Labor Law

Lawyering and Life

What is it like to be a lawyer? Well, it can suck. Alcohol and substance abuse among attorneys is among the highest of any profession.[1] The fact is that in so many cases it is hard to divorce ourselves (pardon the pun) from the pain and suffering of our clients. So many attorneys take that pain home with them and self-medicate. I am one of the few attorneys who would probably benefit from drinking more, but all joking aside this is a serious problem. Not only are lives ruined by such addiction, but the quality of representation to our clients can suffer. There is an entire branch of most bar associations to confidentially help attorneys with addiction.[2]

One of the most important skills your attorney can have is the ability to compartmentalize. I am occasionally asked how I can represent alleged rapist and thieves, people going through a contested divorce or custody dispute or disastrous bankruptcy. The answer is that I can usually compartmentalize. My wife Lynne and my daughters are happy for this. Many testimonials on our web site (www.bambergerlaw.com) talk about my compassion and demonstrated concern for client problems and worries. That is great to hear, but is also quite true. I do honestly care and those are not just words, but shown again and again by my staff and my actions.

Not all lawyers do care. Many get into the business for personal gain; to grab that corner office doing only transactional law and never see the inside of a courtroom. Others literally do ‘chase ambulances’ and feast on others’ misfortunes. These are the attorneys that give this incredibly noble profession its bad name. Yet, attorneys and their management of the common law is the foundation of our society. When Shakespeare wrote. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”,[3] he was not disparaging the profession, but in context saying that attorneys are the basis on which cordial and regulated society works. I take that stuff seriously.

As many of you know, law is my second career. I was an environmental geologist for 18 years before going to law school. I went to law school evenings while teaching at two colleges during the day and helping to raise three daughters. For me, it was never about money, though getting paid for my time and expertise is nice too. Seeing the tears of joy in client’s eyes when they realize their debt problems are behind them, an ugly divorce is over, a criminal mistake is not going to end their life, or their horrid employment issue is handled brings me satisfaction and joy.

On The Blue Mistress, my beloved 2000 Honda Goldwing motorcycle, I try vigorously not to think about work (sorry folks). However, when I do, I see the faces and expressions of the clients TMBC has been able to help. It makes me smile as the hundreds of motorcycle miles fly by.

MJB, Dayton, Ohio 3/2017

[1] See for example http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/lawyers-struggle…, March 22, 2013

[2] In Ohio, the State Bar Association has the Lawyers Assistance Program (www.ohiolap.org).

[3] shakespeare.mit.edu/2henryvi/2henryvi.4.2.html, cited from Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2

 

The Cyclical Nature of the Practice of Law

I am often asked about the cyclical nature of the practice of law. Certainly there are ebbs and flows in new cases that come in the door at different times of the calendar year. In 2016, roughly 33% of our business involves some form of family law (dissolution, divorce, guardianships, custody, grandparent rights) 33% involve bankruptcy (Chapters 7 and 13), and the other 33% included a diverse collection of criminal defense, corporate law, civil litigation, employment law, animal law, etc.).

Often divorces tend to peak around tax refund time and early Fall. Each year we get a number of cases based on our clients telling us that “…they wanted to wait until after the holidays to file”. This is sad, but a fact of life. Likewise, bankruptcies often peak around tax time since people have the money to file. A large caveat to this is that folks can file a bankruptcy anytime since, as long as they stop paying on their unsecured debt (e.g., credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc.), they can accumulate the funds to pay an attorney to file and begin the case for them.

As for the other areas, employment law cases can arise anytime but often peak in the late Summer to early Fall when businesses start setting their next fiscal year budgets; and in doing so look for sleazy ways to trim their payroll on the backs of their employees. Criminal work often follows economic downturns since people get desperate about job loss, mounting bills, or a generally poor economy.

Learning the lesson of the Irish Potato Famine, I have tried to keep this practice of law diversified. Not only is that smarter economics, but it also means our job is NEVER boring. Each day is challenging and engaging…just as we like it!

Laboring through Employment Law

Ohio is a tough place to do employment law!  Being one of the dreaded “at will” states, an employer can pretty much rid themselves of an employee without much cause.  No reason need be given.  What cannot be given is an illegal or unconstitutional reason.  There is tremendous statutory leeway provided to Ohio employers to follow their business models.

As difficult as it is to pursue a labor or employment law civil litigation cases in Ohio, The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC finds opportunities to represent employees who have been wronged.  The challenge is to define with our clients the difference between being wronged in fact and being able to prove that a client has been wronged in a court of law.

The litigation process begins by deciding if a client has a constitutional claim, such as gender, age, or racial bias; or else some noted violation of an existing contract or union agreement.  Most of the labor clients we see did not sign a contract with their employer, are not part of a union, and do not have a viable constitutional claim to proffer.  That makes litigation tough.  Additionally, our clients need to consider the potential outcome.  They typically fall into one of three categories: (1) those who continue to hold their jobs, yet want some remedy for a wrong; (2) those who lost their job and want it back, if at all possible; and (3) those who lost their job and do not want to go anywhere near the place ever, ever, ever again.  Different approaches and sensitivities are indicated depending on which category is applicable in the case at bar.  Some law firms go right for the civil complaint (suing the “SOB/s”).  At The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC, we often find that a three-step approach provides the best opportunity for our clients to get where they need to go; with only the third and final step being a civil complaint.

Overall, the most important thing for our clients in ANY litigation environment to do is to define what a “victory” looks like.  Many times they just need help in order to move on with their life with some version of closure; be it financial, psychological, or otherwise.

MJB 3/10

Labor Law

The Mark Bamberger Law Co. LLC, is at the forefront of workers’ compensation and labor law. We seek to maintain a continued high level of skill and knowledge in this complex and ever-changing area of case law. We are dedicated to the highest level of client satisfaction and will guide you through your workers’ compensation and labor dispute case. Contact our experienced Ohio personal injury attorneys at The Mark Bamberger Law Co. LLC and call us at (877) 644-8181.

Every Ohio employer is legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. This insurance covers past and future medical expenses and lost wages.

We evaluate our client’s claim to assess its legitimacy and determine compensation. We retain superb medical and economic experts who guide our attorneys in evaluating claims.

We handle claims for any type of workplace injury, including fractures, lost limbs, spinal injuries, lacerations, head injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, and injuries caused by other employees or equipment. We have significant experience handling claims against private industry, federal, state and local government employers and their workers’ compensation insurers. We deal with issues involving defenses, fraud, subrogation, and appeals.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys of The Mark Bamberger Law Co. LLC by callingl us at (877) 644-8181.