Employment & Business Attorneys Campbell CA

Rousso & Jackel specializes in employment claims, especially those related to wage and hour issues like overtime, mis-classification, commission and bonus claims and missed meal/rest breaks. Our cases are in various legal fora, such as the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, Superior Court and private arbitration such as JAMS. Although many employees feel like they won’t get a fair shake in an arbitration setting, our experience leads us to conclude otherwise. It can be expensive (but not always) but arbitration is usually much faster and access to your judge is easier and more efficient.

Decisions by arbitrators also tend to make fewer headlines, but not always. In a recent decision, a Southern California arbitrator awarded $178.8 million (yes, you read that right) to the former stars and producers of the Fox TV show “Bones.” Even by Hollywood standards, that is a HUGE number.

The decision is about 68 pages long. He ruled that Fox had deliberately charged low licensing fees to the companies who paid for the rights to air the show on platforms like Hulu. The arbitrator came down particularly hard on two top Fox executives (both of whom will soon be at Disney, which acquired most of Fox in an earlier blockbuster deal), saying that they testified falsely at the arbitration. He was so incensed that he awarded plaintiffs $128 million in punitive damages alone.

Not surprisingly, Fox is not taking this award lying down. The parties are shortly to return to court; plaintiffs to enforce the award and Fox to vacate the punitive damage award. In our experience, undoing an arbitration award is not easy, even a mega huge award that says unflattering things about some of the witnesses. Therefore our takeaway is: “choose your legal forum carefully.” Stay tuned for further details.

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