Those controversal Non-Disclosure Agreements


Yesterday, I mediated a real life bullying case.  This one was in a business setting, with a very wealthy “boss” seeking revenge from a former employee to the tune of multiple millions of dollars  for taking a series of referral fees without informing him over the past two decades (amounting to an arguable loss of about $100,000 over 20 years.  

It didn’t settle, but it got me thinking about the outcry against “non-disclosure agreements” as “me too” evidence in the sexual harassment cases that are currently in the news.  If victims were permitted to disclose otherwise confidential settlements would the behavior of the harasser change? Would more victims feel emboldened to bring lawsuits or claims? Is shame enough to curb behavior?  If the defendant in my case had real evidence that this bully had extorted millions of dollars from other business associates, would it have been more or less likely to settle this case (pre-litigation)?  Would the very capable lawyers have given different advice if there was the additional threat of public disclosure? Does anyone believe news anyway? More questions than answers for now, but I do think there is more value on the power of these agreements than they deserve.  What do you think?

Jan SchauComment