Posted by misslauren212003
I sought this attorney at the behest of my daughter's colleague. At that time, I was referred to her colleague, Jessica, who was very professional. I signed all of the documents- but no money was exchanged- and then I was laid off while on FMLA. After informing Ms. Siegel of this, I received no response. Months later I contacted Ms. Siegel again and this time she personally requested $1000 upfront instead of the original fee $1500 from the written agreement. We never met, although I made several attempts , she was always too busy or in court. She never worked on my case and I had to seek the assistance of the Union for results. She took my case but never took any action. I'm sure she has some legal maneuver that would prevent her from returning my money. Nevertheless, people need to know that her lack of concern for my case after being paid the retainer fee showed me to never hire an attorney based on a previous legal agreement( one year prior) or payment in advance. I'm appalled at her actions, but should have realized something was dubious about her character when my daughter contacted her several times she had several excuses as to why we couldn't speak at that moment: I'm on the train; I'm walking to my office; I've been in a car accident; etc... But then, would never call back so we kept contacting her despite these actions only because she was familiar with the case- so I thought. I can only attest to my experience with her and maybe others have had positive outcomes- not I.
Posted by Julie
I have had the pleasure and great good fortune to work with Elaine Siegel in a variety of ways over the past 30 years. She is exceptionally intelligent and informed. She is a brilliant strategist. She will tell you when your case is solid and when you should try other means first. I have referred many public school parents, teachers and staff to Elaine with excellent results. She has represented several parent-majority local school councils in arbitration hearings and has won every case. These are enormously time-consuming cases which she works with no upfront fee and for which the district
Posted by Celeste
I would absolutely recommend Elaine for any discriminatory violation that administrators in the education arena put forth on their teachers. Elaine represented me in a messy violation of the American Disability Act. She filed EEOC charges on my behalf and the school district took these charges against them seriously. She is very knowledgeable in discriminatory matters. Elaine answered my phone calls within minutes. If she wasn't available she would call back promptly. Psychologically, the school district set out to try and break me with their remediation process. Elaine was there to explain to me why and what they were doing. It was very difficult for me to comprehend how ruthless school administrators can be. She kept me strong while going through the most difficult time in my working career.She was prompt for meetings and got her message across to the district. She helped me rewrite rebuttals when the administration set forth their erroneous evaluations. There was never any communication issues between my attorney and myself. Elaine's fees were competitive with other attorneys and after hiring her, I realized I had hired the best qualified attorney in her field. I was very happy with her and recommended other teachers to hire her that I worked with in the district. Elaine had consulted with other teachers in my district and did not take many cases that she thought did not have merit. I appreciated her honesty by not trying to make money off of people that did not have a case. I don't believe people realize how much paper work and research goes into a case. Every accusation made against a client has to be researched and documented. The attorney has to research, document and analyze. Elaine had to come to board meetings as well as staying in touch with other attorneys involved. Again, I will reiterate she is the best in her field. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who found themselves in this type of discriminatory practices.
Posted by a Discrimination client
Elaine represented me in a discrimination complaint. She was knowledgeable, and she understood my perspective and situation. However, she did not exchange material information between myself and the party I was complaining against in a timely fashion. Particularly, in advance of our arbitration hearing, the opposing party made a counteroffer, and I had provided a counteroffer to that which was between my original offer and their counteroffer. She failed to communicate to the other party in advance of arbitration after being asked to do so (and assuring me she would) for several weeks in a time-sensitive situation. Then she arrived half an hour late to the arbitration session. This session was unsuccessful as a result of the miscommunication -- her tardiness also looked unprofessional and diminished our credibility -- and as a result, the complaint dragged on for four months more than it needed to. These four months were psychologically exhausting, and financially straining. In that time, Elaine's fees doubled. I sometimes wonder if she intentionally created a situation which would protract the length of the case. As a general rule, just remember that a lawyer's interests may diverge from yours -- your goal is to maximize your outcome, their goal is to maximize their fees. These two goals are not always incompatible (contingency arrangements, for example), but I hired her on a fixed hourly rate basis. I wish she had been more responsive earlier. I would have had a much better outcome, financially and psychologically.
She's busy and has a lot of priorities, and if you aren't on the top list of her priorities, you will receive a lower quality of service, but you will be charged the same fees as her priority cases. She might be more valuable to you if you get her in a lull in her schedule and she has time to keep her commitments.