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PRE-MEDITATION SUBMISSION

Alexandra George
This document is confidential.
BRIEF FACTUAL OVERVIEW
This case involves a dispute between two individuals, Kathryn Polk (KP) and Alex
Garcia (AG), who worked together at Worldwide Legal Recruiting, Inc. (WLR), a legal
recruiting company. AG, the president/CEO of WLR, had worked with KP several years prior to
her joining him at WLR. As incentive for KP to work with him at WLR, AG made a verbal
promise to her that she could have 5% of the company if did a good job as a recruiter, to which
KP agreed and subsequently left her job at a company she was excelling in and moving up in the
ranks. However, no written agreement of this discussion exists.
During her employment at WLR, KP overheard a conversation between coworkers
where sexists remarks against women were made. KP, being the only female employee at the
company, naturally took offense to these statements and confronted the coworkers who were
involved. Additionally, KP made verbal and written complaints to AG regarding the comments
she overheard; yet, despite KP bringing the matter to AGs attention, nothing was ever done to
remedy the situation or punish those who made the comments. Moreover, WLR has no formal
anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy in place.
KP claims that after that incident, the work environment became hostile and the
employees at WLR began to treat her differently. It was during this time that AG terminated KP,
without any severance package, and denied that KP could receive any percentage share of WLR.
AG claims that his reasons for the termination include:
(1) KP was creating a hostile work environment by exaggerating issues, refusing to put
the matter behind her, and accusing the other employees of sexism

(2) KPs negative attitude lowered the morale and productivity at WLR, making
recruiting work more difficult, and
(3) KPs productivity had declined since the inception of WLR, and was no longer a star
performer
KP, however, argues that she was fired so that AG could avoid transferring any interest in WLR
to her. Though KPs recruiting business had decreased, in that she hadnt recruited anyone in 3
months, the company had no formal policy designating that legal recruits must recruit at least
one person a month. KP later brought suit against WLR for sex discrimination and harassment
under Title 7 and breach of the oral agreement for the 5% shares of WLR.
KEY LEGAL ISSUES
1. Does KP have a valid sex discrimination and harassment claim under Title 7 against WLR?
2. Does KP have a valid breach of contract claim against AG that entitles her to a 5% share of
WLR?
DAMAGES AND RELIEF SOUGHT
KP is seeking $500,000 in damages for lost wages resulting from her being unemployed
for 6 months (a loss of approximately $60,000) and the $5,000, which she has spent so far on
attorneys fees. However, she has agreed to settle the case if WLR were to offer anything above
$80,000. KP would also settle on the lower end of the above range if AG were to erase KPs
termination from her record and WLR agrees to state to any prospective employer that KP left on
good terms. KP would also be open to the possibility of working at WLR in some capacity, while
also holding her percentage in the company.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS OF OUR CASE
BREACH OF CONTRACT: As oral agreements are binding and enforceable by law,
KP has a viable breach of contract claim against WLR for the oral agreement between KP and

AG to transfer the 5% interest in WLR to KP. However, since the agreement was never put in
writing, it will be KPs word against AG and most, if not all, of the witnesses from WLR will
support KPs contention that she created a toxic work environment. Moreover, AG not only
disputes that such an agreement exists, but also argues that even if one did, such an oral
agreement would be unenforceable given KPs poor performance. Consequently, a major
weakness is that KP bears the burden of proof to the existence of such an agreement as the
plaintiff.
TITLE 7: Unlike the breach of contract claim, there is evidence that unwarranted
comments were made by KPs coworkers, that KP brought the matter to AGs attention (both
verbally and through written complaints), and that nothing was done to reprimand the harassing
employee. There is also evidence that no formal anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy exists
in the company. However, as there was only one instance of sexist comments being made and the
comments were not continual or pervasive, it will be highly difficult for KP to meet the elements
of the Title 7 claim.
REPRESENTATIVES
KP and her attorney will be present at the mediation. The attorney has full authority to
settle the dispute contingent to the terms outlined in section III. We would like to have both AG
and his attorney present at the mediation to discuss the issues detailed above.
INFO NEEDED PRIOR TO MEDIATION TO COME TO A RESOLUTION
Information that would be helpful to settling the dispute prior to mediation would be strengths
and weaknesses of the opposing side, the credibility of their potential witnesses, as well as the
maximum amount they are willing to pay to settle.
UNDERLYING INTERESTS

As discussed above, this case has been emotionally difficult for KPespecially given
that KP took a huge leap of faith joining WLR and leaving her job at a company she was doing
extremely well at. At present, KP has been unemployed for 6 months. Given her status, KP is
open to settling the case for less than her ideal monetary amount if AG were to erase KPs
termination from her record and WLR agrees to state to any prospective employer that KP left on
good terms. KP would also be open to the possibility of working at WLR in some capacity, if AG
recognizes her percentage in the company.
SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
No settlement discussions, offers, nor counteroffers have been previously made.
INVENTIVE SETTLEMENT CONCEPTS
My client is willing to consider inventive settlement concepts in reaching a resolution.
Some such options include, but are not limited to, a release in favor of KP, a favorable written
reference from AG, or a non-disparagement clause in favor of KP. Moreover, as employment is
of particular interest to my client, KP would be open to a consulting agreement where KP would
be able to provide future services to WLR as an outside consultant. This sort of arrangement
would be advantageous for both KP and WLR. Namely, WLR will have continued use of KPs
expertise, contact, and institutional memory, and KP would have access to additional income that
wouldnt interfere with other employment. Alternatively, KP would be willing to consider
severance arrangementssuch as receiving severance pay until reemployment.
These sort of agreements also help WLR to be perceived as a fair and reasonable
company in the eyes of others, such as other employees, customers and clients of the company,
and people in the legal recruitment industry. Moreover, they may also be used as a means of
avoiding bad publicity for the company.

OBSTACLES IMPEDING SETTLEMENT


My client, KP, has been very emotional about this case, which, in turn, has made it very
difficult for her to make rational choices when discussing settlement options. Given her
emotional state, I have concerns in my clients ability to communicate, understand, and make
informed decisions on her own behalf. Moreover, it is of my opinion that the deteriorating nature
of the relationship between KP and AG has also impeded effective communication between the
parties.
MEDIATION TECHNIQUES
I am of the opinion that a joint session would be the most conducive to reaching a
resolution in this matter. A joint session would present both attorneys with the opportunity to
encourage the parties to be open to different perspectives and set the stage for a psychological
process directed at moving the parties toward settlement through a problem-solving approach.
Consequently, unless the joint session exacerbates the parties negative emotions, to the point
where there is a strong risk of miscommunication, the use of caucuses should be limited.
ADDITIONAL INFO
KP claims that the 5% interest is likely worth a great deal of money because AG was
written up in the Wall Street Journal and was recently named Recruiter of the Year by a
prominent legal recruiting organization.