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Do You Have a “For Cause” Employment Contract?

Employees usually have the most rights under an employment contract that either says the employee will be employed for a specific period of time, or says the employer is restricting its ability to fire the employee to specific circumstances, such as “for cause,” with a definition of the term. Employers trying to recruit high-level managers, or persons with hard-to-find skills, find “for cause” agreements a powerful tool in persuading the desired prospects to leave what they were doing and sign up with the employer.

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What Does It Mean to Be an “At Will” Employee?

“At will” is a legal phrase that means the employer has the right to fire an employee at any time, for any reason, including a senseless, mean, spiteful, or arbitrary reason, as long as the reason is not unlawful. An “at will” employment can be ended at the will of either the employer or the employee. An employment contract that has no definite duration, and that has no limitation on the employer’s ability to fire the employee, is normally “at will.” Continue reading

Richard Seymour Spoke On Evidence In Employment Cases As Part Of An Ali-aba Conference

Richard Seymour spoke on December 5, 2008, on Evidence in employment cases, at an ALI-ABA conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the American Law Institute and American Bar Association.

What is the Proper Role for Dispositive Motions in Arbitration?

To achieve speedy resolutions, and to resolve matters as cost-effectively as possible, arbitrators should be careful in allowing the filing of dispositive motions. They make sense for gateway issues, but not for issues going to the substance of the merits. Allowing such motions generally would lengthen the time required to resolve cases, and multiply discovery to the magnitude needed in Federal courts. When trials are held on affidavits, the parties need a lot of depositions because that may be their only opportunity to examine the other sides’ witnesses. Ruling out trials by affidavits in the bulk of cases allows the promise of arbitration–faster, cheaper and fair resolutions–to be realized. Parties need to know at the outset what will and will not be allowed, so they that can cut their discovery needs. Continue reading