Statutory attorney fees

Under the standard “American Rule,” each party in litigation is responsible for its own attorneys’ fees unless provided by statute (or by contractual agreement of the parties). As opposed to decisions by judges that become legal precedent, statutory laws are passed by a legislative body such as Congress or state legislators.  In the context of […]

Unclean hands defense (equitable)

Unclean hands, also referred to as the dirty hands doctrine, functions as a defense to a complaint. It can highlight that the plaintiff failed to perform under the contract terms or they committed a crime of some sort which would nullify their complaint or lawsuit. Unclean hands, an affirmative defense, allows the defendant to present […]

Compensatory Damages, Punitive Damages & How to Avoid Them

The purpose of awarding damages is to restore an employee to the same place they would have been if it weren’t for the actions or inactions of the employer. The difference between compensatory damages and punitive damages is the purpose of the compensation. Compensatory damages pay a victim for their actual losses, both financial and […]

Equitable Remedy

Equitable remedy is a type of compensation given through legal proceeding to restore an injured or aggrieved person to the position they were in before the injury or wrongful action occurred. Remedies are generally divided into two categories – legal and equitable. Legal remedies allow the non-breaching party to recover monetary damages, while equitable remedies […]

Noncompete Clauses

FTC considers eliminating them If you are an employer concerned that an employee will go to work for a competitor, taking valuable clients or corporate secrets with them, you may consider implementing a noncompete agreement. A noncompete agreement is a legal contract between two parties where one party agrees not to engage in competing business […]

A New Minimum Wage, Again

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to an established minimum wage. Employees should earn overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times […]

Spoliation & How to Protect Against It

Most employers understand that they shouldn’t destroy evidence that may be relevant to litigation. And preserving the correct evidence can be a tricky process to navigate. An employer’s failure to identify what relevant evidence to keep, or by not following the proper procedures can lead to spoliation exposure and penalties. Spoliation is the destruction of […]

Common Objections at Trial

Courtroom objections are an essential component of trial when applied properly, they can contribute to winning the case. A courtroom objection is a statement made by an attorney for the purpose of questioning or challenging any specific evidence. Typically, the end goal of the objection is to limit the opponent’s submitted evidence or have it […]

In Limines in Employment Jury Trials

The Latin phrase “in limine” means “on the threshold”. A motion in limine (MIL) is simply a motion made “at the start” of trial, during a recess, or before a witness testifies. In limines are pre-trial motions discussed outside the presence of the jury, to request inclusion or exclusion of certain prejudicial testimony or relevant […]

Depositions in Employment Litigation

A deposition is a case discovery tool. Depositions are necessary to learn the basis for the other party’s claims or defense, and to test whether their testimony holds up under cross examination. A deposition also captures the witness testimony  and preserves it. Employment litigants rarely have all the facts needed to prove their claims. They […]