Labor, Employment, & Immigration
Successful Defense of "Me Too" Harassment Case
Obtained complete defense verdict as lead trial counsel on behalf of international airline company in “me too” sexual harassment case after month-long jury trial. Argueta v. Worldwide Flight Services, Inc., Case No.: BC703825 (Los Angeles Superior Court, April 16, 2020).
Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements
Successfully enforced non-compete agreements and obtained preliminary injunctions in multiple cases on behalf of national seafood restaurant chain.
Unfair Labor Practices
Secured favorable resolutions for publicly listed corporations in several consolidated, nation-wide, unfair labor practice cases in which the NLRB sought to find holding companies to be single and/or joint employers with affiliated entities.
Chief Negotiator for Collective Bargaining Agreements
Over the past several years, served as chief negotiator for successor collective bargaining agreements against the Washington State Nurses Association, the Florida Nurses Association, the Service Employees International Union, the United Steelworkers of America, and the United Mineworkers, resulting in concessions and operational savings in excess of $20MM.
Dismissal with Prejudice Obtained in Employment Matter
Obtained dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a client with respect to claims by former employee seeking reinstatement into former employment position.
Representation of Fortune 500 Company in Nationwide Labor Arbitrations
Lead national labor arbitration counsel for Fortune 500 commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions company; handling labor arbitrations throughout the country.
Successfully represented large and small businesses, manufacturers, suppliers, and restaurants in obtaining hundreds of dismissals and closures of EEOC investigations.
Assisted clients with dozens of OSHA investigations, including four recent fatality investigations.
Representation of National Manufacturing Company on Labor & Employment Matters
Lead nationwide employment counsel for national manufacturing company with facilities and employees in 15 states.
Representation of Tier I Automotive Supplier on Labor & Employment Matters
Lead national employment counsel for Tier I automotive supplier, handling all labor & employment matters.
Successful Defense of Wage and Hour Matters
Successfully defended multiple wage and hour class action matters on behalf of various clients, including international airline company, technology business and international construction company.
Successful Settlement for National Financial Services Firm of ADA Claims
Lead trial counsel for national financial services firm in ADA lawsuit alleging failure to accommodate and disability discrimination. Multiple deposition admissions eviscerated plaintiff's claims and drove a cost effective nuisance value settlement, avoiding protracted litigation and attorney fees.
Dismissal Obtained in Qui Tam Whistleblower Action
Represented a trustee in its individual and trustee capacity in federal court trust litigation for issues involving potential conflicts between Illinois and New Mexico law, a demand for an accounting, and declaratory judgment over certain estate planning documents. The case resolved amicably at a federal settlement conference before the Central District Federal Magistrate Judge.
Dispute Regarding Collective Bargaining Agreement
Represented an air cargo handler and defeated a union grievance that alleged a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Successfully avoided approximately $8MM in annual wage impact.
National Employer Wins Arbitration Claims Brought by Labor Union
Successfully represented a national employer in an arbitration involving a labor union that claimed our client's annual liability was near $8MM. The union alleged the company violated the parties' labor agreement by not increasing all of its wage scales in amounts equivalent to the legally mandated minimum wage increases. The case was complicated by bargaining history, distant and unavailable witnesses, and ambiguous contract language. The arbitrator ruled in favor of our client and denied the class action grievance.
FLSA Class Action Defeated
Represented an air cargo handler and defeated a potential FLSA class action on behalf of a putative class of 3,000 based on the Railway Labor Act exemption.
Wage & Hour Class Action Claims Defeated
Represented an air cargo handler in supervising and formulating a strategy in defense of multiple wage & hour class actions filed in California. Successfully resolved claims of more than $75MM for less than $5MM.
Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Public Employer
Authored appellate brief that led to a published opinion in client's favor before the Illinois Appellate Court. Stimeling v. Peoria Public School District 150, 2018 IL App (3d) 170567.
Successful Defense of Chemical Company Following Arbitration
Represented a chemical company being sued by its former CEO for severance and alleged deferred compensation totaling nearly $1MM. Following a trial over several days in private arbitration, the chemical company obtained a defense verdict on nearly all claims, only paying pennies on the dollar.
Tier I Automotive Supplier Wins Arbitration Claims Brought by Labor Union
Successfully represented a Tier I automotive supplier in a complicated contract interpretation arbitration. The issue litigated went to the heart of our client’s ability to manage its business under the union labor agreement. The union argued the company must first obtain the union’s agreement before changing work schedules. Without the flexibility to adjust schedules, our client risked either shutting down the customer’s assembly line or incurring millions in overtime costs to meet customer production demands. The arbitrator found in favor of our client, affirming management's right to unilaterally change the work schedule for the purpose of efficiently operating its production schedule.
Summary Judgment Granted in Age Discrimination Case
Obtained summary judgment in favor of international gaming company in age discrimination case. Kocienski v. NRT Technologies, Inc., Case No. 2:16–CV–00905–JCM–CWH (U.S.D.C. Nev. March 15, 2018).
Counsel to Nevada Charter School in Acquisitions and Other Matters
Lead counsel to a Nevada charter school in the following matters: (1) $8.4MM and $3MM acquisitions of campuses in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada; (2) leasing of three campuses for 20 to 40 years; (3) construction of a new school facility on Nellis Air Force Base; and (4) numerous other matters, including student discipline, employment, public procurement, vendor, special education, and compliance matters.
Trade Secrets Clause Successfully Enforced
Successfully enforced trade secrets contractual provision and obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of national seafood restaurant chain.
Representation of Medical Practice in Employment Matters
Representation of a medical practice regarding employment related issues, including the hiring and termination of employees and independent contractors.
Summary Judgment for Hospital Under Title VII and Illinois Law
Successfully defended a hospital/employer in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals where the Court affirmed a summary judgment decision in favor of our client where a former employee claimed discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and Illinois law, and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Merger of Bank Holding Company
Counsel to a publicly traded bank holding company in connection with a stock-for-stock merger with large regional financial services company. We were responsible for negotiating the merger agreement, preparing the proxy statement, counseling board and shareholders regarding the transaction, and preparing the employment and incentive arrangements for certain continuing employees.
Summary Judgment Granted for Automotive Supplier
Obtained dismissal for failure to state a claim and later summary judgment for an automotive supplier client accused by a former independent contractor of unlawfully terminating his independent contractor agreement. Al-Kahwati Engineering, Inc. v. AGC Flat Glass North America, Inc., No. 2:16-CV-10759, 2016 WL 9403759 (E.D. Mich. July 26, 2016); Al-Kahwati Engineering, Inc. v. AGC Flat Glass North America, Inc., No. 2:16-CV-10759, 2017 WL 4005912 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 12, 2017).
Hospital Not Liable for Discrimination
Successfully represented a hospital in defending a claim of discrimination in Illinois Human Rights Commission resulting in no findings against the firm's client.
Wage & Hour Class Reduced
Represented a food manufacturer and significantly reduced the size of alleged class in wage & hour matter. Federal court denied conditional certification of the employee class sought by the plaintiff and conditionally certified only half of the requested class.
Sexual Harassment Investigation
Conducted an internal investigation of alleged sexual harassment at a non-insurance related entity by a board member.
Arbitration in Favor of Manufacturer in Employment Matter
Represented a manufacturer in a four-day grievance arbitration over the termination of a long-term employee and union president for theft. The case involved extensive use of surveillance footage and electronic package tracking data. We obtained an award in favor of the company and upholding of the termination.
Representation of Municipality in Collective Bargaining Negotiations
Represented a large municipality in difficult collective bargaining negotiations where we obtained a long-term agreement with multiple unions securing significant employee contributions and future relief from health care and pension obligations.
Disclaimers of Interest Obtained Against Labor Unions
Within a 12-month period, secured disclaimers of interest for a national retailer in New York City against the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, and for a public sector hospital in San Diego against the United Food & Commercial Workers. A disclaimer of interest is a rare occurrence; a union voluntarily decides it no longer wants to represent the employees that elected it.
Successful Negotiation of Collective Bargaining Agreement
Successfully negotiated long-term collective bargaining agreement on behalf of national airport security company against Union of Federation of Police, Security, & Correction Officers.
Arbitration Agreements Successfully Enforced
Obtained court order enforcing binding arbitration agreement for all employee disputes on behalf of international airline company.
Successful Defense of Age Discrimination Case
Successfully foreclosed on a $20MM housing development of a multi-building apartment complex for a New York-based lender, preserving deficiency and obtaining full recovery of legal fees.
Wage & Hour Class Certification Denied
Successfully represented a hospital and defeated class certification in a wage & hour case. The Federal Court denied class certification following significant discovery, multiple depositions, and extensive briefing.
Successful Defense of Racial Discrimination Case
Successfully defended Las Vegas casino in racial discrimination lawsuit. Zhang v. Wynn Las Vegas, Case No. 2:14-cv-00761-JCM-PAL (U.S.D.C. Nev. 2015).
Successful Defense of Sexual Harassment Claim
Lead trial counsel in a Title VII action where the jury found our corporate client not culpable of sexual harassment.
Successful Defense of FLSA Collective Action Against Bank
Defended an FLSA collective action against a regional bank, alleging misclassification of mortgage loan underwriters.
Plaintiff Wins $1.15MM in Civil Rights Case
Represented a plaintiff in a civil rights case resulting in a $1.15MM judgment for our client following a nine-day jury trial.
Counsel in Representation Elections
Counseled an extended care facility in successive representation elections against the Laborers Union of North American and the UAW.
Successful Representation of Sign Company in $22M Claim by Employee for Sales Commissions
Successfully defended sign company in an action by its former employee for sales commission on a $22MM project based on a written commission agreement. Obtained a complete defense award after a four-day arbitration.
In-House Counsel for Big Boy Restaurants
Acted as interim in-house general counsel for 12 months for Big Boy Restaurants International, a regional family restaurant franchisor, in matters such as advising, directing, and handling the legal aspects of franchising, leasing, construction, employment, insurance, property sales, trademark, and various other day-to-day legal matters as they arose.
Counsel in NLRB Conducted Representation Elections
Counseled largest Caterpillar subcontractor to victory in successive NLRB conducted representation elections against the United Automotive Workers.
Counseled clients concerning withdrawal of recognition of LIUNA, UA, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
Representation of Largest Non-Union Government Employer
Counseled the largest non-union government employer in the State of Illinois that defeated a "card-check" organizing campaign against AFSCME.
Successful Arbitration for Financial Services Company Against Defecting Employees
Represented a financial services company in a multi-week arbitration against a group of employees who defected to a competitor, obtaining a high-six figures award against the employees and their new firm and denial of all counterclaims.
Counsel to Franchisors
Negotiate and prepare agreements on behalf of franchisors, including franchise agreements, multi-unit development agreements, area representative agreements, confidentiality and non-compete agreements.
Summary Judgment Granted for Airport Under FLSA
Represented an airport in a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act brought by more than 30 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claimed they were owed overtime for alleged on-call and waiting time. We obtained a dismissal on a Motion for Summary Judgment.
Trial Counsel for Automobile Manufacturer in Employment Matters
Trial counsel for an automobile manufacturer in the defense of numerous wrongful discharge and employment discrimination cases. In addition to obtaining summary judgments, we won a "no cause" verdict in a federal jury trial, which was subsequently affirmed by the Sixth Circuit.
Jury Finds in Favor of Defense on Reverse Race Discrimination Claim
Lead trial counsel and obtained a "no cause" jury trial verdict in a highly publicized and politicized reverse race discrimination and harassment case.
Successful Defense of Startup Company
Successfully defended a startup company in an arbitration brought by its former VP of sales, defeating his claim for unpaid compensation and obtaining an order nullifying his stock rights, and later defeating his attempt to vacate the award in federal court.
National Grocery Chain Obtains Directed Verdict on ADEA Claim
Lead trial counsel for a national grocery chain and obtained a directed verdict in a federal ADEA discrimination jury trial.