Most people don’t get more than one unemployment hearing or appeal in Arizona. For this reason, it’s very important to at least consult with an Arizona employment attorney before an appeal or hearing.
Seven good reasons to bring an employment attorney to your Arizona unemployment hearing or appeal.
It’s an even better idea to bring that attorney with you to the hearing and especially to an appeal. Here are seven good reasons:
#1. Your ex-employer will bring an attorney or experienced representative to the hearing
Unless you also have an employment attorney with you, you’re giving your ex-employer a huge advantage.
#2: You must understand the rules of evidence and hearing procedure to win an unemployment hearing
Winning an unemployment hearing often rests on knowing how to raise appropriate objections to evidence and cross-examine the employer and his/her witnesses. Employees rarely know the rules of evidence, which can harm an otherwise effective challenge to damaging information an employer’s attorney will introduce.
#3. Unemployment hearings are short and to the point
Too many claimants sink their ship by saying too much or mentioning something that opens the door to damaging cross examination by the employer’s attorney. Knowing what not to say is as important as knowing what to say.
#4. Knowing employment laws are essential to win hearings
You don’t know the actual laws that are applicable in your case, nor the elements and principles that you must show to prevail. An employment attorney can review your case and leverage the facts, not emotion, in your favor.
#5. Most hearings are a one-time opportunity
After this one and only hearing, any additional evidence (or new evidence) will almost never be considered. If you obtain new evidence that boosts your case after a hearing has been conducted or decided in favor of the employer, it will be very difficult to get a new hearing without assistance from an experienced employment law attorney.
#6. Most people do not know how to present their case in the best possible light
Unemployment office person often tell claimants facing a hearing or appeal that they do not have to bring an attorney and pre-hearing preparation is unnecessary. While the first part is true, the second is not. Following either piece of advice will probably sink your case.
Too many unemployment claimants discover at the hearing itself that the employer is represented by counsel. He or she may have even brought witnesses to testify against the employee.
#7. An employment lawyer can be your last chance at an appeal hearing
If you lose a hearing, you can appeal it. But what you say on your appeal form(s) and what you include (or don’t include) in your appeal can make all the difference in your case.
An Arizona employment lawyer who knows the unemployment appeal laws, procedures, and deadlines will handle or guide you through the appeal process. His or her representation will probably be your last chance at getting unemployment benefits.
If you are facing an unemployment appeal or hearing, contact my office for a consultation before you attempt to go this alone!