|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Friday, December 05, 2008
A Helpful Case for Basic Discrimination Principles from the Texas Supreme Court
The Court adds some clarification for both issues, including emphasizing that the context of the stray comments may be important.
Today's opinion is the end of the road for what started out as a million dollar jury verdict, which had been reduced to bring it within statutory caps by the trial judge and affirmed in this decision by the 13th Court of Appeals.
The case was tried in Brownsville and is a good example of a strategic issue faced by a plaintiffs' attorney in Texas. In a large number of cases, particularly South of San Antonio, plaintiffs' counsel will work very hard to ensure that the case stays in state court, including explicit disavowals in the pleadings of any federal claim and adding individual defendants to destroy diversity. While state court procedures and juries may seem more hospitable to plaintiffs, the ultimate backdrop in Texas is review by the Texas Supreme Court which has shown it is not adverse to reversing jury verdicts. At a minimum it makes for interesting dynamics in settlement discussions.