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General Dynamics Corporation v. Superior Court
California Supreme Court
7 Cal. 4th 1164 (1994)
Attorney Andrew Rose (plaintiff) worked as in-house counsel for General Dynamics Corporation (defendant) for 14 years with an exemplary record before the company suddenly terminated him without following its published discharge procedures. The company claimed it had lost confidence in Rose’s ability to vigorously represent its interests. Rose sued for wrongful termination asserting two main theories of relief. First, Rose argued that the company’s course of conduct implied that he would be terminated only for good cause. Second, he claimed retaliatory discharge in violation of public policy, alleging the real reasons the company let him go involved covering up widespread drug use and the mysterious bugging of a security office, and disliking Rose’s advice on potential labor-law violations. The company countered that Rose had failed to state a viable claim for relief because as an in-house attorney, he could be discharged at any time, for any reason or no reason at all. The trial court and appellate courts disagreed, finding Rose had stated a viable claim. General Dynamics appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Arabian, J.)
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