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Making Good Cases Extraordinary

FOUNDER OF EMPLOYEES FIRST LABOR LAW P.C. TAKES LEADERSHIP POSITION IN 21ST CENTURY LAW

“We take good cases and turn them into something extraordinary,” says Jonathan LaCour, Founder and Managing Partner of Employees First Labor Law P.C.

Since founding the firm in 2016 his nine-member team has scored a remarkable number of highly successful victories for its clients, including: $5,150,000 traumatic brain injury settlement; a $1,950,000 multiple plaintiff settlement in a case involving unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations; a $1,800,000 sexual harassment and wrongful termination settlement; a $920,000 disability discrimination and wrongful termination settlement; and a $7,900,000 projected value settlement in worker’s compensation for a traumatic brain injury.

The firm operates throughout Southern California and maintains locations in Irvine, Pasadena, Pomona, Long Beach, Riverside, and Victorville and will be adding a San Diego and Las Vegas, Nevada location within the next few years.

Employees First Labor Law focuses only on representing employees in labor and employment and workers compensation matters against their employers, and products liability matters against manufacturers. Their typical client is a blue-collar worker who has been fired for an illegal reason, has been discriminated against because of their race or gender or religion or sexual orientation, has been sexually harassed or retaliated against, hasn’t been paid overtime or their fair wage, or is facing the challenges of a workplace injury.

One of those clients, a restaurant worker, received a $920,000 settlement in January. “Giving him the check was one of the best moments of my career because he wouldn’t have made that much in his lifetime. I can’t tell you how many times we have had a workers’ compensation client who had a serious injury at work but who was able to return to work in some capacity, only to be shut out and fired because of the injury. There’s something special about working with this type of clientele because we have the ability to change our client’s lives and virtually in every case, we make a meaningful impact to their financial well-being,” LaCour says.

Making the Short List for Referrals

LaCour says, “We give real value. We have the staff, resources, and state-of-the-art technology to respond effectively and efficiently. I’m not afraid to try cases. The ones you win scare everybody and we consistently get results that are higher than average. As a result, we get a lot of referrals.”

LaCour learned the value of working with other talented attorneys early in his career. “My biggest secret was that I took my best cases to other attorneys who were titans of industry. I brought them on board and learned as much as

I could. I went into the relationship with energy and passion and the intention to absorb the best practices of that law firm. In the beginning I saw it as ‘paying’ for education, but I learned that those partners create value above and beyond what you would get by yourself. You’ll want to stick with the associate that is assisting your co-counsel because this attorney is in the trenches every day and is usually happy to provide assistance not only for the case you’re co-counseling but in the event you have questions about other matters as well.”

His firm is far from the typical, staid, old-fashioned labor law firm in terms not only in staffing, but also in methods of operation. His people are hip and aggressive, and the firm has the depth, resources, experience, aggression, and ability to take cases into later stages if necessary. Their reputation for success and for the ability to work efficiently with other attorneys and firms explains why referrals are a significant part of his firm’s business.

“People know we mean business and that attracts business. The result is that we have a reputation with most defense firms that allows us significant leeway and respect from the moment we take on a case. When defense counsel sees that we are on a matter, they know it’s not fluff and we’re there to extract real value. This results in demands being accepted and policies being tendered,” LaCour says.

“People know we mean business and that attracts business.”

LaCour is extremely selective in the cases he and his team take on and how those cases are prosecuted. They will examine as many as a hundred intakes before signing a case to ensure the firm takes on only the most meritorious cases. The corporate (and personal) goal is to make a meaningful difference in their clients’ lives.

LaCour is personally involved in every case from the beginning until resolution. Few firms can boast that their most skilled attorney follows a case from start to finish. With different firms, a case might be assigned to an associate who knows (or may not know) exactly what to do; LaCour creates the strategy personally and maintains a hands-on guiding posture throughout.

“There isn’t a case with our firm that doesn’t have my fingerprint on it. I’m personally involved with everything and client interaction is through me for all important moments of the case. We have reached a point to where we’re on that short list of firms getting extraordinary results from average cases with good liability. Once you work with someone who has the capability to take cases into the later stages and really work them up, you’re going to get significant value above and beyond what you would always get,” he says.

Following a Family Tradition and Extending the Family

LaCour knew he wanted to be a lawyer from the time he was six or seven years old. He was playing chess with his aunt, a respected criminal defense lawyer. He asked what lawyers did. She laughed at such a serious question from such a young person and replied that people come to lawyers with problems and that the lawyer helps them solve those problems.

“I was enamored by the fairy tale job she described. People come to you with serious problems, ask questions, and you fix their lives. That really got to me,” LaCour says.

Later while in high school he job-shadowed his aunt, an experience that cemented his drive to become an attorney. “She’s a prototypical trial lawyer. I think it runs in my family. I saw first-hand how well she could present and communicate with large groups of people through trial. I thought that I would be particularly good at that, too.”

He always wanted to be a plaintiff-side trial lawyer and after a short a stint on defense side, he opened his own firm. He says he enjoys the labor and employment field so much because it’s not intuitive and therefore requires hard work and genuine effort to become proficient. He enjoys the ongoing challenge to better himself and his firm.

“Some people have a negative viewpoint of the plaintiff’s side, but I see it completely differently. I’m blessed to change the lives of those who have been seriously injured or wrongfully terminated and I make a world of difference for that family. I remain connected with those families. I’ve held a client’s hand as she cried when I secured enough money for her to pay off her debt and buy her first new car. I’ve helped clients purchase homes in Northern California and the Inland Empire. I’ve provided enough money for a client to start his own restaurant. I champion people who have been harmed and, in the process, I have been blessed to change lives.”

Creating a Modern Office for Modern Times

Not only does LaCour find and recruit top talent that is hip, aggressive and technology savvy, he also has designed his firm to take full advantage of state-of-the-art internet and electronic communications.

“We run a paperless office. We’ve embraced technology and even operating from multiple locations. Everything is tied together. I have management software that lets me check in on my people wherever they are at any time. That’s one of the reasons the coronavirus that has so negatively impacted other firms, hasn’t been a serious challenge to the way we conduct our business or the effective way we serve our clients,” LaCour says.

Although “wearing two hats” as an attorney and as the manager of a business, LaCour has designed his firm to allow him maximum time practicing law.

He is aided significantly by his wife, the office manager, and his father-in-law who is the firm’s accountant. “As some firms get bigger, the managing attorney steers his direction more toward managing and away from lawyering. Clients often end up with an associate attorney who is not up to speed on the case or even the applicable law. That’s not the case with me. She helps me manage the firm. Every case we take has my fingerprints on it. A smaller firm doesn’t have the staff or resources to effectively represent their clients. We’re not small. We have the capabilities, the resources, and the bandwidth to get real value,” he says.

LaCour’s unofficial corporate model is: If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.

Clients agree. “In a hectic world that seems to get busier each and every day, it was my family’s turn to have one of those unfortunate events requiring legal assistance. At first, I felt that I could navigate the world of worker’s compensation, but it quickly drained my mental capacity, not to mention emotional agility.

“Overwhelmed, I contacted a few attorneys, but Jonathan’s straightforward approach and explanation gave a feeling of confidence. Within a few hours, we hired him, and his team was on it. Prompt feedback and replies, regardless of the time or weekends, went a long way. His team took the time not only to worry about the legal matter, but also listen to our concerns.

“Through the process his team carried a professional approach and could break down and explain legal terminology in simple words that we could understand.”

LaCour says, “I may sound like a broken record, but really you don’t know how amazing this is until you’re changing peoples’ lives. I’ve made clients millionaires; I’ve written checks for more than $500,000—more than clients would earn in their entire lifetime. That’s the real economic and personal value of going far together.”

» EDUCATION

  • Juris Doctorate, Loyola Law School. 2011; Dean's List. Scott Moot Court; Federal Bar Association National Team
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology. University of California, Riverside. 2008. Dean's List.

» AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Top 100 Lawyers, National Advocates; 2017–2020
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum 2019–Present
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum 2019–Present
  • Top 20 Highest Settlement 2018 in California: Hansen v. United Parcel Service
  • Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Star (2020)
  • Civil Plaintiff—Top 40 Under 40, The National Trial Lawyers (2017–2020)
  • Avvo 10.0 rating since 2016
  • Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2016–2020

» ASSOCIATIONS

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member
  • The National Trial Lawyers, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, Member
  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Contact

Jonathan LaCour
Employees First Labor Law P.C.
18100 Von Karman Ave., Suite 850
Irvine, CA 92612
(310) 853-3461
www.employeesfirstlaborlaw.com

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