- What’s the difference between a trial lawyer and a litigator?
Trial lawyers think about cases in a fundamentally different way than litigators. Trial lawyers plan on every case going to trial and prepare accordingly. We start cases by thinking about our closing argument at trial – the last words that we want the jury to hear. And we work backwards from there – figuring out what evidence we’ll need in order to make that closing argument and, in turn, what discovery strategy we’ll need in order to have that evidence at trial. Trial lawyers understand that defendants will not pay top dollar to settle cases until and unless we convince them – beyond any doubt – that we’re going to beat them at trial.
Litigators think about cases in chronological order – they start with initial pleadings, then move to discovery, then motions, and then, finally, they start to think about trial. That’s way too late. You’ve already lost if the first time your lawyers think about trial is right before trial. Here’s an article that elaborates on the difference between trial lawyers and litigators.
- How do I know that you are actually trial lawyers?
By our results [link back to trial practice results], philosophy [link back to “Why Madia Law?], and training [link back to J. Ashwin Madia biography]. And because we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is, and get paid on success – not hourly arrangements like most firms.
- What kind of fee arrangements do you have?
We’re creative and we love making arrangements that tie our pay to success. If you want a straight hourly agreement, we can do it. But we prefer contingency or blended fee (either flat fee and contingency or hourly and contingency) agreements.
Employment & Civil Rights
1. How long do I have to file a claim of employment discrimination?
You must act quickly to protect your rights for employment claims. In Minnesota, you only have one year to bring any claim for employment discrimination or you lose your right to sue forever. For some claims – even in Minnesota – you may have less than a year. In some states outside of Minnesota, you must bring employment claims within 180 days of the unlawful act. The bottom line is that you must act quickly to preserve your rights in cases of employment discrimination. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, contact Madia Law immediately.
2. Can my employer fire me if I bring a claim of discrimination?
No. Both state and federal law prohibit retaliation of any kind by employers against employees for bringing or participating in equal employment opportunity claims. If your employer takes any action against you because of your claim, then your employer will be subject to additional state and federal retaliation and reprisal claims.
3. What role do the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Minnesota Department of Human rights play in eliminating employment discrimination?
The most important thing to remember is that – in order to even bring a discrimination claim in federal court – you must first file with the EEOC and give it a chance to investigate. This can sometimes be a very good thing, as the EEOC forces employers to respond to complaints, and that gives us a preview of what defenses employers may try to use later in litigation. Sometimes, the EEOC or MDHR may even choose to litigate cases on behalf of plaintiffs and obtain money damages and injunctive relief.
4. What laws protect me from police brutality and excessive force?
42 U.S.C. 1983 serves as the main statutory authority that allows citizens to sue state and municipal law enforcement officers and agencies for conduct that violates their civil rights. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prevent unreasonable searches and seizures by the state and guarantee “due process” of law to all citizens. These statutory and constitutional authorities form the legal foundation of most excessive force cases against law enforcement.
5. What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
The employment discrimination and civil rights statutes authorize your attorney fees to be paid by your employer if you are successful in your case. The reason for these attorney fee provisions is to encourage individuals who have had their rights violated to step forward regardless of their personal wealth or ability to pay fees. Madia Law takes cases on contingency fee, meaning that it only collects fees if its successful in your case – you will not need to pay any hourly fees.
6. I need a lawyer in Minnesota/Wisconsin.
Madia Law represents businesses and individuals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and United States Federal Court.
FINRA Arbitration and Securities Litigation
- How does FINRA arbitration differ from normal civil litigation?
Most securities claims are subject to mandatory arbitration. On the plus side, the process will go much faster than civil litigation – without lengthy appeals. Discovery is also limited and streamlined, which helps move the process along. On the minus side, your case will not be decided by a jury from our community, but rather a panel of 3 arbitrators – all of whom will have some ties or background in the financial industry. While arbitration has rules, they are not as strict as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (in court), so both sides will have more leeway and discretion in the presentation of their cases.
- How will having a trial lawyer handle my case help me if my claim is subject to mandatory arbitration?
Because the skill set is the same: taking a complex set of facts and distilling it into a compelling and persuasive narrative for a finder of fact. We think of the arbitration panel as just one more jury – albeit with its own set of unique backgrounds, biases, and preferences. We build the case accordingly.
- Why should I hire your firm instead of a larger one?
Because we can get you a better result at a better price. With a trial focus, we build our case from Day 1 with an eye towards what will persuade a jury. We’re not going to waste our time or your money on petty discovery disputes over thousands of meaningless documents. Most of our biggest trial verdicts and best results have come against the largest firms in Minnesota. We routinely go up against them and beat them – not because they’re bad lawyers, but rather because their business model makes them spend endless hours billing you on things that will not matter to a jury. We’re a different kind of firm with a very different philosophy.
- What are some examples of business disputes?
Partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, trademark infringement or other intellectual property disputes, unfair competition or other anti-competitive behavior, property damage – you name it. Business litigation basically encompasses most types of legal disputes involving one or more companies.
- Will your firm work with my company on alternative type fee arrangements?
Yes. We love to work contingency, flat-fee, or blended arrangements that tie fees to success.