Benefits & Executive Compensation
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Goldberg Kohn's litigation experience also encompasses individual and class claims involving compensation, benefits and employment contracts.
- Represented a public company’s interests in a putative $1 billion ERISA/RICO class action against multiple defendants. Over the course of the litigation the firm took the lead or co-lead on most aspects of the defense of the case, including drafting of pleadings fighting class certification and successfully arguing the appeal on behalf of defendants. This case involved alleged serious ERISA fiduciary breaches and RICO violations by a number of prominent public company defendants, including the firm's client. The case was also extremely complicated from a procedural standpoint, involving, inter alia, (a) novel allegations about the breadth and interpretation of newly amended Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e) relating to what, if any, role the court has to monitor withdrawal of class claims prior to class certification in the context of ERISA's broad fiduciary obligations, (b) defense of preliminary injunction and receivership motions, (c) contempt proceedings which were successfully brought against plaintiffs' counsel, and (d) an aggressive post-settlement contest about the legitimacy of the settlement by one of plaintiffs' attorneys and an allegedly spurned putative class plaintiff. The settlement survived these challenges at the federal district court level, in the Seventh Circuit (see 430 F.3d 424 (7th Cir. 2005)) and in the Supreme Court by its denial of certiorari (126 S.Ct. 2969).
- Represented a large public company in a breach of contract case brought by a former executive of the company, seeking $1 million in annuity payments, stock options and back pay. Goldberg Kohn established through careful discovery and depositions that the plaintiff had misrepresented material facts. The firm suggested to its client that they explore the plaintiff's activity prior to termination and found that he had not only established a competing company but also had solicited other employees to leave. As a result of this discovery, the case settled for $20,000, saving the client at least three times as much in ongoing discovery and trial costs if the litigation had continued.
- Defended a senior executive of a public company in an arbitration action relating to tax equalization calculations for several years during which the executive was an expatriate residing in England and China. Working with accounting experts, Goldberg Kohn was able to successfully resolve the case through settlement.
- Represented a nationwide trucking company in negotiations with a multi-employer pension fund regarding withdrawal liability. After protracted negotiations, pension fund lowered its withdrawal liability demand from 4.5 million to $425,000.