The Chicago Bar Association

Top 10 Tips for Success at Your Unemployment Hearing

Having an attorney (such as me) represent you at your unemployment hearing generally enables you to have your best opportunity (by far) to prevail at that hearing - for the reasons listed here - towards enabling you to receive your unemployment compensation benefits (and/or to avoid you having to repay thousands of dollars of benefits that you have already received).

That said, separate and apart from having an attorney representing you at the hearing, there are certain things that you can - and should - do during (and in preparation for) the hearing that will greatly increase your likelihood of success at that hearing. In this regard see the following tried and true practical tips:

Section A - Present a positive and truthful demeanor during the hearing

  1. Be in a quiet spot for the hearing, have a phone that gets good reception - and talk in a volume that enables the Judge to clearly hear you (don't whisper/ don't yell).
  2. Be very respectful and courteous of all persons who are present at the hearing, and regardless of what happens during the hearing do not express anger but rather stay truthful, humble and sincere.
  3. Answer the Judge's (and the Employer's) questions directly during the hearing.
  4. Do not interrupt the testimony of other people - even if they are outrageously lying - and absolutely do not laugh during the hearing.

Section B - Be organized, and make sure to get out the facts that support you during the hearing

  1. Keep in mind that the Judge will frequently have hearings scheduled every half hour - so you will need to be organized, succinct, and to the point.
  2. Well before the hearing, and as soon as you can, write out key events that will be relevant to the issues in the hearing.
  3. Before the hearing write out for yourself the key points (5-10) that you want to get across during the hearing - and have a note pad to use during the hearing.
  4. Point out positive facts in your favor.
  5. Make sure to timely submit your exhibits (or they might not be considered) - and for the hearing lay out the exhibits on a table/desk in front of you.
  6. Consider having witnesses testify on your behalf - but make sure, in deciding who you are to have testify for you, that the witness or witnesses you select will testify favorably for you and that they will have relevant testimony.

These tips (and more) are discussed and described in detail upon clicking on the above links.

Because I am a Chicago attorney who is well-experienced in representing individuals in unemployment hearings (I have handled over 600 such hearings) - and my representation of you may very well mean the difference between whether or not you are granted unemployment compensation benefits - call me to briefly discuss your situation to see if it makes sense for you to come in for an appointment to my Chicago Loop office.

Labor Day 2009Labor Day
Labor Day 2010Labor Day
Labor Day 2011Labor Day
Labor Day 2012Labor Day
Labor Day 2013Labor Day
Labor Day 2014Labor Day
Labor Day 2015Labor Day
Labor Day 2016Labor Day
Labor Day 2017Labor Day
Labor Day 2018Labor Day
Labor Day 2019Labor Day
Labor Day 2020Labor Day
Labor Day 2021Labor Day
Labor Day 2022Labor Day
Labor Day 2023Labor Day
Labor Day 2024Labor Day
Client Reviews
"I found David Porter's representation of me to be both professional and compassionate. He did a solid job of explaining my legal options and provided me with real world examples of how labor/employment law works. His support and advocacy helped me to get through a very difficult time in my professional life. I would without hesitation highly recommend him to a friend in need of a seasoned practitioner." Jack
"I can't thank you enough for dealing with the bureaucracy of the Indiana and Illinois unemployment offices. Their response to my individual communications seemed to be the default answer of "No". With your help and persistence you were able to cut through the red tape and win my Trade Adjustment Assistance, allowing me to pursue my Master's of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering. It is a good feeling to know I can call on such a great resource in trying times." Marc
"After finding myself in a terrible position with a former employer to whom my fate was at their mercy, David Porter stepped in and negotiated a settlement plan that not only kept me out of court, but also prevented any negative references or information being leaked out to possibly hinder my future growth as a professional." Mike