$246,459.65 ARBITRATION AWARD IN CASE AGAINST FORMER EMPLOYMENT LAWYER WHO OVER BILLED CLIENT ON DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION CASE AGAINST WAL-MART
On September 9, 2013 Karl Gerber, Lead Counsel of the Employment Lawyers Group won a $246,459.65 binding arbitration award against a Long Beach employment lawyer who entered into a billable arrangement with a former $10.62 an hour employee of Wal-Mart who was fired due to alleged disability discrimination. The arbitrator ruled that the former lawyer’s conduct was a breach of fiduciary duty, violated business and Professions Code Sections pertaining to the ethical conduct of lawyers, and necessitated declaratory relief.
In the 2008-2010 time frame Karl Gerber interviewed hundreds of employee lawyers across the country in order to put together a nationwide employee law practice. In setting up a nationwide plaintiff’s employment practice he came across a number of alleged employee lawyers whose practice was to take money from the client up-front. While these practices may exist in states other than California, terminated employees need to particularly aware that there are many lawyers in California who handle employment cases on a contingency. Taking an employment case on a contingency means that the lawyer is not paid any fees until money is collected on the employment lawsuit. Contingency also means that the lawyer must advance reasonable costs opposed to asking the client for costs. The Employment Lawyers Group does believes that it is generally within the employee’s interest for them to ever pay up front for their lawyers’ time in an employment dispute.
The amount of time it takes to prosecute an employment lawsuit will often lead to legal bills that are too higher based upon the value of the case. If a lawyer is not willing to do the case on a contingency there is a strong possibility that the amount charged will exceed the settlement of the employment case, or even the probable trial verdict or arbitration award. The truth is genuine employee lawyers are there to help the client opposed to their pocket book which is one of the conclusions in the attorney over billing case Mr. Gerber won. Breach of fiduciary duty means that the lawyer put their interests above the client’s.