Labor

Experience

Rum Creek Coal Sales, Inc. v. Caperton, 926 F.2d 353 (4th Cir. 1991)

Assisted lead counsel in case against Governor where Fourth Circuit held state trespass statute unconstitutional and preempted. Also assisted in successful claim for attorney fees of $850,000.

BE&K Construction v. NLRB, 536 U.S. 516 (2002)

U.S. Supreme Court overruled circuit court holding that practice of the National Labor Relations Board of awarding attorney fees to all Unions who were not adjudicated liable in civil actions brought by Employers was a violation of the Employer's First Amendment right to petition. Filed amicus curiae brief in aid of Employer's successful claim on behalf of the Labor Policy Association.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated v. Teamsters Local 991, 210 Fed. Appx. 873, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 30758 (11th Cir. 2006)

Court overruled district court order granting judgment to Union enforcing arbitration award. Court held an arbitration award granting "make whole" ruling without quantifying the award was ambiguous and vacation of the award was appropriate.

IBEW, Local 1547 v. NLRB, 50 Fed. Appx. 814, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 18206 (9th Cir. 2002)

Court affirmed order of the National Labor Relations Board holding that an Employer may maintain a by-law prohibiting family members of Union employees or representatives from qualifying for Board membership.

New Beckley Mining Corp. v. UMWA, 18 F.3d 1161 (4th Cir. 1994)

Court upheld dismissal of Union claims of RICO against Employer. Court also upheld dismissal of Employer's allegations of civil RICO violations arising out of strike violence.

Teamsters Local 372, et al. v. Detroit Newspapers Agency, 956 F.Supp. 753 (E.D. MI 1997)

Court declined to dismiss civil RICO action by Employer against striking Unions. Court held Employer would prevail on civil RICO allegations alleging strike violence involving attempted murder, arson and extortion.

Smart Answers to Complicated Questions

Client: Bluegrass Cellular

Running a telecommunications company responsible for everything from tablets to cell towers means Bluegrass Cellular President and CEO Ron Smith often needs correct answers to complicated questions. And for 20 years, Dinsmore has been answering Smith’s questions on topics ranging from labor and employment to government regulations to OSHA.

“Certainly over the years we’ve had top-notch services from Dinsmore and have really enjoyed the relationship,” Smith said. “I don’t know how we could do our business without them.”

Bluegrass’ services include mobile devices and accessories, talk and text plans, data plans, mobile apps, wireless Internet, and mobile Internet. Staying in business means keeping up with ever-changing government standards that affect everything from human resource issues to cell tower placement and function.

Smith said Dinsmore helps navigate these and other issues by explaining all sides of the matter and then detailing the logic of their counsel. Dinsmore’s attorneys never provide Smith an answer without an adequate explanation.

“It’s more about our education and our being able to make a good business decision,” Smith said.

Smith also appreciates that Dinsmore has multiple attorneys working to ensure the success of his business.

“You develop a really good comfort that you’re not dealing with just one individual, but you’re dealing with a firm that’s pretty deep,” Smith said.

Rose v. Beverly Health & Rehab. Services (C.D. Calif.)

Plaintiff alleged a disability discrimination claim. The case was removed based on the collective bargaining agreement and then summary judgment was granted based on judicial estoppel for failure of Plaintiff to disclose the claim as an asset in bankruptcy. Currently pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lewis v. Ashland Inc. (D. Minn.)

Represented Valvoline in a lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging claims of violation of Minnesota’s statute regulating drug and alcohol testing by an employer (Lewis v. Ashland Inc. d/b/a Valvoline Instant Oil Change, D. Minn., No. 09-3515, 8/9/11). Summary Judgment was granted to Valvoline, as the Court stated that the plaintiff could not show that Valvoline lacked a “reasonable suspicion” to require him to undergo a drug test or that the company lacked a “rational basis” to discontinue the test based on his conduct at the testing center. In granting the Motion, the Minnesota Court found that Valvoline’s actions in terminating the former employee did not violate Minnesota’s statutes or common law exceptions to the employee at-will doctrine. Of note, in arriving at its decision, the Court highlighted the importance of the Valvoline’s internal human resources structure and management’s use of those channels in its decision to terminate.

Represented Coal Company in Acquisition of Mines

Dinsmore, led by Tom Rubenstein and Jason Sims, represented Coronado in a $420 million transaction that included 14 other attorneys from various practice groups within the firm. In the transaction, Coronado acquired the Buchanan Mine Complex in Southwest Virginia along with the idled Amonate Complex and additional undeveloped metallurgical coal reserves in Southwest Virginia and Pennsylvania from CONSOL Energy, Inc.

Dinsmore acted as lead counsel in the transaction and was responsible for nearly all legal issues concerning the transaction, including advising the client on environmental, tax, labor and employment, employee benefits and real estate issues.

This particular coal transaction involved complex issues because CONSOL Energy retained rights to the natural gas on these properties, which required Dinsmore to assist Coronado in the negotiation of cooperation agreements related to the properties and advising Coronado on the proper structure for the transaction based on the continuing relationship that will exist between Coronado and CONSOL Energy after the consummation of the transaction.

Coronado significantly increased its capacity with this acquisition and now has an enhanced position in the markets it serves with a greater ability to serve its customers and increase its overall sales.

Indemnification Claim

We successfully defended a national staffing company in a case where the adverse party sought indemnification in connection with claims brought by the EEOC based on the opponent’s allegedly wrongful conduct. The case was venued in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. We received a favorable judgment. The opponent was ordered to pay more than $2 million.

Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements Against Former Employees

This case involved enforcement of noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements against former employees who violated their employment contracts when they solicited numerous clients to switch brokerage companies. We successfully enforced the noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements on behalf of our client, the aggrieved insurance brokerage company, then obtained a favorable monetary settlement for our client.

Representation of International Malt Beverage Manufacturer

Representation of client over last 20 plus years on issues pertaining to distributors, distributorship acquisitions, advertising, employment and labor-related issues, antitrust (Kentucky tied house issues), and regulatory issues governed by Kentucky Department of Alcohol Beverage Control

Allegations of age discrimination against an international media company

In July 2014, we won a jury trial on behalf of an international media company against an allegation of age discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Our client had terminated the plaintiff, a 61-year old executive who had been with the company nearly 25 years, during a reduction-in-force. The plaintiff alleged that the company had targeted him for termination because of his age and had “covered up” the discriminatory reasons for his termination. The plaintiff also asserted that a disproportionate number of older workers had been let go in the years before the plaintiff’s termination, pointing to human resources documents and e-mails that discussed employee ages in the context of reductions-in-force. Lastly, the plaintiff alleged that the company failed to offer him a job in the reorganized company. The plaintiff sought up to $1.4 million in damages.

Prior to trial, we successfully moved the court to dismiss plaintiff’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, arguing that pursuant to Kentucky law the claim was precluded by his age discrimination claim. We also successfully limited the evidence plaintiff sought to use at trial, including evidence of the company’s overall financial state as described in public filings.

During the eight-day trial in Jefferson Circuit Court, we established the company’s non-discriminatory reason for plaintiff’s termination: his highly paid job position was eliminated for business reasons due to a corporate restructuring. The jury of seven men and five women determined that age was not a “substantial motivating factor” in terminating the executive or in refusing to offer him another job position, finding for the defendant on both counts of age discrimination. The plaintiff did not appeal the jury’s verdict and the case is now final.

9-RC-17844 - Rockspring Development, 353 NLRB No. 105 (2004-2009)

UMWA election where initial tally of ballots was 110 for and 103 against union representation with 9 outcome determinative challenged ballots in 2004. Represented clients in hearings on challenge ballots and appeals, including challenges on supervisory and managerial status of challenged voters. Ultimately, all ballots were opened with final election results in 2009 of 110 for and 112 against union representation.

27-CA-20837 – Foundation Coal West, Inc. (2008)

Successfully represented company in subsequent case regarding failure to promote union organizer and settled new allegations regarding additional distribution of literature issues.

6-RC-12619 – Simonton Windows (2008)

Represented employer in R proceedings on unit under-inclusive issues and succeeded in having union withdraw its petition. Also provided labor law training to supervisors.

9-CA-44064 – Magnum Coal Company and Apogee Coal Company (2008)

Successfully defended company in unilateral change charge on implementing drug testing program after company's discussions with union and it's clean unmistakable waiver.

9-RC-18206 – Carmeuse Lime LLC, (2008)

Represented employer in R proceedings and gave legal advice on lawful Section 8(c) communications during election campaign. Union won election 76-71.

Foundation Coal West, Inc., 352 NLRB No. 22 - 27-CA-20202; 27-CA-20295 (2007-2008)

Represented company in NLRB solicitation and distribution cases incident to union organizing drive and issues surrounding distribution of literature in a mixed-use venue.

9-CA-43629 - Carmeuse Lime LLC, (2007)

Successfully defended company in discharge case involving alleged union organizer discharged for repeated safety violations.

Kingston Resources - 9-RC-18041; 9-RC-18044 (2004-2005)

Represented company in successive R petitions filed by union and then withdrawn before R-hearing could be held. Provided labor law training to supervisors.

Lone Mountain Processing, Inc. - 11-RC-6591 (2005)

Represented company in election proceedings and provided both labor law training and legal advice during campaign on lawful NLRA 8(c) communications. Union withdrew petition on eve of election.

AEP Ohio Coal (2003)

Represented company in R-hearings, ULP charges and advice on lawful campaign communications. Company won R-hearing and ULP charges. Vote in union election was 110 for company and 49 for union with 29 ballots challenged by union.

Pittston Coal Group, Inc., 334 NLRB 690 (2001)

Successfully defended company in ULP case regarding failure to provide information which was outside control of employer and where employer made good faith effort to obtain. Employer not obligated as part of good faith efforts to end contractual relationship over negative reply of a contractor in order to force its cooperation.

Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. United Mine Workers of America, District 17, et al., 531 U.S. 57 (2000)

U.S. Supreme Court held that public policy considerations do not require courts to refuse to enforce an arbitration award ordering an employer to reinstate an employee truck driver even though he twice tested positive for drug use.  Worked with now-Chief Justice John Roberts, who was retained to do oral argument to the Supreme Court.

MHC, Inc. v. UMWA, 685 F. Supp. 1370 (E.D. KY 1988)

Early RICO case brought as result of UMWA violence. Court found that a pattern of violence requires "multiple episodes evincing a regular and ongoing course of conduct." Court held that violent acts such as murder and arson support a RICO claim and are sufficiently independent of labor law so as not to be preempted by it.

Marrowbone Development Company v. UMWA, (S.D.W.V. 1987)

Represented company in Section 303 damage case in federal court regarding union violence in secondary boycott where union defense was single employer claims. Won $6.8 million in damages.

Elk Run v. UMWA – (S.D.W.V. 1986)

Represented company in Section 303 damage case in federal court regarding union violence. Won $1.8 million in damages.

District 29, UMWA v. Royal Coal Company, 786 F.2d 588 (4Cir. 1985)

Case involved company's obligation to provide health benefits to retired and disabled miners after expiration of 1981 Wage Agreement when it ceased all active mining and did not execute 1984 Wage Agreement.