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$3.2M VERDICT AGAINST FEDEX FOR HARASSMENT PHILADELPHIA — A Harrisburg, Pa., federal jury’s award this week of more than $3.2 million in a sexual harassment suit against Federal Express Corp. — including $2.5 million in punitive damages — is sure to lead to a post-trial battle over how much the plaintiff is entitled to keep in light of a $300,000 federal cap on damages. The battle is also likely to be a complicated one due to Pennsylvania case law that bars awards of punitive damages under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and a split among federal judges in Pennsylvania on the question of whether there is a private right of action under the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment. The suit, filed by attorney Cynthia Locke of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, originally alleged claims only under Title VII for gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Plaintiff Marion Shaub’s private lawyers, Martha Sperling of Silver & Sperling in Doylestown, Pa., and Ralph Lamar IV of Collegeville, Pa., later intervened in the case and added a claim of retaliation under Title VII, as well as sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation claims under the PHRA, and a state law claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. — The Legal Intelligencer CONDUCT COMMISSION WANTS RECORDING NEW YORK — The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has started a highly unusual proceeding to compel a complainant who tape recorded a session with one of its lawyers to turn over the tape and any transcripts he made of it. Anthony DeRosa, who has made numerous complaints against judges, disclosed Thursday that when he appeared before the commission Wednesday pursuant to subpoena, he had contested the commission’s jurisdiction over him as a lay person. The commission’s administrator, Robert Tembjeckian, said the commission was not seeking to either punish or muzzle DeRosa, but instead was acting “to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the commission’s proceedings.” The event that prompted the commission to subpoena DeRosa was the disclosure in a New York Post article, dated Jan. 18, that a “transcript” had been prepared of a session that DeRosa and one his lawyers held with a commission attorney. The “surreptitious” making of the tape and the dissemination of it to the press is “contrary to the plain meaning of the judiciary law,” Tembjeckian said. He was referring to Judiciary Law § 45, which makes all “commission proceedings and transcripts thereof” confidential. — New York Law Journal U.S. CAN’T ASK FARMERS TO PAY FOR CAMPAIGN PHILADELPHIA — Striking down key provisions of the Dairy Act as unconstitutional, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the government cannot require dairy farmers to subsidize the “Got Milk?” promotion program because such “compelled speech” violates the First Amendment. In Cochran v. Veneman, a unanimous three-judge panel, led by Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Ruggero Aldisert, rejected the government’s argument that compelling support for the ad campaign was justified by the government’s interest in increasing the demand for an agricultural product and in decreasing its obligation to purchase dairy products under price support programs. In the suit, plaintiffs Joseph and Brenda Cochran of Westfield, Pa., argued that the Dairy Act violates their First Amendment rights by compelling them to subsidize generic advertising that promotes milk produced by methods they view as wasteful and harmful to the environment. — The Legal Intelligencer

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