Sexual Harassment Settlements in the #MeToo and Trump Era

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 65 minutes
Recorded Date: April 09, 2018
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  • Tax Reform Act Denies Deductions for Confidential Settlement Payments in Sexual Harassment Cases
  • Impacts the Tax Treatment of Sexual Harassment Settlements on Plaintiff/Defendants
  • Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee
  • Hypothetical
  • Senate Bill: SB 820
  • Assembly Bill: AB 3109
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: April 9, 2018


You’ve settled the sexual harassment case, right? Well… let’s see. In this timely discussion of how the #MeToo movement, combined with the tax reform signed by President Trump in 2017, could scramble the pieces of a carefully-completed jigsaw puzzle of a settlement by jeopardizing the deductibility of payments where there is a confidentiality agreement. A certified expert in taxation, a leading neutral, and a top plaintiffs’ attorney will share their experience and tips for navigating the rockier shoals of sexual harassment settlements in the era of #MeToo and Trump.

This program was recorded on April 9th, 2018.

Provided By

Los Angeles County Bar Association


Stephen J. Turanchik

Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

Stephen J. Turanchik is an attorney in the Tax practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Turanchik's practice focuses on tax controversy and litigation at the state and federal levels and tax advice on international reporting.

Mr. Turanchik previously litigated for six years for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Civil Trial Section out of Washington, DC. Mr. Turanchik has substantial litigation experience. During his tenure with the Tax Division, Mr. Turanchik handled hundreds of tax cases in federal, bankruptcy, state and probate court. He received an Outstanding Attorney award from the Tax Division in 2003.

Amy Semmel

Kelley Semmel LLP

Ms. Semmel is a seasoned employment attorney with over 20 years of experience in employment law and civil litigation. She has a reputation for skillfully and tenaciously advocating on behalf of her clients. Ms. Semmel is a partner at Kelley•Semmel, LLP, where her practice focuses on the representation of employees, including matters involving employment discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other protected characteristics; sexual harassment; wrongful termination; whistle blower actions; wage and hour disputes (unpaid wages, meal periods and overtime); and employment and severance agreements.

Having practiced at major law firms and at a prestigious litigation boutique, Ms. Semmel understands employment law disputes from the employer perspective, and uses that insight to the advantage of her employee-clients.

Ms. Semmel is a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization for attorneys who represent employees in employment law matters, as well as the Los Angeles County Bar Association - Employment Law Division. Ms. Semmel is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars throughout the state. Subjects on which she has spoken include discovery issues in employment litigation; discovery and use of electronically stored information; liability of successor, alter ego and joint employers; the Private Attorney General Act, and developments in wage and hour law.

Ms. Semmel graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was Articles Editor of Ecology Law Quarterly.

Deborah C. Saxe


Before becoming a full-time neutral, Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq. was a litigator and appellate lawyer at Jones Day, Heller Ehrman, and Seyfarth Shaw for more than 30 years. When she was practicing law, she was lead counsel in litigation matters resulting in more than 30 reported court decisions. She litigated cases before state and federal trial courts, the California Court of Appeal, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Chambers USA called her “an aggressive and highly capable litigator” with “substantial experience in the courtroom as a trial lawyer.” More recently, Chambers USA called her a “talented mediator.”

Ms. Saxe is highly regarded and well-respected. She is a quick study, prepared, personable, approachable, creative, and flexible. As an arbitrator, she is known to be fair, practical, unflappable, and not afraid to make tough decisions. As a mediator, she is strong, good at listening and reading people, and a tenacious closer. She is known for her ability to quickly establish rapport with parties and counsel and enable them to recognize their legal risks. The perspective gained from her extensive trial and appellate court experience allows her to offer valuable insights as to how a case is likely to proceed in the courts and how it is likely to appear to a judge and jury.

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