Labor and Employment Law

Conkle, Kremer & Engel has a strong record of success in providing effective and creative counsel on a full range of traditional and emerging labor and employment issues.  Over the years, we have advised clients on numerous issues including but not limited to: employment agreements, covenants not to compete, ERISA litigation, trade-secret matters, wrongful termination, compensation disputes and employment discrimination issues.

Representative Engagements:
  • Secured a $6.2 million jury verdict (plus an award of attorneys’ fees) for our sales representative client who was refused his commissions.  See Article: Treble Damages for Breach of Contract
  • Defended a national manufacturer of high-tech products against claims by a commissioned salesman.  We convinced the court that the payments of the commissions were discretionary despite provisions in the salesman’s manual providing a commission structure.  We also obtained an order directing the salesman to return confidential company information that he had misappropriated.
  • Defended against a model’s claim for image misappropriation from use of his photo on product packaging.  After forcing the matter into arbitration, preventing costly discovery, we limited damages and obtained a favorable settlement.
  • Represented a gourmet sausage manufacturer in defense of claims of misappropriation of trade secret recipes asserted by a former managing member.  We settled the claims for one-tenth of the alleged seven-figure damages and obtained broad releases.
  • Successfully defended and settled a large case between two telephone and data equipment resellers, after our client hired key employees from a failing business that was later acquired by a competitor.  Our use of extensive e-discovery processes against plaintiff drove a prompt settlement.
  • Represented a freight forwarder whose employees left to join a competitor, bringing customer lists.  Defended wage and hour cross-claims by departed employees.  We obtained a Temporary Restraining Order and settlement including monetary recovery and a “no contact” list of customers and employees.
  • Successfully obtained monetary settlement for a cosmetic chemist, in fraud action against a competitor who had taken the benefit of chemist’s formulations and equipment before terminating a partnership arrangement.
  • Defended a bookkeeper’s claims of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and employment discrimination against a military supplier who was pursuing claims of embezzlement against the bookkeeper.  Resulted in settlements with no recovery for bookkeeper on her employment claims, and recovery for our client from the bookkeeper and two large banks of the entire amount of the embezzlement.  We were able to utilize insurance proceeds to achieve settlement with net positive recovery for our client.
  • Architects were sued by ERISA plan participants for negligence in handling investments.  Obtained summary judgment of breach of insurer’s duty to defend architects, resulting in favorable settlement against insurer.
  • Obtained the first published decision by the 9th Circuit on the appropriate statute of limitations that apply in an ERISA case.  See Wang Laboratories, Inc. v. Kagan, 990 F.2d 1126 (9th Cir. 1993).
  • Representation of employer and its ERISA plan in connection with allegations that the Plan did not provide appropriate reimbursement to out-of-network medical providers.
  • Representation of employer in connection with government agency investigation of potential misconduct by employees, including conducting confidential interviews of employee witnesses in anticipation of agency’s investigation.

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