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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taylor’s lawsuit vs Buckingham, OAG dismissed

The federal court yesterday dismissed and closed 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.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed the lawsuit after Taylor and the parties in the case reached a settlement.

Manglona retained jurisdiction of the case, however, to enforce the settlement terms.

The terms of settlement were not disclosed in court papers.

Attorney Robert T. Torres and assistant attorney general Reena Patel, counsels for Taylor and the CNMI government respectively, recently asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety as all claims and issues between the parties had been resolved.

The parties agreed that each would bear their own attorney’s fees and costs.

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, filed the lawsuit against 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 argued, 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. The OAG 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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