Here is the scenario:
You work with Joe X but don’t get along with him. You feel he’s abusive but can’t do anything about it. Then Joe X starts dishing out the same abuse to his boss. The boss man exercises his boss man prerogative and fires Joe X. So far, so good. You breathe a sigh of relief. But now Joe X is going around saying he was fired because of you. He has been writing this on his blog, on Facebook, and telling everyone he knows that this is what happened. Because of his statements, the firm now fires you. Can you sue Joe X now? What about suing your employer to get your job back? Enquiring minds want to know.
So how do you find out? Self-help is a good start. Go on the internet. Don’t we all? Type into Google (or your other search engine) what you need. Thousands of hits pop up. Which one should you call? You might visit AVVO.com or Lawyers.com or one of the other major sites. They work well in channeling visitors to specific attorneys. But there are issues. Two issues specifically:
1. Is the lawyer licensed in your state? If not, he can’t help. He may not even know the law as it applies to you because each state is a little different and little differences can add up to the difference between winning and losing your case.
2. Does the lawyer regularly practice the sort of law that you need. A lawyer who specializes in drafting wills cannot give good advice about the case in the scenario above. If you are lucky, she may be able to suggest someone who can. If she has the time to talk to you for a few minutes.
Note: you might actually need 2 different types of lawyers: an employment rights lawyer and a defamation lawyer (1 for the job and 1 for Joe X).