Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
I'm going to try and answer your questions but some of them are a little confusing as they are worded. If my response doesn't provide an answer (not necessarily the answer you want but an answer) then please let me know so I can rephrase.
1a. No, not necessarily. The employer may be just arguing this to try and reach a settlement but will take a totally different position if it actually goes to trial. Anything that is a part of a settlement talk is usually not admissible at trial.
1b. No. Most damages are future damages although they are, of course, harder to prove. The years of service can make a difference in calculating the value of benefits but not of the lost wages.
2. There is no question 2
3. No, the lawyers can put any amount they want to in the settlement letters. They can go up if they choose, although that will make the case less likely to settle (of course).
4. He is not obligated to tell the new lawyer anything about what the current lawyer did but he needs to tell them everything or it could cause problems later. It is always better to be honest with the lawyer and answer any questions they as as completely as possible.
5. There are no "obligations" at mediation. However, both sides have to agree on what the settlement is and if the employer says that they will pay a certain amount of money but only if the employee signs something that says they will never apply again, then if the employee doesn't sign that the employer doesn't have to pay them because there is no settlement agreement.
6. There are no sources available to tell you the average compensation per damage. One of the main reasons for this is that most cases that settle do so under a confidentiality agreement plus the settlement is for a lump sum, it's not broken down. To find out the average amount of a jury verdict someone would have to go through and enter all of that information from every jury verdict in the US and no one has done that to the best of my knowledge.
The types of damage you can potentially get are back pay; front pay; lost benefits such as health, vacation, sick leave, and pension; compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees (in some cases). There can be some others depending on the unique facts of the case but these are the primary ones.
7. As soon as the case is filed it is public record.
8. Anything filed in the court file will be public record. However, both sides can agree to "seal the case" and the judge may agree to do that although he is not required to do so. If he seals the record then the background checkers can't find anything.
If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.
Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.