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need legal help

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
quick question - my previous employer is threatening me with "legal action" over something that I believe he has no legal leg to stand on. for background, this is a company of about 50 employees, and the company has taken some level or another of "legal action" against about 12 previous employees over the past year.

I need to consult an employment lawyer, preferebly one from new york. I honestly believe that what I need is to talk to one on the phone for a few minutes, just to get an idea of what I need to do. how do I find a laywer, and is it the type of thing that I can do to aks to have a short telephone consultation (that I am perfectly willing to pay for)? I am presently in Chicago, so I would prefer to do this on the phone, if possible.

anybody have any ideas?

for more detail - there are two issues here - first, my previous employer paid me some commision money, and then changed my commision structure and, after I left, demanded the money back. I honestly don't think that I owe him this money, due to the exact situation, but it is a lot, and I am inclined to pay it to avoid any problems. second - I am contractually obligated not to recruit any of his emplyees for a year after leaving. Somebody spoke to me about a job, and I told him that I wasn't able to talk to him about this for another few months. So my previous boss apperently heard about this, and is threatening to sue me over this "contact".

What I don't want it to get involved in some type of case where, even though I don't loose, I end up with legal costs and with a record that I was sued by a previous employer.

not looking for free legal advice, I just ahve never hired a private laywer, and don't knwo exactly how to go about it.
post #2 of 20
I'm not an attorney, so I have no expertise here at all, but I would think you'd be better off consulting an attorney in the state where the employment agreement was in effect.

Good luck. Sounds like complete bullshit. If it were me, I'd call his bluff, but easy for me to say.
post #3 of 20
Do you have any friends in NY who could give you a referral? The issues don't sound exceedingly complex, so you may be able to get by with an attorney familiar with contract issues and may not need an employment law attorney.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks - for clarification, the contract was in effect in NY state, I am presently in il.
post #5 of 20
I'd send Seitelman a PM and ask him about a recommended lawyer. He's a an ambulance chaser but hey, he still knows the law and might have an idea.
post #6 of 20
With all the barheads on this forum, can't we help a brother out? C'mon guys...
post #7 of 20
I'd love to help globe out, but unfortunately the ABA frowns on law students giving out legal advice. Plus, I don't know enough, but just enough to be dangerous.
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
I'd love to help globe out, but unfortunately the ABA frowns on law students giving out legal advice. Plus, I don't know enough, just enough to be dangerous.

Haha, ditto.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
come on people, all I am asking is how do I find a lawyer, and how do I present this issue? the issue of a telephone consultation.

post #10 of 20
It sounds as though you're being bullied. A tough-sounding letter from your lawyer may be enough to send the ex-boss sucrrying back into his hole.

Godd luck.
post #11 of 20
I personally don't know any lawyer in NY enough to recommend. You may want to check out the legal directory martindale to find someone suitable.
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by globetrotter
come on people, all I am asking is how do I find a lawyer, and how do I present this issue? the issue of a telephone consultation.

Globe: In the very few instances I thought I needed an attorney, I began with referrals from attorneys I knew or attorneys to whom I was related.

If you trust the judgement of any of the previous employees that the firm sued, you might contact them and discuss whether they were satisfied with their representation (and whether they were successful).

Also, if you dealt with any lawyers during your time/employment in NY, and you trust and respect them, you might drop them a line for a recommendation. Even if they don't practice in that field, they likely know someone who does.

As a last resort, although you don't know Seitelman from Adam (I assume), maybe a PM or email to him would be in order, just to see if he'd toss a couple of trusted names your way.

Hope this helps.
post #13 of 20
From your description of the issues, it sounds like you just have an asshole of an ex-boss.

First, I've never heard of anyone being able to claw back a paid commission, so just sit tight and don't have any contact with your ex-boss. No admissions, no conversations, etc. He can't change the commission structure and apply it retroactively to money that you've already been given. (At least in a normal situation. I don't know the specifics of your situation.)

On the second point, you didn't recruit that person, so no harm done there either. If dickhead wants to file a lawsuit and allege that, yeah, you'll have to defend it, but you'll win out in the end.

Re: finding a lawyer, I can't suggest one in NYC. But you shouldn't have to pay for a short initial conversation. (Some lawyers may eventually work that time back into the bill somewhere, but they're not going to ask for it up front.)

The lawyer will get an idea of what kind of attention your problem deserves, and then he/she'll send you an engagement letter and request a retainer. If this is not going to be a major issue, and he's just going to do a little investigation of your problem and send a fuck you letter to the ex-boss, the cost of the retainer should roughly equal the total cost of the service rendered.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks - I am assuming Seitleman is ambulance chaser?

I will try a mother of a girl in school with my son, she may be able to recomend somebody- she is a lawyer, although I know she doesn't practice at this point in her life.

I'll try the data base, as well.
post #15 of 20

"We understand that after an accident you are hurt and confused. We do not treat you as just another case. Your job is to recover from your injuries. Our job is to take care of your case, lost income, and medical bills."

I guess that answers that question. Still he's a NY lawyer and I'm certain he'd be able to recommend someone.
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