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California Court of Appeal Finds That Pre-Litigation Demand Was Extortion

Published on June 30, 2014

In Stenehjem v. Sareen, a California Court of Appeal recently held that a former employee’s pre‑litigation demand constituted extortion when the employee threatened to report his former employer to federal authorities due to alleged criminal activity that was "entirely unrelated to any alleged injury suffered by" the employee. (more…) ...

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Qualified Privilege Protects Employer from Defamation Claim

Published on August 20, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in a recent decision that an employer had not lost its qualified privilege defense to a defamation claim that arose in the context of  an employee’s termination.  The decision reinforces the need for employers to conduct good faith, reasonable investigations into allegations of wrongdoing by employees before taking action.   More after the break. (more…) ...

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Defamation Claim Involving Reasons For Termination Survives Summary Judgment

Published on May 6, 2011

In a case involving allegations of defamatory reasons being given for an employment termination, the plaintiff doctor's claims survived the employer's motion for summary judgment and will proceed to trial.  The case is a cautionary note to employers, as the defamation allegation was that the employer was telling patients false reasons why the doctor no longer worked at the center.  More after the break. (more…) ...

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Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Damages Award For Violation Of Nondisparagement Clause

Published on March 7, 2011

The Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a jury verdict in favor of a individual against his former employer for violation of a nondisparagement clause in a separation agreement.  Alan Nogiec, a former director of the Parks and Recreation Department of Isle of Wight County, sued the County for breach of contract and its Assistant Administrator for defamation.  A jury found for Nogiec on both claims.  In Isle of Wight County v. Nogiec, Record No. 091693, and Small v. ...

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