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A lot of people like stores that provide a good return or refund policy. “Don’t like the results after 90 days, send the rest back and we’ll give you a full refund.” I’m embarrassed to say that I know someone that returned a kitchen table set to Costco six years after buying it (and actually had Costco pick it up since it had been ordered online). There are lots of stores and service providers that offer refund policies, but employment defense lawyers are not typically one of them.

Our employment discrimination attorneys recently blogged about the City of San Diego paying its defense attorneys about $425,000 only to lose $3.9 million at trial plus possibly paying the attorneys’ fees for the wrongfully fired attorney (which may be as much as another $4 million). (Best Law Read: Paying A Lot To Defend A Wrongful Termination Claim Does Not Mean You’ll Win). Shortly after losing the wrongful termination case, the City turned around and sued the defense firm of Burke, Williams & Sorensen and individually sued attorney William Price. Not only does the City want a refund of the money paid to its attorneys, but it also wants the attorneys to cover the verdict.

The Complaint against the employment defense attorneys provides further insight into how employer defend cases of discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination. According to the Complaint, attorney Price laid out a trial plan to paint the plaintiff-employee, former assistant city attorney Marlea Dell’Anno, as unstable and unprofessional as well as having a supervisor avoid mentioning the personal relationship that he shared with Dell’Anno.

Now, the City did fire Price and Burke, Williams & Sorensen, but did proceed to trial with a different plan to attack Dell’Anno for allegedly mishandling files. The jury obviously didn’t buy the new attorney’s attack plan either. Given that Price’s crooked plan was never argued to the jury, I don’t see how his alleged bad conduct caused the loss. In any event, the employer had to approve the trial plan before it was implemented, and it could have chosen to settle instead. I do not see this malpractice case prevailing.

There are some important takeaways from the insight provided in the malpractice complaint. First, employers will lie and falsely paint an employee in a bad light. (Best Law Read: Top Discrimination Lawyer Reply: What Should I Do If My Boss Lies About Why I Was Fired?; Employment Discrimination Question: What Is Pretext?); Can I Be Fired For Lies By My Racist Manager? I Need The Best Employment Discrimination Lawyer!). It is important to remember that getting the best employment law firm with experience in dealing with lying, cheating employers will help to protect you from this conduct.

Second, this lying and attacking the employee strategy is risky for employers. Sure, it can work and does work in some cases. However, when it does not work and the jury decides the employer is lying, the jury will usually render an angry verdict – say about $3.9 million in this case. So, the malicious attack on the plaintiff-employee will usually result in a defense verdict or a verdict paying the employee huge sums. Very rarely will this strategy result in a mid-level, compromise verdict.

Third, employers should settle. Faced with the choice between a risky strategy needing a high defense cost or the certainty of settlement, employers sure chose certainty (as long as the employee’s demand are within reason).

Lastly, when employers hire defense attorneys, those attorneys work for the employer – not the other way around. If the employment defense attorney want to engage in dishonest conduct, the employer either can stop it or approve that conduct, but the consequences of that questionable conduct always falls on the shoulders of the employer – not the defense lawyers. And there is no return policy – “all sales are final.”

How do I sue for wrongful termination?

Best Employment Lawyer Answer: Every employment situation is different. Every lie told by your employer will be different than the lies told by another employer. That’s why you want to hire an employment law firm that has the most resources and experience to support your claims and get all the evidence necessary to prove that you were wrongfully fired or terminated; or discriminated against or harassed based on your race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; sexually harassed. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?; Why Having Skilled Employment Attorneys Is Critical). Call our lawyers in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Toledo and Cincinnati to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.


This employment discrimination law website is an advertisement. The wrongful termination and retaliation materials available at the top of this page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “How do I sue for race discrimination”, “What should I do my manager lied to get me fired” “My boss discriminated against me because I’m Asain” or “I was fired for reporting that my supervisor is sexually harassing me”, it would be best for to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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