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Baldwin Builders v. Coast Plastering Corporation
Ron Lauter represented Coast Plastering, and successfully won this appeal which established new law in California that where a contractual provision separately provides for the recovery of attorneys' fees incurred...
Karas v. Miller
Stemming from his expertise as a construction defect and business dispute attorney, Mr. Campbell was asked to defend his client, an established homeowner's association law firm, against claims of fraud, misrepresentation...
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Partner Ron Lauter represented an automotive company in a wrongful termination claim in which plaintiff alleged he was fired because of a perceived disability arising out of a heart conditions.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance v. Evans
This is a multi-million dollar liability claim involving the 2002 "Gavalin Fire" in San Diego County. Approximately 40 residences were destroyed or damaged in a brush fire that was allegedly started because of...
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Partner represented an industrial machinery manufacturer who designed and built large "rock hoppers" used for conveying large amounts of rock and gravel to construction and landscaping sites.
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Court Rules “Stray Remarks” Admissible in Age Discrimination Lawsuit against Google

When Brian Reid joined Google in 2002 as director of operations and director of engineering, his hiring led to improvements and innovations, including Google's first firewall. However, just two years later Reid was fired. Google says Reid was let go because he was transferred to another department that was eventually phased out. Reid, 54, disagreed and filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired because of his age.

Superior Court of Santa Clara County dismissed the suit. However, the Court of Appeals reversed and claimed that "stray remarks doctrine" was inapplicable in this case. They concluded that the jury should have heard the stray remarks-statements made by Reid's superiors calling him "obsolete." Google petitioned for a review of the Court of Appeal's decision and the California Supreme Court granted review.

In 1989, Justice O'Conner held in Price Waterhouse v Hopkins, that stray remarks-"statements by nondecisionmakers, or statements by decision-makers unrelated to the decisional process itself"-do not show direct evidence that a decision-maker acted illegally when reaching an employment decision and thus should not be admissible under stray remarks doctrine.

The California Supreme Court, however, concluded in Reid's case against Google that stray remarks doctrine was inapplicable and that Reid should be entitled to a full trial. Agreeing with the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court ruled that such derogatory stray remarks made by decision-makers or co-workers can properly be considered evidence of discrimination and that, in fact, excluding such stray remarks might lead to unfair results for a plaintiff in court.

This highly publicized decision has forced employers to take note. Many hope that employers will implement lawful practices that ensure their employees and management do not engage in derogatory remarks relating to age or any other protected category.

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