— Posts About NCBA

Jon Harkavy Presents Annual Paper on SCOTUS Employment Law Decisions

On October 21st, at the 27th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy presented his 2010-11 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled “Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2010 Term.”  (Please download his article from here.)

 Introduction:  The 2010 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States put a spotlight on the significant – though oddly unheralded – role that employment law plays in our country’s economy and in our citizens’ daily lives. One of the nation’s keenest (and self-described “obsessive”) Court observers recently characterized this term as “straight-up dull.” Emily Bazelon, “Chamber of Pain,” The New York Times Magazine, p. 9 (August 7, 2011.) My own judgment, however, is that what the Justices did in the employment area was consequential, if not downright exciting.  Through a number of employment-related cases, a cohesive and assertive majority of the Court fashioned the law to fit its socio-economic (if not overtly political) view that the employment relationship ought to be deregulated.  In doing so, the Court continued to pursue what the Reagan revolution began and the Tea Party followers hope to complete.  But more about that later.  For Court observers of all political stripes, the 2010 Term’s smorgasbord of decisions provides a feast to be savored and debated for months to come.

Categories: Judicial Decisions, News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , ,

Narendra Joins NCBA Labor & Employment Section Council

In firm news, Narendra Ghosh was recently selected for a three-year term on the Section Council of the North Carolina Bar Association Labor & Employment Section.  Narendra is currently one of the Newsletter Editors for the Section.  His term on the Council starts next year.

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , ,

Harkavy Presents 2009-10 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 26th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Asheville, North Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy will present his 2009-10 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court Employment Law Decisions, 2009 Term.

Introduction: The 2009 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States illustrated in unmistakable fashion the central role that workplace regulation plays in the lives of our citizens. The Court’s determination of a broad range of employment-related issues maintained its focus on employment law that began several terms ago. Not only do this term’s decisions affect a variety of policies and rules applicable to workers, employers and benefit providers, but the Roberts Court’s unabashed interest in doctrinal development, revealed by a deeper look at its decisions, also is reshaping the employment relationship itself and altering how work-related disputes are to be resolved.  Read more…

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , ,

Narendra Speaking at Start-Up Boot Camp for Lawyers

Narendra Ghosh will be speaking tomorrow at the Start-Up Boot Camp and Marketing Conference, a two-day event put on by the North Carolina Bar Association’s Center for Practice Management.  The Boot Camp is a program dedicated to the practical details of starting and running a law practice.  Drawing on his past experience as a computer programmer, and work on the website you’re reading, Narendra will be speaking about “Considerations for Your First Firm Website.”

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , ,

Burton Writes on Comparative Fault Legislation

Burton Craige has published an article entitled “The Road to Comparative Fault in North Carolina” in this month’s issue of The Litigator, the regular publication of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Litigation Section.

Summary:  North Carolina is one of only five jurisdictions that retain the antiquated doctrine of contributory negligence. Here, as in Alabama, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, a plaintiff whose negligence makes the slightest contribution to his injury is barred from recovering any damages against the tortfeasor. The other 46 states, either by judicial decision or by statute, have adopted some form of comparative fault, allocating damages based on the degree of fault among the plaintiff and the defendants.

In May 2009, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill that would abolish contributory negligence, adopt a system of modified comparative fault, and modify joint and several liability.  Modeled on the Uniform Apportionment of Tort Responsibility Act (UATRA), the bill attracted bipartisan sponsorship and support.  After the sponsors agreed to several last-minute amendments that favored defendants, the bill (HB 813) passed by a margin of 67-50, overcoming strong opposition from business and insurance interests.

In the 2010 session, the North Carolina Senate will consider HB 813.  If the bill passes the Senate, it will end the long, harsh regime of contributory negligence, and bring North Carolina tort law into the modern era.  This article discusses the provisions of UATRA, the amendments adopted in the House, and the principal objections to the bill.

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jonathan Harkavy Presents 2008-09 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 25th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Charleston, South Carolina, Jonathan Harkavy will present his 2008-09 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2008 Term.

Summary: The 2008 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, forged in volatile economic times and framed on a changing political palette, not only reaffirmed the Court’s interest in employment-related cases, but also revealed a growing institutional confidence in shaping employment law. While a fully coherent approach to employment disputes continued to elude the Court, it was not for lack of trying, as the Justices decided nearly a dozen cases treating some aspect of the employment relationship. Notably, these cases, many of which were determined by closely divided votes, mirror a deep philosophical fracture portrayed more broadly across the spectrum of the Court’s work. All in all, therefore, the 2008 Term was one of high interest for both the employment bar and the general public, as well as one of considerable consequence for workers, employers, and labor organizations.

Read more…

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , ,

Narendra Speaks at NCBA CLE on Labor Law and the Employee Free Choice Act

Narendra Ghosh spoke at the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2009 Fundamentals of Employment Law CLE, which was held in Greensboro.  He was part of a duo presenting an overview of the National Labor Relations Act and the possible changes to it from the long-pending Employee Free Choice Act.  Along with Tom Farr, he presented a paper entitled A Brief Introduction to Union and Employee Activities Under the NLRA and Proposed Changes Under the Employee Free Choice Act.

Summary: The National Labor Relations Act (the “Act” or the “NLRA”) guarantees the right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, or to refrain from such activity. To enable employees to exercise these rights and to prevent labor disputes, the Act places certain limits on the activities of both employers and labor organizations.  The text that follows is an introduction to pre-certification union and employee activities under the Act, which is intended for new practitioners. In addition, this paper describes changes to the Act that have been proposed in the Employee Free Choice Act, which is currently pending in Congress. Whether changes need to be made to the Act, and what forms they should take, are hotly debated questions, and this paper aims to illuminate the contours of the debate.

Categories: General News Tags: , , , , , , ,

Burton Speaks at NCBA CLE on Sex, Family, and the Constitution

Burton Craige spoke at a North Carolina Bar Association CLE on Sex, Family, and the Constitution, which was put together by the NCBA Constitutional Rights & Responsibilities and Family Law Sections.  He spoke on the topic of child custody by non-biological parents.  He presented a paper, written along with Narendra Ghosh, entitled Custody Disputes Between Natural Parents and Third Parties: Mason, Estroff, and Heatzig and Beyond.  Burton was one the of the lawyers for the plaintiff in Heatzig.

Summary: With increasing frequency, state courts have been confronted with custody disputes between the biological mother and a former same-sex partner who shared the responsibility of raising the child. In 2008, the North Carolina appellate courts addressed the issue for the first time. In a trio of unanimous decisions – Mason v. Dwinnell, Estroff v. Chatterjee, and Heatzig v. MacLean – the North Carolina Court of Appeals defined the circumstances in which the former partner would be entitled to a custody determination based on the best interest of the child. Because the opinions apply the law to three sets of facts, they provide especially helpful guidance to attorneys and the trial courts.

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jonathan Harkavy Presents 2007-08 Annual Supreme Court Review of Employment Law Cases

At the 24th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law CLE held in Asheville, Jonathan Harkavy presented his 2007-08 annual review of the Supreme Court’s employment law cases.  His paper is entitled Supreme Court of the United States Employment Law Commentary, 2007 Term.

Summary: The 2007 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States provided fresh and persuasive evidence of the centrality of work in our lives and the significance of employment law in our jurisprudence during this first decade of the new century. Nearly one out of four civil cases on the Court’s opinion docket involved disputes concerning some aspect of employer-employee relations. How the law regulates and affects the employment relationship thus continued to find detailed, if not fully coherent, expression in the Court’s opinions during the 2007 Term. This paper first reviews the term’s decisions arranged largely by subject matter. The italicized paragraphs preceding and following the cases offer some personal commentary on the decisions and their likely impact on workers, employers, and their lawyers, and more generally on our employment laws. Following this term’s cases are brief summaries of the grants of certiorari in employment-related cases for the 2008 Term. The paper concludes with a brief observation about the structure of federal employment law in the wake of the Court’s recent decisions.

Categories: News of the Firm Tags: , , , , , , ,