P&M Successfully Defends Contract Termination, And Helps Client Recover Attorney Fees

P&M successfully defended a national transportation and logistics company (“Logistics Company”) in an arbitration regarding the termination of multi-year contract relating to vending machines.  The vending machine supplier alleged the contract was prematurely terminated and sought three years of lost profits in damages.  The arbitrator found in the Logistics Company’s favor holding the contract had been properly terminated, and awarded the Logistics Company its attorney’s fees and costs.  Bob Nichols of P&M represented the Logistics Company.

NAMWOLF Business Meeting in San Antonio a Great Success!

P&M attorneys John Perez and Sarah Perez attended the 2015 Business Meeting for the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) last week in San Antonio, Texas.  At the Meeting, the organization delved deeper into how to position minority and women-owned law firms to increase their client base and best showcase their skills and expertise.  In addition, planning is well underway for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Hollywood, California.  We are proud to be members of this great organization and a huge thank you to the Texas-based firms who planned a productive and fun Meeting!

Pictured above: Members of the Labor & Employment Practice Area Committee enjoying a delicious meal at Bella on the Riverwalk.

 

Perez & Morris Funds Water Wells Through Thirst Relief International in 2014

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As an update on our 2014 well project, Perez & Morris was able to fund the construction of 60 Biosand Filters in each of Tanzania and Uganda and 6 wells in India in 2014 through Thirst Relief International (TRI), taking steps toward providing clean and safe water for the people in the surrounding areas.  According to TRI’s website, nearly 1 billion people still lack access to clean and safe water and nearly 1 million children die each year due to water-related illnesses.  Perez & Morris is passionate about this cause and has taken action. To learn more about how you can help too, visit thirstrelief.org.

Troy B. Morris Receives AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Troy BioPerez & Morris, LLC is pleased to announce that Co-Founder and partner Troy B. Morris has earned an AV® Preeminent™ rating fromMartindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.

An AV® Preeminent™ Rating is a distinct achievement and considered to be “the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous Peer Review Rating process.”  The rating signifies the “Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards,” to any individual lawyer and places Mr. Morris among the elite of fellow legal professionals.

Martindale-Hubbell, the legal industry’s leading and most respected rating organization, has been conducting peer-review ratings for over acentury to identify and recognize lawyers with the highest legal ability and ethical standards.  Lawyers are rated by their peers—attorneys and judges— in the categories of legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience as well as a high level of ethical standards.

Mr. Morris’s AV® Preeminent™ Rating indicates that other lawyers and judges rank him at the highest level of professional and ethical excellence.

Troy joins John Perez, Bob Nichols and Angela Savino as earning this AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  Troy’s primary practice is business, construction and large property loss litigation.  John’s primary practice is complex business transactions and business litigation; Bob (also an accountant) practices complex business litigation and trucking defense; and Angela’s practice is transportation and logistics, cargo contract negotiation (including international contracts), and litigation.

Highlights of President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration

Immigration Rally In Washington

President Obama announced yesterday, on November 20, 2014, a series of executive actions focusing on enforcement priorities and providing deferred action to ensure family unification. Generally, the actions include:

  • Expand the population of those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The current age cap is removed and applicants must demonstrate continuous presence in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. DACA approval will be valid for 3 years.
  • Establish the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program which allows deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010.
  • Expand the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Determine enforcement priorities to include (1) suspected terrorists, convicted felons (including aggravated felonies), convicted gang members, and persons apprehended on the border; (2) persons convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors and very recent border crossers (those who entered after January 1, 2014); and (3) those who, after January 1, 2014, failed to leave under a removal order or returned after removal.
  • Allow individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition subject to the quota backlog to obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment of status application.
  • Expand parole-in-place to include certain investors and families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces, as some branches of the military ban applicants who have undocumented family members.
  • Replace Secure Communities with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) which allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement to seek notification and transfer of those convicted of certain offenses or who pose a danger to national security.

More information will be provided in the coming months as the programs are implemented.  For questions, contact Laura Jurcevich, immigration attorney at Perez & Morris.

What is the H1-B Program? Attorney Laura Jurcevich Explains.

Laura Jurcevich

November is Family Stories Month.  For many in this country, immigration is a large piece of the family story, including tales of navigating our country’s complex immigration system.  At Perez & Morris, we are privileged to have assisted countless individuals, companies  large and small, universities and hospitals through the process of immigrating to the United States, in large part due to the experience and knowledge of attorney Laura Jurcevich.  Laura has been practicing immigration law for 9 years and has considerable experience assisting employers in obtaining H1-B visas for employees in specialty occupations.

The H-1B Program: What Is It?

The H1-B program allows US employers to obtain employment authorization for their employees who are in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one in which a bachelor’s degree or higher degree is normally the minimum requirement for the position. The H-1B process is a 2-step process. Step 1 involves obtaining a labor condition application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). Through the LCA, the employer informs the DOL of the position, prevailing wage, offered wage, place of employment, and length of expected employment. The employer agrees to pay the employee the higher of the prevailing wage or actual wage and has notified the collective bargaining representative, if applicable, or other similarly situated employees of its intent to fill the position with an H-1B nonimmigrant, i.e. posted legal notice at place of employment. This step requires some preliminary steps, such as obtaining a prevailing wage determination and compiling the public inspection file. Once the LCA is approved and certified, then step 2 requires the employer file the I-129 petition with USCIS, former INS. This petition requests the position be classified as a specialty occupation and the employee’s status be changed to H-1B status or, in the alternative, a H-1B visa be provided to the employee if outside the US. Once approved, the employee can begin working for the employer in H-1B status in accordance with the validity period.

Contact Laura for advice on the H1-B process or any of your other immigration-related questions.  We would be honored to be a part of the family story.

Bob Nichols of Perez & Morris Successfully Represents Quest Diagnostics Inc. before First District Court of Appeals

Urine SampleOn November 12, 2014, the Court of Appeals issued its decision in favor of Quest holding that Plaintiff’s request to do DNA testing on a urine sample was preempted by The Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 (“FOETA”).  Plaintiff was a school bus driver subject to mandatory drug testing under FOETA.  Urine samples submitted by Plaintiff tested positive for cocaine, and he alleged negligence against the collection facility.  Plaintiff alleged the urine was not his and demanded DNA testing.  The Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s ruling mandating production of the urine sample, and held no DNA testing was allowed under FOETA.  See App. No. C-130810, 1st Dist. Ohio.

Perez & Morris regularly counsels and represents employers on issues related to drug and alcohol testing, including drafting policies and procedures to protect employers and best position them to be able to defend against claims.  Contact Bob Nichols, John Perez or Sarah Perez for more information regarding our experience in this area.

P&M Welcomes Attorney Andrew Arbeit to its New York Office

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Attorney Andrew Arbeit recently joined Perez & Morris’ New York office, practicing workers’ compensation defense. A 2007 graduate of New York Law School, Andrew brings more than 7 years’ experience in workers’ compensation defense on behalf of self-insured employers, insurance carriers and third party administrators. Welcome, Andrew!