We asked Colin W. Walsh, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Rob Wiley, P.C., to impart his candid answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Mr. Walsh carries.
1. What do you like most about being an employment lawyer?
I enjoy getting tangible results for my clients and being involved in an area of law that affects everybody every day.
2. What is the most important issue to you of being an advocate?
One of the most important issues to me as an advocate is to not only zealously represent my clients, but also the law.
3. What kind of clients do you like best?
I like the clients that I am able to help who were not able to find help elsewhere. On a couple of occasions now, a client has told me that my firm is the first one that has listened to his or her issue and offered any kind of assistance.
4. What do you think is the most important part of a good case?
The client. If the client is not invested, then the other side won’t take it seriously and neither will the jury.
5. What labor and employment issues do you think are currently trending?
The biggest employment discrimination issues I see right now are related to age, disability, and pregnancy discrimination. For some reason, these types of discrimination seem to be acceptable to employers. The other issues right now are minimum wage and overtime pay.
6. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?
Justice William Brennan.
7. What would you say to HR of a company about how to treat employees?
It would be to listen to your employees. Most employees are not looking to sue when he or she goes to Human Resources. These employees are sincerely looking for help. Nothing makes an employee seek legal counsel like when he or she complains about something and HR starts investigating the employee instead of the complaint.
8. Besides Rob Wiley, P.C., what is the most interesting job that you have had?
The most interesting job I’ve had is working as an extra in film and television. I should have known that I was destined to be a lawyer at that point because two of my biggest gigs were the TV show “Boston Legal” and the film Charlie Wilson’s War.
9. What is your favorite food?
Meat pies. I first discovered them when I studied abroad in undergrad. I can’t believe these have not caught on in the U.S. because they are brilliant.
10. What’s the best part of living in Austin?
All of the outdoor festivals. And the Longhorns.
Colin W. Walsh is a Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Rob Wiley, P.C. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in theatre in 2006. Mr. Walsh then graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with honors in 2011.
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsDefendant contends that even if there was a common illegal policy, the suit cannot proceed as a collective action because Defendant will assert defenses that require individualized analysis for each putative class member (Dkt. #22 at p. 12). Challenges in litigating the suit or a particular need to address each perspective member of the collective… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsPlaintiff offers testimony that he performed the duties of a mortgage loan officer working for Defendant . . . . Plaintiff provides declarations of other individuals who claim the same primary job duty. Further, Plaintiff asserts that the “same pay practice” is Defendant failing to pay loan officers compensation tied to actual hours worked, denying… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsEven if the attorney-client or work-product privileges were to apply, Herzing waived the privileges by asserting the Faragher-Ellerth defense. When a Title VII defendant affirmatively invokes a Faragher-Ellerth defense that is premised at least in part on an internal investigation, the defendant waives the attorney-client privilege and work- product doctrine for all documents created as… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsIt is clear that, pursuant to Herzing’s policy, the investigation would have been conducted regardless of whether litigation ensued. As a result, the investigation was conducted in the ordinary course of business. Accordingly, the work-product privilege does not apply to Baiocchi’s notes. Ambrose-Frazier v. Herzing Inc, No. 15-1324, 2016 WL 890406 at *4 (E.D. La.… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsDefendant has presented no evidence that it would have immediately terminated Plaintiff once she expended all her FMLA leave. In fact, Plaintiff declared that she was injured in an automobile accident in 2010, that she missed approximately twenty-one weeks of work, and that Defendant granted her nine weeks of non-FMLA leave after she exhausted her… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsIn the Court’s opinion, the evidence cited above is sufficient to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether Plaintiff actually violated the advance notice policy, which only requires that an employee provide notice to her supervisor. The record contains evidence that Plaintiff’s immediate supervisors and the director of her department knew that… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsThus, in certain situations, an employee’s wages may include “the reasonable cost, as determined by the Administrator, to the employer of furnishing such employee with board, lodging, or other facilities.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(m). However, such reasonable cost of lodging can only be computed when determining the employee’s regular rate of pay, such as when… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Cat's paw,Imputing Improper Motive,Pretext As discussed above, Hauss allegedly misrepresented the erratic test results—which Dr. McKinnon and Audiologist Sanders attribute to Brown’s hearing disability—to the decisionmaker Goodson, thereby creating a factual issue as to whether Hauss exhibited disability-based animus. In turn, Goodson conducted a subsequent investigation into Brown’s conduct, including, among other things, consultation with Hauss. Goodson testified… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsIn view of these expert opinions that Brown’s hearing impairment caused his unusual results, and given the fact that these results undisputedly resulted (one way or the other) in his termination, the Court finds sufficient evidence of a causal nexus between Brown’s disability and termination. Brown v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., No. 1:13-cv-00176-SA-JMV, 2015… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Immunity/Affirmative DefenseAssuming Shannon authorized the Church to speak with the Seminary, the Church nevertheless was bound to communicate in accordance with the terms of its Agreement. We conclude that in signing the authorization, Shannon did not unequivocally manifest the intent not to assert any of her rights under the Agreement. In other words, Shannon did not… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Immunity/Affirmative DefenseHere, the Church did not present evidence of any statements to the Seminary relating to Shannon’s violation of any policy of the Church or failure to perform her job as required by the Church. The Church did not establish that Steane’s statement expressing doubts about Shannon’s ability to solicit donations for the Seminary was related… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Immunity/Affirmative DefenseThe Church moved only on the ministerial exception as a jurisdictional bar and did not move for summary judgment as to this affirmative defense. Accordingly, the trial court erred to the extent that it concluded it did not have subject matter jurisdiction over Shannon’s claims under the ministerial exception. We sustain Shannon’s fifth issue. Shannon… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Immunity/Affirmative Defense The Church argues that it is immune from suit because “what is ‘disparaging’ involves subjective judgment through the eyes of the Church.” To the contrary, applying the plain meaning of the word “disparage,” a factfinder could determine whether the Church belittled Shannon or “reduce[d her] in esteem or rank” when, as alleged, (1) a Church… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in FMLA violationsWhile courts determine the validity of arbitration agreements, whether the contract forbids collective arbitration does not fall within the limited circumstances under which “courts assume that the parties intended courts, not arbitrators, to decide a particular arbitration-related matter,” because the question involves contract interpretation regarding the “kind of arbitration proceeding the parties agreed to. … Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Age discrimination“While the district court cites cases for the propositions made by an applicant and has no duty to verify information, it is worth noting that Thomas was not even asked about his education during the interview.” E.E.O.C. v. DynMcDermott Petroleum Ops. Co., 537 Fed. Appx. 437, 446(5th Cir. July 26, 2013) (Davis, Graves, and Higginson,… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Age discrimination,Disability discrimination“As we have noted, while a showing that a plaintiff is clearly better qualified is one way of demonstrating that the employer’s explanation is a pretext, it is not the only way … the question is whether the assessment, even if incorrect, was the real reason for the action.” E.E.O.C. v. DynMcDermott Petroleum Ops. Co.,… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Age discrimination,Disability discrimination“After Lewis disagreed with Wood’s desire to Swafford, Wood repeatedly informed Lewis that he was violating federal law because Lewis was discriminating based on age and disability. Also the record indicates that Hojem did not make any assurance to Wood regarding retaliation until weeks later—after Wood had already decided to interview Thomas, who he had… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Retaliation“While it is true that these statements are few in number, and that much of the meeting was spent discussing other subjects, their number does not strip the statements of their status as evidence. After a court draws the negative inference that Sheriff Cutler was negatively referencing Haverda’s letter to the editor, the amount of… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Discrimination“He also offered evidence of a history of positive performance reviews, as well as the testimony of Major Robinson … Haverda highlights that the demotion memorandum does not explain how his performance was weaker than that of the other Jail Command Staff members, and that Sheriff Cutler could not explain this distinction during his deposition. … Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Discrimination“The issue is not whether Haverda could have been demoted for the condition of the jail, but whether he would have been demoted if he had not engaged in protected activity.” Haverda v. Hays Co., 723 S.W.3d 586, 597 (5th Cir. July 17, 2013) (Martinez, J.).… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Age discrimination,Disability discrimination“There is no dispute that Lewis was Wood’s direct supervisor and was responsible for Wood’s performance evaluations and implementation of disciplinary actions…. Woods pay and any raises were merit-based and dependent on performance reviews done by Lewis. There is additional evidence … that Lewis had refused to communicate with Wood and had removed some of… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Retaliation“The district court’s belief that Appellees had established beyond dispute that they did not demote Haverda because of his speech has nothing to do with the qualified immunity defense.” Haverda v. Hays Co., 723 S.W.3d 586, 599 (5th Cir. July 17, 2013) (Martinez, J.).… Continue Reading
By Colin W. Walsh on Posted in Retaliation“The content—support for Kaelin’s opponent—and form—participation in a PAC—of the speech at issue clearly support the notion that it involved matters of public concern, as we have previously held that there can be no question that . . . associating with political organizations and campaigning for a political candidate related to a matter of public… Continue Reading