In 2010, a client contacted the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) seeking assistance with an employment matter. The client’s previous attorney had made no progress in negotiating with the former employer. Thankfully, LRIS Labor Relations panel attorney Aaron Minnis was able and willing to take the case. At the end of 2012, a six-figure settlement was secured for the client.
This is just one of many successful outcomes for cases referred to Minnis. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Minnis about his practice and advice for young lawyers.
Emmy Pasternak (EP): Tell us about your thought process when approaching a case. What factors do you take into consideration when deciding whether to represent a client?
Aaron Minnis (AM): Our firm advises and represents individuals in employment cases. When I meet a potential client for the first time, I consider whether the client tells a compelling story and if there is a legal claim. Then I consider where the employee worked, what happened, the parties involved, when the events took place, and what the possible damages are.
EP: What interests you about the law?
AM: I enjoy meeting people in different professions, hearing their stories and learning about what they do. Freud said, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” I believe that is probably true for a lot of us.
EP: Has the way you litigate changed over the years?
AM: Yes, when I started practicing, my mentor and former law partner and I fully litigated almost every case and, as a result, I gained valuable trial experience. Now, our firm still litigates, but I find mediation is far more prevalent. I also make it a point to try to get to know every opposing counsel. There is a good chance we will be sitting across the table from one another in a future case.
EP: Speaking of mentors and gaining practical experience – do you have any advice for those in law school or recent State Bar admittees?
AM: Yes, find a mentor. Work with people you like. Do a trial if litigation is going to be a part of your practice. And finally, take pride in your work, from the clarity of your arguments and the way you conduct yourself in trial down to the look and organization of your paperwork.
Aaron Minnis has been a member of the LRIS Labor Relations panel since 2009. He is a partner in the law firm of Minnis & Smallets LLP.
For information on how to join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service, please visit www.sfbar.org/lawyerreferrals/att.aspx. Read more about our program, download panel applications, and view attorney testimonials. You may also contact the LRIS Membership Coordinator, Yvonne Ng, at 415-782-9000 x8750 or email@example.com for direct service. The LRIS is a revenue generating program, the proceeds of which help to support BASF’s charitable programs.