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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Settlement reached in Taylor’s lawsuit vs Buckingham, OAG

The parties in the age discrimination lawsuit filed by former CNMI government lawyer James William Taylor against former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham and the Office of the Attorney General have reached a settlement.

Taylor’s lawyer, Robert T. Torres, and assistant attorney general Reena Patel, representing the CNMI government, agreed Tuesday to ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety and with finality.

Torres and Patel said their stipulation is made as the settlement between the parties on all claims and issues was achieved.

The lawyers said the U.S. District Court for the NMI shall, however, retain jurisdiction over the case to ensure that the settlement terms will be enforced.

Each party will bear its own attorney’s fees and costs.

The terms and conditions of the settlement were not disclosed.

Last August, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan said the parties and their lawyers in Taylor’s lawsuit met him for a settlement conference and that a settlement between the parties was achieved.

Taylor, a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a citizen of the state of Washington, sued Buckingham, the CNMI government, and the Office of the Attorney General.

Taylor alleged that Buckingham fired him in 2011 without following proper procedures to save on cost and in retaliation for his advice against the approval of some sole-source contracts.

In his reply to the lawsuit, Buckingham asserted, among other things, that Taylor’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, because they were not timely filed.

The Office of the Attorney General had filed a motion to dismiss the claims. Patel asserted, among other things, that Taylor had not stated sufficient facts to support his Age Discrimination in Employment Act claim as his complaint alleges that cost savings, rather than age, motivated the alleged adverse action.

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