Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Kelly v., Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 23, 2006)

Here's a great example of how important it is to have friends. Particularly in an employment discrimation lawsuit, and most especially when you're trying to either obtain or defend against the inevitable motion for summary judgment.

Nothing -- and I mean, nothing -- is more important than having someone who's willing to lie -- or tell the truth, depending on the case -- for you. Not the facts, not the truth, not the written record: Nothing. One disgrunted employee -- or a smart and unethical plaintiff, or friend of the plaintiff -- can prevent the employer from obtaining summary judgment that an omnipotent observer would grant. By contrast, if the remaining employees are behind the employer, and willing to lie (or cover up) the true facts, the defendant can often obtain summary judgment even though the discharge was indeed discriminatory.

Too bad lying can make so much of a difference at the summary judgment stage. Not that anyone necessarily lied here; what do I know? But it's still a great example of how important it is to have someone on your side.