Pro Bono Victory for Harlem Arts School
- Client: Harlem School of the Arts
- Date: October 2011
- Location: New York
In March 2011, the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), a not-for-profit corporation that has been a venerated institution in Harlem since 1964, requested that Schiff Hardin represent it in connection with a claim in arbitration by its former Executive Director. The claim was for breach of an employment agreement, severance pay and other assorted employment-related claims.
In response to the claimant's demand for arbitration, Schiff Hardin asserted numerous counterclaims against the former Executive Director, including breach of fiduciary duty and a claim for the return of all compensation paid to her from the date of her first breach of fiduciary duty under New York's "faithless servant doctrine." Our attorneys sought damages in excess of one million dollars for her failure to ensure the payment of federal and state employment taxes, loss of grant monies from private and public sources due to missing filing deadlines, and reimbursement for personal expenses charged to HSA.
With an anticipated week-long hearing just days away, counsel for the former Executive Director notified us that she had decided to withdraw her demand for arbitration. Regarding HSA's counterclaims, she agreed to assume any outstanding arbitrator's fees and administrative costs, and provide HSA with a complete release of all claims.