We have negotiated first-time and renewal employment agreements for numerous college and university presidents throughout the United States, at schools such as Swarthmore, Mount Holyoke, Trinity College, Haverford College, Ohio University, University of Redlands (California), Occidental, Adelphi University and others.
We recently helped a growing technology company terminate a senior executive (and part owner) by pre-emptively commencing litigation for breach of the executive’s confidentiality obligations, then steering the matter into a mediation which resulted in a prompt buy-out of the executive’s position. This matter mirrored a case, several years ago, in which we represented an executive in the reverse situation and favorably settled his entitlements through mediation after we had commenced litigation.
George Birnbaum recently represented a senior executive in the negotiation of a substantial consulting agreement which had to be finely tuned, both to the particular industry and also to preserve the non-exclusive nature of the consultancy relationship. Among other points, we were able to persuade the company hiring our client that the company’s standard requirement that every consultant must obtain an extensive (and expensive) insurance package was largely unnecessary due to the nature of the particular services our client was to render.
Our lawyers recently assisted a literary agent in setting up his own agency while being careful not to violate any of the ongoing restrictions in his former employment agreement. We were successful in helping him take his own clients with him while remaining so faithful to the specifics of his pre-existing obligations that his former employer, after a few threatening letters, decided against litigation.
When a terminated executive files for unemployment compensation, the employer, even if the executive has been terminated “for cause,” often finds it too much of an uphill battle to object. In a recent matter, however, we suspected that if our client, a publishing business, failed to object to unemployment compensation for an executive who had been terminated for cause, that failure later might come back to haunt the company in a baseless disability discrimination claim by the executive. Accordingly, Lisa Horowitz succeeded, in an administrative trial before a hearing officer, in having the executive denied unemployment compensation on the grounds that the executive had been terminated “for cause” as a result of serious financial self-dealing. This determination was subsequently upheld at two appellate levels, and should prove to be an important defense for the company in any subsequent litigation claiming that the executive’s termination was the purported result of some disability.