Atwater Law PLLC
400 West Main Street
Suite 612
Durham, NC 27701

North Carolina Unemployment Lawyers

Helping Claimants Obtain the Unemployment Benefits They Rightly Deserve

Benefits of Attorney Representation at Unemployment Appeal Hearings

Finding Legal Support

Our Employment Security Lawyers have a thorough knowledge of the laws governing the award of NC unemployment benefits. It is helpful to have someone who is familiar with the laws and regulations governing Employment Security in North Carolina to help you with your Appeal.  In addition to the Employment Security Laws, it is often helpful to cite case law (i.e., prior agency decisions) to support your case. Our law firm maintains an extensive library of State and Federal cases in which we can search to find legal support for your North Carolina unemployment appeal hearing. We also consider and present any public policy arguments which support the award of unemployment benefits in your case.

Developing Your Case

As a part of the unemployment appeal process, we consider the best strategy to present your case. Specifically, we develop lines of questioning, formulate objections to the employer’s documentary evidence, and explore ways to impeach the credibility of the employer’s witnesses. We also review the case file to uncover inconsistencies in the employer’s evidence. In addition, we help the claimant explain, clarify and/or reconcile seemingly inconsistent statements. Ultimately, we develop an overall strategic plan of presenting your case, which takes into considerations the facts of your case and the relevant law.

Witness Preparation

Unemployment hearings can be nerve racking, for any witness, particularly the claimant. After all, a lot is at stake. While it’s natural for a witness to be a little nervous, it is very important to channel that nervous anxiety. Otherwise, a  witness may start making explanations, which are not relevant to the specific issues. This may obscure the key points of the testimony, or worse, the claimant may say something completely out of key which would hurt the case.

One way to minimize nervous rambling is through witness preparation. The more prepared a witness is, the less likely they are to veer off topic.

We help claimants and their witnesses focus their testimony, by thoroughly reviewing substance and the purpose of claimant’s evidence. We also help the claimant and/or the claimant’s witnesses explain, clarify, reconcile and/or otherwise address any weaknesses in claimant’s case. Moreover, the aforementioned preparation will help the claimant withstand the employer cross-examination.

Submission of Evidence

Often times claimants will need to submit additional evidence (e.g., doctor notes, emails, text messages, voice mail recordings, etc.) for consideration at their unemployment appeal hearings.  Any such evidence will need to be submitted to both the Appeals Referee and the employer at a reasonable time prior to the hearing. It is also imperative that any such evidence be submitted in the appropriate format and in accordance with Division Regulations. Our attorneys are accustomed to submitting evidence  and will make sure that any such evidence is submitted properly.

Representation You at the Unemployment Appeal Hearing

Ultimately, the evidence presented at the time of your  hearing will determine whether the decision of the adjudicator is reversed or upheld. During the unemployment hearing, our attorneys will present your case through direct examination. Your attorney will cross examine the employers witnesses regarding lack of personal knowledge, lack of documentary evidence, the employer’s failure to follow its own disciplinary policy, failure to consistently enforce policies, bias, etc. Once all evidence has been presented, your attorney will offer a closing argument, which will summarize the facts that have been presented through your testimony as well as any documentary evidence and will apply the relevant law to the facts of your case and argue why you should be entitled to your unemployment benefits. Everything will be recorded and entered into evidence for the Appeals Referee to review and make a decision.



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