Which of you hot shot lawyers wants to join an employment law panel with me?

James A. Byrne United States Courthouse.jpg

You folks in HR don’t have to read any further. Go do yeoman’s work today by putting the “human” in human resources. Or whatever it is you do each day.

But, the lawyers. Let’s see if I can thaw some of your icy hearts with an irresistible invitation and offer.

It’s the Plaintiffs’ Employment Panel.

You see, as of yesterday at 11:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time, I officially became the co-coordinator of the Plaintiffs’ Employment Panel for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Uh, Eric. Did you mean to write Plaintiffs’ Employment Panel?

Well, yes. And, because I’ve always wanted to know what the inside of a federal courthouse looks like, I jumped at the invitation. Just kidding. (But, you should try that line with a client sometime. Trust me.) Except, I’m not kidding about the Plaintiffs’ Employment Panel part. Indeed, I am the co-coordinator.

What is this Panel?

The EDPa developed the Panel to pair pro se plaintiffs in employment cases with competent counsel. I trust that all (or at least most) of my lawyer readers meet that definition.

Why should you sign up?

You only have to dip a toe in the water. That is, if you sign up for the Panel, there is zero commitment — none — to ever take a case. Attorneys on the Panel simply receive an email alert when a new case is listed. If you are interested in taking the case, you let the Court know. Only then is the attorney somewhat committed. I say “somewhat committed” because that attorney still has two weeks in which to meet with the client, review, and otherwise evaluate the case. In other words, if you don’t like the case, client or both, you can back out. Otherwise, if you like what you see, you generally get fast-tracked to mediation to resolve the matter quickly. Score!

That’s just the nickel tour. You can read more about the Panel here and here.

But, Eric, why are you doing this?

My motivation for doing this has nothing to do with jumping headfirst to the other side of the “v.” Ain’t no one taking the “ER” out of The Employer Handbook. Rather, the allure of helping the federal court and working with other great jurists on the Panel was strong. Yeah, my status as co-Chair of my firm’s Pro Bono Committee helped too. But also, I hope to check from my bucket list being the first (?) local attorney to sponsor the pro hac vice admission for someone to represent a pro se litigant in a single-plaintiff employment case.

Yep, that means we may have the chance to work together. Woo hoo!

Eric, help me seal the deal.

If working with me as co-counsel on the same case isn’t enough enticement, here’s some James Taylor to put you in the mood, and even more icing on the cake:

  1. Our judges meet with Panel attorneys 1-2 times per year to thank them personally.
  2. If you accept a case, you can do it pro bono.
  3. Rewarding for attorneys of any experience level, the Panel is a hella-good opportunity for young lawyers to cut their teeth in federal court.

If you are interested in joining, or would like more information, please email me.

Thank you.


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