Do I need an attorney for my unemployment appeal?

If you have applied for unemployment, and been denied (or if you were approved, but now your employer is appealing) you may be asking yourself, do I need an attorney to help me to appeal? Having an attorney can be extremely helpful in a number of ways.

Of course, you are entitled to an evidentiary hearing, and you are entitled to be represented by counsel if you so choose. Keep in mind the very serious nature of your appeal hearing. Hearings are typically very brief (usually an hour or less), but can have a huge impact. The outcome of your unemployment hearing will determine whether you are entitled to benefits that can greatly assist you during a time of need. If you do not prevail at your initial appeal hearing, it is very difficult to prevail in a later appeal. Having an attorney can help you to be successful in your appeal in a number of ways.

First, an experienced unemployment attorney can help to put your mind at ease about what is going to happen at the appeal hearing. With an attorney by your side with experience in the unemployment benefits area, you know that someone is with you who has done this many times before and is familiar with the process. An experienced attorney knows what to expect, and can help to protect you from any abuses by the employer in the hearing.

Second, an experienced attorney will know the rules of evidence, and will work to keep your former employer from bringing things into the record that are irrelevant or otherwise inadmissible. For example, an employer will often attempt to base their case on hearsay, which is not admissible. Knowing how to properly lodge the objection is important to keeping this sort of inadmissible evidence from tainting the process.

Third, an experienced attorney will know precisely what issues are relevant to your case, and can focus the hearing on those issues. The laws governing unemployment benefits are actually fairly complicated, so understanding how to narrow the focus of the hearing on the important issues can be very beneficial.

James Radford has years of experience and a record of success representing employees in their unemployment appeals. If you have questions, or wish to seek counsel, please call James at (678) 369-3609 or send an email to