Ely’s first priority is to help clients avoid litigation when possible, and to prevent plaintiffs from reaching the courts, but he remains ready and able to successfully litigate when circumstances require it. The following are some examples of his work in this area:
- Obtained dismissal, under Iqbal and Twombly, of retaliation and promissory estoppel claims against multiple defendants by the former employee of one of the defendants, who was seeking to establish an independent contractor relationship with a different defendant. Seventh Cir., No. 11-2456 (2/27/13).
- Obtained dismissal of an age discrimination claim by an employee with nearly 30 years of service at the company. E.D. Wis. Case No. 2:06-CV-01096-CNC (3/24/10).
- Obtained summary judgment in a discrimination claim alleging that the plaintiff had been subjected to racially discriminatory terms and conditions of employment and ultimately discharged; the plaintiff was unsuccessful in relying on allegedly racially motivated remarks and supposed racial stereotypes held by his co-workers and managers; the plaintiff’s appeal to the Seventh Circuit was denied. E.D. Wis. Case No. 04-C-57; 7th Cir., No. 05-1955 (8/4/05).
- Obtained summary judgment in a claim involving a current employee alleging 12 counts of race discrimination, including discriminatory demotion, transfer, denial of pay raise, failure to prepare a performance evaluation, failure to promote, denial of bonus, false performance evaluations, and failure to mentor or advance, as well as a claim of racial harassment; the plaintiff’s appeal to the Seventh Circuit was denied. E.D. Wis. Case No. 01-C-845; 7th Cir., No. 04-1521 (6/15/05).
- Obtained judgment as a matter of law, reversing a jury finding of non-willful age discrimination in connection with the removal of a long-service 53-year-old sales employee as part of a reorganization, based on the results of a structured interview given all employees in the sales department, even though the decision maker had assigned the three lowest scores to the three oldest incumbents. 7th Cir. Case No. 97-2831, 168 F.3d 961.
- Obtained summary judgment in a multi-plaintiff race discrimination and retaliation claim brought against a service industry employer under Title VII and Section 1981, alleging discriminatory terms and conditions of employment, race harassment, and retaliation despite allegations of numerous allegedly discriminatory but ambiguous remarks by the decision maker. E.D. Wis. Case No. 97-C-1188.
- Obtained summary judgment on a race discrimination claim brought against a consumer products company in connection with 26 promotions denied to the plaintiff over a 12-year period. As to the timely claims, the employer’s use of a structured panel interview system for numerous sales and marketing positions was upheld against the plaintiff’s challenge under Title VII and Section 1981. E.D. Wis. Case No. 96-C-768.
- Obtained dismissal of purported class claims of age discrimination and violation of ERISA involving hundreds of employees terminated, following a merger of two major manufacturers. E.D. Wis. Case Nos. 89-C-1211, 1992 WL 430673, and 91-C-1063 and 7th Cir. Case No. 95-3335, 99 F.3d 846.
- Obtained dismissal of pattern and practice race discrimination allegations pre-trial and obtained a directed verdict at the end of the EEOC’s case, alleging failure to promote a long-service supervisor, with four of the five days of trial being spent on the cross-examination of the former supervisor and putting in the employer’s case through the plant manager and assistant plant manager, who were called adversely by the EEOC. E.D. Wis. Case No. 81-C-578, 650 F. Supp. 739.