Litigation, Trial Practice & Appeals

Overview

This office provides clients with experienced representation in employment litigation and trial practice. Representation is provided in actions before federal and state trial courts, including the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Colorado District Courts, and in federal, state, and local government agency proceedings.

Legal representation is provided to employees and employers; regardless of whether a client is asserting claims or defending claims.

Employment Litigation

In litigation involving an employee’s discrimination, retaliation, or harassment claims, the process begins with the employee retaining counsel and/or filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC], and/or the appropriate state agency. In Colorado, the proper state agency is the Colorado Division of Civil Rights.

The employee’s counsel may seek to resolve the dispute with the employer, prior to the employee filing a charge with the EEOC. In the event a charge is filed with the EEOC, the employee and/or employer may seek to resolve the dispute through the EEOC’s mediation process. Also, the employee and employer may provide the EEOC with information for the EEOC’s investigation.

Following the EEOC completing the investigation, the employee will obtain a right to sue notice from the EEOC. The notice provides the employee the right to file a lawsuit within the period set forth in the notice.

An employee may file suit in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado or a Colorado District Court. The lawsuit, through a “complaint’, sets forth the claims for relief, and any request for a jury trial.

The employer may respond to the lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss or an answer. If the action is not dismissed following the employer’s response, the parties engage in information exchanges through disclosures and discovery.

Disclosures involve the parties disclosing information concerning persons with knowledge of the case and documents. Thereafter, the parties engage in written discovery though the use of interrogatories [written questions], written requests for production of documents, and depositions [the examination of witnesses and parties under oath and in front of a court reporter].

During the lawsuit, the Court usually requires the parties are to confer about the prospect of settlement.

Following the completion of discovery, a party may file a motion for summary judgment. The summary judgment motion seeks to dismiss one or more claims, without any trial, based on the evidence acquired through discovery and the law controlling the claims in issue.

In the event the summary judgment motions are not granted as to the dismissal of claims, the parties prepare for trial.

In a trial, the parties participate in the selection of the jury. Thereafter, the parties present opening statements.

Following the beginning of the trial, at specific phases of the trial, the parties will again have the opportunity to move for judgment on claims; a motion similar to the summary judgment motion.

During the trial, the employee attempts to prove his claims and the employer seeks to prove its defenses through evidence. Evidence includes witness testimony and the introduction of documents into evidence. Each party may object to the opposing party’s introduction of specific evidence, including witness testimony.

Following the completion of each party’s case, and the introduction of all evidence, the parties make closing arguments to the jury. The jury decides the case based on the evidence and the jury instructions given to the jury by the Court, the Judge.

Federal, State, and Local Government Agency Proceedings

Employment proceedings before government agencies usually involve three types of actions: (1) an investigation of a charge, or complaint; (2) a dispute resolution proceeding seeking to achieve a settlement of the matter before the agency; or (3) a determination of rights in a full-sale evidentiary hearing, i.e. whether an employee’s discharge from federal government employment was warranted.

Conclusion

Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide counsel and representation to clients in employment litigation, trials, and proceedings. Please contact Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.

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