Virginia Employment Law, Discrimination, & Wrongful Termination Attorney


Frequently Asked Questions

Does J. Madison PLC Represent Clients on a Contingency Basis?

Yes, we represent clients on a contingency basis in almost all of our wrongful termination cases. For those who don't know, this means that contingency clients do not pay us hourly attorneys' fees while we work on their cases. Instead, they pay us a percentage of any monetary recovery we help them achieve. We evaluate cases selectively and only offer to represent clients when we believe they have been treated illegally at work and we think we can help make it right. In those contingency cases where we help the client secure a monetary recovery, our fee is a percentage of that recovery. The amount of our fee varies by case, but generally, we charge between 1/3 and 1/2 of the recovery, depending upon a number of factors like complexity, schedule, likelihood of success, and potential recovery range. If we are unsuccessful, contingency clients pays us no attorneys' fees.

Do Contingency Clients Have to Pay Any Money Before They Achieve A Recovery?

Sometimes, yes. While we do not charge our clients an hourly rate, some cases require services by third parties, in addition to attorney hours. On the other hand, many cases never require the client to pay any money before they see a recovery. But when there are costs or expenses, these costs and expenses must be paid by the client pursuant to Virginia Rule of Conduct 1.8(e). In rare cases, as permitted by the rules, J. Madison PLC will advance certain third-party costs like the fees for court reporters or expert witnesses, so that a case can move forward even though the client is unable to pay those costs. But even in these cases, the client is ultimately responsible for these costs, even if the client loses the case or there is otherwise no monetary recovery. If you become a client of J. Madison PLC, you should expect to speak with the firm about the potential costs involved and how and when those costs must be paid.

Are There Cases That J. Madison PLC Cannot Take on Contingency?

Yes. If you are being treated unfairly or illegally at work, but you have not lost your job, we very likely won't be able to help you on a contingency basis. This is because the largest portion of damages in many employment cases is lost wages. Lost wages don't normally start building until a wrongful termination occurs.

Also, some wrongful termination cases may be strong but nevertheless have a relatively small value. In those cases, it is often not in the Firm's interest to offer a contingency fee arrangement. We are, however, able to offer hourly fee arrangements in many of these cases.

Even so, if you are suffering from unfair treatment or discrimination at work, and you have not lost your job, J. Madison PLC may be able to help you preserve your job, end the discrimination, and focus on your career.

What States & Courts Does J. Madison PLC Practice In?

Right now, J. Madison PLC only represents clients in Virginia. The Firm only litigates cases in Virginia Courts, in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Virginia, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Does J. Madison PLC Offer Free Consultations?

No. J. Madison PLC offers Virginia employees two options to understand their Virginia employment law rights: 

Ask a Question

First, on our Ask a Question page, site visitors can submit a question about their case or Virginia employment law in general, at no cost. Attorney Jacob M. Small may review the question and post a public answer that does not contain any information about the submitter. Answers will be general in nature and describe the state of the law and how they generally apply to the question you ask. You will receive an email notification when your question is answered.

Please note that the Ask a Question portion of this site is not offered as legal advice, and asking a question or receiving an answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is a free educational service offered to Virginians to help teach basic principles of employment law. J. Madison PLC will respond to questions when it is able.

Case Evaluations

Alternatively, you can request a case evaluation by filling out our Case Evaluation Questionnaire. When we receive your questionnaire, we will first perform a conflict of interest check to make sure we don't represent your employer (we don't represent employers so that is unlikely). Next we'll get in touch with you and schedule your consultation with attorney Jacob Small.

A case evaluation is a one-hour meeting with attorney Jacob Small in J. Madison PLC's McLean, Virginia office. For potential clients who are not in the Northern Virginia area, Attorney Small can perform the case evaluation over the phone or by video chat.

Before the meeting, Attorney Small will review your submission and do any necessary legal research and due diligence. At the meeting, Attorney Small will review any documents you bring before counseling you on whether your employer violated the law, what your legal options are, and the potential results should you choose to pursue a claim against your employer.

Purchasing a case evaluation does not mean that J. Madison PLC will offer to represent you. Even if your employer violated the law, J. Madison PLC may decline to offer to represent you after a case evaluation. Generally, however, J. Madison PLC will offer to represent potential clients whose rights have been violated if there is a reasonable prospect that the Firm can help the client achieve a positive resolution.

We do not publish the cost of case evaluations online, but we are happy to provide you more information about them over the telephone. If you have questions, feel free to call us at 703.910.5062.

How Long Will It Take to Resolve my Case?

Every case is different. Some cases are resolved within weeks of an offer to represent the client. Others can drag on for years through negotiations, mediations, litigation, and multiple appeals. At your case evaluation, we should be able to help you understand the potential outcomes of your case and the range of times for each outcome.

Additional Questions

If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at 703.910.5062. We are happy to speak with you about our service and to help you understand whether a case evaluation is right for you.

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The background images on this site are of the Albert V. Bryan Federal District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. The large majority of J. Madison PLC's practice is at this courthouse. The image was taken by Tim Evanston and posted to Flickr under this Creative Commons license. Click here to see our Privacy Policy.