Mitchell Dean and Heather Paradis prevailed at trial for their client, City of Carlsbad and one of its Lieutenants. Plaintiff Taryn Sisco claimed one instance of sexual harassment and retaliation following her report of that harassment. On June 19, 2018, during argument for critical in limine motions, the trial court, Judge Ronald Frazier, granted nonsuit on Sisco’s retaliation causes of action finding her failure to challenge the administrative decision that the City terminated her for “just cause” precluded her from establishing retaliatory termination. Upon Sisco’s request, the trial court stayed the trial on Sisco’s sexual harassment and failure to prevent harassment causes of action so Sisco could seek appellate review of the nonsuit through a writ petition. The Court of Appeal denied the petition for writ on September 7, 2018. That eliminated all claims except for the single instance of alleged sexual harassment. The writ opposition was prepared and argued by Daley and Heft Certified Appellate Specialist, Lee Roistacher.
Taryn Sisco is a former police officer of the Carlsbad Police Department (“CPD”). On or around September 5, 2012, Sisco’s Lieutenant requested that Sisco contact him to discuss an issue regarding ticketing dogs off leashes. The Lieutenant had gone home that evening and Sisco was to finish her shift at 4:00 a.m. When Sisco was nearly finished with her shift, she called the Lieutenant at home. When she called, she alleges that the Lieutenant said something like “I’m lying in bed thinking of you …” and then talked about the dogs off the leash issue. The Lieutenant denies saying “I’m lying in bed thinking of you.” He agrees they talked about the issue regarding ticking dogs off leashes. Sisco does not recall the specific wording of the four minute conversation and admits they discussed the dogs off the leash issue which had been something she and the Lieutenant had discussed in briefing that day. Sisco never reported the conversation to human resources but claims she repeated the conversation to a group of officers which may or may not have included either one of two Sergeants. Both Sergeants deny hearing anything like that. Thereafter, Sisco claimed she was retaliated against and terminated from CPD because she allegedly reported the conversation with the Lieutenant which she perceived as sexual harassment. City has contended that Sisco was terminated for other reasons, having nothing to do with any report of sexual harassment. The City’s defense was vigorous, including a motion for summary judgment (on some of the same issues nonsuit was granted at trial) which was denied and then which denial was challenged by way or writ, including a petition to the California Supreme Court. The writ and petition were both denied. The case is entitled Taryn Sisco v. City of Carlsbad, Case No. 37-2014-00026069-CU-WT-NC.