Lose my Job or Hire a Lawyer?
People are naturally reluctant to hire attorneys. Lawyers are generally not inexpensive. However, there are times when the stakes are high enough that to fail to do so is “penny-wise and pound foolish”. In this case, our client was accused of an act of “financial abuse” under the Vulnerable Adult Protection statute, based on a misunderstanding with her aged mother about borrowing money. She put the money back after her mother clarified the situation; but APS had already been called. My client was a nurse and if APS made a finding of “financial abuse”, my client would be prohibited from caring for elderly and would, in all likelihood, lose her job and her career. However, she was hesitant to hire us because she felt she didn’t have much money.
Luckily, we were able to persuade her that the risk of losing her job far outweighed the cost of using an attorney, while the benefit of having counsel substantially increased her odds of prevailing. We worked with her to keep costs down. We discounted our work to make it more affordable. In the end, after a lot of work to gather the evidence and prepare for hearing, the APS attorney “staffed the case” right before trial and agreed not to pursue through to a hearing, but dismissed the case.
Her decision to hire a lawyer cost her about $7,000, but saved her about $1 million in lost wages. If you faced her decision, what would you do?