Updates

Decision in Brown et al. v. Offshore Specialty Febricators, Inc. et al.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Brown et al. v. Offshore Specialty Fabricators, Inc. et al., No. 10-40936, affirming dismissal of all claims against all defendants by Judge David Folsom of the Eastern District of Texas. The case was a putative class action brought against companies that provide services in connection with oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico, and companies that provide labor in connection with same. Plaintiffs claimed defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) by allegedly employing unauthorized foreign workers on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Larry Stuart served as lead counsel for two of the defendant companies in the underlying case, with Glen Rigby serving as lead counsel in connection with the appeal. Click here for the 5th Circuit’s Opinion.


Victory in Buhr v. Stewart Title of Spokane, LLC et al

Stuart & Associates P.C. and Paine Hamblen LLP secured a defense verdict following ten days of trial in Spokane, Washington. The plaintiff claimed violations of the Washington Law Against Discrimination, the Washington Minimum Wage Act and Wage Rebate Act, among other claims, and asked the jury to award more than $2.5 million in damages during closing argument. Larry Stuart and Jim Kalamon served as trial counsel, with critical support from Tonja King and Brook Cunningham. Buhr v. Stewart Title of Spokane, LLC et al, No. 09-2-04455-9, Washington Superior Court, County of Spokane.


Auditing Compensation Practices

Larry Stuart and Glen Rigby gave a presentation entitled “Auditing Compensation Practices” at HR Houston’s 2011 Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues. Larry and Glen provided practical insight on why employers should conduct compensation audits and how those audits should be conducted. Click here for Presentation Slides.


The New Bermuda Triangle

Larry Stuart and Tonja King gave a presentation entitled “The New Bermuda Triangle: ADA/FMLA/GINA” at HR Houston’s 2011 Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues. Larry and Tonja gave an update on recent development relating to management of employees needing time off and/or accommodations for medical issues and provided practical information on how to manage employees with medical issues to reduce risk of claims. Click here for Presentation Slides.


Victory in Dugas et al. v. Oceaneering Int’l, Inc. et al.

Larry Stuart and Cheri Thomas secured summary dismissal and final judgment in favor of the firm’s client in a Title VII case in which the plaintiffs – a former employee and an employee of a contractor – claimed they were subjected to racial harassment by the crew of a chartered vessel while working in the Gulf of Mexico. Dugas et al. v. Oceaneering Int’l, Inc. et al., No. H-09-1725, District Court for the Southern District of Texas.


Misclassification of Workers and Unpaid Overtime – the Next Litigation Gusher

Larry Stuart and Glen Rigby’s article entitled “Misclassification of Workers and Unpaid Overtime – the Next Litigation Gusher” was published in the November/December issue of Well Servicing magazine. The article details many ways energy services companies may violate the Fair Labor Standards Act through their unique pay and compensation practices and provides guidance on how to identify and correct deficient pay practices. Click here for a copy of the article.


The Impact of E-Discovery for Businesses

The ease with which companies create and store data has caused the focus in many employment and commercial disputes to be on electronic discovery.  Courts and litigants continue to grapple with how best to manage the cost of gathering, reviewing and producing data relevant to pending claims.  The availability of electronic data and the ease with which it can be misappropriated has led to an increase in trade secret theft litigation and the use of non-compete agreements to protect company interests. On December 8, 2009, Larry Stuart and the Honorable Lee Rosenthal, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, co-presented “The Future of Litigation and the Impact of e-Discovery on Your Business” for Jones Partners at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business.  Click here for a copy of the presentation.



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