Successes

successes wage and hour

WAGE AND HOUR

Defense Verdicts and Damage Awards for Apartment Management Companies

Mr. Hudock defended companies that owned and managed apartment complexes throughout Southern California in a high-risk lawsuit brought by two former apartment manager employees. The employees asserted numerous claims, including wage and hour violations, breach of contract, wrongful termination, and fraud. Multiple attorneys believed the case was indefensible.

Through a diligent and strategic investigation, Mr. Hudock identified grounds for a cross-complaint against the employees. His pursuit of a cross-complaint shifted the tone and narrative of the case, in his client’s favor.

At trial, before the case was submitted to the jury, and before the defendants presented their case, Mr. Hudock obtained favorable verdicts from the court on many of the plaintiffs’ non wage and hour claims, including wrongful termination and breach of contract. During testimony, the plaintiffs and their claims were severely impeached.

Mr. Hudock obtained defense verdicts on all plaintiffs’ claims against his clients. He obtained a verdict in favor of the companies’ owner that resulted in an award of compensatory and punitive damages to be paid by the employees to the owner. He also obtained an award of costs against the plaintiffs for over $50,000…

sucesses discrimination

DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, RETALIATION

Back-to-Back Wins for International Labor Organization in Disability Discrimination Cases

Two former employees of an international labor organization filed EEOC complaints against the organization, alleging disability discrimination. Before Mr. Hudock represented the organization the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe the organization discriminated against the former employees, who then filed separate lawsuits in federal court. The law allows EEOC reasonable cause determinations to be used as evidence of discrimination at trial, so all parties believed the cases were indefensible.

Mr. Hudock took over the organization’s defense, and developed an argument that although the employees could use the EEOC determinations to prove discrimination in their court cases, under specific circumstances, the courts were not required to accept them in deciding summary judgment.

In each case, in front two different judges, Mr. Hudock convinced the court to disregard the EEOC reasonable cause determination, turn 180 degrees away from the EEOC findings, and grant summary judgement in favor of the organization. Mr. Hudock then obtained court orders requiring the employees to pay the organization thousands of dollars in litigation costs.

successes wrongful termination

WRONGFUL TERMINATION

Lawsuit Avoided in Former General Manager Claims Against Association and Board of Directors

The new president of a large homeowners association noticed problematic issues with the association’s longtime general manager. The problems were serious enough to warrant potential termination.

Mr. Hudock worked with the organization to come up with a plan for placing the manager on administrative leave, and informing the manager that the association was going to conduct an investigation into the issues that the board had identified.

The manager hired an attorney and claimed she was going to quit and claim “constructive termination.” This meant she was claiming that she had no choice but to resign because the work conditions were so intolerable, which is a claim allowed under California law. Legally, this also meant that she had the right to make claims against the employer. After Mr. Hudock quickly refuted the claim, the manager dropped the claims and resigned without further action.

Later the manager filed for unemployment. Based on a letter Mr. Hudock wrote outlining why such a claim was inappropriate, the EDD denied her unemployment claim.

successes employee leave

EMPLOYEE LEAVE

Highly Favorable Resolution of Pregnancy Leave Claim

Mr. Hudock represented a public service agency in pre-litigation handling of a claim and potential lawsuit regarding a pregnancy leave. Recently, the same organization had been through a trial where the facts were very similar. In the previous case, there was a multimillion-dollar verdict in favor of the employee.

The agency was extremely concerned about the new case, which had the potential to inflict as much monetary damage as the previous case. Though not yet a lawsuit, the potential was there.

Mr. Hudock’s successful negotiation with the employee’s attorney resulted in a five-figure settlement—an efficient and very favorable result for the organization, particularly compared against expensive litigation and the potential of a multimillion-dollar settlement or judgment.

successes employment agreements

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS

Competitor’s Attempt to Invalidate Client’s Noncompete Agreements Nationwide Dismissed

A direct competitor to an information technology reseller filed a complaint requesting that the court declare all the reseller’s noncompete agreements with its employees invalid, nationwide. The competitor wanted the freedom to pilfer all the reseller’s employees at will.

Only California and two other states do not allow noncompete agreements, but a California case holds that in some circumstances, California’s interest in promoting competition and employee mobility may justify invalidating noncompete agreements between non–California employers and employees. The competitor focused on this case and its reasoning to support its claim.

Rather than engage in expensive litigation or argue what the competitor wanted to argue, Mr. Hudock demonstrated in an early motion to dismiss how the competitor had no standing to assert declaratory relief claims against the reseller because:

  • the competitor was not a party to or beneficiary of the noncompete agreements,
  • the reseller had not initiated or threatened litigation, and
  • no former reseller employee was employed by the competitor.

Mr. Hudock also neutralized the California case by demonstrating that federal procedural law applied, and therefore the California case was irrelevant.

Based on Mr. Hudock’s arguments, the court dismissed the competitor’s declaratory relief claims, and the competitor’s tactic failed.