In keeping with our goal of finding the most cost effective way to resolve our clients’ disputes, I was able to quickly negotiate settlements in two wrongful dismissal matters.
Not only did the clients avoid the extra cost of litigation (as did their employers, who could now offer some of that money as part of the settlements), but the clients also got access to the settlement funds almost immediately – as opposed to having to wait months or even years for a court case to resolve.
Settlement before beginning legal proceedings is always preferable but not always available. It takes two sides to settle, and if the other side is being stubborn, then you sometimes have to proceed. But I will always attempt to open negotiations beforehand if it might lead to an earlier and cheaper resolution.
In one case it was simply negotiating over what the proper amount of notice was. In the other, the employers wanted to rely on a employment contract that severely limited the employee’s potential recovery. I was able to successfully point out to opposing counsel that the agreement was made without consideration and so was void and furthermore, it violated the Employment Standards Act. Having reasonable counsel on the other side is always a help and in this case the employer quickly raised its offer drastically and a settlement was quickly reached.
It is always rewarding to help an employee who is distraught over having recently lost his/her job.