In a post earlier this week, I shared some of the legal procedures that can make wrongful termination cases stressful for clients. Today I’ll share some ways that wrongfully terminated clients can work with their lawyers to make their cases as strong as possible.
The early stages of the case are essential for setting a foundation for ultimate success. You have an important role to play in both the written discovery and deposition phases of your case.
Filing the Lawsuit and Written Discovery
In Nebraska, a wrongful termination lawsuit officially starts when your attorney files a written complaint with the court and it is served on your former employer. I work with my clients to make this written complaint as detailed as possible. I do this is because this complaint frames the next stage of the case, written discovery. By working closely with you when filing the written complaint, I’ll have a much better sense of how your employer will attempt to defend the case.
If your employer denies specific facts in the written complaint, then in the written discovery phase I’ll ask your employer for facts and documents to support their denial.
Deposing the Employer’s Witnesses
As an attorney, it is my job to expertly assess a witness’s words, body language and facial expressions, and to carefully ask questions to support your case during deposition. However you, the client, are the best partner I can have during deposition of your employer’s witnesses.
Clients are often in a better position than their attorney to know if the employer’s witnesses are lying. They are more familiar with the employer’s business, and may already know the witnesses. By the time we are in the deposition stage of your case, I will already have spent several days reviewing the documents from written discovery, and familiarizing myself with your case and your employer’s business. However, this pales in comparison to your experience of working in the company. You will be able to think of questions that may not have occurred to either of us before the deposition.
If you have a solid wrongful termination case, the employer’s witnesses may very well make your case for you as the strings of evidence from discovery and deposition weave a thread and reveal the truth about your employer. By working closely with your attorney during the early stages of discovery and deposition, you can help set your case up for success.