Joel Dillard & Associates

Representing Working People

100, 10, 1

Usually I post explainers about the laws the firm enforces, helping you understand some important concepts and keeping you up to date. Sometimes I write about the firm's philosophy or approach to the practice. This post will be a little different, a little more autobiographical. I have three major numbers to talk about: 100, 10, and 1.

The firm started very small. Having decided at the outset to build almost everything myself - including hand-coding the site from scratch - there was no other way it could have started. But in the early days I was just beginning to pick up cases and had the time to pour into it. The first 24 blog posts came in those initial three months.

As things picked up there were other demands on my time and the posting slowed to some half-dozen entries per year. As the work continued to pile up, I brought on an intake officer turned paralegal, and then, after five years, I brought on an associate attorney. This led to a more even schedule, and the ability to take on more work. Unfortunately for the working people of the state, the demand is certainly there for this work, and the supply of good help is very short indeed.

Things hummed along nicely, and we even prepared to expand further. As of August 2022, we had 99 posts on the blog and even more cases on the docket. But then a few things happened at once. My associate left for the EEOC. My wife had a baby. Two other attorney hiring plans fell through. Waves of support staff turnover came one after the other. And quite suddenly I found myself alone with untested staff carrying a workload designed for three lawyers. And months behind at the starting block.

It was not easy. Long days, longer weeks, and a seemingly endless succession of unbroken months of work. I stopped taking any new cases for a time. Suffice to say, that meant blog post 100 had to wait.

But the firm survived - and more than survived. Now, over a year and a half later, the caseload has returned to normal-ish, the staff has gotten experience and expanded, and I've developed good internal systems for tracking and executing on our litigation plans that I know can handle the workload we have and then some. We are taking cases again at a sustainable pace, and still have room to deal with schedule changes.

An unexpected side-effect of going through this crucible: The quality of our representation has improved, not just efficiency as would be expected. Quality is currently at the highest level it has ever been. And it is showing in the results, with large jury verdicts and settlements. We recently settled a single-incident, hotly disputed, employment-related claim for $800,000 - despite the fact it was subject to a $1MM cap. Case valuations and results are rising quickly.

So this is the 100th post, made in the firm's 10th year, by its 1st and only attorney. To my clients: I'm very proud of all of you, and I know the tremendous leap of faith it takes to stand up for justice. Thank you for your patience during times when I have been hard to reach as I was working on other matters. Thank you for trusting me to bring the case home for you. And know that as long as I can do this work, I will never stop striving to improve.


This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. By calling or emailing the firm, you are consenting to receive return calls, emails, mailings and text messages from the firm.

To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.

First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.

Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with staff in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.