Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cases --- May 29th through June 4th

Discrimination and Retaliation

*Pretlow v. James (10th Cir., May 31, 2016) (affirming summary judgment in favor of the Air Force on Pretlow's retaliation claim because the admitted reasons for his termination were not pretextual) 

Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease

*Chavez v. Colvin (10th Cir., June 2, 2016) (affirming denial of disability benefits: the administrative law judge's reasons for discounting the relevant medical opinions were neither insufficient nor illegitimate)

*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.  They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cases --- May 22nd through 28th

Contract/Noncompete/Trade Secret/Wrongful Termination


ERISA and Employee Pension Plans

*Romstad v. City of Colorado Springs (10th Cir., May 24, 2016) (affirming dismissal of plaintiffs' breach of contract claim (they did not allege a contract) as well as their due process claim (they did not allege a constitutionally protected right to continue participating in the pension plan at issue)

Workers' Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease


Adair v. City of Muskogee (10th Cir., May 26, 2016) (affirming summary judgment in favor of Muskogee because Adair could not demonstrate physical qualification as a firefighter, nor that the medical evaluation was illegal, nor that the city's reason for his termination was pretextual)

*Benavidez v. Colvin (10th Cir., May 26, 2016) (reversing denial of disability benefits because the administrative law judge improperly ignored a relevant medical opinion without justification)

Workplace Violence/Weapons

*Kerkhoff v. West Valley City District Court (10th Cir., May 23, 2016) (affirming dismissal for failure to state a claim because Kerkhoff failed to challenge some of the district court’s rationales for the order of dismissal)



*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.  They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cases --- May 15th through 21st

Contract/Noncompete/Trade Secret/Wrongful Termination

*Kuri v. Matrix Center (10th Cir., May 18, 2016) (affirming dismissal of Kuri's wrongful termination claim (for termination as a result of alleged methadone theft) for lack of federal jurisdiction)

*Freres v. Xyngular (10th Cir., May 18, 2016) (affirming denial of Xyngular's objecting to Freres' motion for attorney's fees following her prevailing at trial on termination as breach of contract)

Discrimination/Retaliation 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. PJ Utah, LLC (10th Cir., May 18, 2016) (reversing denial of Bonn’s motion to intervene because the relevant statute afforded the court no discretion in the matter. And dismissing Bonn's appeal from court ordered arbitration for lack of appellate jurisdiction)

*Craine v. National Science Foundation and Kansas State University (10th Cir., May 19, 2016) (remanding [implicitly reversing] Foundation rejection of Craine's claim that his termination by the University was retaliation; the court reprimanded the Foundation for its failure to provide any analysis for its decision)

Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease

Injured Workers Association of Utah, et al., v. State of Utah (Utah, May 18,2016) (declaring unconstitutional the Labor Commission's sliding fee schedule for attorneys representing injured workers because the Utah Constitution explicitly grants exclusive authority to govern the practice of law to the state supreme court, which "undoubtedly" covers the regulationof attorney fees)

*Jones v. Colvin (10th Cir., May 20, 2016) (affirming denial of disability based upon Jones's failure to show inconsistent or insufficient evidence against the determination)

*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.  They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Attorneys' Guide to Local Government Law

On Friday, May 13, 2016, D. Scott Crook will be a presenter in a Continuing Legal Education event hosted by the National Business Institute entitled Attorneys' Guide to Local Government Law.  Mr. Crook will be instructing on important topics related to employment lawyers who frequently appear on behalf of and before public entities: Public Records and Open Meetings Laws as well as Handling Labor and Employment Issues Unique to Government Entities.  To gain further information and to register for the event, please visit Attorneys' Guide to Local Government Law.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cases --- April 24th through 30th

Contract/Noncompete/Trade Secret/Wrongful Termination

Brenner v. Department of Workforce Services (Utah Ct. App., April 28, 2016) (affirming Workforce Appeals Board determination that Brenner had been discharged for just cause was supported by substantial evidence)


Needle v. Department of Workforce Services (Utah Ct. App., April 28, 2016) (affirming determination that Needle's "program advocates" are employees rather than independent contractors in the context of Utah's unemployment compensation regulatory scheme)


Heffernan v. City of Patterson, New Jersey (U.S., April 26, 2016) (reversing affirmation of Heffernan's demotion for perceived, rather than actual, exercise of his protected free-speech rights (a campaign lawn sign), and remanding to determine whether his 
supervisors were following a neutral policy prohibiting overt involvement in a political campaign) 

Unemployment Appeals


Schur v. Department of Workforce Services (Utah Ct. App., April 28, 2016) (affirming Workforce Appeals Board's entry of default against Schur because of his failure to participate in any of the three hearings arranged for him)


Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease


Nichols v. Jacobsen Construction Co. (Utah, April 28, 2016) (affirming district court decision (reversing court of appeals in part) that Jacobsen had satisfied the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and was thus an employer and immune from suit under the exclusive remedy provisions)


*Adkins v. Colvin (10th Cir., April 27, 2016) (affirming denial of disability benefits)



*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.  They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.