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Cantor's Termination Upheld by Beth Din

Represented an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, through a non-profit Directors and Officers policy, that was sued by its former Cantor for wrongful termination. The Cantor claimed that under Talmudic law, he had the job for life. We disputed the argument and alleged that the Cantor's disrespect for the Rabbi with whom he worked justified the termination. The Cantor's claim was for $1.7 million. The parties, by an arbitration agreement enforceable in civil court, submitted the dispute to a rabbinic court, known as a Beth Din. The Beth Din consists of three Rabbis, knowledgeable in civil law, supported by an administrative attorney. There is no formal pretrial discovery, although the Beth Din can require the parties to exchange information before the hearing. The Beth Din heard testimony from the Cantor and several witnesses from the congregation and then had to decide the wrongful termination based on Jewish law, civil law and the good of the community. After hearing extensive witness testimony and reviewing voluminous post-trial submissions, the Beth Din decided in our client's favor, finding that the termination was justified and awarded the plaintiff nothing. The award cannot be appealed.

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