James Weliky Featured at MCLE Programs for Employment Lawyers

James Weliky has again been selected to serve as an expert faculty member on two popular programs presented by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Eduction (MCLE).  First, Mr. Weliky served as faculty at MCLE’s “Employment Law for Business Lawyers and In-House Counsel.”  This year’s edition of the program, held January 30, represented Mr. Weliky’s tenth year on the program’s faculty!

In May, Mr, Weliky will serve on the faculty of MCLE’s “Advising Employers & Employees on Off-Duty Conduct & Privacy in the Workplace.”  The program will examine some of the most topical, but widely-misunderstood, subjects affecting the modern workplace, including: employee use of social media in and out of the workplace, electronic monitoring of employees, and the affect of medical marijuana law on the workplace.  This year’s edition of the program with be Mr. Weliky’s second as faculty.

To learn more about these programs and MCLE, click here to visit their website.

Messing Joins Forum of Experts to Comment on Federal Rules

Ellen Messing was recently an invited participant at “A Forum for Understanding and Comment on the Proposed Federal Rules Amendments,” a meeting held at the University of Denver facilitated by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS).  According to IAALS, the forum was held to “bring together a small and select group of lawyers, academics, and judges from around the country, from all areas of practice” to comment on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern civil lawsuits brought in federal courts.  Because employees must often enforce their rights in federal courts, they are especially vulnerable to amendments to the Federal Rules.  To protect the interests of employees in the federal rule-making process, Ms. Messing attended the forum as a representative of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), an organization advocating for the rights of employees.

To learn more about IAALS, please visit their website by clicking here.

MRW Obtains Critical Ruling in Federal Race Discrimination Case

The U.S. District Court in Boston recently handed down a ruling favoring a MRW client suing his employer for race discrimination.  The plaintiff’s case alleges he was denied a series of promotions because of his race and that his employer retaliated against him after he complained about racism in the workplace.  In June 2013, lawyers for the employer filed a motion requesting that the Court dismiss the case.  MRW’s lawyers responded with an opposition to the motion.  Relying heavily on MRW’s opposition, the Court issued a January 2014 ruling that preserved most of the plaintiff’s claims and allowed the case to continue toward a trial.

To learn more about the case and the allegations, see WBZ-TV’s spring 2011 news feature on the case.  To view a recording of the broadcast, click here.

Rudavsky and Messing Present at Employment Law Basics Program

Dahlia Rudavsky and Ellen Messing presented at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s “Employment and Labor Law: MCLE BasicsPlus” program.  The annual program, held November 6-7, 2013, is designed to provide lawyers with an introduction to the most significant issues in labor and employment law.  This was the 15th year in which one or more of the attorneys from Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky served on the program’s expert faculty.

To learn more about the program and faculty, please visit MCLE’s website.

MRW Receives Top Ranking

For the second year in a row, Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C. has been ranked in “Tier 1” of Boston labor and employment litigation firms by U.S. News and World Report.  This recognition, which will be published in the 2014 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers, is based on evaluations submitted by both lawyers and legal consumers in areas including the firm’s expertise, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness.  To read more about the rankings themselves, and their methodology, please visit the U.S. News – Best Lawyers website.

Super Lawyers Continues to Recognize Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky

Dahlia Rudavsky, Ellen Messing and James Weliky have again been recognized by Super Lawyers.  The 2013 edition marks the tenth year in a row in which Super Lawyers has included the firm’s attorneys in their annual list.

Super Lawyers‘ annual lists of distinguished attorneys are compiled using a patented methodology which employs peer nominations and reviews and private research.  According to Super Lawyers, this process aims to “create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.”  You can learn more about Super Lawyers and their methodology on their website.

Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky’s decade-long presence in Super Lawyers is an authoritative reflection of the firm’s ability to provide excellent service and consistently achieve results for working people.

Messing to Present at National Seminar on Workplace Retaliation

Ellen Messing will be a featured presenter at the National Employment Lawyers Association’s upcoming seminar: “Shining the Light on Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims.”  This seminar for employment lawyers , being held in Washington, DC on October 18-19, 2013, will cover a variety of topics related to the litigation of claims stemming from the illegal reprisals that America’s workers often face from unscrupulous employers.  Ms. Messing will be serving as a co-presenter for a session titled “Ethical Considerations in Handling Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims.”  For more information on the seminar, click here to view the program brochure.

Best Lawyers Names Dahlia Rudavsky 2014 Lawyer of the Year

Dahlia Rudavsky has been recognized as the Boston-area “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers for the “Employment Law — Individuals” practice area.  Ms. Rudavsky has also been recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in the “Labor Law — Union” and “Litigation — Labor & Employment” practice areas.  The 2014 edition represents a third consecutive year of recognition in Best Lawyers for Ms. Rudavsky.  A complete list of the 2014 Lawyers of the Year can be found here.

Also in the 2014 edition, Ellen Messing and James Weliky have been recognized for a third year in a row in the “Litigation — Labor & Employment” and “Employment Law — Individuals” practice areas, respectively.

Federal Appeals Court Hands Plaintiffs a Victory

In the recent case of Joyce v. Town of Dennis, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit overturned the decision of the trial court that had shortchanged civil rights plaintiffs.  Jim Weliky and Ellen Messing, partners in our firm, co-wrote the friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (“MELA”).  MELA’s position was accepted virtually unchanged by the higher court.

In Joyce, a female golfer challenged her exclusion from a men’s-only golf tournament run by the Town of Dennis, even though she was willing to play by the “men’s” rules.  Ms. Joyce prevailed and received a modest damages award from the jury.  However, even though she prevailed on several important legal principles about equal access to public facilities, and even though the Town had fought the case aggressively, the trial court cut her attorneys’ fee award to a fraction of the actual time spent in part because of the low damages award and in part because the plaintiff had rejected a settlement offer for an amount close to what was recovered.  If the trial court’s reasoning were followed by other courts, lawyers representing plaintiffs would be found to reject cases that did not promise high damages awards, but only matters of principle.

In reversing the trial court, the Court of Appeals accepted several important points from MELA’s brief.  First, it made clear that it is improper in a civil rights case to link attorneys fees solely to the damage award, since often the victory involves vindication of rights not measurable in dollars – like enhanced access to a public facility.  Second, the court pointed out that often, civil rights victories help “the public as a whole,” not just the individual plaintiff.  Third, the court said that the fact that the Town had offered to settle the case for an amount close to but lower than what the jury awarded should not have been considered by the trial court in determining whether the fees requested were reasonable, but that the vigorousness of the Town’s defense should have been considered.  Thus, the appeals court acknowledged that plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t work in a vacuum, and must spend enormous amounts of time responding to employer’s tactical defenses.  The appeals court’s full decision can be found here.

Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky is proud to have played a role in this important victory for civil rights plaintiffs.

MRW Partners Again Recognized on List of “Best Lawyers in New England”

For the second year in a row, Dahlia Rudavsky, Ellen Messing and James Weliky have been recognized in “Best Lawyers In New England.”  Recently featured as a special insert in The Boston GlobeBest Lawyers bases its selections on a rigorous peer-review survey of attorneys from across the country.  Best Lawyers, published annually by U.S. News and World Report, has previously featured Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky in its list of “Best Law Firms.”  To learn more about Best Lawyers’ selection methodology, click here.