Showing posts from May, 2013

The Importance of Employee Handbooks in California

Although there are many advantages to utilizing an employee handbook, from a purely legal perspective, the employer is usually hoping to establish ground rules of acceptable conduct and prevent the company from being subjected to legal liability. The sources of such liability are many, from wage disputes to wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment claims. A good employee handbook will not prevent such a claim from arising, but can assist the company in defending its actions. A poorly drafted handbook can actually be used against the company to prove the claimant's case. For example, some preprinted handbooks contain sections dealing with the progressive discipline of employees, containing a comprehensive scheme from oral warning to termination. Courts have found that a company that does not follow this disciplinary scheme can be held liable for wrongful termination. Other courts have held that such policies may imply that the company can only termina

Mediation vs. Arbitration

In a perfect world there would be no business lawsuits because the parties involved would resolve their differences without resorting to court action.    At Jacobs & Dodds each of our lawyers has been trying cases for over 30 years. Last year partner Paul Jacobs spent over four months in trial. However, before resorting to litigation, every attempt is made to settle our clients' business disputes before a lawsuit is filed. There are several alternative dispute resolution methods that can be effective in resolving business disputes. The two most common are mediation and arbitration.   Mediation   Simply put, a mediator seeks to help parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work toward building a practical and lasting resolution. Mediation usually does not take place in front of a judge (although it can). Mediation typically takes place before a lawsuit is filed, although mediation can o