Brian Walters’ Last Communication With Crockett & Associates

Sent March 19, 2020.   Brian Walters was an associate of the firm until the end of February 2020.  He sent this email a few days after his departure.

Bob:

Note this email is addressed only to you.  I am still pursuing the path of peaceful resolution with the lump sum severance with mutual releases, non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses.  This was always intended for our mutual benefit.  I have no desire to harm you.  If you do not follow through on the severance you agreed to pay me, and instead file an unjust lawsuit making illegitimate claims of theft, I will have no choice but to defend myself and my reputation with the full truth.  This will include but is not limited to the following:

  •   Giving all of the specifics of the illegal pay practices generally at Crockett & Associates, including the following:
    • illegal deduction from employee pay of employer-owed FICA contributions (for me, that was 7.65% of all employee wages paid to me from March 2018 to February 2020, which is by itself a larger sum than the severance amount you agreed to give me);
    • Sick pay compensation that is substantially lower than the amount required under Labor Code section 246, subdivision l;
    • Failure to properly accrue sick leave time in accordance with Labor Code section 246;
    • Failure to observe California law on meal and break periods, particularly meal premium pay.
    • Violations of the foregoing include penalties and interest and attorney’s fees, only available to the employee.
  • Giving the specifics of how and why I was really terminated and the aftermath, which is supported by the evidence in writing, including:
    • Your illegal proposition to me the night before I was fired with no notice that I either cut my reported worked hours so you didn’t have to pay me overtime or that you would cut my hours in half (this less than two weeks after you gave me a raise and told me we had a good thing going);
    • Contrary to your email earlier, your written and oral instructions directing Amy to not pay me time worked and reported (you showed me the cuts you unilaterally made without even asking what the work was), which is a willful violation subject to additional statutory penalties, including failure to pay me all wages owed within 72 hours of departure under Labor Code section 203 and for which I will also be entitled to attorney’s fees (I also believe you failed to honor the pay raise rates for my last applicable paychecks);
    • That the firing was retaliatory for me not just immediately agreeing to get my pay unlawfully cut.  All of your related retaliatory behavior most of which I have in writing, including illegal demands and demands which violated my ethical duties, and the frivolous lawsuit for the conversion of client files (if filed), will support this.
  • I will have to explain how you were not reviewing client bills before they were sent out, even though I reported to you on numerous occasions that I was finding errors made by your daughters in inputting the time, including whole submitted days missing, time entries given to the wrong client and overbilling issues.
  • I will have to explain how I informed you on multiple occasions that you were commingling client settlement proceeds from [client info deleted] with the general business checking account and that you failed to maintain a separate IOLTA account.
  • I will have to share about the hostile work environment you created, including all the erratic behavior with randomly shutting down the office and dismissing staff even when there were immediate filing deadlines which actions imperiled our ability to meet client needs, constantly dropping F-bombs that Amy asked you politely on numerous occasions to stop saying, not to mention here the other issues that contributed to it.
  • I will have to share all the work I was doing to fix issues to keep the firm afloat and help you avoid committing out and out malpractice after I discovered that you failed to attach a brief to our motion to compel expert depositions in [client info deleted] (this is public record) that caused us to automatically lose the motion and ultimately prevented us from finding out the experts’ testimony before trial and later prevented us from putting on a rebuttal case; you failed to show up at a hearing in [client info deleted] (also public record) to oppose an appraiser to whom the client had specifically objected – a fact which I believe the client still does not know; and you made a patently false statement to another client about the outcome of the [client info deleted] trial.  My work to preserve your reputation and protect our clients as much as possible included coaxing you to remove an unauthorized waiver in our appellate reply brief in [client info deleted]of the key privilege the [client info deleted] had asserted in Superior Court, for which we had no client consent.

There’s more.  But Bob, I don’t want to have to tell this story.  Ever.  Please reconsider and let’s just quickly resolve this with the severance agreement so everyone’s reputation is preserved.

Thanks,

Brian [Brian D. Walters, formerly of Crockett & Associates]