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Working with an Attorney

Developing a Relationship of Respect

Once an attorney is hired, both attorney and client want a smooth relationship. However, a client who now sits back and relaxes and lets the attorney work everything out (as some attorneys suggest) may be getting into a whole new level of trouble. Issues will come up with the attorney and will continue with the retaliating boss. This section discusses some problems which may or may not occur because of client ignorance of attorney practices, as well as the lack of ethical oversight of attorneys in this specialized and complex area of practice.


No published study has disproved the folk wisdom that retaliation occurs in the hope that private attorneys will convince their clients to resign. Many do so to flee intolerable working conditions rather than have their names plastered over public MSPB reports and maligned to future employers. This section discusses silence, confidentiality agreements and the importance of reference protecting provisions.

20/20 Hindsight

Settlements are favored, although among whistleblowers regrets are common, especially since the MSPB has done nothing to prevent the coercion of hostile work environments, much less misrepresentations by agencies and attorneys in this area. This section discusses enforcement problems and attorney malpractice issues.


  • Developing a relationship of respect

  • Settlements

  • 20/20 Hindsight

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