Smullin Mediation Representative Cases
(Names and places have been omitted or changed to preserve confidentiality.)
Pre-complaint sexual harassment case between the male head of a medical office and a female former assistant. After 10 hours of mediation, one of the principals admitted theirs was a consensual sexual relationship. The case settled three days later after the male recognized that his physical and verbal attentions had continued after they were no longer welcome.
Sexual relationship, wage and hour:
Sexual relationship between the male non-English speaking leader of a construction company and a female bi-lingual friend who provided bookkeeping and administrative services after the former bookkeeper moved to another community. When the relationship ended, the bi-lingual friend made a five-figure demand for wages, insisting that she was an employee, not a volunteer. After two days of mediation, the parties reached a comprehensive settlement agreement which included the bi-lingual woman agreeing to take her name off the deed to the man’s house.
Attorney's fees after client company loses and pays $ 2,350,000:
Superior Court Complaint for $ 240,000 in attorneys fees following an original 17 day trial resulting in the defendant company paying $ 2 million in damages, fees and costs and $ 350,000 in fees to the now plaintiff. After the mediator’s preparation, the principals each described what it was like to be in the position each was in. At the end of the mediation day, the parties reached a comprehensive settlement agreement.
Wrongful termination, disability discrimination:
Office manager of a distribution company went on medical leave with a serious health issue. He returned part time without wages to “work off” health insurance for him and his wife. After four weeks he was fired when the employer was concerned that he was not in fact able to work. Plaintiff sued for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, public disclosure of private facts, loss of earning capacity, front pay, unpaid wages, punitive damages, prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees. After astute questioning of the principals regarding the weaknesses in their cases, they agreed to complete settlement.
Wrongful termination, wage and hour, PAGA:
Pre-complaint dispute including wrongful termination, misrepresentation, wage hour and PAGA claims for four and five figure amounts for 3 former employees. After a full day of mediation, the mediator conveyed an offer which the former employees accepted.
Wrongful termination, age and sex discrimination:
Pre-complaint, a senior executive in an EEOC charge contended that she was denied promotion to an officer position because of her age and gender and terminated for protesting that decision. The employer contented that the decision not to promote was made by the person who hired the complainant and that the discharge was based on the person’s failure to follow company rules and her public derogation of company staff and competency. After one day of mediation, the mediator and counsel worked over a 6-week period to reach a comprehensive settlement.
Wage and hour, expropriation of property, theft, one year mediation:
Two older neighbors who worked together as friends on various projects became angry at each other and then estranged. One sued arguing that he had worked under an oral agreement in various capacities including borrowing each other’s vehicles and other equipment. After 4 mediation days over a year they reached a comprehensive settlement resolving all issues.