John Doe A v. Penn State
First Penn State scandal lawsuit says Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy more than 100 times and the abuse was enabled by the school's "negligent oversight."
Bradley v. Lohan
Former Betty Ford Center employee sues Lindsay Lohan for assault, alleging the actress threw a phone at her and yanked her wrist while refusing to be breathalzyed.
N.D. v. New York Post
Hotel maid allegedly raped by French politician sues the New York Post for falsely reporting that she is a prostitute who "routinely traded sex for money" with male guests.
Reinhart v. Mortenson
Two Montana residents allege the author of "Three Cups of Tea" "fabricated material about his activities and work in Pakistan and Afghanistan" to sell the book.
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• Maryland appeals court says dog owners can be held strictly liable for pit bull attacks. "Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous." Tracey v. Solesky

• Woman who has been diagnosed as a sex addict sues a school district for failing to prevent her from having sex with male students on the school bus when she was in 11th grade.
Barksdale v. Egg Harbor Township Bd. of Ed.

• Civil rights activist challenges Georgia's "stand your ground law." "By not defining what actions create a reasonable perception justifying the use of deadly force, the Act[] potentially deprives all Georgia[n]s of the right to life without due process of law." Hutchins v. Deal

• Former patient of a Rhode Island doctor sues him for featuring her in a book about drug addiction. "Plaintiff had expected, as any reasonable patient would, that her private conversations during her treatment sessions with the Defendant would remain private and confidential."
Lisnoff v. Stein

• Class action alleges the YMCA deceives consumers by representing that it practices "Christian" values while allowing its gyms to be used for gay sex trysts. "YMCAs around the country ... are currently being used as brothels for cruising, with the YMCA's knowledge and implicit consent."
Keister v. YMCA

• Social workers are not liable for a sexual assault on a 5-year-old boy by a 16-year-old male placed in an adoptive home. "To rule against the individual defendants in this case would definitely break new ground."
Doe v. Braddy

• Student sues college for refusing to grant her the "reasonable accommodation" of a single room after she complained about her roommate's exhibitionist behavior.
Blankmeyer v. Stonehill College

• School district can be sued over a guidance counselor's sexual relationship with a student who was over the age of consent. "The inherent imbalance of power between a guidance counselor in a public school and a student may render opportunistic sexual predation sufficiently shocking, even with a 'consenting' student over sixteen, to form the basis of a substantive due process claim."
Doe v. Fournier

• Utah judge finds a "credible threat" that Utah County officials will prosecute a polygamist and his wives for bigamy. The officials' acts "suggest that an actual prosecution of Plaintiffs is forthcoming."
Brown v. Herbert

• Louisville, Ky., strip club sues a competitor for displaying an electronic sign outside a convention center that said "Don't go to Godfathers, their girls are ugly and have crabs."
The Godfather v. Trixie's Lounge

• A lawyer cannot sue two women he dated for posting derogatory comments about him on liarscheatersrus.com. "[W]hen viewed within the larger context of the website on which they were posted, there can be no doubt that a reasonable reader would understand the comments to be opinion." Coulotte v. Ryncarz

• Oglala Sioux tribe sues beer makers and Whiteclay, Neb., bars for enabling alcohol abuse on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The illegal trade in alcohol has "caused devastating injuries to the Lakota people and massive financial damages to the [tribe]."
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Schwarting




Alltop_125x125.jpg







CEO Fakes Arbitration in Sex Harassment Case Print
charney

Dov Charney

The arbitration of a high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit against fashion mogul Dov Charney was in fact part of an elaborate subterfuge designed to misrepresent that he had won the case, On Point has learned.

An unpublished decision of California's 2nd District Court of Appeal discloses the terms of a confidential settlement agreement that would have allowed Charney, CEO of American Apparel (AMEX: APP), to proclaim an arbitrator had ruled in his favor –- while concealing from the public that he had agreed to settle former employee Mary Nelson's case for $1.3 million.

A press release was prepared to announce Charney's absolution, but the settlement unraveled after an attorney for Nelson did not attend the “sham” arbitration. “I am pleased that we have been able to bring clarity to the role of the First Amendment in the American workplace,” the release quoted Charney as saying.

“[T]he proposed press release is materially misleading -- among other things, no real arbitration of a dispute occurred and plaintiff received $1.3 million in compensation,” the appeals court noted.

UPDATE

  • Charney denied responsibility for the phony arbitration, saying it was the idea of a plaintiff's attorney who admitted his client had no case. more

  • Nelson, who worked as an independent contractor in the American Apparel sales department, alleged in her suit that Charney conducted a “reign of sexual terror” at the company, parading around the workplace in his underwear and even showing up for one meeting at his home in a garment described as a “cock sock.”

    Amid nationwide publicity, the case was scheduled for jury selection Jan. 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court. But lawyers spent the day thrashing out a settlement in which Charney agreed to pay Nelson $1.3 million by Feb. 7 and she agreed to a “confidential arbitration.”

    On Jan. 24, American Apparel attorney Adam Levin announced that the case would be decided by arbitration -- thus avoiding the publicity of a trial -- with both sides to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator or private judge they selected. He said nothing about any settlement.

    The “confidential arbitration” was in fact a charade. One of Nelson's attorneys, the 2nd District said, later described it as “a 'fake arbitration' designed to produce a press release calculated to blunt negative media attention.”

    According to the settlement agreement, the arbitrator would be chosen only by the defense, would be presented with a stipulated record of facts, and would decide that Nelson “was not subjected to unlawful sexual harassment.” Following the filing of the arbitrator's “decision,” American Apparel would be allowed to issue the press release.

    Nelson did not, however, receive her payment by the Feb. 7 deadline. At a hearing that day, American Apparel said plaintiff's counsel Keith A. Fink did not show up for the “arbitration” before a retired judge in San Francisco and, as a result, the judge was unable to rule, leaving the case officially unsettled.

    Since then, the two sides have been litigating whether Nelson breached her obligation under the settlement to participate in the arbitration and violated confidentiality by objecting to the agreement being filed under seal. In its opinion, the 2nd District ordered that dispute into arbitration -– this time, presumably, a real one.

    The irony here is that Charney could have kept things forever under wraps if he had simply agreed to a routine confidential settlement. By making an extraordinary attempt to manipulate the media, he has ended up getting the very publicity he sought to avoid.

    For a graphic showing those involved in the "arbitration," click here.

    Other Nelson v. American Apparel Sources



    COMMENT

  • "We didn't think we could still use the words 'shocked' and 'Dov Charney' in the same sentence, but if true, the latest revelation about American Apparel's [CEO] is truly horrifying.” -- Sadie Stein (Jezebel)

  • "When lawyers get into the practice of using the legal process for the purpose of deceiving the public they have crossed the line." -- Steve Lombardi (InjuryBoard)


  • By Matthew Heller
    10/28/08


     

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