Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP RSS Feed Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800firmwise Hockaday Quoted on Commercial Carrier Journal Regarding DOL Worker Classification Guidance<p>Senior Associate Brent D. Hockaday is quoted in the <i>Commercial Carrier Journal</i> article &ldquo;Employee or independent contractor? DOL seeks to give motor carriers clarity and potential court protections.&rdquo; The article considers the implications for the trucking industry of a recent U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposal clarifying the test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.</p> <p>Hockaday notes, &ldquo;[T]he test considers whether workers are in business for themself or are economically dependent on another enterprise,&rdquo; adding &ldquo;Courts like to defer to the Department of Labor&rdquo; when making worker classification determinations.</p> <p>For commercial carriers, the proposed DOL test would provide additional clarity in instances when disputes arise between drivers and carriers, Hockaday notes. &ldquo;For carriers, you can feel like you have the best written contract in the world, and both parties [intend] to be in a contractor relationship &mdash; but it could be interpreted differently by the courts. They could be employee despite having contract.&rdquo;</p> <p>To read the full article, please click <a href="">here</a>.</p>News23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Ross Williams Quoted on Law360 Regarding Developments in Business Interruption Litigation<p>Bell Nunnally&rsquo;s Ross A. Williams is quoted in the <i>Law360</i> article &ldquo;Policyholders Undeterred By Insurers' First Ga. COVID-19 Win.&rdquo; The piece explores the implications of a recent court victory by an insurer in Georgia denying a pandemic-related business loss claim brought by a small business and offers commentary suggesting that, despite this decision, the broader coverage issue is still largely unresolved &ndash; in Georgia and beyond.</p> <p>Regarding the issue of insurers denying claims based on lack of &ldquo;physical loss,&rdquo; Williams commented, &ldquo;There is some hope for these arguments. I think that this is actually a really close question. I don't think that there's a lot of law that directly addresses what's supposed to happen in a pandemic.&quot;</p> <p>Williams added that pre-pandemic rulings that have held a coverable loss did not have to include a material or structural change. He also mentioned that there could be parallels between coronavirus-related cases and rulings, such as a recent one from a federal court in Louisiana. This case determined a change in perception of the quality of coffee beans stored at a warehouse during Hurricane Katrina was enough to trigger coverage, even absent physical changes to the beans.</p> <p>&quot;I think we're probably at the end of the first wave of this litigation cycle and your second wave of litigants are sitting back and saying, 'What's working here and what's not working?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>To read the full article, please click <a href="">here</a>.</p>News23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Chamber Symphony a 2020 "Obelisk Award" Recipient, Bell Nunnally Partner Ben Riemer Board Member<p>The Business Council for the Arts (BCA) has named the Dallas Chamber Symphony (DCS) a 2020 &ldquo;Obelisk Award&rdquo; recipient. The awards recognize &ldquo;outstanding partnerships between business and the arts.&rdquo; Bell Nunnally Partner Benjamin L. Riemer is a member of DCS&rsquo; board of directors and the firm submitted the organization&rsquo;s &ldquo;Obelisk Award&rdquo; nomination.</p> <p>To learn more about the Dallas Chamber Symphony, please click <a href="">here</a>.</p>News20 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Your Attorney Help You! Ensuring All Those I's Are Dotted and T's Are Crossed<strong>Event Details:<br /> <br /> </strong>Partner Karen L. Hart presented the webinar &quot;Help Your Attorney Help You! Ensuring All Those I&rsquo;s Are Dotted and T&rsquo;s Are Crossed&quot; for the National Association of Credit Management Southwest 2020 All South Digital Summit. <br /> <strong><br /> Date/Time:<br /> <br /> </strong>October 20, 2020<br /> 9:30 AM<br /> <strong><br /> Overview:</strong><br /> <br /> Details are an essential part of every credit professionals' job. Preparing your documents when establishing accounts can be essential to future collection efforts. This session will help you avoid mistakes that lead to loopholes that could cost your company in the long run. <br /> <br /> To view the PowerPoint from the presentation, please click <a href="/27F299/assets/files/Documents/Help Your Attorney Help You.pdf">here</a>. <br /> <br />Events20 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Bell Nunnally Attorneys Named to Texas Super Lawyers 2020 List Nunnally is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been selected for inclusion in <em>Texas Super Lawyers </em>2020 by Thomson Reuters, to be published in the November print issue of <em>Texas Monthly</em>.<br /> <br /> <em>Super Lawyers</em> recognizes lawyers from more than 70 diverse practice areas across Texas who have &ldquo;attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.&rdquo; Only five percent of attorneys in the state are selected for inclusion on this list, which is compiled through the publication&rsquo;s patented, multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.<br /> <br /> Bell Nunnally attorneys and areas of the law they were selected for are as follows: <ul> <li>Jeffrey J. Ansley &ndash; Criminal Defense: White Collar</li> <li>Ray A. Balestri &ndash; Mergers &amp; Acquisitions</li> <li>Mikel J. Bowers* &ndash; Business Litigation</li> <li>Jeffrey S. Lowenstein &ndash; Business Litigation</li> <li>Mark A. Shoffner &ndash; Employment and Labor</li> <li>John D. Smart &ndash; Employment Litigation: Defense</li> <li>Christopher B. Trowbridge &ndash; Business Litigation</li> <li>Jay M. Wallace &ndash; Employment &amp; Labor</li> <li>Beverly A. Whitley &ndash; Business Litigation</li> </ul> <strong>Media Contact:</strong><br /> Brittany Lewis<br /> Marketing Manager<br /> 214-880-6661<br /><br /> <br type="_moz" />Press Releases19 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Jeff Ansley Quoted in The Dallas Morning News Jeff Ansley is quoted in <a href=""><em>The Dallas Morning News</em></a> article titled &quot;Gov. Abbott: New criminal allegations against Texas AG Ken Paxton &lsquo;raise serious concerns.&rsquo;&quot;News15 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 House Passes Bill to Require Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers<p>On September 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) by a bipartisan vote of 329 to 73; however, it has yet to be passed by the U.S. Senate. The PWFA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to the known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, unless an employer can show that the accommodation imposes an undue hardship upon its business. <br /> <br /> <strong>Going Above and Beyond the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.</strong><br /> <br /> One may ask why this act is needed when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed 42 years ago, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. The PDA requires that pregnant women be treated the same as other employees or applicants on the basis of their ability or inability to work; and, under the ADA, a normal pregnancy is not disability. However, the PWFA requires that employers give preferential treatment to pregnant women.<br /> <strong><br /> Bill Would Require Reasonable Accommodations Similar to the ADA.</strong><br /> <br /> Borrowing heavily from the ADA, the PWFA applies to public and private employers with 15 or more employees, allows recovery of lost pay, compensatory damages and attorneys&rsquo; fees and forbids retaliation against a person asserting rights under the act. However, the PWFA goes beyond the ADA &lsquo;s definition of a &ldquo;qualified employee,&rdquo; which is one who can perform the essential functions of a job either with or without a reasonable accommodation. The PWFA&rsquo;s definition of a qualified employee includes one who cannot perform an essential job function for a temporary period, but who can perform it in the near future if the inability can be reasonably accommodated during the interim. The PWFA also prohibits an employer from requiring a qualified employee to take a leave, even a paid one, if another reasonable accommodation can be provided, as a leave can cause the loss of job opportunities and pay.<br /> <strong><br /> What Happens Next?</strong><br /> <br /> Given the broad support of the PWFA in the House, its approval by the Senate is likely sometime after the November 3rd election. So, now is a good time for employers to review their policies regarding hiring, accommodations, leaves and discrimination; and, Bell Nunnally is a phone call away and can help you with any aspect of this process.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>Newsletters & Client Alerts14 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 and Entertainment Attorney Brent Turman Quoted on CNBC Regarding Movie Theater Reopen Struggles<p>Senior Associate Brent A. Turman is quoted in the CNBC article &ldquo;Movie theaters in jeopardy as studios move blockbusters to 2021, audiences stay home.&rdquo; The piece looks at the fiscal health of movie theaters as they weather the pandemic and resulting shutdowns. It notes that a major release, &ldquo;Tenet,&rdquo; has so far failed to deliver hoped-for results in a partially reopened environment, boding poorly for the industry and coming against the backdrop of numerous pictures having their release dates pushed back. Turman, who is also <span>former president of the Texas Association of Motion Media Professionals, commented, &ldquo;A lot of companies have weathered the storm so far, but I think we all know the storm isn&rsquo;t over.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>To read the full article, please click <a href="">here</a>.</p>News06 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Litigation 2020 Guide Recognizes Bell Nunnally as a Top Firm in Texas and Features Seven Partners<p>Bell Nunnally has been named a &ldquo;Recommended&rdquo; firm in Texas in the <i>Benchmark Litigation</i> 2020 guide. In addition, six partners have been named &ldquo;Litigation Stars&rdquo; and one partner has been named a &ldquo;Future Star.&rdquo; The publication, which highlights firms and litigators of an &ldquo;elite&rdquo; status, bills itself as the &ldquo;definitive guide to the world&rsquo;s leading litigation firms and lawyers.&rdquo; <i>Benchmark Litigation </i>is the only publication on the market to focus exclusively on litigation in the U.S. and is part of a constellation of global ranking resources.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re honored to be featured collectively and individually in <i>Benchmark Litigation</i> &ndash; the top rankings publication amongst litigators and one frequently cited by clients as a major factor in their counsel decisions,&rdquo; said Christopher B. Trowbridge, Bell Nunnally managing partner. &ldquo;We are deeply appreciative of the votes of confidence our peers have cast for us &ndash; second only to the trust our clients have placed in us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Firm and individual selections for <i>Benchmark Litigation</i> are based on comprehensive interviews with clients, litigators and dispute resolution professionals. Casework and peer opinions are solicited and taken into consideration as well. Recommended firms are those consistently mentioned in interviews, &ldquo;Litigation Stars&rdquo; are those &ldquo;recommended consistently as reputable and effective litigators by clients and peers&rdquo; and &ldquo;Future Stars&rdquo; are those mentioned as &ldquo;building their reputations in the market.&rdquo;</p> <p>The following Bell Nunnally partners have been named as &ldquo;Litigation Stars&rdquo; in the <i>Benchmark Litigation</i> 2020 guide:</p> <ul> <li>Jeffrey J. Ansley</li> <li>Mikel J. Bowers</li> <li>Karen L. Hart</li> <li>Randall K. Lindley</li> <li>Christopher B. Trowbridge</li> <li>Beverly A. Whitley</li> </ul> <p>Partner R. Heath Cheek has been named a &ldquo;Future Star.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Media Contact:</strong><br /> Brittany Lewis <br /> Marketing Manager<br /> 214-880-6661<br /></p>Press Releases05 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800 Heath Cheek and Tammy Wood Mentioned on Attorney at Law Magazine for "Texas Legal Awards" Recognition R. Heath Cheek and Tammy S. Wood are mentioned on <a href=""><em>Attorney at Law Magazine</em></a> in the &quot;Talk of the Town&quot; section for being honored at Texas Lawyer's &quot;Texas Legal Awards.&quot;<br />News02 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0800