witness memories can fade, documents can be lost or destroyed, and electronic data might be overwritten.

The longer it takes to initiate legal action, the harder it might be to reconstruct the events in question accurately and persuasively. If we’re concerned that the evidence has grown too stale to meet the stringent requirements of the legal process, it might lead us to conclude that we’re not the best fit to take your case forward, despite our genuine desire to help.

Ethical Considerations

As attorneys, we are required to adhere strictly to ethical guidelines, including avoiding conflicts of interest. If we find a conflict, it’s our responsibility to step back, ensuring the integrity of our legal system is upheld.

Our primary objective in identifying and avoiding conflicts of interest is to ensure that every client receives the undivided loyalty and impartiality they deserve. This not only aligns with ethical standards but also ensures that our cases are handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Providing Legal Advice

Because we have decided not to undertake representation in your case, and because we may not have all the facts at issue in your situation, we are not in a position to offer you legal advice. This isn’t a reflection of your situation’s validity or importance but rather a matter of professional and ethical guidelines that we adhere to.

Legal advice requires a comprehensive analysis of all the facts and, to properly perform that analysis, we require a formal attorney-client relationship. This ensures that the guidance we provide is not only accurate but also tailored to the unique circumstances at issue.

This Was a Difficult Choice

Ultimately, our decision comes down to our judgment of how effectively we could represent you and what outcome we realistically could achieve for your case. If we don’t feel confident we can devote full efforts and have a strong chance at a favorable resolution, we may reluctantly decide that you would be better served by another firm. It’s not an easy call, but it arises from our commitment to ethical practices and putting clients’ interests first.

Please know, when we make the decision not to take a case, it’s with heavy hearts. We’re passionate about supporting workers and advocating for employment rights, and turning someone away never feels good. Our hope is that, even if we can’t take your case, this explanation helps guide you toward the next best steps for your situation.

Your legal journey is important, and we wish you all the best as you proceed.