Civil Litigation Process For Sexual Harassment
You are in charge of the human resources division of a large software development company. One of your responsibilities is to work with the company's retained law firm on suits against the company by present and former employees. A former employee has just filed suit against the company and one of its supervisor's for sexual harassment. The citation has been served upon the authorized agent for the company today. You have also been advised today that you are going to be promoted to senior vice president in charge of software development and that the new human resources director has little experience with matters related to civil litigation. You must orient the new director to the mechanics of how a civil lawsuit works its way through the legal system so that she can integrate her activities with that of the law firm in defense of the newly filed suit
Prepare a three (3) to five (5) page memo to the new director generally describing the litigation process.
To: Manager, HR department
From: Vice President
Subject: Litigation process for recent lawsuit of sexual harassment
The following document is a description of sexual harassment litigation process and my proposals to create a manual policy on sexual harassment cases.
The Stages of Sexual Harassment Litigation
1. Beginning of Controversy and Attempts to Resolve Conflict
"Having an litigation goal''
The goal of the case should be determined as early as possible, by the facts, witnesses, forum and client, because it will dictate how you will manage the litigation. For instance, if the forum, facts and client indicate that (1) summary judgment is not possibility and (2) the case will not be tried, then the goal likely will be to lower the plaintiff's expectations of the prevailing at trial through discovery. In these cases, you will likely propound extensive discovery requests and conduct your ''trial cross-examination'' of the plaintiff during her deposition to expose every weakness in the plaintiff's case. However, is summary judgment is not possible but a trial is probable, you likely will want to set up the plaintiff for damaging cross examination at trial during her deposition. If you believe the plaintiff's case is totally frivolous and the goal is to get attorneys' fees then you must begin to build a record very early on with the plaintiff attorney warning him in numerous letters that you believe his case has absolutely no basis in law or fact and that you plan to seek attorney fees.
The goal of litigation initially is to pursue a lawsuit and settle out of court. If both parties can reach a settlement, there is money saved from not enduring a trial. But since there is no way to know if a case will go to trial or settle, the process involved in litigation must proceed as if there will be a trial. All pretrial preparation must be made prior to the trial...