Monday, September 28, 2009

Shirlena's Story

Shirlena, (not her real name), was one of the most courageous whistle-blowers I have represented. I have written about Marley (not her real name). However, Marley might not have come forward against the not-for-profit company the two worked for had it not been for the Shirlena's singular act of courage. Shirlena worked for this company for 26 years, and with the Executive Director for that whole time.
This company was founded to assist a group of professionals and was similar to a local bar association, but for a different profession. The company had an Executive Director, an Assistant Director (Shirlena), the Executive Director's administrative assistant (Marley), another secretary and the bookkeeper. The professionals had a full board of directors with an executive board including a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. In addition to the secretary, there was a finance committee.
One of the functions of the not-for-profit was to organize to get public knowledge out so that the Legislature would pass tort reform, since these professionals believed they were getting sued too much. They were largely successful in their endeavor. The board members focused on tort reform, but many seemed to have little concern about the day-to-day operation of the business.
Shirlena was one of the most hard-working, diligent and intelligent employees a business could have. She was discrete, honest and caring. One day, she decided to look into one of the business' expenditures, a television/recorder set that was supposed to be given as a raffle prize as a convention the business had sponsored. Shirlena asked the Executive Director (we'll call him Ed for short) which professional had won the prize. Ed hemmed and hawwed and named someone in Arkansas. Shirlena checked it out and it was untrue. The following day, Shirlena found a check on her desk in the amount of the television/recorder combo with an apology from Ed. Shirlena decided to search farther to see if there were other irregularities. She found many other things, small in nature, but stealing nonetheless. In Ed's employment contract, the company was obligated to purchase life insurance for Ed, upon which Ed had taken personal loans. Ed had taken other items from the not-for-profit company, trips, televisions, a video recorder, even petty cash money. Ed regularly charged the company for personal items and ordered extra food for events so that he could take the food home to his family. He took cases of soda pop home.
Shirlena decided to tell the former treasurer, a professional whom she had trusted. This fellow told Shirlena that he would relay Shirlena's concerns to the Board and that Ed would probably be suspended while an investigation was conducted. The Board did meet, and decided to appoint one of their members, an ambitious fellow who not only practiced in the field but also held an M.B.A. and whose purpose was to make his honored profession into big business. He wanted a foot into this not-for-profit's door and he got it. This fellow told the Board he would conduct an investigation, but did nothing. He told Ed about Shirlena's complaints and the two of them conspired in ways to get Shirlena to quit.
The company had a valuable retirement program and knew Shirlena was dependent upon it since she intended to retire within 10 years. Ed and the board member decided to slice Shirlena's anticipated compensation. Shirlena was upset, but she did not quit. So Ed and the other decided to tell Shirlena they were taking her duties away and that she could either quit or be paid a fraction of her salary as a bookkeeper. Some of the Board members gave lip service to being upset, the former President resigned, but no one raised one finger to help Shirlena.
Shirlena is a very religious person and she was shocked that after 26 years, after giving her blood, sweat and tears to this company that they, of all people, would treat her this way. Her confidence was shaken and it was just the beginning.
Shirlena came to me. It was after Shirlena was forced out that Marley came forward. I hope you have already read of her situation, which I related below. We took deposition after deposition. Ed admitted to stealing in his deposition. The television was a Christmas gift to his son. In addition, Ed purchased, with company money, gift certificates to the Plaza shopping district and gave them to his daughter and daughter-in-law as Christmas presents. Ed was still employed, Shirlena was not.
In the meantime, Rafe Foreman and I tried Marley's case and the jury awarded a total of $551,500. Shirlena's case was set for trial, but this time there was no dispute that the company had a valid insurance policy in effect that would cover this case. Shirlena was quieter and quieter as time progressed. Ed had stolen her self-confidence, but she was determined to get it back.
When I began voir dire, I knew that Ed was nowhere to be found because we could not subpoena him to testify. He was hiding. I asked the panel if it would make a difference if he did not show. The consensus was a resounding ,"Hell, yes, it would make a difference." The jurors insisted that if Ed did not show, that would say volumes.
Before trial, Shirlena had decided that she would agree to settle her case if the defendant offered $450,000.00. We had been through a mediation some months before trial, where the defendant offered $50,000 and the mediator said she would never recommend that they pay over $100,000.00. Rafe had Ed on the stand when we took a break. The defense attorney offered the $450,000. Shirlena, to my amazement said no. She wanted a sign from God and if God wanted her to settle, then she would know if by the defendant offering $500,000. We went back into trial. As Rafe cross-examined Ed, I saw the defense counsel take his cell phone and leave the courtroom. A few moments later, he returned, went to Rafe and said loudly so the jury could hear, "They will pay the $500,000." I guess he didn't want to risk Shirlena balking, but she didn't.
I believe I witnessed an already strong woman grow stronger that day. Shirlena, as is true of most of us, was afraid of testifying in front of strangers. She was afraid of not being taken seriously again, after the Board had betrayed her. She never had to testify.
Shirlena quit the job she had taken as a legal assistant and set up her own accounting firm. Her honesty, courage, and fortitude paid off. I am a better person for having represented her.

Husband and Wife Courage

I just wrote about Tandra Chaudhuri, who valiantly fought sexual harassment and breast cancer to look for a cure to breast cancer. Now I want to talk about her brave husband Kurt.

Kurt was a red-headed, freckled Caucasian originally trained as a veterinarian. From what I recall he came from a long line of Missouri veterinarians. Kurt didn't stop his education there, though. He, too, became a biologist, perhaps a biochemist. I don't really remember. I don't remember how he and Tandra met, but I do remember how devoted the two were to each other.

Kurt was called a "whistle-blower" because he worked at the research reactor and had a healthy respect for nuclear energy. Kurt and Tandra took me to the reactor and showed me its core, which was quite impressive. Among the services provided at the reactor were things such as irradiate healing materials for cancer hospitals. They even irradiated clear topaz to turn it blue. When you went into the building, a visitor had to don certain items and walk repeatedly through geiger detectors. Nuclear radiation is a pretty powerful energy source, and, when something is messed up, there can be dire consequences.

Kurt was a scientist, and he monitored the administrative things happening at the reactor. Soon he noticed there were lax controls and shipping quantities of radioactive isotopes were sometimes mis-marked. This could be very dangerous. Kurt complained loudly, and was viewed a nothing more than a trouble maker. Kurt never backed down, no matter what the personal consequences. He was due for a promotion, but it was denied. He was ridiculed and treated with disrespect. In the meantime, Kurt's wife was being hit on by the director.

Another less committed scientist might let the shipping errors slide, but not Kurt. Before obtaining a lawyer, he researched the Energy Reorganization Act, and he learned that he had a short period of time to complain to the Department of Labor. He did and then they contacted me.

It is my understanding that most investigations end in a decision that a violation did not occur or that it was inconclusive. We did not have the option of a jury trial, but had to try the case to am adminstrative law judge from D.C. who held Court in the Boone County Courthouse. We had little time to conduct discovery. In one deposition, Kurt wrote out a question for me to ask about radioactive isotopes. I dutifully, yet ignorantly, read the question. I was surprised when the response was, "Could you explain that question." Of course, I couldn't and we laughed and laughed.

We conducted that hearing for a solid week, with few breaks. One of the hard parts of this hearing was waiting for the decision. Tandra and Kurt continued worked with many people who wished them at least to be gone and at most something far worse. After a few months, we received a lengthy judgment, ALL IN KURT'S FAVOR!! There were shipping violations that must be corrected and Kurt was entitled to his promotion.

Kurt was elated. He is such a kind, diligent man. He had done what he needed to do to make that place safer and he wanted to continue his research with his wife. By nature, I am sure that many describe Kurt as a very serious young man, with little sense of humor. I don't think that is accurate. Kurt loved to laugh, but he was passionate about both his work and his wife and took a no-nonsense approach to both of his loves. He was relieved to move to another university where he and Tandra could research in peace. I also spoke with Kurt every couple of years and he kept me up to date with their lives and always asked about my family, and especially about my daughter Lisa. I thought of them as friends and was devastated when Kurt called to say Tandra had passed on. I hope Kurt reads this and that he is doing well and still making our lives safer through his research. I hope he has found happiness. I miss Kurt and Tandra a lot.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bittersweet Courage

I represented Tandra Chaudhuri, a brave woman from India, who was sexually harassed by her supervisor. Tandra was married to Kurt and they both worked as scientists at a research reactor. I can tell you that in my years as a lawyer, and as an adult, I don't think I have seen two people more in love than the two of them. They were both scientists and had voraciously pursued research, the kind of biological research geared to help the human condition. Their energy was boundless. Kurt had his own issues with his employer, but I am concentrating on Tandra here.

Tandra was a beautiful dark-haired, soft-spoken scientist who was taken with my daughter Lisa. Tandra was sexually harassed by her boss, which made it difficult for her to conduct her research. Tandra was devoted to science, devoted to Kurt and devoted to justice. While I represented her, she invited me and my daughter, Lisa who was around 9 years old, to their house. She was a gracious host. She had beautiful red flowers all over her deck and really cared about Lisa. Tandra and Kurt had not children of their own.

We took deposition after deposition of scientist, some in the pocket of management, and others in favor of allowing Tandra, hoping this brilliant and creative woman could do her research free of discrimination and harassment. It was important to Tandra and her husband that they work at the same facility. They were collaborators, and more importantly, they were in love. The defense sent Tandra to a St. Louis psychologist to say that Tandra was lying. In fact this psychologist was shut down in another case trying to testify to this inadmissible fabrication that the Plaintiff lied. Tandra was tough, though, taping the session she had with this paid expert.

Tandra, with her Ph.D. in biology decided to work on a cure for breast cancer. She just wanted to do her research, and she was brilliant at it. During the pendency of the lawsuit, she and Kurt were offered a job at an out of state university and they scooped it up. They finally had the freedom they needed to do good work and help society. We settled Tandra's case. Kurt had a different case that I will write about later.

This was one of my first cases around the time we started my current firm in 1995. Tandra and Kurt seemed blessed. Every few years, I would hear from them and their research. A few years ago, Tandra shared with me that, ironically, she has contracted breast cancer, the very disease she was attempting to eradicate. She sounded hopeful and I naively thought all was under control.

In 2006, I received a sad call from Kurt. Tandra was no longer with us. She succumbed to the very disease she sought to eradicate. Kurt was alone in his research, alone in his life, and seemed to be alone in his sorrow. He sounded lost and despondent. What do you say? I don't know. The loss of Tandra, one of my first sexual harassment clients and my friend haunts me to this day. There are few people like Tandra Chaudhuri and I miss her.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Courageous Whistleblower

In looking back on my clients, I realize how amazing they are. There are so many tales of courage and fortitude. I am sure many of these brave souls did not realize what lie ahead and how they would be tested. I want to talk about one remarkable woman, whom I will call Marley, not her real name. Marley worked at a not-for-profit organization that was a member organization for a group of professionals. The organization's board was comprised only of these "busy" professionals. In retrospect, I suspect these people liked having the prestige of being an officer of a board, but didn't really want to take the time to run the board.

This organization had an Executive Director who had been at the helm for many years. Marley was his assistant. She worked with another brave whistleblower, whom I will call Shirlena (not her real name), who acted as the assistant director, whose tale I will tell soon. But this story is Marley's.

Shirlena had shared with Marley that the Executive Director (ED, whom I will call Ed) was taking things from the organization. For instance, Ed had purchased a television/recorder for his son for a Christmas present and charged the organization for it, claiming the item had been given to the membership as a raffle prize at a conference. Shirlena confronted Ed, which was difficult. Shirlena had complained to the board. Eventually, Shirlena was forced out. As I said, I will focus on Shirlena's story later.

Marley was shocked and dismayed at Shirlena's fate. A normal, less brave soul might walk away after witnessing the retaliation against Shirlena. Not only did she contact many members of the board of directors about this example of stealing and several others. She also reported to these directors that she had found pornography on the office computers. She later discovered, through the litigation process, that some of the pornography came from at least one of these very same directors. Marley called director after director, until she was blue in the face, but they did not listen. One, a women, thought she was hyper-sensitive. They all acted as if she were a whiner and complainer. The treasurer whose task it was to conduct an investigation into the allegations of stealing did nothing. He seemed more interested in weaving his own businesses into the fabric of the organization. Ed systematically made Marley's life hell. She was barred from the premises when she reported the pornography while the finance director and Ed brought in new computers and implied that Marley was crazy to complain. Marley was a wreck. She found another job making more money and left the job that she had held and loved for eighteen years.

I tried this case with my friend from the Trial Lawyers College Rafe and also with the assistance of my law partners Marie and Kristi. During the discovery phase of the case, Marley was still distraught. She lost sleep, self-esteem, and at times it seemed to her she was losing her sanity. She became obsessed with the case and was so distraught. When Rafe and I were at her house, she was so frightened that at times she had to run from the room crying. Since the defendant's insurance company claimed they had no coverage, we had no offers and had to go to trial.

The trial came. Marley sat silently at the counsel table holding in her emotion. At the end of each day, she felt like she would explode, as the members of the board directors disavowed knowledge. These people were highly respected professionals, and they didn't give Marley the time of day, while she worked there, and most of them still didn't after she'd left. These were people whom Marley had trusted. For crying out loud, these were trusted professionals who we all expect more from. Ed fessed up to stealing. He still had his job. He fessed up to the pornography because we had the photos. He claimed Marley left on her own.

Marley was wonderful on the stand. She had been so distraught beforehand, but with grit and courage pulled herself together and told her story. They jury heard her. They gave her a verdict of a total of $551,500, even though she had not lost one penny of income. The jurors talked to Marley for two hours. Marley felt good.

But it was not over yet. The employer claimed they were going to file for bankruptcy if we tried to collect the judgment, so we sued the insurance company that had denied coverage. Marley thought her battle had been won, but to her it felt as if we were starting from scratch. We ended up trying the case regarding insurance coverage to a judge. Marley wondered if the whole ordeal had been worth it. She still had nightmares, she still was distraught. Marley called me time and again wondering if telling the truth and stepping forward had been worth it. Ed was still ED at the organization. After a few months, we got the word, there WAS COVERAGE!!!

Finally, years after the verdict, Ed was fired (after Shirlena's trial - more on that later.) Marley collected every penny due her. She and her husband took me out to dinner and we celebrated.

I live in the same community as Marley and we shop at the same grocery store. When I see her she is different. My mother and I ran into Marley and her husband at an Il Divo concert and I ran into her and her husband with my husband at the hospital. They took me to dinner again. It is some two years since Marley's judgment is paid. Marley is a happy person, not the stressed, distraught woman I met. She smiles freely and makes jokes. She and her husband, who recently retired, enjoy life. Marley radiates. She shines. I hadn't seen this Marley before the trial. It is so gratifying to see her now. I hope she is as proud of herself as I am of her.

It is really hard to be a whistleblower when you are at a job you love. How people react to whistleblowers says a lot about them. An individual with the courage to tell the truth, even if it is not in his or her best interest is a remarkable person. Marley is now a grandmother. What a fine example she is for both her daughter and her little granddaughter. I am honored that she allowed me to represent her. What an honor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Age Discrimination

I have been delaying posting on the blog because I wanted to post the cases in chronological order and I was having problems recalling details with cases that have been over for some years. So, I decided to go in reverse chronological order with the most recent first.

I was recently lucky enough to assist my partner Kristi in trying an age discrimination case to a jury. Kristi and my client is Sue, a 63 year old woman who had worked at the same hotel as a supervisor of housekeepers for 23 years before she was fired. Sue loved her job. It meant the world to her and she was good at it. She knew how to talk to the housekeepers and motivate them. Although many of her employees spoke Spanish and she did not, she had no trouble in communicating with them. Some of the housekeepers told Sue, in Spanish, that they considered Sue to be her grandmother. Sue loved that job and working extra hours was not a chore, but welcomed by her.

Sue was a homemaker once she got married. She never finished high school. Once she decided to go to work, when her children were older and she was divorced, she worked hard. Sue took pride in her job and was a joy at work.

When the hotel was sold, after awhile the new management used "code words" for age discrimination, Sue was "resistant to change," they asked "when was she going to retire," they said "Sue was set in her ways." The new head of housekeeping claimed Sue was "insubordinate" and refused to make beds, although she had been making beds all along. One day Sue came in and the head of housekeeping informed Sue that the hotel was going "a different direction" and Sue "no longer fit in." They fired her then and there.

Sue was devastated. She testified that she felt her world had come to an end. This housekeeping job was not merely a job for Sue, but Sue's purpose for living. Sue quit taking care of herself, her boyfriend and her granddaughter. She wouldn't get out of bed or bathe. She cried a lot. Sue was still like this when she came to see Kristi.

I helped with the trial. I picked the jury, took a couple of witnesses, and did some of the closing arguments. Kristi was responsible for the bulk of the trial. She gave opening statements and did most of the direct examination, some cross, and the opening part of the the first closing argument.

Sue was, by nature, a very sweet woman who had spent her life taking orders and not rocking the boat. At age 63, she didn't know what to do. After her firing she was depressed up until the time of the trial. She couldn't even look for another job because she lacked self-confidence.

What I admire about many of our clients is their fortitude and courage when put to the test. Sue never thought she had what it took to fight her employer, but her courage was actually seemingly endless. Once she started the case, she wouldn't stop. She received only one offer to settle, which was $3500 paid out over 7 months, along with her $26,000 per year job (after 23 years of service) back. Sue said no. We went to trial.

I am not going to relay what went on at trial, even though that is the fun part for trial lawyers to recite and regale. However, the purpose of this blog is to spotlight and honor those courageous clients who help to change things. The trial was hard on Sue. She had wanted to settle out of court, but the offer was an insult. Sue testified and had to defend herself and her performance. She had suffered a stroke a few months before, and she had to overcome the residual effects, such as some confusion, while on the stand. Even more difficult, she had to listen to employees lie about her performance, claiming that she had bad performance yet the employees conveniently failed to document any of these alleged shortcomings. This tore Sue up. It is hard to sit powerlessly while witnesses impugn your character and your work ethic. She sat quietly and listened and withdrew.

Sue had very little in lost wages, since she had suffered a stroke and her wages were small. She did not seek treatment for her depression because she could not afford to do so and people like Sue don't waste there time on luxuries such as counselling. Sue was determined to see the case through, but it was obvious how difficult the trial was on her. At times during the day, she was so withdrawn and quiet that I worried about her.

The jury suffered from some confusion. First, they said they were hung. The judge asked them to continue deliberating. They came back with a verdict, but misunderstood that the case was bifurcated and there would be a second portion for punitive damages. The jury awarded a gross amount, without attorneys fees of $130,000. When the jurors realized it was premature to assess punitive damages, they reduced the award to $50,000 and came back the next day to deliberate over punitives. We fully expected an award of $80,000, based on what had happened. After another closing argument, the jury deliberated, with two jurors who had not agreed with the liability portion of the verdict signing the punitive damage portion of the verdict and the jury awarded $150,000 in punitive damages, almost twice what they had indicated the day before. We are also entitled to attorneys fees to be determined.

The difference in Sue was immediate, and had little to do with the amount of money. Sue was so gratified and felt validated by the juror's belief in her. Her first reaction was to have a good cry, she had bottled her emotions for so long and her self-esteem had suffered so from the firing. Within hours, I could see glimpses of the real Sue, the Sue I imagined existed before the firing. She was smiling and joking. We went out to lunch, the four of us, Sue, Butch (her boyfriend), Kristi and me and had fun. Sue was relaxed. She began to talk of the future. Sure, some was the relief of the trial actually being over, but more was from her realization that not only did she have the strength to fight back, but also to win. The greatest change was in her self-confidence. When Sue was fired, after working for one place for 23 years, and fired at age 63, she was terrified of being rejected again and felt guilty because she could not force herself to look for work and expose herself to further rejection. Now Sue had her old confidence back and was going to look at work. I don't think I had ever seen Sue smile so much. It was a wonderful lunch, not because of the food but because of the wonderful company. I can't wait to see Sue in a few months, after everything sinks in. Our courageous clients who go through this process seem like new people after a few months, their faith in justice restored.

It is wonderful to help our brave clients restore their sense of self. This is my greatest satisfaction in this work. Sue is one of the kindest, sweetest clients we've had. It is gratifying to see her happy again. I can't describe my joy and satisfaction upon witnessing the changes in a client who musters the courage to fight especially when she wins. What a great job I have.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Whistleblowers are an interesting breed. True whistleblowers are courageous, they speak the truth even though it is not in their self-interest to do so. Whistleblowers are not followers, they buck the system. Whistleblowers are not merely satisfied with the status quo, to just get by. True whistleblowers are hard to come by.

We are social animals by nature. We want to get along, be liked, not rock the boat. Whistleblowers act in ways that are unnatural, they take risks and know that they will not just be going with the crowd. It takes a lot of courage to be a true whistleblower.

Whistleblowers are not "snitches." "Snitches" have ulterior motives such as lower jail terms, monetary gain, etc. to accuse another of something he or she may or may not have done. "Snitches" are not altruists, they are in it for themselves. I represent whistleblowers, not snitches.

I am going to tell the stories of some brave whistleblowers whom I have represented. I am changing their names and also those of the employers, but their stories are true. The courageous whistleblowers whom I have represented are:

1. Kurtis* the scientist, who reported shipping irregularities of radioactive materials at the research reactor (yes, that is a nuclear reactor) at which he worked. Incorrect and erroneous shipping and labeling of radioactive materials can have obvious serious consequences, including illness and death. Kurtis should have been hailed as a hero, but instead he was labeled a troublemaker and demoted in his job. Kurtis' whistleblower case was tried before the Department of Labor under the Energy Reorganization Act. I will tell Kurtis' story.

2. Shirlena* and Marley*, were two office workers in a not for profit company. The purpose of the company was to serve physicians in such endeavors such as lobbying for tort reform, promoting continuing education, etc. Both employees discovered the long-term executive director engaged in financial irregularities. Both Shirlena and Marley reported these irregularities to the physician board members. Shirlena was fired. After Shirlena left, Marley discovered pornography on the executive director's computer and reported it to the physician board members. She was forced out of her position. A colleague from the Trial Lawyers College, Rafe Foreman, and I, tried Marley's case to a jury verdict. We began trial in Shirlena's case, but the case was settled in the middle of trial. I will tell Shirlena and Marley's stories.

3. Mary* was happy to get a job with a major pharmaceutical company as a salesperson for a new drug that was in the process of approval by the FDA. Until the drug was approved, she was ostensibly told to sell another drug. However, her boss told Mary and her co-workers to go ahead and start marketing the un-approved drug, which was anticipated to be very costly and was projected to help increase revenue since a major drug had just gone generic. Unfortunately, it is unlawful to market an unapproved drug for reasons that were shown in this case. The drug here was found to potentially be dangerous and got a "black box" warning. Throughout the time Mary's boss told her to market the drug, Mary complained. Mary was ultimately fired. I will share Mary's story.

4. A group of ten nurses and other health care providers were employed in a local hospital in the emergency department. There were serious problems in the emergency department with understaffing and insufficient and outdated equipment. Patients suffered and the health care workers complained. Most were fired, a few were forced to quit, and one was transferred. I will share the story of these courageous workers.

*Denotes not their real names.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Courageous Clients

What I plan to do is profile several courageous clients. In the next following weeks, I intend to talk about whistleblowers, sexual harassment, racial, disability, and age discrimination victims who fought back. Sometimes as a lawyer it is easy to forget the emotional toll fighting the system is for a client. Without the courage of these special people, and others like them, harassment and discrimination would still be rampant in workplaces and American society in general.

I am excited about telling my clients' stories because I am so proud to have represented them. These stories are true stories of courage. The most gratifying part of my job as a plaintiffs' lawyer is to catch a glimpse of the joy and pride my clients must have experienced before they were victims of discrimination and/or retaliation.

Sometimes we here that someone files a discrimination case and, in essence, it is a trip to the bank. That is just not true. It takes a special person to fight back. I am so honored to represent them.

In the next few days and weeks I intend to write about my clients, people such as Kurt, a scientist, who bucked the system by refusing to violate federal laws in transporting radioactive substantives and the retaliation he suffered in lack of promotions and pay when he complained. I will write about my clients who reported to the not for profit board of physicians in charge of their employee that the executive director was stealing from the company, resulting in the termination of the whistleblowers. I will be recounting the tale of my client, the pharmaceutical representative, who complained about her employer forcing her to market a drug which had not yet been approved by the FDA and her subsequent termination.

I will also be telling the stories of numerous sexual harassment victims, with differing degrees of indignities inflicted upon them who had the wherewithal to fight back. Generally, women are not plagued by sexually inappropriate bosses as in the past because of the courage of people like the ones I represented.

I hope you will find these stories interesting. They are fascinating to me, and it has been gratifying to represent such courageous people. We can change the world even if it is just one case at a time.

Why a Blog?

I have been a lawyer for 26 years, representing those with uncommon courage, who fight for justice and against unlawful discrimination, racial, sexual, age, disability, etc. I represent whistleblowers who take on the most powerful foes without regard for the toll the fight takes. I feel honored to have touched the lives of these individuals and humbled by how my clients have helped me. I want to write about these courageous folks who make a difference in our society by willing to fight back against mammoth employers. Their stories are stories of hope and despair, joy and pain, and sometimes just of pain and despair. I want to honors these people who have enriched my life so.

That is why I decided to write a blog. I do have a dilemma, though. Communications between my clients and me are protected by the attorney-client privilege and I dare not risk litigation by naming the corporate evil-doers, so I must take care and may need to use pseudonyms to tell these stories. I just want others to know that it is possible to fight authority and win. There can be justice.