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Andrews Myers Welcomes Two New Attorneys; Monthly News

AM MONTHLY LAW ALERT
JULY 2016

 

ANDREWS MYERS WELCOMES TWO NEW ATTORNEYS


      T. CHAMPE FITZHUGH JOINS THE FIRM AS A SHAREHOLDER IN AUSTIN     

Champe Fitzhugh represents a wide-range of corporate clients in both noncontentious and contentious matters. His corporate/commercial practice centers on the formation and restructuring of commercial entities, as well as the acquisition, financing and disposition of business enterprises, the preparation of various contracts and agreements, and the representation of clients in their ongoing business activities.  

Serving as general counsel for a wide array of national and international clients in the energy, chemicals, real estate, construction and hospitality industries, Champe has transactional experience in entity formation, equity and share acquisitions and dispositions, cross-border acquisition issues, project finance and corporate finance issues and various other business functions.

His litigation experience involves both jury and bench trial courts and includes matters related to breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation claims, temporary injunctions, summary judgment and various other corporate-related disputes. Champe has also represented construction clients in American Arbitration Association proceedings and several International Chamber of Commerce arbitrations. 

Prior to joining the firm, Champe was a Shareholder of a Texas-based corporate law firm in their Austin office.  A copy of his complete biography can be found here

Champe Fitzhugh can be reached at 512-900-3032 and cfitzhugh@andrewsmyers.com.
 

          T. JOSH JUDD JOINS THE FIRM AS SENIOR COUNSEL IN HOUSTON          

Josh Judd’s areas of expertise include bankruptcy and reorganization, commercial law, including contract disputes, securities fraud, debt collection, creditors’ rights and partnership and corporate governance disputes. He is a first chair trial attorney who represents clients in both bankruptcy and state courts.

Josh directly handles all aspects of Chapter 11 reorganizations, including Chapter 11 plan negotiation and confirmation, preparation of disclosure statements, fraudulent transfer and preference actions, bankruptcy-related litigation, creditor committee representation and bankruptcy settlements.  He also regularly advises lenders on loss mitigation, structured settlements and streamlining work-outs within pre-approved terms and conditions.

Prior to joining the firm, Josh was an Associate at a Texas-based corporate law firm in their Houston office. A copy of his biography can be found here

Josh Judd can be reached at 713.850.8218 or jjudd@andrewsmyers.com


NOT TAKING ACTION ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS CAN COST YOU

By Tony Stergio

A Houston jury awarded a former health care clinic employee $522,000 in damages in a lawsuit alleging that the former employee’s sexual harassment complaints went unaddressed for months.  While the Company asserted that an investigation was completed and remedial actions taken, the jury found that the actions taken by the employer were inadequate. 

This Jury verdict, which included a finding for $250,999 in punitive damages, underscores the importance of undertaking full investigations of sexual harassment claims and taking prompt action to eliminate potential sexual harassment.  When a sexual harassment complaint is made, the accuser and the accused should be separated from one another, to the extent possible, immediately, pending investigation.  Once an investigation is concluded, decisions regarding permanent changes and possible discipline should be considered in light of what is learned from the investigation.  An employer cannot ignore sexual harassment complaints or wait for an investigation to be complete before taking action.  Failure to quickly respond to these allegations can cost you.


ENFORCEABILITY OF CONTRACTUAL LIQUIDATED DAMAGES PENALTIES
By  Andy Harris


A liquidated damages clause is designed to estimate and apportion damages for non-performance or breach of contract when the actual damages may be unknown at the time of contracting. However, sometimes a party will seek to discourage non-performance by imposing liquidated damages that exceed the likely economic loss for the harmed party. Such excessive damages can be characterized as contractual penalties.  Read more... 


U.S. SUPREME COURT REVERSES 5TH CIRCUIT DECISION REGARDING DEBTS DISCHARGEABLE IN BANKRUPTCY
By Lisa Norman


Some debts are not discharged in bankruptcy and will survive a debtor’s bankruptcy case.  For instance, a debt arising from the debtor’s “actual fraud” can be deemed non-dischargeable under Section 523(a)(2)(A).  Circuits have been split on what constitutes “actual fraud.”  The U.S. Supreme Court has now resolved this spilt in authority with its 7-1 opinion in the Husky Int’l Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz case, which first arose out of the Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of Texas. Read more...


TRENDING: GENERAL CONTRACTORS ASSESS SAFETY FINES
By Chris Love


Some GC’s have begun to assess monetary fines and penalties against subcontractors for what they perceive to be alleged jobsite safety violations. The question becomes, are these GC imposed safety penalties and fines enforceable?  Does a Subcontractor really have to pay them? The answer to both is probably not in most cases.

There is a long standing legal tradition in Texas which favors a parties’ freedom to contract. As a rule, parties have the right to contract as they see fit as long as their agreement does not violate the law or public policy.  Freedom of contract allows parties to bargain for mutually agreeable terms and allocate risks as they see fit. 
 Read more...


NEW DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS FOR CONTRACTORS
By Elaine Howard


The Department of Labor has updated the regulations for Executive Order 11246, which was originally issued in 1965 and currently prohibits employment discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.  Employers with federal contracts or subcontracts totaling $10,000 or more over a 12-month period, unless otherwise exempt, are covered by this Executive Order. Read more...


 

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