Don’t order the steak – trust me.

Don’t order the steak – trust me. 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

I am big on trust. I am big on “going with your gut.” But I am also very big on open and clear communication. 

If you went to a restaurant and told the waiter, “I love steak. Steak is my favorite, what is your best beef dish?” And the server replied, “Order the pork-chop,” you may feel one of the following has occurred:

  • The server is signaling to you the beef is not good
  • The server didn’t listen to you at all
  • The server is saying their pork is amazing
  • The server gets a bonus for every pork-chop he sells that night

How would you know? You would hopefully, ask a follow up question like, “So, you don’t recommend any of the steaks – you really love the pork-chop? Why?”

Simple, straight forward communication to understand the advice you have been given. Not too complicated, right?

The entire exchange likely takes less than 45 seconds and you, consumer, customer, gets additional information to better understand the advice. 

What if you hired an attorney for the purpose of helping you lawfully transition from one job to another, and you only asked for advice on your employment contract. Would you be surprised when the attorney also gives you advice on Virginia Trade Secret Act, the duty of a fiduciary, the business tort of conversion etc.

Would you wonder?

  • Did the lawyer not listen to me?
  • Is the lawyer just trying to bill me more?

Or, is it possible the attorney feels in order to provide you advice on your contract, you must also understand general duties that exist under Virginia law that come into play when an employee transitions from one job to another?

The answer may be all three, but folks who call our office are told we are happy to review their contract, but our analysis and explanation will include general legal obligations as well. We can’t give advice on the contract in a vacuum, the analysis will include larger ideas and issues.

We advise our clients as if they asked us, WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Most clients call our office to seek advice on their employment contracts. All of them will be given a better understanding of Virginia law, general business torts, an employee’s legal obligations, and principals of law that affect their employment transition. I know you wanted the steak, but I promise, but my advice is the steak here isn’t very good. Allow me to explain why, quickly and communicate the reasoning behind our advice. 



About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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