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California Supreme Court rules private discussions between client and attorney during mediation are not admissible in malpractice actions

USA - February 4 2011 Cassel v Superior Court involved the mediation of a business dispute in which the plaintiff, Michael Cassel, agreed to accept a settlement of $1.25 million dollars for his claims.

Ninth Circuit holds that employees who leave their jobs because the business is closing have not "voluntarily departed" under the WARN Act

USA - February 4 2011 In Collins v Gee West Seattle LLC, a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit ruled that employees who leave their jobs after being informed that the business is closing are suffering an "employment loss" and are not "voluntarily departing."

Questions on government background check form asking about illegal drug use do not violate the right to informational privacy

USA - February 4 2011 In National Aeronautics and Space Administration v Nelson, contract employees at a NASA facility sued claiming that two parts of a standard government employment background investigation violated their Constitutional privacy interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters.

First Circuit holds "faith healing" trip does not constitute medical care within the meaning of the FMLA

USA - February 4 2011 In Tayag v Lahey Clinic Hospital, Inc, the First Circuit ruled that an employee fired for taking seven weeks off work to accompany her husband on a series of "healing pilgrimages" in the Philippines was not terminated in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Use of personal email on work computers can defeat attorney-client privilege

USA - February 4 2011 In a recent California Court of Appeals decision, Holmes v Petrovich, the court held that emails sent by an employee to her attorney on a work computer were not attorney-client privileged because they were sent from a work email account.