Final Briefs in Miller vs. CUNA Demonstrate Tenacity of Parties
MADISON, Wis. -- The briefs filed by both sides in the Mike Miller versus CUNA case before the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission illustrated the fiery stances of each party.
Michael Fox, attorney for Mike Miller, a former CUNA employee who has alleged he was fired because he complained about a superior's discriminatory comments, wrote in the final brief that CUNA's "projection" of the rearrangement of facts by the plaintiff is actually what the organization is attempting.
"Having said this," Fox wrote, "CUNA then embarks on a summary of the evidence it offered in its defense that is singularly consistent in that there is no favorable fact it does not exaggerate, no unfavorable fact it cannot diminish or ignore, no deposition that cannot be blithely contradicted, no document that means what it says and no fact that can't be conveniently invented to bolster the holes in its defense. In so doing, CUNA cruises the record with Orwellian facility denying that words such as sexist refer to sexually discriminatory behavior, meeting means meeting, complaint means complaint or performance means performance."
He continued, "Rather than offering legitimate evidence to support its defense, CUNA engages in classic jiu-jitsu advocacy, a transparent attempt to turn its weaknesses into its strengths, in an effort to distract the Commission from the truth." Fox also highlighted his perspective that each of CUNA's witnesses discredited themselves with contradictory evidence.
For its part, CUNA, represented by attorney Lauri Morris, stated, "Miller's Brief faithfully reflects the approach he took at the hearing: When the facts, as they occurred in context, do not support this case, he rearranges them, ignores the context, misstates them, omits them, or makes them up, all without citation to the record. When all else fails, he diverts to a collateral issue, and addresses it with such fervor and passion that one could almost believe the issue was relevant. Miller's Brief is the world according to Miller, with no relation to either the facts or the legal standard necessary to prove his claim."
CUNA argued that Miller has no evidence to support the prima facie case and is not entitled to damages, of which he is seeking front pay, back pay, and damages for emotional distress.
"Miller has neither direct nor circumstantial evidence to meet his burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that CUNA retaliated against him for engaging in protected activity," the brief read. "Instead the evidence establishes that Miller's employment was terminated because of his own intentional actions, after a warning, because of his unwillingness to work with his superior. This case should be dismissed."
The next step in the case is a decision by the commissioner hearing the case. --firstname.lastname@example.org