LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Trial of a lawsuit by a former State Bar executive
who alleges he was fired for exposing ethical breaches within the agency
responsible for the oversight of the state’s attorneys will take place next
year, pending the outcome of a motion to force the case into arbitration, a
judge said today.
Joseph Dunn filed the lawsuit Nov. 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court,
naming as defendants the State Bar and Craig Holden, who was installed as its
president last September.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff set an April 12, 2016, trial date. But on May 5,
he is scheduled to hear a defense motion to compel arbitration.
The State Bar attorneys maintain in their court papers that Dunn was
bound by his employment agreement to arbitrate disputes. Dunn’s lawyers counter
in their court papers that the provision is based on both parties trying to
resolve the issues through mediation, and that no such attempt has been made.
According to the complaint, Dunn was named the State Bar’s executive
director in September 2010 and was given a second three-year term in 2013
before his firing in November.
Dunn, a former state senator from Orange County, ruffled feathers when
he reported that under State Bar Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim’s direction,
internal reports were altered to remove cases from the statutory backlog, the
Kim’s alleged misconduct was not isolated, but instead “shockingly
rampant,” the suit states.
After Kim found out about Dunn’s concerns regarding her performance, she
filed a complaint against him to try and preserve her position, his suit says.