Begin every justification memorandum by summarizing the nature of the case and the terms of the proposed settlement. The summary should state the statute, the bases and issues, and the amount of monetary relief and types of nonmonetary relief. If a settlement does not provide relief on an allegation contained in the Commission’s complaint, it should be expressly noted in this section. Also make express note of potentially controversial provisions, such as goals and timetables, in this section.
Provide the name of the charging party (or parties). This subsection should be used to provide any information about the charging party, or the charge, which may be necessary to understanding the case and the settlement. This subsection should also be used to provide any relevant information about the defendant(s).
State whether the Regional Attorney, General Counsel, or Commission approved filing the complaint and provide the date of any Office of General Counsel memorandum informing the Regional Attorney of the approval of litigation. State the date on which the Commission’s complaint was filed and provide any necessary procedural information. List and, where necessary, explain the substantive claims raised by the complaint.
Provide a narrative of the developments leading up to the proposed settlement, including key dates. This subsection should be utilized to explain any court decisions, or results of discovery processes, which affected the prospects for success at trial and which led to acceptance of less than full relief. This subsection should also be utilized to briefly explain the settlement negotiations. Specify timeframes for the close of discovery, approval of settlement, and trial.
Summarize and briefly explain all of the major terms of the consent decree in this section. Use separate subsections, as appropriate, to summarize and explain any injunction (or other prohibitions of discrimination and/or retaliation), specific forms of nonmonetary relief for aggrieved individuals or class members (e.g., recruitment, hiring, job assignment, promotion, reinstatement), monetary relief (including backpay calculations and explanations for amounts representing compensatory and punitive damages), training, recordkeeping and reporting, monitoring, notice posting, and duration of the consent decree. Explain provisions for goals and timetables or other controversial provisions in detail.
Present a narrative explanation of why the Regional Attorney agreed to the proposed settlement. Where the settlement provides less than full relief on any substantive claim raised by the complaint, set forth the factual and legal considerations for limiting relief or narrowing the suit. Discuss the evidence and relevant case law, as appropriate, including citations to key decisions which influenced the settlement.
The Justification Memorandum should be accompanied by a copy of the proposed consent decree (including attachments or exhibits such as release forms or a class notice), draft press release(s) concerning the settlement, and the Commission’s complaint or amended complaint.