Things to Consider When Appealing an L&I Audit Decision — Should You Hire an Attorney (Part 3)

Once you’ve worked your way through Part 1 and Part 2 discussing if you should appeal and whether your assessment is large enough to appeal, you’ll then need to decide if you can handle the appeal on your own, or if you’re better off hiring an attorney. This attorney says you’re better off hiring an attorney. 🙂 But it’s actually true. See below for a discussion of this topic:

Do you need an attorney to assist with your appeal?

For medium and large assessments, it’s almost always a good idea to hire an experienced attorney. Experienced attorneys have been through many appeals and know the multiple ways appeals can be reduced. They also know the mistakes that are typically made during appeals and how to avoid them. They understand that there can be a give and take with negotiating a settlement, and that pushing for one result may end up in pyrrhic victory, i.e., with a litigation specialist conceding the argument but pulling back the amount of waivers they were planning to give. Having experience and the right strategy on your side is key, and it’s often the case that, with large assessments, an experienced attorney can save many thousands of dollars, even when their fee is taken into consideration.

For small assessments (i.e., amounts under $10,000), it’s often not cost efficient to hire an attorney. And a good attorney will usually not accept a small case unless they’re sure that 1) they can get a better result than you could if you appealed on your own, and 2) they can do so in a cost-efficient manner. At a minimum, if you’re using an attorney to appeal a small assessment, you should request a flat fee so you know your fees are capped.

Bottomline, if you’ll hire an attorney, always hire experienced attorneys, whether your assessment is large or small. Hiring inexperienced attorneys is the equivalent of the blind leading the blind, and that will often be a costly mistake. And finally, if your appeal is very small, only hire an attorney if you can receive assurances that fees won’t exceed a certain amount. This will save you from having all your “savings” from appealing, and some, go towards paying attorney fees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

phone: (206) 569-4920 | email: