Jim Boylan sues Cavs for age discrimination

maufman

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Notably, Ty Lue is not named as a defendant. Will be interesting to see what he says now that he presumably has no incentive to protect the Cavs.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25157021/former-cleveland-cavaliers-assistant-coach-jim-boylan-files-age-discrimination-suit-team

In the lawsuit Boylan, 63, provides a transcript of a voicemail left by former head coach Tyronn Lue from last June informing him the team was moving in a different direction. According to the transcription, Cavs general manager Koby Altman informed Lue that "they're not gonna pay that kind of money for three assistants on the bench. He wants to go younger in that position and, you know, find somebody who's a grinder and younger in that position."

The lawsuit also claims that subsequently Altman told Boylan that he and team owner Dan Gilbert wanted a younger coach at the position.
 

Gash Prex

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I’ve been sitting here working on an employment case and wondering whether or not you can be liable for age discrimination for failing to excercise a contractual obligation.
 

maufman

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I’ve been sitting here working on an employment case and wondering whether or not you can be liable for age discrimination for failing to excercise a contractual obligation.
I don’t think it matters whether the Cavs terminated Boylan, or declined to hire him (by not picking the option) — if they acted based on his age, that’s illegal.

Seems to me this case rises and falls on whether Lue confirms Boylan’s account.
 

The Needler

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I don’t think it matters whether the Cavs terminated Boylan, or declined to hire him (by not picking the option) — if they acted based on his age, that’s illegal.

Seems to me this case rises and falls on whether Lue confirms Boylan’s account.
Confirms what account? That the the voice on the voicemail recording is Lue’s? Because it seems pretty clear Boylan and his lawyers still have the recording.
 

maufman

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Confirms what account? That the the voice on the voicemail recording is Lue’s? Because it seems pretty clear Boylan and his lawyers still have the recording.
Remember, Lue isn’t named as a defendant, which means Boylan thinks the decision not to retain him wasn’t Lue’s call. On the voicemail, Lue is recounting what someone else purportedly said his motive was. It’s therefore a statement by a witness, not an admission.

Even assuming the tape gets around the hearsay rules and is admitted into evidence (which I think it would be), I don’t think that carries the day with a judge or jury if Lue has changed his story. If Lue testifies and confirms what he said on the voicemail, that’s a different story.
 
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The Needler

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Remember, Lue isn’t named as a defendant, which means Boylan thinks the decision not to retain him wasn’t Lue’s call. On the voicemail, Lue is recounting what someone else purportedly said his motive was. It’s therefore a statement by a witness, not an admission.
There are many reasons why a plaintiff does not name as a defendant someone he could name as a defendant. It doesn’t necessarily even mean Boylan actually even believes Lue didn’t bless the decision. Most relevant here among those are sufficient depth of pockets of those he did name, and the possibility of having such a potential defendant being a cooperating witness, rather than blatantly antagonizing him by naming him a defendant in a lawsuit.

Regardless, one need not be a named defendant to be considered a party opponent for the purposes of an admission. The then-head coach delivering the news to an assistant his option would not be picked up would surely check all the boxes (an agent acting within the scope of his employment, basically).
 

maufman

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There are many reasons why a plaintiff does not name as a defendant someone he could name as a defendant. It doesn’t necessarily even mean Boylan actually even believes Lue didn’t bless the decision. Most relevant here among those are sufficient depth of pockets of those he did name, and the possibility of having such a potential defendant being a cooperating witness, rather than blatantly antagonizing him by naming him a defendant in a lawsuit.

Regardless, one need not be a named defendant to be considered a party opponent for the purposes of an admission. The then-head coach delivering the news to an assistant his option would not be picked up would surely check all the boxes (an agent acting within the scope of his employment, basically).
I think you’re right about the hearsay analysis. I just don’t think the tape is compelling evidence if Lue testifies differently.

If this doesn’t settle quickly, the Cavs’ defense will be something like this:

Even though we went to the Finals, we didn’t have confidence in Ty Lue. In hindsight, we should’ve brought in a new head coach and let that person decide which assistants, if any, to retain. But at the time, we decided to give Lue a chance, but we insisted he make changes to his coaching staff. We wanted Boylan out because [reasons]. It’s not shocking that Lue made up a story instead of telling Boylan the truth, because he didn’t want to admit we had totally undercut him, and he didn’t agree with [reasons]. You’d have to ask Lue why he said Boylan’s age was a factor; it never came up in our discussions.”

That’s hardly an ironclad case, but I think Boylan needs Lue’s testimony to beat it, particularly since Boylan apparently concedes that Lue didn’t make the call not to retain him.
 

The Needler

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Yeah, I’m sure they would say something like that. And I would 100% rather be the plaintiff in this case, who has the absolute best evidence in the form of a smoking gun recording, along with his own testimony that Altman told him the same thing Lue did on the phone, as well as the retention and hiring of younger coaches. The Cavs are way behind the eight ball here, and will almost certainly be paying out a settlement way in excess of Boylan’s option. What an organization.