Working Together – Our Process

When you work with Minnis & Smallets, you can be confident that we will listen to and communicate with you throughout the process. We will ensure that you understand your legal rights and options, through satisfactory resolution of your situation.

Initial Contact

When you contact us, you will speak confidentially with us about your situation. Then we may schedule an in-person meeting with one of our attorneys. Before that meeting, we ask you to gather relevant documentation including, for example, an offer letter, employment agreement, W-2, nondisclosure agreement, relevant emails, performance evaluations, warnings, termination letter, or severance agreement.

Meeting in Person

The purpose of this confidential meeting with one of our partners is to:

  • discuss the situation that caused you to contact us;
  • explore your needs, questions and concerns;
  • review relevant documents;
  • identify any challenges or obstacles to resolution; and
  • develop the best strategies to meet your goals.

By the end of the meeting, you will have an understanding of your legal rights and options, as well as whether our firm can represent you.

Fee Agreement

If we decide to work together, our firm will provide you with a draft fee agreement to consider. The agreement states the terms of the attorney–client relationship, including the scope of our services, the fees, potential risks, and your responsibilities as a client. You should read this agreement carefully, asking any questions before signing it. We will only represent you with a signed fee agreement. Then we will ask you to provide a detailed sequence of events leading to the situation that caused you to seek legal representation.

Demand Letter

After we finalize a signed fee agreement, we will typically write a demand letter to your employer. The letter introduces us, states the relevant facts and legal claims using your information and documents, and proposes a resolution that typically includes a financial demand. You may revise the letter before we send it to your employer. The employer’s attorney usually responds within a few weeks. Based on the response, we will help you decide whether to negotiate or initiate legal action.

Negotiation and Mediation

Depending on the case, our firm attempts to resolve disputes as early as possible. We may do this informally between employment lawyers or through mediation—voluntarily resolving disputes using a neutral professional, or mediator. Mediation before or after filing a formal complaint may be a cost-effective, expedient way to resolve a case. We will advise you about the mediation process and how to prepare, acceptable mediators, potential risks and rewards, and other ways to resolve your case. Many cases settle at or after mediation, when all parties agree to compromise to avoid litigation.

Litigation and Arbitration

Some cases do not resolve without filing a lawsuit, and may proceed to litigation. This process resolves disputes by first filing a formal complaint in state or federal court, or in arbitration. Then the employer must respond—usually within 30 days—by admitting or denying the complaint’s allegations. After the employer responds, the parties engage in discovery, a formal information exchange about the case. During discovery, you must be available for depositions and to respond to written questions from the employer. At this point parties may try mediation to attempt to resolve the case. If the parties are unable to do so, the case will proceed to trial or hearing, to be resolved by a jury or arbitrator. Our partners have many years of experience with trial and arbitration, and will advise you about this process, including risks and potential outcomes.

Other Services

Our employment lawyers are available to advise you regarding most employment matters on an hourly basis. This includes reviewing and negotiating severance agreements, requesting reasonable accommodation for a disability, and advising you about your legal rights in difficult workplace situations such as discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination.

Contact Us

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