I’m Jim Garrity. I am an employee-rights lawyer. I only represent employees; I do not and will not help any employer in a dispute with an employee.
I’ve fought and prevailed against many of the world’s biggest and toughest companies – Wal-Mart, Federal Express, HP, Home Depot, Target and McDonalds, just to name a few. I’ve sued the federal government, state governments, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, retail and fast-food chains and tons of other private-sector corporations. There is no employer off limits to me if they’ve violated an employee’s rights.
Many of my clients didn’t have the means to fight back. I do. And what’s more, if I take your case, you won’t owe me a dime unless I get a recovery for you. Decades of success in fighting employer has enabled me to pursue cases for my clients on a contingency-fee basis.
And I dedicate my practice to helping employees who’ve been wronged. I absolutely will not represent employers. Some lawyers do. Some take cases on behalf of both employers and employees, depending on who calls them first. I have a problem with that. It can create conflicts of interest. It can cause lawyers to shy away from aggressively pursuing an employer, because the lawyer has helped that employer before or might want to do so in the future. For me you’re either a committed fighter for employees – or you’re not. My entire practice is devoted to advising employees of their rights, and to suing employers who violate those rights.
I’ve handled more than 2,000 lawsuits, all in the area of employment law. This heavy experience makes a difference. When your job, your future, your family and your financial well-being are all being threatened, you need a trial lawyer who’s been in enough fights to know the right path for your case. I am in court proceedings of one kind of another almost every day, in both Florida and Georgia, so my articles are based on my own experiences.
Why an Employment Lawyer? And When to Hire One?
Employment laws are complex. Every law is different. So are the deadlines for each. You need guidance to protect your rights. Employers have an army of experts – human resource officials, EEO managers and lawyers, too – trained to protect the organization. Sometimes those advisors see you as a threat, not a victim. Many clients have told me they felt their HR and EEO personnel discouraged them from making a complaint, or gave them inaccurate advice, or even slowed their progress while deadlines passed. Never forget who pays those advisors: Your employer. Don’t assume anyone dependent on a paycheck from the organization you’re challenging has your best interests in mind. They might. They may not.
An employment lawyer can guide you from the early stages of your concerns through and including the filing of a lawsuit. This includes advice about paperwork for leave, for accommodations or for challenging discipline. It includes advice about seeking unemployment benefits and about noncompete/severance agreements. It also includes guidance in the filing of claims with the EEOC and in filing a lawsuit, whether before or after termination.
Choosing Your Employee-Rights Lawyer
Deciding when and how to choose your lawyer is a critical first step. You’ll find many ads on Google, Yahoo and on other sites. You’ll see ads on buses, billboards and on TV and radio. But there are some things you should know about these ads.
First, many of the ads are from out-of-town or out-of-state law firms. The people in the ads, the lawyers, the families, their pets – they’re mostly spokespeople. Odds are you’ll never meet any of them because they actually live somewhere else. Instead you’ll be quickly switched to some lawyer you’ve never heard of, and who you probably wouldn’t have ever hired. (Three quick questions to ask any lawyer: (1) What percentage of your time is spent on employee rights cases? If it’s not 100%, run. (2) How many federal discrimination cases have you personally handled? If it’s not more than 500, run faster. (3) How many jury trials in employment cases have you personally handled as the lead lawyer? If it’s not more than 100, it’s time to sprint.)
Experience matters, and wins cases. If you hire a lawyer with a lack of experience, he or she can destroy your case.
Second, many ads don’t tell you all you need to know. Ads for employment lawyers don’t say how many cases the lawyer has handled. (Information about my background below.) Second, the ads often don’t tell you whether the lawyer also represents organizations against people like you. (Neither I nor my firm represent employers.) Third, ads often don’t reveal that the “employee-rights lawyers” may spend no more than a tiny amount of time handling employment cases. Most of their time is spent on unrelated work: auto accidents, dog bites, hurricanes, real estate, criminal cases and so on. (My practice is limited to employee rights.)
I represent employees only. No one in my firm represents employers. My work is dedicated solely to helping victims of injustice, retaliation, and discrimination. I don’t handle cases that take time away from that. And we work on a contingency basis, which means we only recover if you do. We don’t ask you to pay us a retainer. We don’t ask you to pay us by the hour.
In my 34-year career I have appeared as counsel in more than 2,000 employment cases in Florida and Georgia. By comparison, one of my frequent adversaries – a top lawyer who represents employers only, and with 40 years’ experience, has appeared in 262 federal cases in Florida and Georgia. You can verify my federal lawsuit experience by typing my name into the name-search box in the PACER.GOV database. PACER is the website where federal lawsuits are tracked. State-court cases in Florida and Georgia are harder to track because, unlike federal cases, lawsuits filed in local courthouses across Georgia and Florida are not always searchable. You can find a professional summary of my background here.
I also regularly write columns for employees, to help them understand their rights. I write on the basic discrimination claims, but also on topics like unequal pay for women, on bogus background checks, and on bad references. I offer practical advice on things like becoming a whistleblower, keeping up your online credentials for job recruiters (here and here), and tips for getting pay raises.
I am also a published author on trial strategies and tactics for lawyers. I recently published 10,000 Depositions Later: 33 Tips For Taking Superior Depositions, a book for trial lawyers, and also authored publications on, among other things, how lawyers can give powerful closing arguments at trial and, for employees, how to self-publish a high-quality book to turbocharge your career credentials.
Need to Talk to Me Right Now About a Matter of Concern?
Don’t by shy about calling me for help. I can answer most preliminary questions in the first call at no charge. (That’s another benefit of my heavy experience.) The earlier I get involved in workplace disputes, the better. It’s better to ask now, and get answers, than to delay and wonder. You can call my cellphone toll-free at 1-800-663-7999 or email me personally at Jim@JimGarrityLaw.com. I’d be glad to talk to you.