Sunday, November 20, 2016

Richard Celler v. Thomas Groendyke

As we've pointed out on this blog, Kent Security, represented by Thomas Groendyke, is now dealing with Broward County's best employment lawyer in the latest pregnancy discrimination scandal -- Richard Celler. Because I don't know the alleged victim, I can't say anything about the merits of the case, though I think most rational people would be disturbed by the allegations in the complaint. The allegations are clearly of public interest, which is why we have posted them.

Not surprisingly, Kent Security has filed a motion to move the case from the courtroom to arbitration, where generally the proceedings occur behind closed doors and out of the view of the public. In my humble view, regardless of the legal precedents supporting arbitration, a free market would force greater transparency on the process. In any case, as we've pointed out previously, arbitration is not the get out of jail free card that some employers believe it to be. Karma is a force that operates beyond the short-sighted machinations of corporate America.

If it were up to me, arbitration would be more open and transparent, with possibly livestreaming for the entire world to watch. In such a scenario, where the laws are not subverted in vain attempts at moral purity, perhaps in places such as Las Vegas, rooms could be set up at casinos for bookmakers to allow bets to be made on which party will prevail. Sure, fierce objections would be made, especially in the Bible Belt by unreconstructed Trumpets, but is this idea any more abhorrent than non-public proceedings that allow companies such as Wells Fargo to fraudulently open bank accounts in people's names for years?

Las Vegas at night.
Las Vegas

Again, I can't take a stand on this particular legal battle, but if this scenario of transparency were in place, I'd be tempted to back up the truck and go all-in with as much cash as I can grab for Celler in his battle against Kent Security, especially with its recent humiliating loss against a pro se party in Naples.

Nice tractor trailer.

Celler is a guy who won over $1 million in a jury trial -- a true test of skill -- against Kent Security, with the result that Kent Security appears paranoid about ever having to deal with a jury again. Kent Security is now being hounded by the National Labor Relations Board over its class-action waiver, which Frank Henry is now busy trying to defend. Kent Security got very lucky by the appeal that went in its favor in March 2014 against Celler. Regardless, Kent Security is now a sitting duck for all South Florida attorneys looking for a challenge, arbitration or not. At the end of the day, paper-shuffling, especially behind closed doors, is not a real fight. Toughness is not "fighting every case all the way," but rather treating employees with dignity and preventing, as much as possible, legal disputes from arising in the first place. A real man simply avoids this public relations nightmare.

Robots will replace lawyers.
Robots will replace lawyers

I suspect, possibly in my lifetime, lawyers will be replaced by artificially intelligent robots. In this scenario, corporations might produce proprietary software to argue their cases to a neutral government supercomputer. I can only imagine that a society this advanced would have evolved away from ubiquitous non-transparent arbitration proceedings, such as those favored by Kent Security and Wells Fargo.

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