Defending yourself in an employment law case without a warrior at your side is a lot like showing up with a knife at a gunfight. “When plaintiffs and their lawyers sense that you fear making your case in a court of law, they know they can pressure you into settling,” explains William H. Chamblee, managing partner at Dallas-based Chamblee & Ryan, P.C. “If your attorney is a warrior, you have confidence. When you’re sure you stand on solid legal footing, you’re in the strongest negotiating posture.”
Chamblee should know. He’s been in practice since 1985, and 95 percent of his practice is devoted to litigation. He’s been a defender of businesses throughout the U.S. involved in employment class action cases affecting thousands of employees. He is also a sought after lecturer, presenting classes and seminars to his peers in the legal community and to business leaders.
Chamblee and his partners have built their careers around litigation. Compared to other firms, even those that are much larger, Chamblee & Ryan tries a disproportionately large number of lawsuits every year. “We are truly in our element when we’re in front of a judge and jury, so we won’t back down from a fight when it’s not in the best interest of our client,” says Chamblee.
Caring, Qualified Representation
According to Chamblee, one of the most common mistakes business owners and managers make is not treating employment issues seriously enough or early enough. “Almost everyone is involved in an employer-employee relationship. It’s one of the most important relationships we have, touching every aspect of our lives, from quality of life to self-esteem. Whether you are the employer or the employee, the employment relationship can give rise to serious and complicated issues. It’s made more complicated and risky by the regulatory environment we operate in. Yet some people spend too little time looking for an attorney with the highest qualifications or work ethic. When that relationship is threatened, harmed or out of control, you need a competitive, caring and qualified attorney who will go the extra mile to give you proper direction and help protect you and, if necessary, be a leading warrior in the courtroom.”
Another common mistake is allowing a situation to get out of hand before bringing in expert help. Too often, well meaning HR professionals or other decision-makers try to resolve conflicts themselves. But a 10-minute consultation with a highly qualified employment law attorney at the first hint of trouble can pay dividends later on. “Once you’ve taken any measures, they become a part of the record. Missteps early in the process can come back to haunt you later,” says Chamblee.
Chamblee & Ryan attorneys have broad experience defending clients in employment litigation. Additionally, they represent employers facing investigations and hearings before government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board, and the American Association of Arbitration (AAA). They regularly handle post-employment cases (non-compete and non-solicitation contracts).