CASE STUDIES

The following case studies are representative of the work that we engage in on behalf of client law firms:

The Case: Age Discrimination In Termination

A former employee sued a high tech company for age discrimination following a company-wide reduction in force.

Our Approach

  • Researched steps company undertook in formulating RIF policy, including severance.
  • Analyzed resume and job search strategies employed by individual.
  • Initiated review of business opportunity started by employee.
  • Prepared detailed report for the company attorney.

The Outcome

Case settled. Our report was instrumental in preventing case from going to trial.

The Case: Breach of Employment and Defamation

President/CEO of a North American subsidiary of a European-based conglomerate terminated for cause.

Our Approach

Reviewed the job search efforts of former employee and opined relative to employability, earnings potential and mitigation of damages. Reviewed impact of “for cause” termination in the marketplace for former executive and testified regarding the negative impact of alleged defamatory statements to the business community.

The Outcome

Jury found in favor of the Plaintiff awarding $13 million in compensatory and punitive damages, which at the time was believed to be the largest award of this type of case in U.S. history. The trial court’s judgement was subsequently affirmed by the Illinois Appellate Court.

The Case: Employability And Earnings Potential

In a divorce case, our client required an analysis of a highly paid practicing surgeon changing careers and attending law school.

Our Approach

Reviewed and analyzed available empirical data regarding fields of employment and earnings potential for individuals with MD/JD degrees. Conducted telephone interviews of medical malpractice and/or personal injury plaintiff attorneys, as well as prominent MD/JDs who have made the transition to full-time legal professionals in the relevant geographical area to determine potential employability and earnings potential.

The Outcome

Case settled after a short trial with content and opine of our report provided as a basis for projected employability and earnings potential.

The Case: Employability Of A Senior Executive

An international corporation requested an assessment of the executive job market to determine if suitable positions in the industry existed, following the termination of the company’s U.S. president.

Our Approach

  • Analyzed the leading trade publications and built a database containing the announcements of the senior position filled for the time period in question.
  • Determined that many similar positions were filled utilizing networking techniques and executive search firms.
  • Analyzed and validated senior executive compensation in public companies to determine potential compensation levels of the highest compensated executives.
  • Determined a reasonable compensation level for this executive to seek.
  • Determined that there were over 90 positions that the former executive could have considered for employment.

The Outcome

Our analysis and testimony were part of a larger case concerning the termination and were instrumental in mitigating damages to our client.

The Case: Equitable Distribution of Executive Compensation

Our Approach

  • Initiated a thorough review of all compensation components submitted by one spouse and identified potential and reasonable additional long-term components for that spouse.
  • Performed various analyses on all compensation components.
  • Provided all relevant compensation information to an economist for valuation.
  • Determined reasonable employment and compensation prospects for the other spouse.
  • Provided examples of actual appropriate employment opportunities.

The Outcome

The case settled before trial. Our findings were accepted in the settlement.

The Case: Excess Executive Compensation

In a derivative shareholder suit, our client claimed that senior executives of a corporation received excessive compensation and therefore there were no profits left to distribute to the shareholders.

Our Approach

  • Analyzed all executive salary and bonus history, employee benefits and executive perquisites in accordance with the factors that the IRS considers when evaluating excessive compensation.
  • Constructed and provided analysis on various compensation models.
  • Developed short and long-term compensation models.
  • Deposed by opposing attorneys, assisted in developing the rebuttal to the opposition’s expert witness.

The Outcome

Case settled immediately after the trial began based on the attorney’s opening statement that referenced the opinion and content of our report. The corporation bought out the minority shareholder at a significant premium.

The Case: Severance Payment

Following an acquisition of one Savings Bank by another, the purchasing Bank terminated over 20 senior executives at the acquired Bank as part of the integration of the two banks. The acquired Bank had change in control provisions which provide significant severance payments to the executives terminated as a result of change in controls. The acquiring Bank challenged to propriety of the change in control provisions in terms of market practice, questioned the interpretation of the Change in Control provisions as proposed by the terminated executives in terms of individual payments and refused to make any payments to the terminated executives. The issue went to Arbitration.

Our Approach

  • We reviewed the change in control provisions in terms of typical industry practice and determined that the Change in Controls were reasonable.
  • We developed a recommended interpretation of the rather vague Change in Control provisions
  • We developed a model that identified what was owed to each executive based upon the recommended interpretation.
  • Presented expert report to the arbitrators of the case.

The Outcome

Testimony accepted. There was a successful decision in favor of the terminated executives.

The Case: Unreasonable Compensation

IRS vs. electronics/computer distributor. The IRS questioned the compensation of the president/owner of the company for three previous years.

Our Approach

The 12 critical factors identified by the IRS were addressed when the duties and responsibilities of the owner were analyzed. The owner’s position was market priced and a methodology developed that determined the compensation was reasonable. Various databases were analyzed assuring a reliable and valid sample. Presented expert report to attorneys and testified during the trial.

The Outcome

Testimony accepted. There was a successful decision in favor of the business owner.