For days after Hurricane Sandy I was
flooded with calls from disgruntled, suspended or terminated employees seeking legal advice. I guess
they were stuck at home and decided to call a lawyer and discuss their issues. For the most part,
employees who call me should have sought legal help far earlier than they did. I am of the opinion
that given the current workplace environment every employee needs to keep a lawyer on call. If
retained early enough a lawyer may be able to save an employee’s job, and if that is not
possible, for one reason or another, some type of severance agreement may be negotiated which may or
may not involve money, a neutral employment reference, and/or an agreement that an employee may
apply for unemployment compensation benefits without the employer contesting benefits. A lawyer may
be able to assist with a disability claim, or perhaps fashion some other remedy.
In addition to assisting with the above, a lawyer can give a
client a studied opinion, stripped of emotion, as to whether they have good legal grounds to pursue
their claim, and even if they do, what their chances are of prevailing on their claim with a
government agency or in a litigation setting, and whether it is financially beneficial for them to
even proceed with their claim. Even if the only benefit is avoiding the stress, anxiety, loss of
self-esteem and depression that quite often accompanies the potential loss of one’s job, it is
worth seeking legal assistance. So, people shouldn’t be penny wise and pound foolish. If one
were to balance on a scale the cost of hiring a lawyer versus the loss of a job and/or other
benefits, it is usually financially worthwhile.
Despite all of the above benefits which clients can derive from early consultation with a
knowledgeable lawyer, many people think they can serve as their own lawyer, or they listen to people
who are not lawyers, many of whom work for government agencies, who tell them they don’t have
to hire a lawyer. Even if one is not required to hire a lawyer, it is never a bad idea, and usually
a very good idea. Time and again I talk or meet with people who have not hired a lawyer and they
have missed filing or appeal deadlines, and have been bullied into giving up benefits or their legal
rights by their employers or their human resources’ representatives, or their union
are living in a time when large amounts of information are available to us via the Internet. All of
this information sometimes makes people think they can become jacks of all trades. Yet it is often
preferable, and often cost-saving and less frustrating to hire a trained professional rather than
try and do something by oneself. Lawyers are trained and experienced in how to handle matters, yet
many people think they don’t need lawyers.
An example of another type of profession which deals with do it yourselfers, is interior
design. Of course one can select their own paint colors, fabrics or furniture. If people have the
time and money and aren’t concerned about making mistakes, they may find these activities fun.
As for me, I have worked with interior designers since I was a young woman for many reasons. First,
I get overwhelmed when confronted with a large range of choices and I prefer to have someone else
narrow the choices for me based on my taste. I know a lady who taped wallpaper samples to her walls
where they remained for years, because she was too confused to do anything. I also know a business
owner who went to a store many times, eventually trying out 26 paint samples, and even having to
repaint walls when he didn’t like the results on a large area. This was a process that was
costly in time, gas and sample prices.
Second, an interior designer can find reliable, qualified, and reasonably priced vendors like
painters, carpenters, and other craftspeople. And, the interior designer can make sure they get the
job done right and on time.
Third, in the long run, an interior designer can save you time and money. As a professional,
who charges by the hour, it really isn’t worthwhile for me to spend hours looking at samples,
etc. I did that some years ago with curtain trim which I thought was too expensive, so I decided to
look for cheaper trim. It required 3 trips to fabric stores located in an area where the roads were
under construction, in 100 degree weather, and at the end, the trim I liked was one foot short. So,
when I recently refurbished my office building, my interior designer and I selected the paint
colors, the new window shades and carpets, she recommended the painter, the window shade company and
the carpet company, and she rehung the paintings and diplomas in groupings, and they look far better
than before. Although I am paying for her assistance, in the end, it made for less expense for me,
less stress, and a lovely result. So, her services have been priceless!
Disclaimer: The information provided on Lawyers.com is not legal advice, Lawyers.com is not a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on Lawyers.com are paid attorney advertisements and do not in any way constitute a referral or endorsement by Lawyers.com or any approved or authorized lawyer referral service. Your access of/to and use of this site is subject to additional Terms and Conditions.
Martindale-Hubbell and martindale.com are registered trademarks; AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks; Lawyers.com and the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated Icon are service marks; and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are trademarks of Internet Brands, Inc., used under license. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.