Sunday, April 25, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT HEARINGS - PREPARATION FOR HEARINGS

Back to more comments on some of the statements made on the Appeals Board FAQ website on hearings. The next FAQ is as follows:

"Do you provide or recommend an attorney?

No. You have to contact an attorney on your own but the Board keeps a list of attorneys and other persons or organizations that represent claimants. The attorneys and representatives on the list can charge you a fee in an amount approved by the Board only if you are successful in the hearing and any appeal. The list also includes organizations that provide legal services for free."

I will not comment on whether one attorney, service representative or organization is better than another. But I do strongly urge Claimants to seek an attorney early. Try to consult with one if your claim is being investigated....as the answers you give to the DOL will be used at your hearing, especially on issues of credibility. (if you said something once and then change your story, it goes to the issue of credibility). If you get a Notice of Adverse Determination, retain an attorney. If you receive a Notice of Protest from your Employer, retain an attorney. Don't wait until the last minute. I have had consultations where Claimants have literally "dug themselves a hole" and then starting seeking an attorney a day or so before the hearing.

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