By Bora Rawcliffe 

In Banner Health System d/b/a Banner Estrella Medical Center, 358 N.L.R.B. No. 93 (2012), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer’s maintenance and application of a general confidentiality rule prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of employee misconduct violates Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.


Continue Reading NLRB Ruling Condemns Blanket Confidentiality Policies During Internal Investigations

By Alex Major

In March 2010, a federal district court in Texas ruled that the deaths and injuries sustained by a group of civilian convoy drivers in Iraq during insurgent attacks were not “accidents” caused by conditions of their employment and were, therefore, outside the scope of the protections afforded to contractors by the Defense Base Act (“DBA”). 42 U.S.C. § 1651, et seq. Fisher v. Halliburton, 703 F. Supp. 2d. 639 (S.D. Tex. 2010). We previously described and criticized the district court decision in this blog, noting that it was now unclear how, exactly, the DBA would fare in future litigation. But on January 12, 2012, the Fifth Circuit restored clarity— and common sense—to the application of the DBA by recognizing that the facts in Fisher presented “the quintessential case of a compensable injury arising from a third party’s assault”. Holding the DBA to be the exclusive remedy for damages, the Fifth Circuit vacated the district court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. Fisher v. Halliburton, 2012 WL 90136 (5th Cir. 2012).


Continue Reading Fisher v. Halliburton: Fifth Circuit Invokes Common Sense To Defend Defense Base Act

A recent California Court of Appeals case, Coito v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (March 4, 2010), highlights an important discrepancy between state and federal protection of attorney work product as it applies to witness statements. While the federal rules and case law support a qualified privilege with regard to such statements (requiring a showing of substantial need to permit discovery), the law applicable in state courts may differ. The court in Coito, as further discussed below, followed a line of California cases that place witness statements outside of the attorney work product doctrine.
 


Continue Reading Witness Statements: Attorney Work Product?