Suits by Suits’ 2015 Greatest Hits
The turn of the calendar is always a good time to reflect on what has come before and preview what lies ahead. In this post, we count down our most popular posts of 2015 about executive disputes. Later, we’ll look at what to expect in 2016.
Here’s this year’s countdown of last year’s top 5 topics on Suits by Suits:
- Ellen Pao’s Discrimination Claims
The trial of Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination claims against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins captivated Silicon Valley in the spring of 2015. Despite the jury’s verdict in Kleiner Perkins’ favor, we saw a “Pao Effect” – women’s heightened awareness of gender bias in the workplace as a result of the highly publicized trial. And in March 2015, we covered lessons that employers could take away from the trial.
- Potential Individual Liability for Corporate Data Breaches
In January 2015, we discussed plaintiffs’ claims that individual officers and directors could be held personally liable for data breaches at Target and Wyndham Worldwide. The Wyndham directors prevailed on the claims against them, but the case still taught a valuable lesson: officers and directors should consider best practices for reducing the risk of breaches.
- New York’s Highest Court Tackles Non-Solicitation Clauses
Noncompetes and non-solicitationclauses are a frequent subject of disputes between companies and their departing executives. In June 2015, we blogged about an important holding by the New York Court of Appeals in a non-solicitation case, Brown & Brown, Inc. v. Johnson. In Brown & Brown, the court held that New York law would determine the enforceability of a customer non-solicitation provision, even though the employment agreement at issue selected Florida law.
- The Disputes Between Crystal Cathedral and Dr. Robert Schuller
Dr. Robert Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral Ministries and famed televangelist, passed away in April 2015. At the time, he and Crystal Cathedral were embroiled in bankruptcy litigation. We discussed their dispute over Dr. Schuler's transition agreement and its treatment in the bankruptcy. We also addressed Dr. Schuller’s contention that he owned the intellectual property related to Crystal’s Hour of Power show.
- Dov Charney and American Apparel’s Advancement Battle
Dov Charney’s contentious departure from American Apparel has led to a significant amount of litigation. In July 2015, we previewed Charney’s bid for advancement of his legal fees for American Apparel’s lawsuit to enforce a standstill agreement requiring him not to comment to the press or get involved in shareholder suits. And in October, we reported on the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision that Charney was not entitled to advancement or indemnification of his fees for defending against the standstill suit, because the suit did not arise “by reason of the fact” that he was the company’s former CEO.