A radio program employee who faced substantial liability arising from a tragic on-air “water drinking contest” that ended in a tragic death was named an individual defendant in the survivors’ lawsuit. The employer offered to defend the employee with a competent attorney of its choosing. However, the employee took the position that Labor Code section 2802 required his employer to pay him for the attorney of his choice, insisted on hiring his own attorney and proceeded to so. After a settlement and dismissal, he sought indemnity for more than $800,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees. The trial court declined his request and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that employees do not have an absolute right to pick the attorney of their choice to represent them at the expense of their employer under section 2802, and the mere fact the employee may face potential punitive damages or criminal charges does not change this rule. Thus, the employer met its burden by offering to defend the employee with competent independent counsel. Carter v. Entercom Sacramento, LLC, No. C066751 (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2013). Click here for more information.