February 24, 2015 Articles

Persuasive Techniques for the Defense of Employment Cases

By Portia R. Moore

The number of employment lawsuits has exploded in the last decade. Prior to this, companies often settled employment cases, regardless of merit, simply to avoid the expense and inconvenience of defending a lawsuit. Increasingly, however, companies and upper management are growing less tolerant of allegations of unfair or discriminatory employment practices and are more willing to fight cases that they perceive are meritless, regardless of the costs of defense.

Such cases, however, are almost never "ideal" for an employer—the facts are often messy and unfortunate. So, the million dollar question is: Once a preliminary decision has been made to take a case to trial, how do you, as defense counsel, place your client in the best possible position to receive a favorable verdict? The answer, in large part, is that you must prepare a meaningful story of the case early on, one that goes beyond the banal "I didn't do it" defense and, instead, underscores everything that the company did right. Painting a positive picture of your client's role in the story is essential in explaining to the fact finder what happened from the company's perspective.

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