1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district in an employment litigation brought by one of its police officers under federal and state law. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith removed the case to federal court, where counsel for the plaintiff promptly failed to request a jury, thereby waiving it. With this procedural advantage in hand, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith next pressed for early discovery, including the plaintiff’s deposition, to illuminate the inherent weaknesses in his claims. In fact, the incisive and targeted questioning directed at the plaintiff during his deposition led to an impromptu settlement negotiation at the behest of plaintiff. As a result, a successful settlement was subsequently reached by the parties before plaintiff’s deposition was even completed, thereby disposing of this matter in its entirety for a minimal expenditure of fees by the school district.
2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully represented a large school district on an appeal taken from post-trial orders denying a former employee’s motions to set aside a summary judgment entered in favor of the school district. Even before appellate briefing began, the Court, with preliminary input from Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, recognized that the orders were not legally appealable, and therefore the employee’s appeals were summarily dismissed. By facilitating this early dismissal, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith completed the appellate process in a fraction of the time an appeal on the merits would have taken, and for only a portion of the cost.
3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith counseled an employer when one of its former employees abruptly resigned and began sending letters making various monetary demands and threatening litigation over a purported hostile work environment. Recognizing that litigation could become protracted, and evaluating the goals of the employer, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith initiated a negotiation to resolve the matter, responding to the employee’s demands and maintaining a strong front until there was an agreement upon the key terms requested by the employer. Within a short time, this matter was fully resolved between the parties, and litigation was avoided in its entirety.
4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large school district that was facing allegations of race discrimination and retaliation. Confronting an unorthodox and highly litigious plaintiff’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully defended against a barrage of motions and discovery demands, while also obtaining sanctions awards against opposing counsel on several occasions. Nevertheless, recognizing that the ultimate cost of defending this matter through trial would be extensive, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith counseled the district on potential settlement strategy, and then, by cutting to the core of plaintiff’s demands, deftly negotiated an extremely cost-effective resolution that not only protected the public fisc and achieved finality, but provided plaintiff with a non-monetary resolution that met her goals as well.
1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district that was sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its decision to close and reuse an elementary school for adult education, among other uses. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully argued that the district’s decision to close the elementary school and the subsequent decisions regarding its reuse were exempt from CEQA. The district was not only successful in the lawsuit, but it was also awarded its litigation costs and received favorable press coverage.
2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district that was sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its decision to cease offering bussing services in the district. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully settled the matter in a manner that did not require the district to undertake any additional environmental review or to pay any monies as part of the settlement. The district also received favorable press coverage from local news organizations regarding the settlement, as it was a “win” for the district.
1. In significant litigation involving school district construction, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully negotiated monetary settlements with two of the contractor defendants and performance bond sureties. As a result, the settlement defendants and related federal action against a surety have been dismissed, focusing the continuing litigation on the construction manager and key trade contractors.
2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith devised a plan for a local school with limited construction funds to provide new administration, classroom and service facilities at a high school campus. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith facilitated bringing in an experienced construction manager and a general contractor using a lease-lease-back delivery method. The process resulted in the final construction contract coming in $3,000,000 under budget (nearly 38% under budget).
3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith assisted a local school with limited construction funds to provide temporary utilities, fencing and paving for interim housing at a school campus. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith facilitated bringing in an experienced construction manager and a general contractor using a lease-lease-back delivery method. The process resulted in the final construction contract coming in nearly 48% under budget.
PUBLIC ENTITY A.D.A. LITIGATION
1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a California city in a Federal Americans with Disabilities Act litigation arising out of a resident’s claims that the City had not brought its pedestrian infrastructure into full compliance with applicable law. In light of the City’s fiscal challenges, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith focused on conducting targeted, cost-effective discovery to root out the inherent weaknesses in the claims alleged. The discovery eventually supported a motion for summary judgment that, in combination with critical motions in limine, facilitated the settlement of all of plaintiff’s federal and state claims. The settlement amounted to less than 6% of the plaintiff’s original demand and avoided further costly litigation for the City.
REAL ESTATE LITIGATION
1. Shortly after substituting in as counsel of record, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a homeowners association (“HOA”) in defense of a complaint and cross-complaint by two separate homeowners within the association on allegations of property damage. Through successful negotiations with the plaintiff’s and cross-complainant’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to secure a settlement and dismissals from the action without any out-of-pocket contribution from the HOA to the total settlement fund.
2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district in a lawsuit filed by a former vendor seeking nearly $250,000.00 in real estate broker fees based on the re-negotiation of two leases on surplus properties owned by the school district. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s aggressive discovery and litigation strategy compelled the plaintiff to accept a settlement on the district’s terms on the eve of a hearing on a dispositive motion by the district aimed at dismissing plaintiff’s claims.
ATTORNEY FEE LITIGATION
1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith advised and represented a homeowners association (“HOA”) with respect to claims and fee dispute against the HOA’s former counsel. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully negotiated the total balance of attorney fees owed by the HOA to its former counsel down to zero, without the need for the HOA to incur any costs for litigation against its former counsel.