The Inbox

| Jason M. Knott

"St. Basi's"

We thought about getting a Putin op-ed to cap off this week at Suits by Suits.  But instead, we decided to stick with our tried-and-true formula of canvassing the week’s headlines in employer-executive disputes:

  • Bloomberg Law reported on a recent ruling by the Delaware Chancery Court that a company officer and trustee could not invoke the attorney-client privilege for communications with their personal attorneys and advisors sent from their work e-mail accounts.  The court wrote that the company could access the e-mails because it had reserved the right to do so in its employee manual, and therefore the officer and trustee did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the e-mails.
  • Pete Brush of Law360 (subscription required) covered the hearing in the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, on claims by a former Intesa SanPaolo executive, Giuseppe Romanella.  Romanella alleges that the company illegally fired him after he complained of depression.  The company argues that it was allowed to fire him because he refused to provide any reasonable time frame for his return from leave.
  • A federal judge tossed a number of claims against Bloomberg LP in an EEOC case alleging that the company discriminated against employees who returned from maternity leave, reported Jonathan Stempel and Jennifer Saba of Reuters.  The court found that the EEOC could not pursue a class action because it failed to show that discrimination was Bloomberg’s standard operating practice.  Further, the judge said that the EEOC had failed to investigate its individual plaintiffs’ claims and unfairly rebuffed Bloomberg’s attempts to settle.  The Wall Street Journal characterized this as a “sue first, investigate later” approach.
  • According to a Denver Post blog entry, the lawsuit against billionaire William Koch for allegedly kidnapping a former executive and holding him captive at Koch’s Colorado ranch will now be heard in Colorado, after the California federal judge concluded that events in that state would be central to the dispute.  Previously, as we covered here, the judge decided to let the plaintiff, Kirby Martensen, have the dispute resolved in his chosen forum, but changed her mind after reviewing testimony he gave in a different case.
  • Michael Musacchio, the former CEO of Exel Trading Company, was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally reading Exel e-mails after he left the company, wrote Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer.  Nicholson’s account outlines how Musacchio left a long trail of e-mails with his loyalists discussing the scheme, and even proposed to make up a fake crisis for Exel by e-mail so that he could enjoy the fallout.