• Sara Menz joins Bergman Dacey Goldsmith as Associate Attorney

    Posted May 21, 2013 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith announces that effective May 20, 2013, Sara Menz has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney.

    Sara Menz was admitted to the California State Bar in 2010 and is licensed to practice law before all the state courts of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Ms. Menz represents both private and public entity clients with her practice focusing on labor and employment litigation and general business litigation. Ms. Menz received her B.A. in International Relations from Rhodes College, where she graduated with honors. While attending university, she served as an intern in the Lima, Peru field office of the United Nations Children’s Fund. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2010. While in law school, she was a member of the USC Hale Moot Court Honors Program and was named Hale Moot Court Champion in 2009. She also served on the Hale Moot Court Board as an Editor and the Public Interest Law Foundation Board, chairing the annual PILF Auction to raise funds to support and encourage law students to pursue careers in the public interest.

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith is a full-service law firm serving California public entities, multi-national Fortune 500 corporations and their officers, entrepreneurs, and individual clients for 30 years. To learn more about our award-winning attorneys and extensive experience, we encourage you to visit our website at www.bdgfirm.com. Thank you.

  • Senate legislation passes important changes to employment laws in California

    Posted January 2, 2013 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    In the last quarter of 2012 California Assembly and Senate legislation was passed that make several important changes to employment laws in California. These changes will go into effect no later than January 1, 2013. As an extra value service to our friends, colleagues and clients, BDG provides to you a summary of those bills that may impact you and your business. BDG has an exceptional strong labor and employment practice representing private and public entity clients, and should you require, BDG can evaluate your existing handbook and ascertain what revisions are necessary in light of these changes.

    Have a very happy and healthy New Year.

    ===

    AB 1744—Hiring notice and wage statement obligations for temporary services employers

    This bill amends Labor Code sections 226 and 2810.5, and adds new Labor Code section 226.1. Under the existing Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011, employers must provide their non-exempt employees a written notice at the time of hiring that contains specified information, such as the rate and basis of the employee’s wages, and the employer’s name, address, and telephone number.

    This bill provides that, for temporary services employers (defined in Labor Code section 201.3), such notices also must include the name, physical and/or mailing address, and telephone number of the legal entity for whom the employee will perform work. Starting July 1, 2013, this bill further provides that temporary services employers must include on itemized wage statements (in addition to the other information required by existing Labor Code section 226(a)), the employee’s rate of pay and total hours worked for each temporary assignment. This requirement does not apply to licensed security services companies.

    AB 1844—E-mail and social media account passwords

    This bill adds new Labor Code section 980, and prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant to: (1) disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media, (2) access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or (3) divulge any personal social media to the employer.

    The bill also prohibits an employer from discharging, disciplining, threatening to discharge or discipline, or otherwise retaliating against an employee or applicant for not complying with a prohibited request. Employers may, however, continue to request or require passwords to access an employer-provided electronic device. Also, this law does not affect an employer’s existing right to request access to social media when relevant to investigate suspected violations of the law or employee misconduct. California is the third state to enact a social media policy law.

    AB 1964—Religious dress and grooming practices protected By FEHA

    This bill amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Government Code sections 12926 and 12940, to specify the scope of the statute’s protections against potential religious discrimination. The FEHA prohibits an employer from discriminating against an applicant or employee based on his or her religious creed, including all aspects of religious belief, observance, or practice.

    This bill specifies that these protections extend to: (1) “religious dress practices,” which include wearing or carrying religious clothing, head or face coverings, jewelry, artifacts, and any other item that is part of the person’s religious observance; and (2) “religious grooming practices,” which include all forms of head, facial, and body hair that are part of the person’s religious observance.

    The bill further provides that an accommodation of a person’s religious dress or grooming is not reasonable if it would: (a) require segregating the person from other employees or the public, or (b) result in a violation of the FEHA or other civil rights laws.

    Therefore, the employer must consider addressing this bill (1) by amending handbook provisions that make flat prohibitions regarding dress and grooming practices, and (2) addressing accommodation issues as they arise, similar to addressing accommodations for disabilities.

    AB 2103—Overtime rate for non-exempt, full-time salaried employees

    This bill amends Labor Code section 515 to prohibit private agreements that contravene the overtime regular rate calculation required for non-exempt full-time salaried employees. Under existing Labor Code section 515(d), to calculate overtime wages earned by such employees, the regular hourly rate used must be 1/40th of the employee’s weekly salary. This bill specifies that payment of a fixed salary to a non-exempt employee must be deemed compensation only for regular, non-overtime hours worked, “notwithstanding any private agreement to the contrary.”

    AB 2343 – DOJ Criminal History Reports

    This bill requires agencies, organizations, and individuals, that received criminal history information from the California Department of Justice to give notice to an applicant or employee who is the subject of an adverse employment, licensing, or certification decision based on the information obtained. This new reporting requirement models those already found in the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act.

    AB 2386—Breastfeeding protected under FEHA

    This bill amends the definition of “sex” under the FEHA, Government Code section 12926. Existing law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of “sex,” defined to include gender; gender identity and expression; and pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This bill clarifies that for all purposes under the FEHA, “sex” also includes breastfeeding and related medical conditions. The bill provides this amendment is declaratory of existing law; thus it may be applied retroactively and takes effect immediately.

    AB 2396 – Employment of infants in the entertainment industry

    This bill extends the current law which restricts the employment of infants in the entertainment industry, by requiring the completion and submission of a medical certification and approval before a temporary permit for the employment of the infant may be issued.

    AB 2674—Employees’ right to inspect personnel records; wage statement retention

    This bill amends Labor Code section 1198.5, which gives employees the right to inspect their personnel records at reasonable intervals and times. AB 2674 provides the employer must make the records available for inspection by any current or former employee or his/her representative, and provide a copy of the records, within 30 calendar days from receipt of a written request, or if the parties agree in writing, within no more than 35 calendar days. Employers must make available to the current or former employee or representative a form that can be used for the inspection request. The bill further specifies other time, place, and method obligations for inspection and delivery of the records.

    The bill requires employers to keep a copy of the employee’s personnel records for at least three years after termination of employment. The bill provides that if a current or former employee files a lawsuit against the employer regarding a personnel matter, his or her right to inspect or copy personnel records ceases during the pendency of the lawsuit. The bill further provides that an employer may: (1) designate the person to whom records requests are made, (2) take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the employee or representative making the request, and (3) redact the names of nonsupervisory employees contained in the records.

    AB 2674 also amends Labor Code section 226 with respect to the obligation for employer retention of wage statements. Existing law requires employers to keep copies of wage statements for at least three years, either at the employment site or a central location within the state. This bill clarifies that “copies” may include duplicates of the statements provided to the employee, or computer-generated records that accurately show all information required to be included on the wage statement.

    AB 2675—Written contracts for commission pay: exceptions

    This bill amends Labor Code section 2751, which requires a written contract of employment for services rendered in the state and paid for by commissions. The current statute excludes from its obligations two types of compensation: (1) short-term productivity bonuses such as are paid to retail clerks; and (2) bonus and profit-sharing plans, unless the employer offers to pay a fixed percentage of sales or profits as compensation for work to be performed. This bill adds a third exclusion category for “temporary, variable incentive payments that increase, but do not decrease, payment under the written contract.”

    It is advised that an employer set forth in writing to employees the material terms of all types of compensation paid, including the rates and methods of computation.

    SB 1193 – Human Trafficking

    This bill will require specified employers to post a notice that contains information related to slavery and human trafficking in a conspicuous area, readily visible to employees and the public.

    SB 1255—Remedies for failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements

    This bill amends Labor Code section 226(e) to specify the circumstances when employees may recover penalties under that statute for failure to receive accurate itemized wage statements. Section 226 generally requires employers to provide employees with accurate wage statements showing nine specific categories of information, e.g., gross and net wages earned, deductions, and inclusive pay period dates.

    If an employee suffers “injury” as a result of an employer’s “knowing and intentional” failure to comply with these requirements, the employee can recover certain penalties for each violation, plus costs and attorney’s fees.

    SB 1255 specifies that, for purposes of entitlement to these penalties, an employee is “deemed to suffer injury” in two instances: (1) if the employer fails to provide a wage statement; or (2) if the employer fails to provide accurate and complete information for any of the nine items required, and the employee cannot promptly and easily determine the information from the wage statement alone.

  • Recent Results (August 2012)

    Posted August 8, 2012 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.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a successful California corporation with multiple franchises against both federal and state claims of statutory violations stemming from prohibitions on facsimile solicitations. Upon evaluating the very limited potential damages that could be claimed, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith aggressively began settlement negotiations and took all necessary steps to avoid litigation being filed against the corporate client. In a period of days, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a very modest resolution before the claimant ever filed his lawsuit, thereby ensuring the corporation could focus on its business and not be distracted by a costly legal action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented this same client against a similar claim in which Bergman Dacey Goldsmith again negotiated a de minimis settlement before having to file a single document with the court.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international corporation in its defense of various business tort and breach of contract claims brought by an equipment buyer who purchased allegedly defective equipment from a former sales agent for the corporation (the equipment was actually from another co-defendant). When early investigation revealed that the sales agent was no longer affiliated with the corporation at the time of the purchase, but that the corporation had not cut all administrative ties thereby exposing itself to potential liability, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith opened settlement negotiations with the equipment buyer and through diligent efforts was able to resolve the matter for a fraction of the monies originally sought by the equipment buyers and before incurring significant litigation expense. Furthermore, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith ensured that the Court approved the good faith settlement pursuant to statute to avoid any future claim for contribution from the other co-defendant who did not settle out of the case, thereby achieving finality for the corporation. Finally, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith provided guidance to the corporate client to revise its business model to clarify its documentation practices so that future litigation could be minimized.
    3. Following a successful result in Los Angeles County wherein Bergman Dacey Goldsmith obtained temporary restraining order relief for its client, a worldwide financial services firm, against a former branch manager who was accused of having misappropriated confidential and trade secret information, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was again retained by the same firm to obtain similar relief against a financial analyst who was accused of stealing proprietary/trade secret information in Northern California in favor of a competitor. Within less than 48 hours after being retained, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys marshaled the evidence, interviewed the key witnesses, drafted and filed the necessary pleading, and obtained a hearing date to present its application for a temporary restraining order and order to show cause re preliminary injunction. After presenting the application and the evidence to the court, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys were successful yet again in obtaining a victory in Northern California as the court decided in our client’s favor and issued a temporary restraining order against the former employee, enjoining the former employee from using or exploiting the client’s confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information at his new place of employment and directing and compelling the former employee to return all documents containing any confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information that he took with him to his new place of employment.
    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a company that provides services to commercial and residential real estate industries nationally in obtaining immediate injunctive relief against a former officer of that company. The former officer was accused of misappropriating company confidential and proprietary information in favor of himself and a new company that he formed, through which he was providing consulting and expert witness services for litigation purposes. As the allegations read, in providing those expert and consulting services to his clients, the former officer was providing confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client to not only his clients but also the court and other parties in the lawsuit. In just a few days, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys prepared and filed a complaint and an ex parte application seeking temporary restraining order (“TRO”) relief to enjoin the former officer’s conduct. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith convinced the court to grant its request for a TRO and, later, to also issue a preliminary injunction in favor of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client. Finally, through tactful negotiation sessions with counsel for the former officer, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to secure a favorable settlement for its client, through which a stipulated settlement order was entered by the court and by which the defendants became bound to abide by the terms of a stipulated permanent injunction order favoring its client.

    TRANSACTIONAL MATTERS

    In a non-litigation matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith advised the seller of a major metal fabrication company on how to structure and avoid environmental liabilities associated with the sale of the company. Also, when a non-profit corporation that specializes in real estate loans for public interest projects discovered that the borrower was diverting funds away from the project, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was brought in to determine how best to protect the rights of the non-profit corporation. After intense negotiations, the borrower realized that it was best to execute a deed in lieu of foreclosure in favor of the lender.

    CONSTRUCTION AND PUBLIC WORKS LITIGATION

    1. A private client retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to provide her with legal counsel for a high-end construction/remodeling project that had left the client’s project in shambles. The general contractor filed suit against Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s client for breach of contract and foreclosure of its mechanic’s lien for alleged unpaid invoices it claimed were due and owing pursuant to its work on the project. With an experienced construction consultant on Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s side, our attorneys performed an in-depth analysis of the as-built conditions, the project’s contract, and the plans/specification documents. It was clear the general contractor had performed deficient and unacceptable work. Therefore, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took an aggressive stance and formulated a demand as to work that needed to be corrected and back-charged against the general contractor. Heated litigation ensued. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s seasoned construction attorneys negotiated a favorable “walk away” settlement after a full-day mediation, saving substantial litigation expense.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a Southern California school district in litigation involving an engineering firm’s claims against the district for unpaid invoices pursuant to multiple public works contracts. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s attorneys, along with the district’s representatives, engaged in a comprehensive forensic analysis of the engineering firm’s claims and concluded that unsubstantiated invoices were submitted to the district for payment for multiple projects dating back many years. The engineering firm was seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the district. These claims, along with the district’s claims for damages, were addressed during informal settlement meetings and mediation proceedings. A favorable settlement was achieved for the district at a fraction of the engineering firm’s original claims.

    TORT LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed and litigated an action on behalf of a retired professional golfer related to injuries he sustained in an accident. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly gathered all the pertinent documents to support the damages suffered by its client and presented them in a compelling manner to the other side. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s direct and open approach illustrated to the other side the strength of its claims and its commitment to take this matter to trial. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith resolved the matter for the insurance policy limit months before trial was scheduled to commence.

    LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an established family run restaurant and its owners in a lawsuit by a former employee who alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Immediately after taking on the case, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly interviewed all the relevant witnesses and presented the other side with a summary of future witness testimony that rebutted all the allegations set forth in the complaint. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith thereafter evaluated the merit of the claims, the potential expense of litigation, and the potential disruption to the restaurant’s business and was able to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was 30% of the former employee’s original demand.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international technology company before the California Labor Commission when a former employee claimed unpaid commissions. At the hearing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to present documentary and live testimony to refute the facts claimed. Based on our firm’s superior knowledge of the Labor Code and its application, the Labor Commissioner decided in our client’s favor, and awarded nothing to the claimant.
    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City and one of its employees in an action brought by another current employee alleging wrongful denial of a promotion, retaliation, discrimination, and sexual harassment. With the consent of the defendants, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented both the City and the defendant employee in the action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith conducted a thorough investigation into the employee’s claims, including an extensive document review and numerous witness interviews. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s preparation proved invaluable at mediation and allowed Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was not only a fraction of the initial demand but also allowed both employees to remain employed by the City.
  • California Covered: Transactional Practice Areas

    Posted July 17, 2012 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    Through a diverse caseload, we offer specialty counseling in several areas of transactional practice. Experience gained through handling thousands of transactional matters prepares the handling attorneys to assist clients in achieving their goals, even in these times. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith and MBV Law LLP each has the capabilities, experience, focus, and legal expertise in varied transactional practice areas and will provide exceptional value for the client’s legal dollars.

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith is a full-service law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Orange Counties conveniently located to our clients’ places of business in Southern California. We serve international business entities, Fortune 500 corporations and their officers, entrepreneurs, and individual clients. Through a diverse caseload, we offer specialty counseling in a broad range of transactional areas including Business, Corporate, Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts, Real Estate Transactions, Real Property Law, Tax, and Technology. We have the proven ability to work cost-effectively to handle transactional matters with the involvement of our veteran attorneys who have in-depth experience across a broad range of legal fields. Each of our Shareholders and Of Counsel attorneys have at least 16 years of experience. We know how to carefully craft or review legal documents; develop effective, practical strategies to achieve clients’ goals; and generate realistic budgets upfront. The unique combination of our experience, expertise, and value-added focus will provide you with exceptional value for your legal dollars. We provide personalized service and exceptional communication and responsiveness by being available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have earned our reputation as a ‘no surprises’ law firm.

    MBV Law LLP is a results-oriented law firm which has served as trusted business and litigation counsel to companies and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years. The firm has a diverse corporate transactional and counseling practice, including entity formation, start-up and venture finance, M&A, real estate, employment, lending transactions and ownership transition. We staff transactions with efficient teams that deliver cost-effective results. In its M&A practice, MBV represents target and acquiring companies in small and larger mergers and acquisitions transactions. We have handled transactions ranging in size from $1 million to $250 million in enterprise value. Our M&A group is highly experienced; most of our highly credentialed attorneys have more than twenty years of professional experience in their designated areas of legal expertise. The Founding Partner of our transactional practice is a also a Certified Public Accountant, having worked on the audit staff of Ernst and Young, and in the tax department of Deloitte and Touche prior to becoming an attorney. Our M&A services include: deal structuring and planning; Letter of Intent negotiation; due diligence; securities compliance; merger and acquisition agreements; earn-outs, and post-transaction resolution. With deep expertise in transactional matters, MBV is dedicated to understanding our clients’ businesses and providing them with strategic and cost-effective legal advice.

    MBV Law LLP and Bergman Dacey Goldsmith are dedicated to understanding clients’ objectives to assess issues and provide targeted, cost-effective strategic legal services. Our firms’ depth and breadth of experience create exceptional legal value.

    When strength and experience matter, you can have confidence that Bergman Dacey Goldsmith and MBV Law LLP have your transactional needs in California fully covered.

  • Recent Results (April 2012)

    Posted March 29, 2012 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.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a retired Finance Officer alleging a single claim of whistleblower retaliation pursuant to Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code. Recognizing that the vast majority of the retiree’s claims did not constitute violations of state or federal law—the necessary predicate under Section 1102.5—and that many of his other claims of retaliation failed to constitute adverse employment actions as a matter of law, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the former employee’s deposition and drafted a comprehensive motion for summary judgment, which was subsequently granted by the Court. By employing our expertise in employment law, and specifically in whistleblower retaliation claims, not only did Bergman Dacey Goldsmith terminate the former employee’s case, but we were able to recoup an award of incurred costs to offset some of the City’s costs in defending this matter to a successful end. In the end, the entire cost of disposing of this case constituted less than 10% of the damages claimed, with the employee owing costs to the City.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a terminated police officer alleging various Constitutional claims and discrete violations of the California Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act in conjunction with his termination. After investigating the claims and confirming that California law strongly protects public entities against claims brought on the facts particular to this matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith – before even incurring the expense of filing a responsive pleading – negotiated an early resolution so that the City could avoid incurring any significant litigation fees or costs. The combined effect of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s expertise of the applicable law, combined with deft negotiation skills, resulted in a resolution of the matter for a de minimis sum compared to the anticipated damage claim. Such sum constituted a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred by the City had this matter proceeded to litigation and trial.
    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a fast food restaurant and its owner in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged eleven causes of action, including wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, fraudulent concealment, unfair business practices, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly obtained all relevant documents related to the claims, evaluated the merit of the claims, and was able to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was 30% of the former employee’s original demand. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s efficient handling also significantly reduced the legal expenses incurred by the client.

    FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district (“District”) in an enforcement of a stop notice action related to a multi-million dollar school modernization project filed against it by a subcontractor. Due to circumstances not within the control of the District, the subcontractor alleged that it was not paid by the general contractor and sought to enforce a stop notice against the District. At minimal litigation expense to the District, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to negotiate and procure the dismissal of the District from the subcontractor’s lawsuit without the District having to expend any funds to settle the matter.

    TEACHER DISMISSAL

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represents a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. When the teacher attempted to modify his pled affirmative defenses merely days before the discovery cutoff, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed a motion to continue the hearing for good cause to conduct discovery on the newly pled defenses. When the tribunal denied the motion, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately drafted and filed ex parte papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court to stay the dismissal matter, and then commenced a writ proceeding to obtain an order from the Superior Court compelling the underlying tribunal to provide the school district with more time to conduct discovery. The Superior Court issued a writ of mandate providing the school district with all of its requested relief. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness preserved the status quo in the lower tribunal, while safeguarding the school district’s procedural rights, ultimately assisting the school district with its preparation for the dismissal hearing itself.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. The teacher was accused of unprofessional conduct and other related charges. Because the district’s case was built around circumstantial evidence, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately began interviewing key witnesses and assembling as strong an evidentiary position to bring into a settlement conference with the accused teacher. Once presented with this evidence, the teacher conceded her case and agreed to resign in exchange for a modest settlement payment as consideration. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness and litigation planning kept the district far ahead of the teacher and her counsel as the dismissal hearing approached, and ensured that the ultimate goal—the teacher’s separation—was achieved at modest expense.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. A worldwide financial firm retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith on the Friday before the 3-day Christmas weekend to file a lawsuit and obtain a temporary restraining order against one of its former branch managers, who had recently resigned without notice and gone to work for a competitor. The former branch manager was accused of having misappropriated confidential and trade secret information by e-mailing it to his home computer, and then using that information to solicit the client’s customers and employees. Working through the holiday weekend, the lawyers at Bergman Dacey Goldsmith interviewed the key witnesses and marshaled the available evidence, drafted the necessary complaint, researched the applicable law, prepared an application for a TRO and Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction together with supporting documents to present the relevant evidence and the controlling legal authorities, and–within 5 days of being retained—went to court to present the TRO application to a judge. Upon considering the TRO application and the supporting papers, the court issued an immediate restraining order by which the former branch manager was prohibited from initiating contact with the client’s customers or employees and was directed to make all of his electronic devices capable of storing information available for inspection and cleansing within a week. The former branch manager was also ordered to return to the client, within a week, all confidential or trade secret information he had taken.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a private defendant in a collection matter. This matter involved thousands of dollars, as well as the collector’s persistent efforts to recover the interest and penalties associated with the alleged amount owed. After months of intense negotiations with the collector, the matter was settled for an amount that did not include penalties and/or interest on the amount owed, both costs the client could have owed if the matter proceeded to trial.

    CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a Southern California City in a class action lawsuit where the Plaintiff alleged that the City had failed to provide the proper amount of time to contest parking citations for years, thereby causing numerous individuals to be improperly charged late fees on parking citations. The City’s potential exposure was in the millions of dollars. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith attorneys aggressively litigated the mater to set up favorable settlement negotiations. Through Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s litigation and negotiation efforts the City settled the matter for approximately 1% of its potential liability exposure. Further, after settlement was achieved, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to cost effectively manage the terms of the class action settlement, including all required class action notice and payment procedures.

  • Daily Journal: “Dismissing a Teacher is Not Easy – the Process School Districts Must Follow”

    Posted March 16, 2012 By in Recent News With | No Comments

    In recent weeks, the media has flooded us with news of teachers being removed from classrooms and fired by school boards. The public, however, may have little knowledge of the cumbersome or complex process that is involved in a teacher dismissal action. On March 12, 2012, the attached article was published in the Daily Journal, written by our shareholder Michele M. Goldsmith, describing the process and pitfalls to the current procedures under the California Education Code.

    Also, Larry Mantle’s AirTalk, on KPCC 89.3, featured Michele in the segment “Can a teacher be fired for being a former porn actor?” Michele and Larry discussed the standards of teacher dismissal actions and “immoral” conduct as a cause for dismissal, specifically in the context of an Oxnard teacher who appeared in an adult film that was obtained by and watched by district students, parents and teachers. To listen to this KPCC program, please go to Larry Mantle’s AirTalk.

    Michele has a varied and extensive practice for both private and public clients, focusing on labor and employment matters. She litigates employment matters in both State and Federal Court. She also represents public agencies, including school districts, in certificated and classified personnel appeal hearings, before hearing officers and at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Many clients look to her to represent their interests in labor negotiations.

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith is a full service law firm founded in 1983 on the premise that serving our clients’ needs is paramount. We provide personalized and cost-effective service to multiple California public entities and school districts, Fortune 500 corporations, and individual clients. Our unique attention to our clients distinguishes Bergman Dacey Goldsmith from other law firms. We have earned our reputation as a “no surprises” law firm.

    For further information regarding Michele, our firm, and what we can do to help you through the teacher dismissal process, please visit our website at www.bdgfirm.com or contact us at any time.

      Dismissing a Teacher is Not Easy – the Process School Districts Must Follow

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