Illustration by David Vogin

Law

My Toughest Challenge: Melissa Goodman

A partner of Haynes and Boone LLP on traversing the minefield of employment law cases.

“I represent employers in cases that deal with what I call ‘transitioning high-level executives.’ Often it may be an involuntary transition. I’ve found it’s often like a divorce. It’s all very intense feelings and ill will, often on both sides. I try to come up with a resolution that both sides can agree to, but it’s hard when you have a number of executives and you’re trying to get them all on the same page. Similarly, you’re dealing with the executive in question and how his/her emotions can override a good business decision. It gets very stressful. The work keeps me up all night sometimes. You really don’t want to trip up and cause a payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions to the transitioning executive. At the same time, I’m trying to balance communications so as not to further inflame the situation. It’s truly about maneuvering the emotions, contractual provisions, and the client’s desires and personality to reach a good outcome.”

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