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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

3 reasons you need an attorney at your unemployment hearing

Many people have represented themselves at unemployment hearings and won, but many have also lost. Of the percentage that lost, many of them could have won if they just came in with an attorney. It may not be obvious, but going in with an attorney can give you a huge advantage in your fight to win benefits. Below are three reasons that having legal representation at your unemployment hearing can be the difference between winning and losing.


Attorneys are trained in the rules of evidence and they can use these skills at your hearing to help you win. The rules of evidence govern what kind of testimony and documentary evidence may be presented to the referee at the hearing. Most claimants will not know when to object to the admission of evidence and the opposing side can use this to their advantage. They may attempt to put documents on the record that otherwise would not be admissible. A trained attorney will be able to spot the evidence that is inadmissible and object to it, thereby keeping evidence off the record that may otherwise be detrimental to the claimant’s case.


Cross-examination is another instance where a trained attorney’s tactics can be extremely useful. If the Claimant questions the opposing party’s witnesses on their own they may be able to get the information they want, but they may also inadvertently bring out evidence that is damaging to their own case. An attorney will be able to tactfully question the other witnesses so that only information that is useful to the claimant’s case is brought out and put on the record.

Deterrent effect

Sometimes just registering your appearance with an attorney can cause the opposing side to rethink their decision to fight your claim. I must admit that this is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. When your opponent sees that you have an attorney the time and expenses that they will have to put into winning the case increases. They may decide that it is not worth the cost to fight it, especially if there case is not that strong. Additionally, if your opponent does not arrive to the scheduled hearing your attorney will know what to do to ensure that you can win the case and not say anything that may be detrimental to your claim.

In sum, having a trained attorney with you at your hearing will give you a greater chance of winning your unemployment claim. An attorney will know when to object to evidence, how to tactfully cross-examine and their mere presence will have a deterrent effect upon your opponent. Hiring an attorney to represent you will almost always be worth the time and money. If you require further advice please contact Kraemer, Manes and Associates for a free consultation.

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