San Francisco Employment Group partners Michael Bruno and Alyson Cabrera received a defense verdict in a six-day jury trial in San Mateo County on December 14, 2011.
The plaintiff, a Harvard-educated lawyer, alleged that our client, FutureUS, a media company owned by a British media conglomerate, refused to hire him as a permanent employee. He alleged that in his role as Interim General Counsel, he had reported sexually inappropriate material that he photographed in the men's bathroom in a satellite office. FutureUS maintained that the "report" was not a report at all; it was legal advice, and it had nothing to do with its decision to end its negotiations with the plaintiff. FutureUS believed that the plaintiff showed more interest in being a businessman than a lawyer and on that basis declined to make a permanent employment offer.
Alan Exelrod of Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe represented the plaintiff. In closing, the plaintiff asked the jury to award $500,000 in economic damages plus unspecified emotional distress and punitive damages.
The original complaint contained four causes of action but was pared down to one retaliation claim on summary judgment. The jurors took less than 90 minutes to deliberate on the single claim.