Ohio Unemployment Hearings:
What to Expect

Your Unemployment Hearing is the most important stage of the unemployment compensation appeal process.  In all likelihood, it will be the final decision regarding your unemployment compensation.  No further hearings, and no further evidence, will be permitted after your unemployment hearing.

Here is an overview of what to expect during your unemployment hearing to help you be fully prepared.

Improve Your Chance to Obtain Benefits

The unemployment benefit appeal process does provide opportunities to obtain a determination in your favor, but you must have knowledge of the laws, the rules, and have the required tools to obtain and present evidence on your behalf.

The fact is, ODJFS does not operate based on what you know to be true, unless that truth can be shown to them, proven to them, and explained in a way that they can understand that Ohio statutes and rules require them to give you benefits.

The Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices have the expertise and experience to navigate through the Unemployment Appeal process and to present the best case possible to obtain the benefits you deserve.   It is a simple decision: If you want to increase your chances of obtaining benefits, take advantage of a free consultation with the Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices.

Hearing Notice

If your unemployment claim proceeds to a hearing, you will receive a notice that the case is being transferred to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). This notice provides important information about your hearing, including (a) how to request your file; (b) how to subpoena witnesses and documents; and (c) how to submit documents for the hearing.

Requesting File

This is important, because the file will include more than the notices you have received, but also everything that has been submitted to ODJFS by you and your former employer, as well as responses to questionnaires, notes of telephone conversations with ODJFS, and perhaps a more detailed explanation of why ODJFS is making the decisions that it is.  Additionally, the Hearing Officer will have this file and may refer to it during the hearing, so you will want to have it to follow what is being referred to. Request your file immediately.

Subpoenas

Subpoenas can compel witnesses to attend the hearing and can be used to obtain documents from your former employer.  If there is a witness or document that you KNOW will help you, this is a valuable tool.  However, do not use it to fish.  Whatever documents you subpoena will be provided to the Hearing Officer, so if you are uncertain whether they will help you, you take a risk by requesting them.  Also, be careful when deciding whether to have current employees as witnesses, because they may become concerned about their own job security and clam up during the actual hearing while their boss is on the line.  Subpoenas can be requested up to 5 days before the hearing, but they should be requested as early as possible.

Submitting Exhibits

If you have already submitted documents, they will already be included in the file.  However, if you have other documents that you want to submit, follow the instructions to do so.  You may do so up within 14 days of receiving this notice.

Scheduling

Once your ODJFS file is transferred to the UCRC and they schedule your hearing, you will receive another notice with the date and time of the hearing and the telephone number to call.  Do NOT miss your hearing, as there are only very limited reasons ODJFS will excuse your failure to attend.

You may request to hold the hearing in person.  Generally, this should only be done when there is an important reason to do so. For example, the case may depend upon a video or visual exhibit that all parties should view together.

The Hearing

Calling In

On the day of your hearing, call in 15 minutes early.  You will provide your name and number.  Once the Hearing Officer is ready to begin, she will call you and all other parties and place you into a conference call.  The Hearing Officer will begin the hearing with a brief introduction. The hearing will be scheduled for 45 minutes, and the Hearing Officer will do what she can to keep it within that time limit.  However, if it needs to run over it may be scheduled for a second hearing.

Witnesses

In most cases, if you were terminated, the Hearing Officer will start with the employer and their witnesses.  If you resigned, the Hearing Officer will start with you instead. Based on what she sees in the file, she will ask each witness questions.  The witness will then be given the opportunity to add more, or if they are represented their representative will ask them further questions.  The other side will then be given the opportunity to cross examine each witness.

Closing Statements

At the end of the hearing, each party will be given a brief amount of time (e.g., 2 minutes) to give a closing statement – summarizing their position.

The Decision

You will not receive a decision on the day of the hearing. Rather, the Hearing Officer will close the hearing and draft their decision. In most cases, we find decisions are issued within a week, though it is not unusual for it to take a few weeks for the decision to be issued.

Obtaining Representation

Smith's Law Offices prides itself by its thorough representation during hearings.  We take care of requesting the hearing, requesting a copy of the ODJFS file, making strategic decisions about subpoenas and witnesses and request them when appropriate, and we submit exhibits in the proper format for the hearing.  We review the evidence, talk with you, and come to decisions about what are the main issues, what are the main points in contention, and what the Hearing Officer needs to be convinced of to rule in your favor.  

We give you guidance regarding how to conduct yourself during the hearing and we call into the hearing with you – so we may cross examine the employer’s witnesses, help you to explain your position to the hearing officer, and we provide the closing statement.  By becoming fully prepared for the hearing, and focusing on the important issues, you will find yourself comfortable and able to have your case presented in a compelling manner that will increase your likelihood of success.

No Fees Until You Win

Smith's Law Offices offers Free Initial Consultations. We additionally offer contingency agreements whenever possible, with no up-front fee.

We collect a fee ONLY if we are successful in obtaining your unemployment benefits for you.

You have nothing to risk or lose by calling Smith's Law Offices for your free consultation, so call us today before any of your unemployment appeal rights are lost. Whether you just received an unemployment denial and need to appeal or are about to have an unemployment hearing, we can help.

Statewide Representation

Because unemployment determinations are appealed in writing, and the hearings are conducted by telephone, Smith's Law Offices successfully represents clients throughout the entire State of Ohio.

Recent Cases/News

Unemployment Appeal Won:
To qualify for unemployment, a person must be able and available to work. Our client experienced a medical issue while collecting unemployment that required a brief stay at a hospital. ODJFS not only denied her for the week she was in the hospital, but for all weeks after. Through a hearing, we showed that she was only unable to work one week and was entitled to benefits for all weeks after. As a result, an overpayment was removed and a backpayment was issued.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 12, 2021
Unemployment Appeal Won:
Our client applied for unemployment when she was separated from her employment. Two weeks after, she received a final paycheck from the employer. Nine (9) months later, ODJFS issued a determination denying benefits because she, "was not unemployed at the time of filing . . ." Through a telephone hearing, we showed that she was unemployed despite the final paycheck. While the paycheck was deductible income for the weeks in which she received it, she was entitled to benefits for all weeks thereafter. As a result, she was approved for unemployment compensation, the overpayment was eliminated, and she was eligible for a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 12, 2021
COVID Quarantine Does Not Disqualify Unemployment Benefits:
To qualify for unemployment, a person must be able and available to work. Our client had to quarantine due to COVID while receiving unemployment and ODJFS not only denied benefits for the weeks of the quarantine, but also for all weeks after. During a hearing, we showed that he was able to work after the quarantine and the hearing officer agreed - eliminating the overpayment and approving him for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 6, 2021
Pregnancy Does Not Preclude Unemployment Benefits:
To qualify for unemployment benefits, a person must be able and available for work. Our client was pregnant during her unemployment claims and gave birth. ODJFS denied her benefits, claiming she was unable to work during the pregnancy after after giving birth. We showed a hearing officer, however, that while there was a very limited time at the time of the birth that she could not work, she was able to work during the pregnancy and shortly after the birth. As a result, the denial of benefits was removed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 5, 2021
Unemployment Approved After Resignation for Cut in Pay:
Our client worked primarily on commission. His employer removed is biggest client, which was predicted to cause a loss of 50 to 70% of his pay. He resigned, but was initially denied unemployment. We fought for his benefits and won. Even though the employer argued the they removed his client as a form of discipline, the Hearing Officer agreed with us that the employer lacked just cause to do so because it had provided no prior discipline or warnings about work performance. As a result, benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 4, 2021
School Employee Approve for Unemployment:
Employees of schools who typically have the summers off do not received unemployment compensation through the summers based on their school employment if they have a reasonable assurance of employment in fall. They may qualify through the summers based on other employment, if the employer does not follow required steps to give a reasonable assurance, or if their will be significant changes to the type of work or rate of pay. In this case, the employer did not follow the required steps to provide a reasonable assurance and, as a result, our client was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 4, 2021
Unemployment Approved - Client Available for Work:
To receive unemployment benefits, claimants must be able and available for work each week that they file claims. ODJFS determined that our client was unavailable for for work and retroactively denied him, stopping his benefits and claiming he owed a large overpayment. We prevailed at the hearing; however, showing the hearing officer that our client was available for work at all relevant times. As a result, he did not owe an overpayment, but rather ODJFS owed him a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 4, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Approved:
To qualify for unemployment benefits, a claimant must be available and able to work each week. Our client's claims were rejected because ODJFS determined that he was unable to work. By working with our client to obtain medical documentation and prepare for a hearing, we persuaded a Hearing Officer that he was able to work. As a result, his benefits were approved with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 29, 2021
Unemployment Hearing Won:
Our client was receiving unemployment when he had a medical procedure completed. One of the requirements for receiving unemployment is that a person must be able to work. ODJFS denied our client benefits for all claims after the medical procedure; however, we prevailed at a telephone hearing by showing that our client was only able to work for the one week that they had the procedure. As a result, all benefits after that one week were approved with a backpayment for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 16, 2021
Unemployment Appeal Won:
While receiving unemployment, our client became unavailable to work one week due to the need to care for a child. ODJFS denied her for not only that one week, but for all following weeks. Through a telephone hearing, we persuaded the Hearing Officer that that our client was eligible for benefits for all other weeks and as result her overpayment was eliminated and her benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 8, 2021
Employee Unable to Work Due to COVID Testing Approved for Unemployment:
Our client tested positive for COVID and was required to quarantine until she tested negative. In the meantime, the employer terminated her employment. Her claim for unemployment was initially denied, with ODJFS concluding she quit her employment without just cause. However, through a hearing we were able to persuade the Hearing Officer that this was a termination without just cause. As a result, our client was approved for benefits with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 5, 2021
Unemployment Approved After Employee Worked a Temporary Job:
Our client was receiving unemployment benefits when he obtained a temporary one day job. However, instead of reopening his claim the following week when he did not have any more income, he simply filed another weeks claim as most people seem to do. He was denied for not reopening his claim and provided a sufficient reason for not having any more income. Through the appeal process, we showed that this was a temporary job and as a result he was approved for unemployment with his overpayment eliminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 31, 2021
Laid Off Employee Approved for Unemployment:
Our client was laid off from work, called back for a week, and then laid off again. The employer attempted to get her unemployment benefits denied by claiming she was on a voluntary leave. Through a telephone hearing, we conveyed that the employer was dishonest and as a result unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 30, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Approved After Termination:
Our client was placed on an performance improvement plan at work and then terminated. Through a hearing, we showed that performance issues improved after the PIP and that the employer lacked just cause to terminate. The Hearing Officer agreed, approving our client for benefits with a back-payement.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 24, 2021
Unemployment Appeal Won After Temporary Job:
Our client was laid off from work and applied for benefits. His employer later offered him a temporary assignment for one week, and then the layoff resumed the following week. Because our client did not restart/reopen his claim for the week with no earnings, unemployment denied him claiming he did not show a valid reason for not having work. After working to obtain documentation and submit an appeal, the appeal was granted and he was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 23, 2021
Employee Terminated After Resignation Approved For Unemployment:
Our client resigned from employment, providing a standard two-week notice. The employer terminated him before the end of the two weeks due to the resignation. Although he was initially denied for unemployment for lacking just cause to resign, we prevailed at a hearing by showing that it was a termination rather than a resignation. The Hearing Officer agreed with us that the law is, if an employee is discharged during a notice of resignation period, and the employer does not pay normal wages to the employee for the balance of that period, then the question will be whether there was just cause in connection with work to support the discharge. Here there was no just cause to terminate, and as a result unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 17, 2021
Etsy Seller Approved Unemployment:
Our client was approved unemployment compensation, but denied after she sold a few items on Etsy. We showed unemployment that our client, regardless of a few sales on Etsy, remained eligible for unemployment compensation. As a result, an overpayment of $30,000.00 that unemployment was seeking was eliminated, with our client approved for future benefits as well.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 15, 2021
Client with Lifting Restrictions Awarded Unemployment:
Our client had lifting restrictions that prevented her from working her current job, though she could have worked other jobs. While she was initially denied unemployment, we showed the Hearing Officer that her inability to work was through no fault of her own and she remained otherwise available to work. The Hearing Officer agreed, holding, "The leave of absence, therefore, was involuntary and claimant was involuntarily unemployed." As a result, her unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 4, 2021
Unemployment Won - Week of Earnings Follow by a Week With No Earnings:
When a person is receiving unemployment benefits, they may still have some work and some income. However, when they have a week of earnings followed by a week with no earnings, they cannot simply file regular claims but must restart their claims for the week with no earnings. This will prompt questions about why there were no earnings (e.g., did the person refuse work, were they fired, did they quit, etc...). The unemployment system makes this entirely unclear and as a result many people get fall into this trap that includes a denial for all subsequent weeks. Our client was one such victim; however, we appealed and prevailed at a telephone hearing by showing that the person did not have any work available during the week with no earnings. As a result, a substantial overpayment was eliminated for our client.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 3, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Approved After Termination:
Our client was hired as an account representative with certain revenue goals to meet. Despite meeting those goals and receiving a promotion, the Employer added additional performance criteria that our client did not meet for one month. After the Employer terminated our client and ODJFS initially denied benefits, we prevailed at a telephone hearing by showing that our client was a good employee, met the performance expectations he was given when hired, and the new performance expectations were not reasonable. As a result, his benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 26, 2021
PUA Benefits Approved:
Our client had sporadic W-2 employment during 2019 that came to an end, but she was also hired to start a new job in 2021. The new job offer was rescinded due to COVID. She applied for and was denied PUA benefits because they determined the reason the W-2 employment came to and end was not COVID related. During a telephone hearing, we persuaded that the hearing officer that, regardless of why the W-2 employment came to an end, she qualified for PUA benefits because she was hired to start another job but that new job offer was rescinded due to COVID. As a result, unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 26, 2021
Unemployment Case Won in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas:
Our client found her hours at work cut in half and benefits eliminated. The employer said that it would work to restore her hours, but after seven weeks they remained the same. As a result, she resigned. ODJFS and Hearing Officer Leanne Colton of the UCRC concluded that she did not have just cause to resign. We appealed the case to court, drafted legal briefs, and obtained a decision reversing the earlier denials and approving her benefits.
  
Unemployment Court Appeal Won
February 23, 2021
UBER Driver Approved for PUA Benefits:
Our client was an OBER driver who found their business fall off when the pandemic hit. He applied for PUA benefits, but was denied because unemployment believed he was not working simply to avoid contracting COVlD-19. We persuaded the Hearing Officer that the public health emergency severely limited his ability to continue performing his customary work activities, and as a result, he was approved for PUA benefits.
  
Unemployment PUA Benefit Appeal Won
February 18, 2021
Employee Approved for Unemployment Compensation:
Our client was hired for a local job, only to find during orientation that the employer hired her into a position that was different from the position she accepted. Further, the new position required travel and overnights out of the state. For several reasons, our client was unable to do such traveling and, after attempting to resolve the issue with the employer, she resigned. The Hearing Officer agreed with us that she had just cause to resign and she was approved for unemployment benefits with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 12, 2021
Unemployment Appeal Hearing Won:
Our client had disagreements with co-workers who eventually accused our client of making threats. During a telephone hearing, we showed that the employer lacked any credible evidence that the accusations were true while we helped our client to credibly explain what happened. The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate and as a result our client was approved for unemployment with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 4, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Awarded:
Our client had a minor surgery while collecting unemployment and unemployment responded by denying the remainder of her benefits denied as being unable to work. We proceeded through a telephone hearing and persuaded that Hearing Officer that our client was in fact able to work and eligible for benefits. As a result, she received her unemployment including a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 4, 2021
Unemployment Approved After a Denial for a Week of Earnings Followed by a Week of No Earnings:
When an a claimant is receiving unemployment and has a week of earnings followed by a week of no earnings, they are supposed to restart their claim to explain why they had no earnings. This is less than clear and many claimants do not realize this. Our client was one such claimant and as a result was denied benefits and asked to pay back nearing $9,000.00. We helped show why our client had one week of no earnings and why they remained eligible for benefits, and as a result obtained a win for our client eliminating the overpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 3, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Approved After Resignation Due to Mistreatment and Reduction of Hours:
Our client worked for a restaurant where the owner seemed to target her due to the color of her skin. For example, the owner instructed her to straighten her hair while not giving the same directive to white employees. The employer then reduced her weekly hours from 30 to 12. The Hearing Officer agreed with us that our client had just cause to resign and as a result her unemployment compensation was approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 28, 2021
Unemployment Approved for Individual Terminated Due to Lifting Restriction:
Our client had a medical issue that limited the weight he could lift. The employer terminated him, claiming he could not do his job. Although our client was initially denied unemployment benefits, we demonstrated that there is no just cause to terminate for bonafide medical issues. As a result, our client was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 11, 2021
Unemployment Appeal Won
Our client accepted a new job while on unemployment but found the physical demands of the job exceeded is ability. As a result he resigned. Although unemployment initially denied him for the denial, we prevailed at the hearing by showing he was not medically able to do the job. As a result, his benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 6, 2021
Unemployment Benefits Approved for Employee Who Resigns Over COVID Safety Protocols:
Our client worked at a medical office where COVID safety protocols were not being followed. She raised her concerns to the employer to no avail and as a result resigned. The Hearing Officer agreed that she had just cause to resign and was approved for unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 24, 2020
Unemployment Appeal Granted and Benefits Paid:
Our client was receiving unemployment when he received a job offer. He could not work the week the job was offered due to a medical reason. ODJFS denied him benefits from the date of the job offer forward. The Hearing Officer held; however, that while he was not able to work one week, he was eligible for all other weeks and future claims. His unemployment was approved with benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 14, 2020
Approved for Unemployment After Unjust Termination:
Our client was asked to return to work after being laid off due to COVID. She had concerns about returning that she expressed to the employer and awaited a response. The employer responded by terminating her though, claiming she no-call/no-showed for work. The Hearing Officer disagreed and issued a decision approving our client for unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 4, 2020
Unemployment Approved After Turning Down Fast-Food Restaurant Job Offer:
Our client worked as a substitute teacher until he was laid off. While collecting unemployment, he turned down a job offer at a fast-food restaurant. Unemployment denied him for turning down the offer, but we showed that he had good cause to turn it down and the Hearing Officer approved him for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 19, 2020
Unemployment Appeal Won - Severance Payment Applied to Only One Week:
Our client received a lump sum severance payment that ODJFS claimed was deductible income, disqualifying her from benefits, for several week. With our help, our client obtained a letter from her employer allocating the severance to the week in which it was paid. We persuaded the Hearing Officer that the severance should only applied to the week in which it was paid rather than several weeks, and as a result our client was approved for unemployment with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 19, 2020
Unemployment Approved for Employee Who Resigned From Restaurant that Did Not Enforce Mask Wearing:
Our client was initially denied unemployment compensation after she resigned from her restaurant job. The employer did not enforce mask wearing despite her repeated requests and reminders for it to do so. This placed our client and her elderly mother with whom she lived at greater risk for COVID. We showed the Hearing Officer that our client had an legitimate safety concern, the employer was not following state mandates, and that our client notified the employer of the concerns and gave them an adequate opportunity to resolve them before resigning. As a result, the Hearing Officer ruled in our favor and approved unemployment compensation benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 13, 2020
Unemployment Approved After Employee Terminated for Unsubstantiated Allegations:
The employer raised several allegations to support its decision to terminate our client who worked at a cellphone store. During the hearing we showed the Hearing Officer that the employer lacked evidence to substantiate its allegations. Rather, our client presented credible testimony denying the allegations and as a result the Hearing Officer concluded that the employer lacked just cause to terminate our client. He was approved for unemployment compensation with a back payment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 13, 2020
Unemployment Won for Laid Off Worker:
Our client received a group text from his employer informing him that he was laid off. As a result, he applied for unemployment compensation only to find his employer challenging his claim by arguing that he resigned. Through a telephone hearing, we showed the Hearing Officer that our client was, in fact, entitled to benefits as a result of a layoff.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 6, 2020
Unemployment Approved for Individual Who Resigned for Medical Reasons:
When our client was hired at a lawn care business he explained that he had medical issues that required him to operate stand on mowers instead of push mowers. The employer, however, assigned him to work on push mowers. After trying and experiencing pain as a result, our client resigned. He was initially denied unemployment benefits; however, through a hearing we persuaded the Hearing Officer that he was eligible because his medical issues made the work not suitable for him.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 3, 2020
New Employment Removed Suspension of Unemployment Benefits:
Our client applied for benefits after losing a job and was denied. He then obtained new employment where he worked for more than six weeks until he was laid off due to COVID. He reapplied for benefits and was denied again due to the first job. We represented him through a telephone hearing and showed that his employment at the new job was for sufficient weeks and income to remove the suspension of benefits from the first job.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 28, 2020
Employee Had Just Cause to Resign When Employer Violated DOT Rules:
Our client worked as a delivery driver at an employer who repeatedly violated Department of Transportation rules. After our client raised these concerns and the employer refused to address them, he resigned. ODJFS initially denied unemployment benefits claiming our client lacked just cause to resign. During a hearing, we persuaded the Hearing Officer that these violations occurred, that they created a safety hazard, that our client raised his concerns and gave the employer an adequate opportunity to resolve them, and as a result he had just cause to resign. His benefits were approved with a back payment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 23, 2020
Laid Off Employee During COVID Entitled to Unemployment:
Our client's employer sent a notice to its employees that said, any employee that has significant concerns or fear of continued employment shall be laid off and may apply for economic relief available through state or federal sources. The employer appealed, claiming our client was out of work due to health reasons. We prevailed, showing that our client was eligible because he was laid off pursuant to an employer layoff plan and that it was related to a lack of work.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 14, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Approved:
Our client sought a job while she was on unemployment, attended an orientation and then was told that she would need to restart the orientation because she was unable to attend the second day. Though the employer never called her back or returned her calls to reschedule the orientation, unemployment denied her claiming she turned down an offer of suitable work. We convinced unemployment that she did not turn down work but rather was not called back and, as a result, she was approved for unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 9, 2020
Unemployment Approved After Resignation Due to a Bait-and-Switch at Amazon:
Our client was making a career in the customer service field and even had a related college degree. She accepted a job at Amazon as a customer service representative, only to find that her actual job duties would include working with delivery drivers to troubleshoot the application they used, as well as geofencing and package locating. Because she was given a technical job rather than a customer service job, the Hearing Officer agreed that she had just cause to resign. As a result, she approved for unemployment compensation with a back-payment of benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 16, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Paid:
Our client was denied unemployment as being monetarily ineligible. He filed an appeal, but after three months had not received an answer to his appeal. We stepped in, made contact with individuals and ODJFS, submitted payroll verification, and achieved a win for him and payment of the benefits he had been waiting for.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 11, 2020
Unemployment Overpayment Notice in Error:
Our client was issued a notice by unemployment that they were overpaid unemployment and owed back over $11,000.00. We appealed, showing that the decision was in error, and as a result the overpayment was withdrawn and our client did not have to pay back to unemployment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 11, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Approved - Customer Complaint Insufficient to Show Just Cause for Termination:
Our client had an otherwise good work record when a customer emailed a complaint about his "attitude." The Employer, without following up with the customer about the details of the complaint, terminated our client. The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer failed to provide credible evidence that it had just cause to terminate our client. As a result, he was approved for unemployment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 11, 2020
Terminations For Absences Due to a Bona Fide Medical Condition are Without Just Cause - Unemployment Approved:
Our client had several absences from work and was terminated. During a hearing, we showed that she had medical excuses for her absences. We argued and set forth caselaw that says that employees are not at fault for absences due to bona fide medical conditions. Even if the employer can terminate the employee, they are still entitled to unemployment. The Hearing Officer agreed and approved our client for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 10, 2020
Employee Approved for Unemployment With Backpay:
Our client quit a job to work a new job, then worked the new job for more than six weeks before being laid off due to COVID. She was denied unemployment because ODJFS determined she lacked just cause to quit the old job. However, the rule is that such a suspension of benefits is removed if the employee earns sufficient income and either (a) starts the new job within 7 days of the old job and works for at least 3 weeks, or (b) starts the new job more then 7 days after the old job and works the new job for at least 6 weeks. Since our client met this requirements, the Hearing Officer agreed to approve her for unemployment with backpayments.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 8, 2020
Claimant Approved After Resigning Due to Medical Reasons:
Our client had been on FMLA and when that time ran out her employment ended. However, because she had a bona fide medical reason for being absent, the separation was a qualifying one. To be eligible for unemployment, she also had to show that she was able to work, even if she had some restrictions. We were able to show both that the separation did not disqualify her and that she was able to work, and as a result she was approved for unemployment with a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 4, 2020
Employee Fired While Off Work Due to Medical Reasons Approved for Unemployment:
Our client was off of work due to medical issues. When his short term disability came to and end, the employer terminated him. The Hearing Officer agreed that a termination due to a medical issue is beyond a claimant's control and therefore without just cause. The Hearing Officer also agreed that, upon our client's release to work with some restrictions, he became eligible or benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 1, 2020
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate Supervisor for Workers' Errors:
Our client worked as a supervisor at a factory where he supervised production employees and quality assurance employees. He was not permitted to discipline those employees, however. After certain defects were found on some parts that were produced, the employer terminated our client. We were able to show the Hearing Officer that our client could not be expected to actively supervise every employee when he was often filling in on the line for an employee that had called off. In fact, the employer could not point to what role our client had in the errors at all. As a result, he was approved for unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 31, 2020
Just Cause to Quit Wal-Mart Associates for Medical Reasons:
While receiving unemployment, our client looked for another job and accepted one at Wal-Mart. However, she soon found that the physical demands off the job were too much due to a medical issue. As a result, she resigned and was denied unemployment due to the resignation. During the telephone hearing we showed that she had a medical reason to resign, attempted to resolve the issue with the employer before resigning, and as a result had just cause. The Hearing Officer agreed and approved her for unemployment with back pay for the weeks she did not receive benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 27, 2020
Quarantined Client Approved for Unemployment:
Our client's doctor provided medical documentation on more than one occasion that they recommended our client quarantine. During this time the employer terminated our client, stating they believed he did not want his job. The Hearing Officer ruled that our client was not approved for benefits through the regular unemployment system during the time of his quarantine because he was not able to work, though he could apply through the PUA system for those weeks. More importantly, the Hearing Officer ruled that the employer did not have just cause to terminate our client, so once his quarantine ended he did become eligible for benefits, was not overpaid benefits for those weeks, and was approved for benefits going forward.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 27, 2020
Award of Unemployment Back-Payment After Hearing Officer Concludes Our Client Was an Employee and Terminated Without Just Cause:
The Employer claimed that our client was an independent contractor. We showed the Hearing Officer that the Employer's level of control over our client's duties caused him to be an employee, and thus eligible for unemployment. The Employer also argued that it had just cause to terminate our client, but we provided evidence that termination was too extreme and the Hearing Officer agreed. As a result, our client was approved for unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 4, 2020
Unemployment Claimant's Benefits Not Stopped for Severance Payment:
Our client received a lump sum severance payment that Unemployment used to disqualify him for several weeks. At our direction, our client obtained a letter from the Employer indicating that the lump sum severance should be allocated all to the week in which it was paid for the purposes of unemployment. During a hearing, we reviewed the law with the Hearing Officer and she agreed that the lump sum severance should only be counted as deductible income for the week in which it was paid rather than allocated over months. As a result, he received a back-payment for benefits owed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 24, 2020
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate Supervisor for Subordinates' Failures:
The Employer terminated our client who managed a fast food restaurant. It claimed it had just cause to do so when her subordinates failed to open the restaurant as instructed while she was off ill. The Hearing Officer disagreed and approved her for unemployment including a back-payment for the weeks she filed but was not paid.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 23, 2020
Employee Approved for Benefits When Terminated for Being Ill:
Our client was terminated when she was unable to provide her employer with a return to work date from her doctor. However, at the time she was terminated she did not have a return to work date. Her doctor did not know when she could return. Therefore, the employer lacked just cause to terminate her or being absent due to a bona fide medical reason and the Hearing Officer approved her benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 16, 2020
Unemployment Case Expedited:
Our client was denied unemployment benefits as being monetarily ineligible. He appealed the decision on his own on April 20, 2020, but as of July 8 he had not yet received a decision on his appeal. We stepped in and escalated his case on July 9. By July 14, he received Determinations approving his benefits as well as a backpayment for the weeks he filed but had not yet been paid.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 14, 2020
Unemployment Back Payments Won:
Our client was terminated after the employer alleged that the employees she supervised complained. We put forth evidence that showed the employees were merely upset for being instructed to do their work and, if the employer disliked our client's management style it should have provided a warning or training before terminating her. As a result, she won her hearing and as approved for unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 6, 2020
Just Cause to Resign From Employer Who Refused to Provide COVID-19 Protective Equipment:
Our client found her employer refused to provide protective equipment for COVID-19 and refused to follow safety precautions, even after she asked them to follow proper protocols. As a result, she resigned. After initially being denied unemployment compensation, we persuaded a hearing officer that this satisfied just cause to resign. Our client was approved for her unemployment and provided backpayments.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 30, 2020
Employee Terminated Without Just Cause - Benefits Paid:
Our client was terminated after an accusation of harassing a co-worker; however, we showed the Hearing Officer that the employer lacked any proof of wrongdoing or prior discipline. Therefore, the Hearing Officer agreed that the termination was without just cause and our client was approved for unemployment with back-pay.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 17, 2020
No Just Cause to Terminate For Leaving the State During COVID-19:
Our client went to New York for a personal matter; however, while he was gone his employer implemented a policy prohibiting leaving the state during COVID-19. In turn, it terminated our client when he returned to work. The Hearing Officer agreed that there was no just cause to terminate him because (a) the policy was issued while he was already out of the state; and (b) the employer was aware that he had left the state. His unemployment was approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
June 12, 2020
Employer Lacked Just Cause To Terminate for Facebook Post:
After an employer informed our client of a demotion, she put a post on Facebook that hard work and loyalty meant nothing, but she did not mention her employer or indicate that she was talking about work. The employer jumped to its own conclusions about the post and terminated her. The Hearing Officer agreed with us, that the post did not violated the employer's social networking policy and did not constitute misconduct. As a result, our client was approved for unemployment, including back-pay for the weeks it had initially been denied.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 29, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Won:
Our client was a supervisor. One of the people he supervised became upset with him due to a disciplinary warning and to retaliate, she claimed he had threatened her. It was confirmed that this was not true and our client told the other employee that he did not appreciate her telling a lie about him. The employer terminated our client. During a hearing, we showed unemployment that the accusation did not support just cause for termination and the Hearing Officer ruled in our favor.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 22, 2020
Unemployment Appeal Won With Backpay:
After our client was terminated for moving seats during a meeting because a co-worker's perfume was aggravating her respiratory condition, ODJFS denied her unemployment benefits repeatedly. We appealed, showed the Hearing Officer how ridiculous the termination was, and obtained a decision awarding our client eligibility and a back-payment for the weeks ODJFS should have been providing benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 10, 2020
Employee Terminated Without Just Cause:
Our client was terminated after an allegation that he falsified time sheets. However, we presented a case to the Hearing Officer that showed the employer's records were unreliable and could not support a termination with just cause. The Hearing Officer agreed, approving our client for unemployment compensation with back-payments.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 18, 2020
Employer Lacks Just Cause to Terminate Employee For Walking Away From Manager's Threatening Behavior:
Our client was questioned by her employer about an accusation, during which a manager raised his voice. Our client started to leave the manager's office when she was told they would consider her to have resigned if she left. She returned to the office, only to have the manager increase his attack, yelling and pounding his fist on his desk. Our client left the office again and returned to her work duties when the employer told her to leave. Despite the employer claiming our client resigned, we showed the hearing officer that she was terminated without just cause and her benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 24, 2020
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate Probationary Employee:
Our client was terminated for an allegation that he failed to report an auto accident. We showed that he was not at fault for the accident, did not initially observe any damage, and that he called the accident in within minutes. Even though our client was a probationary employee, the Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate in these circumstances. Our client was approved for unemployment and issued a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 18, 2019
Employee Unjustly Terminated:
Our client was one of several staff that went with students to a field trip. One of the students walked away from the group and the employer terminated our client as a result. We showed that our client was not assigned to supervise this student. The employer's reliance on self-serving written statements of other staff on the trip was found to be in error as the statements were not credible when countered by our client's credible testimony given under oath. As a result, our client was approved for benefits and received a backpayment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 17, 2019
Improperly Classified as an Independent Contractor:
Our client accepted a job offer only to find out that the employer planned to classify him as an Independent Contractor. Independent contractors are generally paid with an 1099 without taxes being withheld and they are not eligible for unemployment compensation. However, there are rules and tests to determine whether a person should be classified as an employee or independent contractor. In this case, we showed that the employer improperly classified our client and, as a result, he was eligible for unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 12, 2019
Unemployment Benefits Approved - Employer Lacked Just Cause for Termination:
Our client was a manager who was terminated because she was accused of giving discipline to a staff member in front of other employees and because the employer believed she had not met her goals under a performance plan. The employer failed to present any witness regarding the discipline given to the other employee and our client credibly testified that she gave the discipline in an office with the door closed. With regard to the performance plan, the Employer agreed that our client's goals and expectations had been changed and she still had another month left to meet the revised goals. As a result, the Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 11, 2019
Credible Testimony Leads to Approved Unemployment:
Our client was terminated, despite having no prior discipline, after an allegation that she failed to pass a test at work. Through preparation and presentation of her case, we presented credible evidence that she did pass the test. The Hearing Officer agreed and approved her unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 27, 2019
Progressive Discipline Matters:
An employer terminated our client for making an error on her time sheet even though she had no prior discipline. The Hearing Officer agreed that the error was not intentional and the employer lacked just cause to terminate an employee for a single incident with no prior discipline.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 27, 2019
Employer's Faulty Investigation Leads to Approved Benefits:
Our client was terminated for an allegation of falsifying her time card, but when she was terminated the employer failed to allow her to fully respond or to get her phone that she asserted had proof that the allegation was untrue. The employer then proceeded with the hearing offering conclusory assertions without any evidence to support its claim. As a result, the Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked sufficient just cause at the time of the termination, and the benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 21, 2019
No Just Cause to Terminate for Sales Goals:
Our client was terminated for failing to meet sales goals after being placed on a performance improvement plan. We were able to show the hearing officer that the goals were aspirational and not requirements of the job, that the goals and the job had changed, that our client had received a positive performance review, and that another sales person who did not meet their "goals" was not disciplined. The Hearing Officer agreed that the termination was without just cause and that our client was eligible for unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 13, 2019
No Just Cause to Terminate Employee Without Prior Discipline:
The employer terminated our client even though she had not received any prior discipline or notice that her job was in jeopardy. The Hearing Officer agreed with us that the employer had not shown that our client purposely broke any rules or policies, that she was insubordinate in any way, or that she was subject to discharge for any reason. As a result, our appeal was granted and our client was approved for benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 16, 2019
Employer Lacked Just Cause When Spouse Called Off for Husband:
Our client's wife notified the employer that her husband would not be able to work due to a medical reasons. The employer responded by terminating our client claiming he no-call/no-showed. The Hearing Officer agreed that the absence was beyond our client's control and the employer received adequate notice due to the circumstances. Our client's unemployment compensation claim was approved and he was granted back-pay.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 10, 2019
Discharge for Bona Fide Medical Reason is Without Just Cause:
Our client had several absences from work, exceeding the employer's attendance policy. However, the absences were due to a bona fide medication reasons. The Hearing Officer agreed that an employer lacks just cause to terminate for absences due to bona fide medical reasons, and as a result our client was approved for unemployment and granted back-payments.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
October 4, 2019
No Just Cause to Terminate For Absences Related to Medical Issues:
The employer terminated our client for violating their attendance policy; however, the Hearing Officer agreed that terminations are without just cause when the absences are due to a bona fide medical issue. As a result, we won the unemployment hearing.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 19, 2019
Unemployment Appeal Won:
The employer discovered two incidents of paperwork being altered or incorrect and it terminated our client as a result. We showed the hearing officer that our client had not engaged in the alleged misconduct and as a result her unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
September 10, 2019
Unemployment Approved For Employee Who Employer Erroneously Classified as an Independent Contractor:
The employer failed with pay unemployment taxes for our client by claiming they were an independent contractor. We showed during the hearing that there was not a contract for a certain piece of work at a fixed price, the claimant did not have the right to employ assistants, there was no obligation to supply necessary tools or supplies, claimant did not have the right to control the progress of the work, she was required to work set hours, she was paid on a regular weekly basis, and she was not reimbursed for expenses. As a result, the Hearing Officer agreed that our client was actually an employee and she had just cause to resign when the employer cut her pay in half.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 15, 2019
Cut in Hours Justified Resignation:
The Hearing Officer agreed with us that our client had just cause to resign from his position when it was shown that he was hired for a full-time position but only allowed to work two days per week. Back payments to our client were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
August 15, 2019
Unemployment Approved When Employee Resigns Because Employer Fails to Pay Rate Agreed to in Interview:
During our client's interview, they were told that they would earn $12.00 an hour and work full-time; however, when they arrived for the orientation they were told that they would receive less than $9.00 an hour and work part-time. They found themselves denied unemployment when they resigned, but the Hearing Officer agreed with us that there was just cause to resign and their benefits were approved with a back-payment.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
July 22, 2019
Unemployment Benefits Approved:
The employee was terminated for allegedly falsifying call records; however, the hearing officer agreed that the employer's choice to skip all of its progressive discipline steps violated just cause and therefore unemployment benefits were approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
May 28, 2019
No Just Cause to Terminate Employee Who Wanted Shift Change:
After our client asked to switch a a different shift, the employer determined there were no openings on other shifts and terminated our client. While the employer maintained that our client quit, the hearing officer agreed that this was a termination and the employer lacked just cause. We were able to obtain a decision approving our client's unemployment claim with back-payments.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 12, 2019
No Just Cause to Terminate for Insubordination:
The employer called a meeting with our client, started to argue with him, and then terminated him without giving a reason. The employer then claimed it had several reasons to terminate including insubordination during the final meeting. We showed, however, that the employer lacked evidence to support any of its allegations. Further, an employer should be limited to the reason it gave at the time of the termination and, in this case, the employer did not provide any reason. Therefore, it lacked just cause to terminate.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 9, 2019
Our Client Was Attacked After an OSU Football Game Wager, Terminated and Denied Unemployment - Until We Won His Hearing For Him:
Our client and co-worker placed a wager on an OSU football game and when our client asked the co-worker to pay what was still due from the wager, the co-worker rushed him and put him in a headlock until other employees removed him. The Hearing Officer agreed that the employer lacked just cause to terminate our client who was the victim in the altercation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 8, 2019
Postal Service Employee Approved:
Our client accepted a temporary position from the U.S. Postal Service through the holidays. After the temporary position came to an end, he reapplied for unemployment but was denied. After a hearing, we obtained a decision approving his unemployment claim and back-pay.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 4, 2019
Termination During Performance Improvement Plan is Without Just Cause:
While the employer argued that it had just cause to terminate our client during a Performance Improvement Plan, we showed that the employer had not given our employee till the end of the PIP to meet his goals and nothing else occurred during the PIP that justified termination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
April 2, 2019
Student Approved for Unemployment:
Although our client was initially denied unemployment because ODJFS claimed she was ineligible due to (a) a disqualifying separation and (b) because she was going to school, we prevailed at her hearing. The Hearing Officer agreed that (a) the employer lacked just cause to terminate her and (b) the schooling did not disqualify her because she was attending school before she was terminated.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
March 27, 2019
Eligible For Unemployment - Medically Able to Work:
After our client was denied unemployment due to an allegation that she was not medically able to work, we researched her case and gathered medical documentation for the hearing officer. That hearing officer agreed that she was able to work and approved her claim for unemployment benefits.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 27, 2019
Fired for Asking, "Are you calling me a liar?"
The employer met with our client on two occasions, made allegations about his work performance and our client answered the allegations. When the employer did not seem to believe our client, he asked, "Are you calling me a liar?" The employer claimed this was insubordination and terminated him. The Hearing Officer agreed that this did not rise to the level of insubordination and did not warrant termination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won.
February 21, 2019
Unemployment Approved After Employer Changes Duties and Schedule:
The Employer changed our client's job duties, cut their full-time job down to 16 hours per week, and would not confirm the new rate of pay. The Hearing Officer agreed that our client was involuntarily unemployed through no fault of her own and she was not required to accept the new position because the reduction in hours/pay made it not suitable.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won.
February 19, 2019
Employer Lacked Just Cause to Terminate:
The employer claimed our client did not call in for three absences and that she was not medically able to work. We showed that our client did call in for each absence and, although with some medical restrictions, was able to work. The Hearing Officer agreed.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 11, 2019
Cafe Lacks Just Cause to Terminate Server:
After a telephone hearing, the Hearing Officer agreed with our client that they did not engage in misconduct to justify their termination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
February 8, 2019
Offer of Reduced Hours and Split Shift is Not an Offer of Suitable Work:
Our client worked full-time, was laid off, and then offered a position at about half the hours and split - with a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours in the afternoon. The Hearing Officer agreed that this was not an offer of suitable work that our client was required to accept, and thus his application for unemployment compensation was approved.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
January 18, 2019
Poor Judgement May Not Be Sufficient Fault or Misconduct to Justify Termination:
The Hearing Officer agreed that our client may have taken an act at work that demonstrated poor judgement, it was not an act that demonstrated a disregard of the employer's interests or of sufficient fault/misconduct to justify termination. The employer's delay of three months to terminate the employee after the act was also a factor leading to the hearing officer approving unemployment compensation.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 7, 2018
Calling a co-worker a Peppa Pig Does Not Give Just Cause to Terminate:
Our client and a co-worker were having an argument during which the co-worker was called a Peppa Pig. The Hearing officer agreed that there was not sufficient fault or misconduct to justify termination.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
December 4, 2018
Unemployment approved after resignation due to physical limitations:
Our client took a job while unemployed that was physically demanding. When the job turned out to be too much for him, he attempted to move to another position at the employer but was unable. The Hearing Officer agreed that this was just cause to resign.
  
Unemployment Appeal Won
November 20, 2018
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"Brian is a very good attorney and I am very happy with the way that he handled my unemployment case. He is very professional and informative and easy to talk to and he explains concerns very well. I would recommend him to anyone. He is very thorough and made me feel very confident with him handling my case. Thank you very much for your hard work in my case."
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"Thank you Brian for representing me with my unemployment case. I was over whelmed and devastated at the loss of my job after 27 years of employment. You was my rock that helped me through this nightmare, I couldn't have done it without you. You are very professional and easy to talk to, I appreciate all you did for me."
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"Excellent service, not only did I win my case but the level of customer service was phenomenal!! Anytime i had a question it was answered so that i could understand it.
I was also extremely prepared and ready before we went to court.
It was such a nice process. I would recommend this company to anyone i know!!"  
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"There are only good things to be said about this Law Firm, Attorney Brian Smith and Attorney John Sivinski.  I was blindsided by separation at my former employment and then denied unemployment benefits as well.  In addition to the denial of benefits, I also lost two rounds of appeals.  Before my third appeal, which involved a phone hearing, I was very fortunate to find this Law Firm.  They were meticulous and extremely experienced in helping to turn the situation around."
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"Brian is very responsive and very thorough. I was very nervous throughout the process, and he made me feel relaxed and confident. I would highly recommend Brian to all my friends and family because I am confident he will not let them down, he is very trustworthy and personable. Thanks so much Brian for your professionalism and you eagerness to go the extra mile. You are an excellent attorney."
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"Great law firm.  My attorney help me immensely. My job fired me unjustly and they help me get my unemployment back. They help file everything and keep you updated on what going on. Very friendly and helpful. Wish these guys the best in the future!"
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"Brian and his colleague John were incredibly helpful and supportive. Not only did they make me feel secure, I felt represented and heard. I won my case with their help and hard work! I highly recommend them for anyone who is having to fight their employer for unemployment. I can not thank them enough!"  
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Smith's Ohio Legal Blog

Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case and we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters.
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