When I decided I wanted a job in the legal field, it took me over six months of searching to land one. I ended up at a small, “boutique” law firm that specialized in employment law. Since my first day there, I have come to enjoy employment law more than I ever could have imagined. I have had the great honor and pleasure to represent employees across the country, from blue-collar mail sorters working at U.S. Postal Service mail processing plants to white-collar executives at Fortune 500 companies. As I always tell clients, your company either has attorneys on staff or on retainer for a reason – they know and understand the importance of having a trained, experienced advocate defending them against claims. An employee, then, is taking quite a large risk with their case when they choose not to have the same level of representation on their side. Even if your case is very good, failing to hire an attorney puts yourself and your case on unequal footing with your company. That unequal footing can negate any strengths your case has all too quickly.
Throughout my years in employment law, however, one thing has consistently bothered me: the lack of equal access to the legal system, especially for employees. I have watched countless excellent cases walk in and out the doors of the various law firms I worked for – not because the employee didn’t have a case, but because the employee was unable to afford the fees quoted to him. Traditional employment firms work on a retainer basis, meaning that the employee is charged at an hourly rate for any and all time their attorney spends on their case. This unfortunately leaves the employee in a position where he or she does not know how much they will have to spend to receive justice. So, even if an employee can afford the first one, two, or ten retainer payments to a law firm, there’s no guarantee that more and more payments will come due. The debt you may have to go into to obtain a judgment against your company may end being larger than the amount of compensation you could hope to receive from your case. This creates a strained relationship between attorney and client, where clients are left counting the minutes they spend on the phone speaking with their attorney, hoping they can get the information they need as quickly as possible without any further explanation so they can keep the next month’s bill down. Don’t think your company’s attorneys aren’t aware of this system – they can schedule needless depositions and file frivolous motions to run the cost up and run you out of money. This is why I believe the retainer system is broke and needs a new, innovative method of billing clients.
It is for these reasons that I started the Kirby G. Smith Law Firm. My firm’s mission is to provide employees affordable, cost-effective representation using a new, innovative billing method. This will allow every employee to obtain the zealous, aggressive representation they need when dealing with an employer that has wronged them. I promise that you will be aware of every cost in your case and you will have a contract with us that makes every fee clear. You won’t be stuck watching a clock, wondering whether asking your attorney another question will be worth the additional cost. These are the guiding principles of my firm, ones that I hope will provide employees who never thought they could afford legal representation a chance to hire an attorney when they need one most. Contact us today to see exactly what I’m talking about.
Kirby G. Smith, Esq.
The Kirby G. Smith Law Firm, LLC