Employment Lawsuit Mediation/Settlement vs. Going to Trial
By Gregory Thyberg on November 29, 2017
The legal team at ThybergLaw believes the workers in Sacramento deserve expert legal representation. When it comes to employment law disputes, we will provide clients with sound legal counsel through every step of their lawsuit.
A number of employees who were discriminated against, wrongfully terminated, or mistreated while doing their job wonder if they should settle their lawsuit or go to trial. We'd like to offer an overview of the employment lawsuit process and then compare the advantages of mediation/settlements to the advantages of going to trial.
The Steps Involved in Filing a Lawsuit
Before getting to mediation or a trial, there are some preliminary steps in filing a lawsuit. Briefly, these steps are as follows:
Filing a Review Request with an Administrative Agency – Before considering legal action, it's important you have your issue reviewed by the proper government agency. This may include California's Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or even the United States Department of Labor.
Filing a Legal Complaint – Next comes the filing of a complaint, which may be done by the employee or an administrative agency. The employer can then ask for dismissal of the complaint or file and answer. If an answer is filed, the process continues.
Discovery – During discovery, lawyers for both sides of a lawsuit are able to ask questions, interview witnesses under oath, and gather evidence to build their cases.
About the Mediation Process
At the end of discovery, the mediation phase can begin. During this process, an impartial mediator is brought in to see if the parties are willing to settle their case rather than go to trial. The mediator helps hone in on the strengths and weaknesses of each side's cases, which can lead both parties to comprise and reach a settlement.
If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may then proceed to trial if it is not dismissed during a summary judgment.
Going to Trial with Your Case
If your employment law case goes to trial, your lawyer will aid in selecting a jury and arguing your case in court. The goal will be to create a persuasive argument wit regard to your employment claim with the aim of the jury siding with you. In such cases, the jury will award legal damages to cover material losses you experienced and to punish the employer for their actions.
When a Legal Settlement May Be Preferable
In many cases, a settlement tends to be preferable for the defendant in a case, though plaintiffs can also benefit from the settlement process.
First of all, settlements end much sooner than full trials since a resolution is reached outside of court. The payout to the plaintiff tends to be higher since the cost of going to trial and larger legal fees are no longer an issue. There is also a certainty with regard to the amount that is paid to the plaintiff in a case, whereas trials present a fair amount of uncertainty regarding verdicts and damages. Settlements are also private matters, meaning that the details may not be publicly disclosed.
When Going to Trial May Be Preferable
Trials in employment law disputes are preferable when the plaintiff has experienced significant harm as a result of their employer's actions. There may be egregious issues regarding the employer that need to be brought to the public's attention. While jury trials can be risky, they may be necessary to bring out necessary reforms and improvements to existing employment laws and practices.
Work with an Experienced Attorney
A skilled employment attorney will be able to give you honest, sound legal advice during every step of your case. They may urge you to settle given the nature of your complaint, or they may push for a trial given what you experienced and how important the trial may be to others who've faced similar issues at their respective workplaces.
This combination of experience and practical legal know-how can offer peace of mind and a sense of stability during a very difficult time.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
To learn more about settlements, trials, and what you best legal options may be, we encourage you to contact an experienced employment lawyer today. The legal team here at ThybergLaw will guide you through every step of the legal process and provide you with sound counsel.