Mark Toth's management-side blog, Manpower Employment Blawg, reports on findings from Jury Verdict Research. Jury verdicts in employment cases are up this year, a "whopping 60%" from $204,000 to $326,640. Discrimination verdicts rose 16%, from $208,000 to $241,119. Employers are losing 61% of the cases, their worst year this decade. Employees are winning 67% of age discrimination cases, but only 48% of disability cases. Employees do better in state courts where they win 63% of their cases, compared with 57% in federal courts. State court verdicts were also higher, on average, than those in federal court. The median settlement only cost $90,000 -- a bargain for any employer that actually cares about the bottom line. These statistics do not reflect the high hurdles placed on getting to a jury trial -- overcoming motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.
A D.C. Superior Court judge recently released Donald E. Gates, who spent 28 years in prison for a murder and rape he did not commit. The court also expunged Mr. Gates' conviction after it was determined that the government's expert, FBI crime lab examiner Michael P. Malone, lied about the hair and fibers evidence that Malone claimed linked Gates to the rape and murder.Continue Reading...
U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel III issued a letter of commendation to Steve T. Mackey, a former bridge manager for Metro's Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport. According to a story in today's Washington Post, Dulles Transit Partners overruled Mackey's concerns and decided to use 11 foundations abandoned in the 1970's without testing them to determine if they could bear the weight of the planned rail bridge over Interstate 66. Mackey reported his concerns to Scovel's office which led to federal safety intervention to obtain the testing Mackey recommended. Mackey has since left the Dulles Transit Partners and works for an area engineering firm. Scovel's letter states, "Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. Your actions exemplify this ethic and are a credit to you and your profession." If the Silver Line bridge had been built without testing, a latent defect could have led to catastrophic failure at a time when the bridge was under increased load -- such a a crowded train during rush hour traffic. We add our thanks to Steve Mackey.
The National Whistleblowers Legal Defense & Education Fund's teleconference on National Security Whistleblowers is underway. Shown here are Sibel Edmonds of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center, David Colapinto, General Counsel of the National Whistleblowers Center, and Mark Zaid of the James Madison Project. The teleconference also includes participation by telephone of Fred Whitehurst of NWC's Forensic Justice Project, and TSA whistleblower Robert MacLean.
The National Whistleblowers Legal Defense & Education Fund will host a conference call training seminar covering a number of innovative and alternative ways to successfully represent national security employees. The three presenters, Mark S. Zaid, Stephen M. Kohn, and David K. Colapinto, all seasoned litigators in this field, will focus on a number of legal tools including constitutional injunction, Title VII, the Privacy Act, FBI whistleblower procedure, and whistleblower laws protecting national security contractors.
The information that will be covered is valuable to any national security whistleblowers, anyone who represents these clients in their practice, or any advocate dedicated to preserving the rights of national security employees.
The teleconference will take place Friday, December 11, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern/9:00 a.m. Pacific.
Click here for registration information.