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Frequently Asked Questions

Legal concerns can be confusing, frustrating and intimidating. At Melville Johnson, P.C., our federal employee attorneys strive to provide clear, consistent, conscientious support—extending that clarity to the ways in which we work together. From our very first meeting, we’ll guide you through the entire process step-by-step, building a solid case based on the pertinent facts you relay while remaining transparent at every stage. This means we will always advise you on the best course of action moving forward. For example, if there is an evidentiary shortage that could harm your case, we’ll discuss the option of dropping the claim if we feel the lack of evidence will cause an outcome that will not result in a favorable judgment or if the additional time and resources you commit will outweigh the final return. Below are some of the most frequent questions clients ask about working with us.

Working with Us

As the case progresses, how can I stay informed?

At Melville Johnson we strive to keep open communication with our clients. At every step in your case, your attorney will keep you informed of the actions we are taking, the decisions that we need to make, and the results we achieve on your behalf. You will be mailed copies of all documents sent or received on your behalf. Email, phone, courier and fax are readily at your disposal. Contact us or make an appointment at any time with a question; we will address your concerns promptly. In addition, we encourage you to be present at any hearing or during conferences concerning your case.

Do you make all the decisions?

Your Melville Johnson federal employment lawyer will work closely with you at each decision point, outlining your options and the probable outcomes; together we will decide the best course of action. Ultimately, you under advisement, are responsible for decisions.

Does every case settle?

Unfortunately, every case does not settle. If we see that settlement is unlikely, we may suggest terminating the case to avoid the unnecessary expense of going forward.

How can I prepare for my consultation?

The best way to prepare for your consultation is to gather as many facts as possible. This both helps us understand your case quickly and will be useful later in constructing our argument on your behalf. Please be prepared to verbally present your case, including dates and times of unlawful behavior against you and any other pertinent information. The more detailed the information, the more effective it will be for winning your case. We do not normally review documents prior to a consultation, but we can, at your request, for an additional fee. Any documents that you send will be available for a brief review during the consultation.

How long will my case take?

It is impossible to predict the length of any case, as there are many factors beyond anyone’s control. The availability of witnesses, other issues before the court, and the length of a hearing or the numbers of appeals required are just some of these factors. You can expect your case to be resolved in no less than six months if everything goes as planned.

How much is my case worth?

While it is difficult to set a price on any case, we will make an informed analysis at your initial consultation.

How much will my case cost and how will I be charged?

Melville Johnson, P.C. charges on an hourly fee basis, with a retainer fee, billed monthly. At your initial consultation we can estimate the approximate total cost of your case. However, it is impossible to set an exact cost as many financial variables occur throughout the life of a case. Your retainer fee will be put into a trust account, which will be applied to your bill on a monthly basis. If your account nears depletion, you will be required to replenish it.

When do you decide if you will take my case?

When you initially contact our firm by phone or email, our Client Intake Manager will evaluate whether yours is the type of case that we are able to take. We then set up an initial paid consultation with you. At this consultation, you will discuss your case in greater depth with Mr. Johnson to determine whether we believe you have a winnable case, and whether we feel your case is a good fit for us—this is also your opportunity to decide whether Melville Johnson is the right firm for you.

Types of Cases

We represent clients in matters of federal employment law that include (but are not limited to):

  • Equal opportunity disputes (EEO attorneys and lawyers)
  • Litigating at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB attorneys and lawyers), Office of Personnel Management (OPM attorneys and lawyers), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the Office of Special Counsel (OSC attorneys and lawyers)
  • Resolving Reduction in Force issues
  • Determining the optimal retirement plan for your situation (OPM, FERS and CSRS attorneys and lawyers)
  • Obtaining disability retirement compensation (OPM attorneys and lawyers)
  • Shielding whistleblowers against retaliation (OSC and MSPB attorneys and lawyers)
  • Defending your right to engage in political activity (Hatch Act attorneys and lawyers)
  • Maintaining privacy rights (Privacy Act attorneys and lawyers)
  • Filing and pursuing internal agency grievances
  • Aiding postal workers, VA and all other federal agency employees.
  • Protecting your USSERA (Uniform Services Discrimination), (MSPB attorneys and lawyers)
  • Spousal support claims (OPM and MSPB attorneys and lawyers)

Client Rights

We know that people often find the legal process intimidating, including their relationship with their lawyer. At Melville Johnson, P.C. we will strive to represent you fairly and openly at all times. Specifically:

  • We at Melville Johnson will never refuse to represent you on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
  • We will be courteous in all our dealings with you.
  • Any information you share with us will be kept in complete confidence.
  • We will work for you aggressively, performing to our utmost ability. We cannot, however, guarantee particular results.
  • Before we begin work, we will provide you with a written agreement, stating in plain language the purpose of our engagement, the details of the fee structure, and the payment schedule for fees and expenses. Before you sign this agreement, you are entitled to have us clarify any of the terms and to request changes. You may refuse any arrangement that you find unsatisfactory.
  • After you have engaged us, and we have a firm understanding of your case, you are entitled to a good faith estimate of the future costs of your case; this estimate may change later as circumstances affecting your case change.
  • To enable our success, we rely on you to be truthful in all discussions with us and to readily provide all relevant information, both written and oral.
  • We will keep you informed of the status of your case and will provide you with copies of correspondence and documents prepared on your behalf or received from the judge or your adversary.
  • You have the right to be present at any hearing or during conferences concerning your case.
  • You are entitled to make the ultimate decisions regarding your case, such as whether or not you will accept a settlement or severance offer.
  • Our written engagement agreement will specify under what circumstances we might seek to withdraw as your attorney.
  • When you entrust us with money to be used on your behalf to advance your case, we will safeguard the money in a special trust bank account. When the terms of the escrow agreement have been performed, we will promptly make payment of the escrow to all persons who are entitled to it, which usually will be only you.

In the event of a fee dispute, you will have the right to seek arbitration.

Contact us today
If you're a federal employee and feel you've been the victim of unlawful discrimination involving MSPB claims or EEO claims, our experienced federal employment attorneys stand ready to fight on your behalf. Give us a call today at (404) 724-0000 or fill out the form below and we'll be sure to follow up in a timely manner.
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what our clients are saying
“I really appreciate how much Melville Johnson cared about my case. From the very beginning of the process, their federal employee attorneys were friendly and very informative. We won the case, and they were even helpful afterwards, answering any questions or concerns. Thank you Melville Johnson, and I will definitely pass your good work along to others in need.”
- Jim R.
“Despite the complexity of my situation, Melville Johnson took on my claim and immediately put me at ease with a clear demonstration of their expertise with EEO law. From the very start, the firm’s team members have been amazing to work with—hardworking, honest and extremely trustworthy. I would recommend them to anyone who needed this type of legal assistance!”
- Bridget B.
“As a person with a disability working for the federal government, I knew I needed to get the right legal professional assistance for my case. And while the process could have been tedious and overwhelming for a layperson without much legal knowledge, Melville Johnson alleviated all the potential stress involved by taking the guesswork out of my hands. With their help, I received disability approval in record time! I want to thank you for the superior work your firm performed. From my very first contact, your Client Intake Manager took the time to answer all of my initial questions and provide detailed information at every turn. And your attorneys showed nothing but professionalism and kindness throughout the process.”
- Sandra B.
“The consummate professionals at Melville Johnson work closely with you to ensure your rights are being protected. As a current federal employee, I found myself in a situation where the job I was asked to do didn’t match the position description for which I was hired nor the compensation I deserved. With the firm’s help, I was able to obtain back pay and transfer into a position that matched the job I was performing."
- L.M.