Alan Olson knows he has brought a case to a successful outcome when his employment-law firm is able to restore financial means, as well as non-financial damages, to a client.
And more often than not, the client is an employee who has been discharged.
In once instance that sticks in Olson’s mind, it took him 10 years to ensure two victims in a case of proven sexual harassment got “every dime of their judgment.” Olson was able to show that the women had been harassed where they worked.
Still, the employer, an accountant, was adept at hiding his assets, Olson said. About a decade went by before Olson was able to get to the accountant’s real-estate assets and help the victims obtain a settlement, as well as compensation for interest and attorney fees.
“It was a good feeling after 10 years to be able to hand the check to them,” Olson said.
The damages Olson pursues are not always of the financial sort. Olson said he also judges his success by his ability to restore clients’ reputations, improve their chances of advancing in a career and recover their lost wages.
One of Olson’s most memorable cases was Rouse vs. Odyssey Hospice. The 2012 case concluded with Odyssey Hospice agreeing to pay $25 million and entering into a five-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
Odyssey Hospice agreed to pay after Olson’s whistleblower client made allegations that the company had committed Medicare fraud. Olson said he felt the case was successful because his client was rewarded for her bravery, public coffers were replenished and medical benefits were provided to the right recipients.
Nick McLeod, an attorney at Alan C. Olson & Associates, said he has been impressed with Olson’s demeanor with his staff, colleagues, opposing counsels and judges.
McLeod said he remembers sitting in on a deposition and observing the opposing attorney asking questions of Olson’s client. McLeod said he was not sure how he would have responded, but that Olson remained calm.
“He made a great impression on how an attorney should act toward an opposing attorney in front of their client in a difficult situation,” he said.