Client Testimonial – Jim Griffin
Jim Griffin was the owner of a regional construction company that was purchased by a national firm. Jim was made a C-level executive of the company and entered to an employment agreement that ran for a number of years. The agreement was set to expire in the middle of the Great Recession, and the employer was a looking for a way to cut its operating costs. So, the employer did not want to renew the contract. There was one problem with that: the agreement has a two year non-compete if Jim was terminated for cause or quit without cause, but if the contract expired, he left free of any restriction. So, what is a multi-billion-dollar company to do? Screw the little guy of course. The problem was Jim wasn’t so little, and they did some things that made him very angry.
Hoping to get Jim to quit in a huff, the employer fired Jim’s son and son-in-law on the same day without any notice to anyone. Jim didn’t quit, but knowing that in less than a year his agreement would expire, he started talking to his son about the possibility of starting a new company. Of course, the employer was monitoring his email closely, and spotted these communications.
They sent notice to Jim that this conduct was a violation of his contract, and they declared a default. Although it was not, Jim responded by saying he would go forth and sin no more. The agreement provided for cures of any defaults, and Jim rightly claimed his response constituted a cure. The employer disagreed, although it refused to explain what it wanted as a cure.
So, they fire Jim. There was an arbitration provision in the Employment Agreement, and we arbitrated the case—after taking a few depositions. The arbitrator found that the employer breached the agreement and made Jim a six figure compensatory damages award.
Apparently, the employer forgot the immortal words of Jim Croce: “You don’t pull on Superman’s cape; you don’t spit in the wind; you don’t tug on the mask of that old Lone Ranger; and you don’t mess around with Jim”—or his lawyers.
If someone has breached an agreement with you or your business, whether its litigation, arbitration, mediation, or something else, call Cary Ichter and Dan Davis at Ichter Davis, LLC.
Hear Jim speak for himself.