How Much Does An Employment Lawyer Cost?

Our Contingent Fees Explained.

At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we have simplified the process to make enforcing your rights as affordable as possible. We take many of our employment cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that we only get paid if you win. Because our pay is contingent on you winning, we have every interest in zealously fighting your case. "Winning" in this context usually means either: (1) a settlement where your employer agrees to pay you money, or (2) a court judgment in your favor. Importantly: there are no upfront attorney fees to hire us if we take your case on a contingent fee basis.

  • In many cases, we advance the court costs.
  • We advance the litigation expenses in many of our cases.
  • We start working as soon as we agree to represent you.
  • You don't have to open your pocketbook for us to start our work.

Why do we take these risks for your case? In many situations, our clients have been wrongfully terminated or are otherwise unable to afford the costs to pay our hourly rate. Without this kind of fee structure, all those disenfranchised employees would be forced to waive their rights because they can't afford the costs. Instead, we usually agree to advance the costs of your litigation in exchange for a percentage of whatever we win for you, plus a return of those costs if we are successful. This means that we have an interest in obtaining the highest possible outcome in your case, the same as you do. By hiring us, you know we're on your side.

Attorney Fees If You Win

So, assuming you receive a settlement or an award in your favor, what fees are you required to pay? The answer depends on the outcome of your case, but the fees never exceed the amount of the settlement or judgment we helped you obtain. We take a percentage of your winnings, plus the litigation costs we advanced and any costs we had in collecting the funds that we earned for you. In general, there are two possible outcomes that could determine the size of the percentage we take:

Early settlement. A settlement between you and your employer is reached before a lawsuit or other action is filed.
Mid-Litigation Settlement or Other Victory. A settlement, judgment, or arbitration award is obtained on your behalf after the lawsuit or other action is initiated.

We discuss each of these scenarios below.

Many attorneys charge potential clients just for an initial meeting. These fees can range from $200 to $500, or more. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we believe this starts the attorney-client relationship on the wrong foot. Initial consultation fees deter clients from pursuing their rights and finding a qualified attorney. We will speak with you and discuss the details of your case. Our initial consultations are 100% confidential, so there is no risk to meet or speak with us. We will ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire and to bring in some initial documents, so we can get a full understanding of your case. We will then discuss the case with you to get an idea of your perspective. We can provide a brief overview of the law of your case and help you obtain peace of mind. During this meeting, we will also be evaluating whether we are a good fit for you. If everything works out, we will present you with an attorney-client agreement that will put the terms of our representation in writing. After that, we will proceed to fight your case on terms that you approve. Of course, every case is different and the exact content of our consultation and agreement will vary. There will be unique details to discuss at every consultation. In some cases, the scope of our representation may be limited or would be conditional on a term that we would agree to.

In many cases, the best option for all parties involved is to settle the case without the need for litigation. We will usually begin each case by attempting to work with your employer or former employer to resolve the issue outside of court. If the employer is willing to negotiate, we will try to reach a reasonable settlement agreement. This can leave all parties happy. The employer avoids costly court procedures, and you walk away with cash to help compensate you for the employment injury you suffered. Retaining an attorney for this period can be well-worth the cost. You have a chance of obtaining a higher settlement because your attorney will know the applicable law in your case and will have a good idea what your case is worth. This will allow your attorney to make the best arguments to help your outcome. Hiring an attorney will also demonstrate to your employer that you are serious about pursuing your rights. Unfortunately, this option is not available in all cases. Sometimes, employers are unwilling to settle for a reasonable amount. They may take this position for a variety of reasons. They might, for instance, be concerned that settling the case will create a precedent that encourages other employees to pursue their rights as well. In other cases, the time to file your claim in court or with a government agency may be expiring soon. So taking time to attempt pre-lawsuit negotiations is simply not worth the risk of missing the filing deadline.

Pre-trial Settlement

40% of the gross recovery, plus costs advanced.
  • Negotiations with your employer.
  • Legal research to support you claim.
  • Informal investigations.
  • Preparing to file the lawsuit.

If productive settlement negotiations can't be reached, we will usually file a lawsuit or claim on your behalf. We will often advance the filing fees and litigation expenses to ensure that you're able to pursue your rights to the fullest extent possible. If we win, those fees will be taken out of the settlement or award you receive. In some situations, your case must go through an out-of-court process called arbitration or mediation. It may also be necessary to file the claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. In any event, we will take care of the paperwork and make the necessary legal arguments for you. At this stage, we will represent you at all hearings and continue to fight on your behalf. We will conduct legal research to support these claims and review all documents in your file. In most cases, We will demand that your employer or former employer turn over documents and files that could be relevant to our claim. These can turn up valuable information to support your case. Your employer is normally obligated by law to give us these documents if there is a reasonable possibility that they could turn up evidence that might be admissible at trial. WeI will also continue pursuing a settlement if your employer or former employer appears willing to settle for a reasonable amount. Most cases settle, so this option will be vigorously pursued if it is a possibility. We cannot settle for an amount that you do not agree with.

Other Win

42% of the gross recovery, plus costs advanced.
  • Lawsuit filing.
  • Advance court costs in many cases.
  • Conduct discovery.
  • Continued negotiations with your employer.
  • Make legal arguments to court.
  • Prepare for trial.
  • Draft and argue critical motions.

Have more questions?

Get in touch for a confidential free consultation. We can answer your questions and help you fight for your workplace rights.