• Recent Results (December 2008)

    Posted December 28, 2008 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a municipality in a cutting-edge action brought by a class of plaintiffs under the California Disabled Persons Act. The plaintiffs, who allegedly are confined to wheelchairs, claimed that the public entity failed to provide access to over 100 public sidewalks due to allegedly absent curb ramps. The plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in replicated statutory penalties and injunctive relief. After briefing the threshold legal issues, and prior to extensive discovery being conducted, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the action with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of attorney’s fees and costs, a small fraction of the monetary relief being sought.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented one of the largest counties in the State of California in a class action of first impression in which the class claimed that, because they were common law employees, they were entitled to civil service status as de facto civil servants and were also entitled to pension rights and benefits under the County Employees Retirement Law (CERL.) Based on these theories, the class asserted claims that included violations of equal protection, breaches of statutory duties and contracts, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and fraud. Through the successful development and filing of a series of strategic motions on threshold legal issues, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to undermine the bases of all class claims, and thereby obtain judgment from the trial court in favor of our client. Our firm thereafter assisted the County to defend these rulings before the California Court of Appeal, which recently upheld the judgment in favor of our client.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has been retained by a national data collection company to defend its interests across the nation. The client has been subpoenaed in a myriad of locations involving a multitude of legal issues, including trade secrets and proprietary business information. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has appeared in courtrooms from San Diego to San Jose, Los Angeles to New Jersey, and places in between. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has successfully defended the proprietary business interests of our client and has successfully argued against the production of highly sensitive and proprietary information.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was litigation counsel in an employment matter defending a public entity client against an employee claiming disability discrimination. After a successful motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff employee did not relent. After judgment was entered, plaintiff filed not only a motion to vacate the judgment, which Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was successful in defeating, but also filed two motions in equity, seeking to set aside the judgment and seeking to set aside the court’s order on the motion to vacate. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith prevailed against the former employee on each of the motions in equity. Our firm also successfully argued that the plaintiff was unable to show the public entity had engaged in extrinsic fraud so as to justify equitable relief, and that the court’s previous rulings were both legally and factually sound. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully argued that if the plaintiff was granted equitable relief, the prejudice to the public entity would be significant. The court agreed.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a law firm that sought guidance in connection with an employee termination. During the midst of the termination, the employee informed the firm of a “disability,” and Bergman Dacey Goldsmith carefully and cautiously counseled the firm regarding the rights and obligations of an employer in connection with an employee with a purported disability, including engaging in the interactive process. Through Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s risk counseling and active participation in the communications between the firm and the employee, the firm was able to resolve the matter with the employee, with no adverse risk to itself.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully represented a public school district that was sued on various grounds, including disability discrimination, failing to engage in the interactive process, and CFRA violations. After conducting early narrowly-focused discovery aimed at plaintiff’s allegations, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully moved for summary judgment. The court found that plaintiff, under the articulated standard in the Supreme Court decision, Green v. Superior Court, could not meet her burden of proof that she was qualified to perform the essential functions of her job, with or without accommodations.

    4. In an action filed by a female employee against our public entity client for sexual harassment and failure to take remedial action, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was successful in obtaining, prior to trial, a dismissal of the individual defendant supervisor, summary adjudication on the cause of action for failure to take remedial action, and the grant of a number of in limine orders excluding evidence of the supervisor’s alleged past prior acts and improper character and behavior outside of the work place. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able, through a series of mediations and focused percipient and expert discovery, to convince plaintiff to settle the matter for a sum significantly less than the $1 million+ demanded.

    5. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a public entity client against a litany of employment-related causes of action, including wrongful termination, failure to reasonably accommodate a disability, retaliation, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The matter revolved around a former teacher’s allegations that his purported disability was the impetus for his termination, as well as other actions allegedly taken against him by the public entity and its agents. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith crafted a targeted and precise summary judgment motion to dispose of each cause of action, including an administrative collateral estoppel defense. The court agreed with each of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s arguments and found in favor for our client on all of the causes of action.

    6. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a private institution of higher learning that was considering changes to its pension and benefits program. Our firm fully evaluated the institute’s existing policies and goals, then assisted in navigating the intricate nuances of governing law (including ERISA,) and with amending the plan documents. In so doing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to assist our client in successfully achieving its goals in a way that ensured it also minimized the risk of exposure for potential violations of state and federal law.

    CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was recently retained by a large developer who was sued by a competitor for unfair competition and violation of the Subcontracting Listing Laws. Before the client’s responsive pleading was due, the plaintiff competitor served 25 subpoenas to subcontractors of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith worked closely with in-house counsel to prepare ex parte papers seeking a protective order and motion to quash the third-party subpoenas. As a result of this concentrated effort, only one of the depositions was ordered to proceed.

    2. When one of the largest counties in the state of California undertook to build the first school in the county under a “lease/lease back” construction delivery method, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by the county to assist the Department of Education throughout the process.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained to assist in a dispute between the owners of a multi-million dollar beach front property that was headed toward major litigation. As a result of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s focused negotiation efforts, the matter was amicably resolved before costly litigation moved forward.

    ATTORNEY FEE LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a municipality to assist with the preparation of an opposition to a motion for attorneys’ fees. Within seven days of our firm being retained (which included a holiday weekend), Bergman Dacey Goldsmith in turn hired a renowned expert on attorneys’ fees, who prepared a Declaration in support of the opposition, and then our firm drafted a portion of the opposition addressing quantum-related issues. This matter exemplifies the responsiveness of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith as we were able to immediately identify the client’s needs, use an established working relationship to retain the best possible expert, and complete our written work product on an expedited basis to our client’s complete satisfaction.

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