What is Your Employment Law Case Worth in San Diego, California?

Griswold Law obtains a handful of new clients through this blog site, particularly individuals with employee-based claims.  Naturally, I am interested as to how these clients are stumbling across my site.  Through Google Analytics, I am able to review what keywords are used that lead people here.  Among many different variations of internet searches, there is a common theme running through the keywords used that show most people want to know two things right off the bat: 1) Do I have a case?, and 2) How much is it worth?

My analysis reveals that there is a significantly larger amount of people that are searching for answers to the two above questions (in particular the second question) as compared to people that are actually making contact with me (or any other employment attorney) to assess their case and contemplate whether to retain me.  Now, before we go any further, this is not a pity-party wherein I complain that I am not getting enough new business.  No, I complain about that on my own time (ask my wife).  I simply make this point to reveal what I believe to be evidence of people's burning desire to have a dollar-figure attached to their gripe at the click of a button (or mouse).

Below, I hope to uncover why such a wish is not obtainable, while also convincing those with potential claims why that fact is exactly what is most valuable to your case--the fact that your case is unique.

I was inspired to share these thoughts after reading an enjoyable article recently written by Joel Christiansen, an attorney friend of mine in Portland, Oregon.  If interested, please refer to his article entitled, "What is the Settlement Value of an Oregon Employment Law Case."

Joel playfully begins his analysis with a hypothetical:

Let’s pretend that a magical “Employment Case Settlement Value Calculator” existed somewhere on the web.  It’s exactly what you were hoping to find!  To use this calculator, you would type in a bunch of data (salary, type of case, etc.).  Then, using that data, the calculator would compare your case to thousands of others and pop out a reasonable settlement value.  It goes without saying that you would immediately plug in your information and press the submit button.  I’d do the same thing.  Next, let’s pretend the calculator tells you your case is worth $98,153.23.  Then what?  Ah yes, you would open up MS Word and draft a letter. “Dear Employer, You owe me $98,153.23. Respectfully, John Doe.”  Each night thereafter, as you drifted to sleep, you would think of how you would spend the settlement check.  You’d receive the check in the mail the next week and live out your dreams.  Exactly what you wanted, right?

This exaggerated example begs the question: how can a case be valued?  A case can only be valued through an independent analysis of the particular facts of your case by a qualified employment attorney (if not me, there is a wide selection of other competent attorneys in San Diego).  If there ever existed a settlement value "swami", it would do more bad than good for plaintiffs.  Insurance companies and corporations would control, dictate, manipulate and twist the "value calculator" and rid all plaintiffs of what we cherish so dearly in this country--the right to have your day in court where your claim is treated on an individual basis based on the individual facts and circumstances of your case.

As Joel aptly puts it, "if employment case values were ascertainable via Google search, that would undermine the very system that gives value to your case in the first place.  The reason the courts work so well is because they operate on a case-by-case basis.  12 of your peers sit down, consider the evidence in your case and apply the law.  The court recognizes you as an individual."

To conclude, as frustrating as it may seem, the "unknown" aspect of your case may be one of your biggest assets.  Defendants hate surprises.  Allow competent counsel to thoroughly investigate the facts of your case and vigorously advocate on your behalf.  You are unique and so are your claims.

For a free consultation, please contact Richardson "Red" Griswold of Griswold Law at or (858) 481-1300.

For further reading on this topic, be sure to check out the complete list of employment law articles.

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