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During depositions, the opposing attorney said that documents from my employer to the EEOC are not admissible in court, why?

Decatur, GA |

My employer answered my charges in a memorandum to the EEOC. I'd like to use all these statements in my defense in my case. My employer made provable false statements in this memorandum. Can I use this memorandum in court? If not, why?

Attorney Answers 4


I agree with both attorneys' answers. In addition, you should keep in mind the documents may or may not be admissible at trial. However, they probably certainly discoverable. If you insist on representing yourself, you should know the difference between what is discoverable and what is admissible at trial.

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We were not at the depositions, so there is no possible way we can tell you why a lawyer said something or took a position. There is no way we can tell you what statements (whatever they are) are or are not admissible. One person can tell you - your lawyer. If you don't have one, this is an example of why you need one. Parties without lawyers in complicated cases have just slightly over a 0% chance of prevailing on anything.

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Whether they are or not depends on a variety of factors. You really need to retain counsel.

My answering this question does not form an attorney-client relationship. Always retain a qualified attorney before taking any action. My office offers free consultations.

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The three previous answers all suggested you get an attorney. I couldn't agree more. We say this because litigation is hard work and dependent on so much more than just what happened on your job. You can lose your case simply because you do not understand the rules of court or rules of evidence.

In nearly every employment case, a plaintiff does much better with an attorney, even with a portion of any recovery going toward attorney's fees. Having an attorney can be the difference between winning and losing. Plus, attorneys are in a better position to understand the full impact of the legal documents involved in every case. For example, a settlement agreement can contain a provision that require a plaintiff to repay the settlement funds under certain circumstances. It can impose limitations on future employment, who you can talk to and what you can say, and much more.

You can find a plaintiffs employment attorney on the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) web site NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys representing working people. You can search by location and practice area. Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and many cities which are listed on the NELA site. Not all NELA attorneys are named on the web site or affiliate site. This should not influence your selection; attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase a listing in the national directory, and each affiliate has its own rules for listing.

If you are having trouble finding an attorney for your case, there are several possibilities:

-- you are not looking in the right place for the right kind of attorney;
-- your case does not have as much value as you think; or
-- you are not presenting your case in a way that makes sense to the attorneys.

Employment attorneys want certain information right up front: the name of the defendant, the name of the employee; if the employee was fired (or denied reasonable accommodation, or laid off, or whatever the issue is, in five words or less); the date this happened; the reason the employer gave for whatever happened; how long the employee worked for the defendant; what job the employee did; how much the employee made; and any deadline.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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Cristine Wasserman Rathe

Cristine Wasserman Rathe


Ms. Spencer's advice is sound. I would only add, that generally speaking, if the employer provides statements in an EEOC investigation that are sworn to as being under oath and truthful, that statement can be used against the individual who authored it. It's tricky to know when and how information like this can be used, which is precisely why everyone is advising you to contact a local attorney. In actuality, things that you have said to EEOC, in letters, and pleadings, etc. can be used against you as well. Call a local AVVO attorney asap.

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