July 5, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Former Deputy City Attorney Named A California Lawyer Of The Year:

Former Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney Barbara C. Greenstein has been named one of this year’s California Lawyer of the Year award recipients (“CLAY Award”) for her work in successfully arguing Harris v. City of Santa Monica before the California Supreme Court in 2013. 

Also receiving recognition for their contributions to the Harris outcome were Chief Deputy City Attorney Jeanette Schachtner, Deputy City Attorneys Carol Rohr, Anthony Serritella, Meishya Yang and Assistant City Attorney Joseph Lawrence, who accepted the CLAY Award on behalf of Greenstein and the office as Greenstein was unavailable due to travel out of the country. 

The CLAY Awards are given annually by the California Lawyer magazine.  The award recognizes the past year’s most significant legal accomplishments. 

The 2014 CLAY Award ceremony occurred March 11, 2014 at the Civic Club of San Francisco. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakuaye presided over the ceremony.

The Harris decision has been described as the most significant California Supreme Court opinion in years dealing with employment discrimination. 

In its opinion, the Supreme Court unanimously concluded that for employment discrimination to occur, the claimed act of discrimination must be the substantial reason why someone was fired or disciplined. 

The Court also determined how so-called “mixed-motive” situations should be analyzed – these occur when there may be both legitimate and prohibited reasons for an employment action. 

The Court decided that, if an employer can prove that it would have made the same employment decision anyway and despite any claim of discrimination, the employer should prevail even assuming there was some act or inference of prohibited discrimination.

Harris involved a probationary City bus driver who had both work performance and attendance issues. 

While her supervisors were making their final decisions about whether she should be retained past probation, she disclosed that she was pregnant.  Soon afterwards she was fired. 

The factual and legal debate became whether she was fired because she was pregnant or was she fired because of poor attendance and poor work performance, and what legal rules help to sort that out.

The City lost at trial but prevailed at the Court of Appeal and before the Supreme Court with the City claiming before each court that improper jury instructions were given at trial. 

Both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court agreed with the City that the jury instructions were wrong and that they failed to properly describe the requirements of California employment discrimination law.

This marks the second time in the past few years that the City Attorney’s Office has received an award for its work.

In August 2010 the City Attorney’s Office received the American Bar Association’s State and Local Government award as the most outstanding public law office for its accomplishments, especially in dealing with water contamination.

in News
Related Posts

Landscaping 50 Percent Complete for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon

July 3, 2022

July 3, 2022

Officials provide update for park under construction By Dolores Quintana A recent update from the City of Los Angeles’ Department...

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth Sell Malibu Home for $29 Million

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

Malibu Colony home sold to unknown buyer in private sale By Dolores Quintana John McEnroe, a retired former tennis star,...

SMa.r.t. Column: A Tale of Two Cities

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, while the jurisdictions...

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ballot Measure That Would Increase Hotel Bed Tax

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Santa Monica’s bed tax has been raised since 2004 By Dolores Quintana In a vote on June 28, the Santa...

PETA Attempts to Stop the Beach Club From Holding Annual Fireworks Display

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Prepares for SMASH/Muir Campus Mold Removal

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Exact costs for repairs still unknown By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro  It is unknown exactly how much the total...

Watering Restrictions for Santa Monica Residents Take Effect Soon

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

New restrictions will go into effect on July 5, limiting watering to twice a week By Sam Catanzaro New restrictions...

Daily Harvest Recalls Meal Kits Handed out at Venice Event Following 470 Cases of Mysterious Illness

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Direct-to-consumer meal kit company under fire for handling of outbreak tied to lentil and leek meal kit By Sam Catanzaro...

Central Coast Brewery Makes Westside Acquisitions

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Figueroa Mountain Brewing acquires Broxton Brewery, The Stalking Horse and more. Staff, current beer taps to remain on board at...

Mexican Restaurant Possibly Expanding Into Former Swingers Space

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Bar Hermanito applies for an alcohol exemption sales permit for space at 802 Broadway in Santa Monica By Dolores Quintana...

Six Family-Fun Westside Fourth of July Events

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Fireworks, parades, runs and more taking place across the Westside  By Ashley Sloan  Pacific Palisades  The Pacific Palisades will be...

California Credit Union Awards Grant to Santa Monica Teacher

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Building electric circuit friendship detectors and applying engineering principles to solve real world problems are Westside school projects receiving funding...

Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange Presents: J.J. Martin’s “Role Models”

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce,...

Santa Monica City Council Approves New Rules to Streamline Meetings

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Pilot program will run through end of year By Dolores Quintana At the Santa Monica City Council meeting on June...

Banning Construction of New Gas Stations in Los Angeles?

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Motion from LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz calls for banning the building of any new gas pumping facilities By Sam...