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Why I Would Not Sue José Mourinho

Posted: Thursday, 10 May 2018 @ 14:04

According to reports in the press the Chelsea Manger,Jose Mourinho is to be the subject of individual legal action from former Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro.

Her lawyers are already suing the club for constructive dismissal. The legal papers are expected to be served on Mourinho this week as part of separate, but connected, claims against him and against the club.

The doctor's lawyers said neither she nor they could comment as the legal proceedings are active, while Chelsea have also not commented on the case.

This has not stopped the press finding out. 

The individual legal claim against Mourinho of victimisation and discrimination means Carneiro's lawyers are alleging he was instrumental in Carneiro's apparent demotion.

Let us get some facts straight - We are not conducting the case so we do not know the precise detail.

What I can say is that if Jose Mourinho is being sued personally this will up the ante on the case.

It means that technically that Mourinho should have separate legal advice to that of Chelsea Football Club. They are potentially in conflict.

However, from experience Eva Carneiro lawyers(who are very experienced and respected) will need pretty good justification for going for him personally.

My instincts are that this is not a good move and they stem from the following:

1 From experience the kind of people who sue individuals on top of employers (such as individual staff members/managers) tend to be making pretty serious allegations. That means Eva Carneiro has to prove this and cannot be seen to be using this as a tactic to put pressure to obtain a higher award/get a good settlement. If it is the latter, the Employment Judges are likely to see through this. They will not like it if the allegations do not represent discrimination or victimisation. It could damage her credibility.

2.Tactically, Mourinho whom I have not met and do not know strikes me as the kind of person who will actually really resent being turned over in any way and will rise to the occasion giving evidence in Employment Tribunal. In other words he will be supremely motivated and a good witness. Point of conducting a case - stay to your strengths and not your weaknesses. I do not like good motivated opponents in litigation. They have the capacity to wreck your client's case.   

3 . In Tribunal you start having two against one(Chelsa FC, Mourinho v Carneiro). Tactically the clever lawyer will be looking for any excuse to portray the doctor in a negative light( e.g OTT, over sensitive) and feeding off what the other Carneiro opponent is doing. With a constructive dismissal case which is not necessarily easy to prove, it represents an added complication having to deal with two teams out to get you.  

4 Therefore(and we may never know) overall, it is possible that the reason why Mourinho is being sued personally is out of tactical weakness and/or the direct instructions of the disgruntled Claimant. 

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