Join your colleagues from around the country for our Practice Group meetings. NELA’s Practice Groups provide opportunities for members in specific practice areas to network, seek advice, and discuss issues of mutual concern. Meetings are open to any NELA member with an interest in the subject matter area. There is no charge to attend.
NELA Practice Group Meeting: Trial Advocacy (Members Only)
Join your colleagues from around the country for our Committee and Practice Group meetings. NELA’s Committees and Practice Groups provide opportunities for members in specific practice areas to network, seek advice, and discuss issues of mutual concern. Meetings are open to any NELA member with an interest in the subject matter area. There is no charge to attend.
NELA Amicus Brief: Howe v. Akron (6th Circuit)
NELA’s amicus brief joins with the plaintiffs and their counsel in urging the Sixth Circuit to adopt the majority view of Circuits around the country that court-initiated sanctions under section 1927 requires a finding of bad faith by the trial court. No such finding was made in this case. Different panels of the Sixth Circuit have applied varying standards concerning section 1927 sanctions. Nevertheless, even using the lowest standard applied by certain panels of the Sixth Circuit (which requires only “something more than negligence or incompetence”), plaintiffs counsel’s conduct would not have warranted sanctions. Counsel, instead, undertook the natural and proper steps of complying with a change in the court’s orders. NELA’s amicus also argues that imposition of this sanction has an undue chilling effect on civil rights advocacy, violates due process, and raises a concern about the unusually high incidence of controversial sanctions imposed by this particular trial court judge.
Brief writers: Richard R. Renner; Bennet D. Zurofsky… Read More
NELA Amicus Brief: University of Texas Southwest Medical Center v. Nassar (Supreme Court)
Summary of NELA’s Amicus Brief:
- The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that to effectively enforce Title VII’s substantive protections, Title VII’s antiretaliation provision must be broadly interpreted to ensure unfettered access to statutory remedial mechanisms.
- The Court should reaffirm that while unlawful retaliation must prompt an employment decision, it need not be the sole factor.
- It is a workplace reality that adverse employment decisions can have multiple causes, and that Title VII is violated if an illegitimate motive plays a meaningful role in the ultimate decision made. Congress explicitly recognized that employment decisions involve multiple motives, but a discriminatory “motivating factor” should never be tolerated and must be purged from the employment process.
- When the language of Title VII after the 1991 amendments is read in context with the Court’s broad protection of the right to be free from workplace retaliation and the legislative history of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, a fair reading compels the conclusion that the law is violated if an illegitimate motive is a “motivating factor” in an adverse employment decision.
- Having different standards for proving intentional discrimination under the same statute would only create confusion for the parties, the trial courts, and the jury.
NELA Amicus Brief: Braun v. Wal-Mart (Penn. S.Ct.)
On January 22, 2013, NELA joined the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as amici curiae in support of a class of workers seeking to recover paid rest breaks and payment owed for off the clock work from their employer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart). Amici ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to affirm the lower court’s decision upholding the jury verdict in favor of thousands of Wal-Mart employees in Pennsylvania who were unlawfully denied rest breaks and consistently subjected to other wage and hour violations. See Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 24 A.3d 875 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2011).
Amici specifically address issues that are of paramount importance to workers and working families, including ensuring that (1) workers may continue to introduce their employers’ business records as admissible evidence to prove their claims and damages, (2) employers will not be rewarded for failing to keep accurate employment records, (3) workers and all other parties may continue to use statistical evidence to prove liability and damages in class actions, and (4) workers can still rely upon the Commonwealth’s express public policy against the waiver of … Read More