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How can I find an attorney competent in the area of unlawful federal employment practices, retaliation and wrongful termination?

Washington, DC |

I'm looking for a competent attorney familiar with federal employment law, Title VII and Retaliation and federal employee due process rights. The employer issued adverse action based upon fraudulent claims as a means for retaliation.

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No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.


This area of the law is actually changing again with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding retaliation under Title VII, see:

So you want to make sure your counsel is aware of new changes such as this one. I highly recommend the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association:


The process for filing a discrimination complaint against the federal government is complicated and counter-intuitive. Because of its special characteristics, I have written a guide to help federal employees navigate the system. Please see my Avvo guide to the EEO complaint process for federal government employees:

There is more to consider than just the EEO filing process, however. You may be better off in the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) process. Your best bet is to consult with one or more experienced employment law attorneys with whom you can discuss the details of your situation.

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.


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. ***


For federal employees, employment claims are processed administratively -- that is, through federal agencies and not necessarily in court (e.g., EEO complaint at your federal agency; discrimination hearing at EEOC; discipline hearing at MSPB; whistleblowing claim at OSC). The procedural law (e.g., deadlines, how to file) and substantive law (how to prove your claim) is the same throughout the country in these administrative processes (whereas different states have different procedural and substantive law). This means that an attorney can represent you even if the attorney is not licensed in the state where you live or work. If you work in New York, you might not find a law firm with specialized experience in representing federal employees in New York, but an attorney licensed in any state can represent you at your agency or at the relevant agencies (EEOC, MSPB, OSC). This means you can broaden your search for lawyers to those who specialize in federal sector employment law and you are not limited to your city or state.

The following are good resources and tips for finding a good lawyer: ;;; the local bar (e.g., in Washington DC, the DC Bar's website will give you information about a lawyer and whether they have been disciplined); on-line sources. Also consider the following: the lawyer's years of experience; have they ever taught or lectured on issues relevant to your case; do they have any public peer reviews; do they have a record of discipline with their local bar association; does their website give you enough information so you can reach someone in the firm if your attorney is unavailable.
Good luck with your search.

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