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July 2015




Proposed Regulations Increase FLSA’s Salary Requirements and Expand Workers Entitled to Overtime

By: Marty Heller

In the spring of 2014, President Obama directed the Department of Labor to dramatically update the regulations covering the “white collar” exemptions (primarily the executive, administrative and professional exemptions).  Although the President’s exact directive to the Department of Labor was not public, speculation was that the President wanted to both increase the minimum salary for these exemptions and to modify the “duties” tests in the regulations to make them easier to understand and comply with. 

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United States Supreme Court Limits Sign Ordinances

By: Phil Savrin

The Supreme Court issued a number of landmark decisions at the end of its recent term, including upholding a key portion of the Affordable Care Act and requiring states to allow same-sex marriage.  These decisions overshadowed some less-known but important cases in their own rights.  One such case is Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the Supreme Court struck down a local ordinance that regulated the size, location and duration of signs that directed members of the public to temporary events. 

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SEC Warns Customers and Financial Advisors Regarding Overstated Credentials

By: John Goselin

They say everybody does it.  Embellishing your resume to get a job, attract business or get ahead in this highly competitive world.  Well, if you work in the financial services industry and are trying to attract customers to invest their money with you, you better think twice.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is highlighting their efforts to crack down on overstated credentials and warning potential investors that overstated credentials are a red flag for fraud. 

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FCC Announces New TCPA Declaratory Rulings

By: Matt Foree

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced in a press release that it issued a package of declaratory rulings regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The FCC declared that it “adopted a proposal to protect consumers against unwanted robocalls and spam texts.”

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Firm and Attorney News 

 

 

 Ben Mathis was elected as the new President of the Professional Liability Attorney Network (PLAN). Dana Maine was elected to the Board of Directors.  PLAN is an invitation only organization of leading law firms from throughout the United States that have significant practices in Directors and Officers, Employment, Cyber & Data breach, Professional Errors and Omissions, Fiduciary, and Financial services/FINRA.

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 FMG partners Dana Maine and Jeff Grate continued the firm's run of successful trials in 2015 in obtaining a very favorable jury verdict in Fulton Superior Court. The plaintiff contended that a local government was negligent  in causing the plaintiff's property to flood resulting  in "substantial mold growth" and other significant property damage.

At the conclusion of a five day trial, plaintiff's counsel argued to the jury that they should return a verdict of at least $300,000 dollars, contending that the owners deserved significant compensatory damages from living with the mold growth and the diminished value of the property. While cases of this type have seen significant awards around Georgia and the country,  the jury returned a verdict for  a small fraction of the damages sought in awarding only $17,500.‎  

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 Sun Choy, Brian Dempsey, and Kevin Stone recently prevailed in an excessive force case which was brought in federal court.  The plaintiff, a charge nurse at a psychiatric hospital, had alleged that police officers forcibly restrained her and used a Taser against her after she refused to allow the officers to execute an arrest warrant for one of her patients.  On summary judgment, the federal court accepted the officers’ argument that their use of force was reasonable as a matter of law.

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 Wayne Melnick was appointed to a three-year term as a Northern District of Georgia representative to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA).  Wayne was also appointed as the national vice-chair of the Municipal Law Committee of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM).

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About Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP

Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading national litigation firm, serving clients through its practice groups in CGL and Business Liability, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Construction and Design Law, Financial Services and Transactions, Government Law, Government Relations, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Labor and Employment Law, and Professional Liability. With offices in Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Florida, FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues. For more information about FMG, visit www.fmglaw.com.




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