News & Events

AGG Litigation Insights Newsletter - Winter 2016

Submitted By Firm: Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Contact(s): Henry M. Perlowski, Teri A. Simmons

Author(s):

Date Published: 2/9/2016

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Mock jury exercises, focus groups, and jury research are well-established tools that inform trial strategy and guide counsel and their clients to make educated decisions about their case. But the field is changing. In this issue of Litigation Insights, we explain why attorneys and their clients are utilizing various forms of these tools with greater frequency and long before the case proceeds to trial. We also explore methods to conduct a mock jury exercise without blowing your litigation budget.

THE ART AND SCIENCE OF WINNING YOUR CASE

An Evolving Frontier: The Use of Jury Research in Litigation
By: Robert L. Rothman and Jennifer L. Shelfer

The use of mock trials and jury research are nothing new. But the field is changing with the times. Attorneys are now regularly involving jury consultants and experts in human behavior at a much earlier stage in the litigation to help make critical decisions about discovery, mediation, settlement, and general trial strategy. And with advances in technology, attorneys are able to test their trial strategies against a larger group of participants and, in turn, obtain more reliable and accurate information. This article highlights a few new developments that are helping counsel and clients make informed decisions about their cases. More

Mock Jury Trials and the Role of Jury Consultants in Complex Cases
By: Robert L. Rothman and Jennifer L. Shelfer

When the stakes are high, clients typically are willing to expend significant resources to best position their cases for success. And while jury consultants, mock trials, and other forms of jury research can be expensive, counsel and their clients who make good use of these resources often find that the results are invaluable to case preparation and ultimately increase the chance of obtaining a favorable result at trial. This article identifies the benefits of jury research generally, and describes the key role a well-qualified jury consultant plays in trial preparation. More

The “Do-It-Yourself” Mock Jury: Effective Use of Mock Jury Exercises That Don’t Blow Your Litigation Budget
By: Stephen M. Dorvee and Andrew B. Flake

Let’s face it – not every litigation budget allows for renowned jury consultants and multi-day mock trials. But the invaluable insights gained from a well-constructed mock jury exercise need not be a cost-prohibitive luxury reserved only for high-stakes litigation. In this article, we describe a time-tested and economical approach for conducting an in-house mock jury exercise. More

AGG LITIGATORS IN THE TRENCHES

SPG International, LLC - Arbitrator Finds for Client in Commissions Dispute 

When a former sales representative filed for arbitration seeking to recover pre- and post-termination sales commissions, AGG attorney Knox Withers preemptively filed a motion for partial summary judgment, arguing that the “procuring cause” doctrine precluded the claimant’s entitlement to post-termination commissions. While common wisdom suggests that arbitrators are loathe to resolve claims through pre-hearing motions, Knox won his motion, and the ruling significantly narrowed the issues for the final hearing and dramatically limited the client’s potential exposure. More

Travel Incentive Business – Summary Judgment Quashes RICO, Counterfeiting Claims

When a small business owner found himself defending multi-million dollar RICO and counterfeiting claims brought by one of the world’s largest airlines, AGG attorneys Steve Dorvee, Scott Taylor, and Drew Stevens proved that the business owner’s use of two of the airline’s trademarks for several months was inadvertent. And after extensive motion practice and targeted questioning of the airline’s corporate representatives, the Northern District of Georgia granted AGG’s motion for summary judgment on the airline’s RICO and counterfeiting claims. More

LITIGATION TOOLKIT

In this four-part series, AGG partner Scott A. Wandstrat describes the practical implications of the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In particular, Scott walks his readers through the motivations behind the amendments, describes how e-discovery and the age of “Big Data” have fundamentally changed civil discovery, and offers clarity to litigants and their counsel concerning their discovery obligations under a new and evolving regime.

A New Era of Cooperation for E-Discovery Rules?
By: Scott A. Wandstrat

After five years of unrelenting hype, gossipy speculation and dizzying anticipation, we now stand on the precipice of the second edition of e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. More

Proportionality and the Scope of Discovery in 2015 Amendments 
By: Scott A. Wandstrat

This is the second in a series of articles on the practical implications of the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Unless Congress takes action to block them, they will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2015. More

The 2015 Amendments: A Sensible Approach to Spoliation Sanctions? 
By: Scott A. Wandstrat

This is the third in a series of articles about the practical implications of the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. They went into effect on Dec. 1, 2015. More

The 2015 Amendments: An End to Objectionable Objections? 
By: Scott A. Wandstrat

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the practical implications of the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. They went into effect on Dec. 1, 2015. More

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Client Successes

Altra Industrial Motion Inc.

Altra Industrial Motion Inc. has multiple locations in the U.S., as well as Central America, Europe, and Asia. The Employment Law Alliance has proved to be a great asset in assisting us in dealing with employment issues and matters in such diverse venues as Mexico, Australia, and Spain. We have obtained excellent results using the ELA network for matters ranging from a multi-state review of employment policies to assisting with individual employment issues in a variety of foreign jurisdictions.

In one instance, we were faced with an employment dispute with a former associate in Mexico that had the potential for substantial economic exposure. The matter had been pending for over a year, and we were not confident in the employment advice we had been receiving. I obtained a referral to the ELA counsel in Mexico, who was able to obtain a favorable resolution of the dispute in only a few days. Based on our experiences with the ELA, we would not hesitate to use its many resources for future employment law needs.

American University in Bulgaria

In my career I have been a practicing attorney, counsel to the Governor of Maine, and CEO of a major public utility. I have worked with many lawyers in many settings. When the American University in Bulgaria needed help with employment litigation in federal court in Syracuse, New York, we turned to Pierce Atwood, the ELA member we knew and trusted in Maine, for a referral. We were extremely pleased with the responsiveness and high quality of service we received from Bond Schoeneck & King, the ELA's firm in upstate New York. I would not hesitate to recommend the ELA to any employer.

David T. Flanagan
Member of Board of Trustees 

Arcata Associates

I really enjoyed the Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation in the United States webinar.  We are in the midst of a rather delicate employee relations issue in California right now and the discussion helped me tremendously.  It also reinforced things that you tend to forget if you don't do these investigations frequently.  So, many, many thanks to the Employment Law Alliance for putting that webinar together.  It was extremely beneficial.

Lynn Clayton
Vice President, Human Resources

Barrett Business Services, Inc.

I recently participated in the ELA-sponsored webinar on the Employee Free Choice Act.  I was most impressed with that presentation.  It was extremely helpful and very worthwhile.  I have also been utilizing the ELA's online Global Employer Handbook.  This compliance tool is absolutely terrific. 

I am familiar with several other products that purport to provide up-to- date employment law information and I believe that this resource is superior to other similar compliance manuals.  I am delighted that the ELA provides this free to its members' clients.

Boyd Coffee Company

Employment Law Alliance (ELA) has provided Boyd Coffee Company with a highly valued connection to resources, important information and learning. With complex operations and employees working in approximately 20 states, we are continually striving to keep abreast of specific state laws, many of which vary from state to state. We have participated in the ELA web seminars and have found the content very useful. We appreciate the ease, cost effectiveness and quality of the content and presenters offered by these web seminars.  The Global Employer Handbook has provided our company with a very helpful overview of legal issues in the various states in which we operate, and the network of attorneys has helped us manage issues that have arisen in states other than where our Roastery and corporate headquarters are located in Portland, Oregon.

Capgemini Outsourcing Services GmbH

As an international operating outsourcing and consulting supplier Capgemini has used firms of the Employment Law Alliance in Central Europe. We were always highly satisfied with the quality of employment law advice and the responsiveness. I can really recommend the ELA lawyers.

Hirschfeld Kraemer

Stephen HirschfeldAs an employment lawyer based in San Francisco, I work closely with high tech clients with operations around the globe. Last year, one of my clients needed to implement a workforce reduction in a dozen countries simultaneously. And they gave me 48 hours to accomplish this. I don't know how I could have pulled this off without the resources of the ELA. I don't know of any single law firm that could have made this happen. My client received all of the help they needed in a timely fashion and on a cost effective basis.

Stephen J. Hirschfeld
Partner 

Hollywood Entertainment Corporation

As the Vice President for Litigation & Associate General Counsel for my company, I need to ensure that we have a team of top-notch employment lawyers in place in every jurisdiction where we do business. And I want to be confident that those lawyers know our business so they don't have to reinvent the wheel when a new legal matter arises. With more than 3400 stores and 35,000 employees operating in all 50 U.S. states and across Canada, we rely on the ELA to partner with us to help accomplish our objectives. I have been delighted with the consistent high quality of the work performed by ELA lawyers. I encourage other in-house counsel to use their services, as well.

Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is the world's largest technology distributor, providing sales, marketing, and logistics services for the IT industry around the globe. With over 13,000 employees working throughout the U.S. and in 35 international countries, we need employment lawyers who we can count on to ensure global legal compliance. Our experience with many multi-state and multi-national law firms is that their employment law services are not always a high priority for them, and many do not have experts in many of their offices. The ELA has assembled an excellent team of highly skilled employment lawyers, wherever and whenever I need them, and they have proven to be an invaluable resource to our company.

Konami Gaming

Our company, Konami Gaming, Inc., is growing rapidly in a very diverse and highly regulated industry. We are aggressively entering new markets outside the domestic U.S., including Canada and South America. I have had the recent opportunity to utilize the services provided by the ELA. The legal advice was both responsive and professional. Most of all, the entire process was seamless since our Nevada attorney coordinated the services and legal advice requested. I look forward to working with the ELA in the future, as it serves as a great resource to the legal community.

Jennifer Martinez
Vice President, Human Resources

Nikkiso Cryo, Inc.

Until recently, I was unaware of the ELA's existence. We have subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the United States, as well as in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. When a recent legal issue arose in Texas, our long-time Nevada counsel, who is a member of the ELA, suggested that this matter be handled by his ELA colleague in Dallas. We are very pleased with the quality and timeliness of services provided by that firm, and we are excited to now have the ELA as an important asset to help us address employment law issues worldwide.

Palm, Inc.

The ELA network has been immensely important to our company in helping us address an array of human resources challenges around the world. I strongly encourage H.R. executives who have employees located in many different jurisdictions to utilize the ELA's unparalleled expertise and geographic coverage.

Stacy Murphy
Former Senior Director of Human Resources

Rich Products

As the General Counsel for a company with 6,500 employees operating across the U.S. and in eight countries, it is critical that I have top quality lawyers on the ground where we do business. The ELA is an indispensable resource. It has taken the guesswork out of finding the best employment counsel wherever we have a problem.

Jill K. Bond
Senior Vice President/General Counsel, Shared Services and Benefits

Ricoh Americas Corporation

We have direct sales and service offices all over the U.S., but have not necessarily had the need in the past for assistance with legal work in every state where we have a business presence. From time to time, we suddenly find ourselves facing a legal issue in a state where we have no outside counsel relationship. It has been a real benefit to know that the ELA has assembled such an impressive team of experts throughout the U.S. and overseas.

A few years ago, we faced a very tough discrimination lawsuit in Mississippi. We had never had to retain a lawyer there before. I was absolutely delighted with the Mississippi ELA firm. We received an excellent result. They will no doubt handle all of our employment law matters in Mississippi in the future. I have also obtained the assistance of several other ELA firms around the U.S. and have received the same outstanding service. The ELA is a tremendous resource for our company.

Roberts-Gordon LLC

Our affiliated companies have used the Employment Law Alliance in connection with numerous acquisitions, and have always been extremely pleased with our ability to obtain the highest quality legal advice on due diligence issues from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. We have found the Employment Law Alliance firms to be not only first rate with respect to their legal advice but also responsive and timely in assisting us with federal and state law issues critical to our due diligence efforts. We consider the Employment Law Alliance to be an important part of our team.

Rockwell Collins, Inc.

We have partnered with many ELA firms on the development and execution of case management strategies with very positive results. We have been very pleased with the legal advice and counsel provided by the law firms we have utilized who are affiliated with the Employment Law Alliance. The ELA firms we have worked with are customer focused, responsive, and thorough in their approach to handling labor and employment law matters.

Elizabeth Daly
Assistant General Counsel

Sanmina-SCI

Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world. Our customers expect that we will provide them with the highest quality and most sophisticated services in the marketplace. We have that same expectation for the lawyers with whom we do business. With operations in 17 countries, we need to be certain that we have a team of lawyers working together to address our employment law needs worldwide. The ELA has delivered exactly what it promised-- seamless and consistent high quality services delivered in each locale around the globe. It has quickly become a key asset for our human resources department.

Starwood

We own, manage, and franchise hotels throughout the U.S. and in more than 90 countries. With more than 145,000 employees worldwide, ensuring that we comply with the complex web of local labor and employment laws in every one of these jurisdictions is a daunting task. The Employment Law Alliance has served as an important resource for us and we have benefited greatly from its expertise and long reach. When a legal dispute or issue has arisen in some far-flung place, Employment Law Alliance lawyers have always provided responsive, practical, and cost-effective assistance.

Wilmington Trust Corporation

Wilmington Trust has used the ELA to locate firms in California, Washington State, Georgia, and Europe. Our experience with the ELA lawyers with whom we have worked has always been one of complete satisfaction and prompt, practical advice.

Michael A. DiGregorio
General Counsel