K. Todd Wallace is an attorney and founding partner of the law firm Wallace Meyaski LLC. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal and business professions with established excellence in trial advocacy, negotiation, strategic and initiative planning, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, and team building. For more information, click here.
Attorney Kenneth Todd Wallace served as the guest speaker at the New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA) Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Legal Perks meeting on July 24, 2018. This presentation followed a similar discussion led by Mr. Wallace on May 22, 2018. Due to the interest generated by the important topics addressed by Mr. Wallace in May, he was asked to lead a second round-table discussion at this most recent meeting.
Mr. Wallace led a presentation to local HR professionals on the latest developments and court decisions involving discrimination based on an employee’s physical appearance. His discussion included potential liability under Title VII, the American with Disabilities Act, and relevant state laws. Recent decisions regarding alleged discrimination based upon an employee’s hairstyle, weight, clothes, jewelry, sexual orientation, and transgender status present significant issues for employers to consider. As Mr. Wallace explained, a number of recent court decisions have potentially expanded an employer’s liability in the workplace due to discrimination based on an employee’s physical appearance. Employees and employers alike should understand the implications of this evolving area of the law.
Mr. Wallace had this to say during his presentation to local labor, employment attorneys and HR professionals, “for years, the courts rarely interfered with an employer’s business judgment to impose appearance and grooming standards unless the standard bore a clear and unequivocal relationship to a protected class. However, such policies should not have a disparate impact on any particular protected class regardless of the employer’s intention. Today, more and more courts have begun to expand Title VII liability in certain areas and, as a result, employers must stay on top of these developments.” He went on to add “employers should conduct training sessions with their human resource departments and supervisory personnel to ensure any workplace investigations, employment decisions and benefit offerings comply with Title VII protections as this area of the law evolves and potentially expands.”
Mr. Wallace also explained that most employers would agree that appearance is important. As a result, courts have upheld an employer’s legitimate business interest in employee appearance because first impressions, maintaining a certain corporate image, and the appearance’s impact on the perception of certain characteristics, are important and legitimate considerations.
While Title VII prohibits discrimination based on certain protected classes including race, color, age, religion, national origin, or disability, there are no comprehensive federal laws preventing an employer from making an employment decision based on an employee’s hairstyle, jewelry, facial hair, etc. However, an employer’s insistence on an employee’s “professional appearance” and “maintaining the right image” can be legitimate or nothing more than a means of cloaking intentional discrimination.
NOLA SHRM serves local affiliate of the Society for Human Resources Management, the world’s largest HR professional society representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. With more than 530 local members, NOLA SHRM is the only Louisiana SHRM Chapter to reach Mega-level membership providing us a greater professional networking benefit. Through NOLA SHRM learning opportunities, its members are empowered to be the voice of the profession using sound and ethical practices on human resource management issues. Since 1962, NOLA SHRM has served as a resource for local human resources professionals and businesses providing a forum for personal and professional development on issues related to human resource management, promoting fellowship, and offering various networking experiences to keep our members engaged and current on industry trends.
Mr. Wallace received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, LA. While at Loyola, he served as the Managing Editor of the Loyola Law Review, and as a member of the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team. Before law school, he received his Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
Website of NOLA: https://nola.shrm.org
About the event: https://nola.shrm.org/events/2018/07/legal-perk-july
Kenneth Todd Wallace, a respected Antitrust Law attorney based in New Orleans, LA, announced today his new legal blog http://KToddWallaceBlog.blogspot.com/ which will focus primarily on complex legal issues in the area of Antitrust Law, unfair trade-related legal matters, and complex commercial litigation.
The experienced antitrust law attorney has launched this blog with legal commentary and analysis in this complex area of the law in response to his perceived void of commentary in this area, particularly in the Gulf South.
“With all the recent developments and complex summaries regarding the evolving nature of Antitrust Law, I felt that I could help simplify the real issues at hand for those impacted by this area of the law.” said Kenneth Todd Wallace. As a legal practitioner, I am sharing the experience I have gained in almost 20 years of solving complex Antitrust Law issues,” he added.
The Blog features legal analysis and commentary on precedential court decisions and the impacts of those decisions on businesses in a broad range of industries. It will also include legal commentary and updates on important regulatory developments.
About K. Todd Wallace
Kenneth Todd Wallace is an attorney and founding partner of the law firm Wallace Meyaski, LLC. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal and business professions with established excellence in trial advocacy, negotiation, strategic and initiative planning, antitrust and employment law compliance, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, and team building.
Affords small and mid-sized companies on a budget access to legal advice without large retainer of hourly billings
New Orleans, LA (August 2018). The New Orleans Law Firm of Wallace Meyaski, LLC has announced that they are offering designated General Counsel legal services for an agreed-upon "fixed fee" for small and mid-sized companies. Given the increasing legal and regulatory complexity of today’s business environment, many companies are faced with the choice of either committing more and more resources to pay escalating outside counsel fees, or of taking on additional headcount and the associated costs and expenses to build an in-house legal and/or human resource team.
Explains attorney K. Todd Wallace: “We set out to find a way to encourage our clients to contact us more regularly, to involve us before an issue becomes a problem, and to depend upon our extensive experience in advising our corporate clients. What we offer is a third and, hopefully, more appealing option: a cost-effective way to retain the services of experienced corporate attorneys on a fixed-fee basis to guide and advise a corporate client each step of the way.”
With the costs of legal fees soaring to all-time highs, the law firm understands that businesses are too often reluctant to call upon outside counsel for fear of uncertain and excessive legal bills. Of course, when businesses fail to address important legal, HR, and corporate issues on the front-end, the legal costs associated with cleaning up the mess can easily exceed five to six times the cost had the client simply brought a lawyer in early on.
The team at Wallace Meyaski offer this unique approach whereby the client pays an agreed-upon fixed monthly fee to serve as the client’s outsourced General Counsel. At the end of the day, this approach encourages businesses to use and rely on the firm as the “inside” counsel on a regular basis while, at the same time, providing the client with a fixed cost that that it can properly budget without having to worry about surprising and unexpected legal costs.
K Todd Wallace adds, “we have developed a unique approach to helping small to medium size businesses who cannot afford to hire an in-house lawyer. We offer to serve as a client’s General Counsel for a fixed-fee (monthly fee) based upon a defined bucket of services.” He went on to add “that in today’s environment small to medium size business are the ones that are hurt the most impacted by the increasing legal and regulatory complexity of today’s business environment, because they are not properly represented. We hope this offers a solution for that problem.”
Wallace Meyaski, LLC offers a wide array of general counsel outsourced services, including the following areas:
Human Resources and Employment Services
Wallace Meyaski, LLC brings over twenty years of broad experience in the area of labor and employment law and human resources. As a result, they can provide you with day-to-day advice on how to handle every aspect of employee hiring, promotion, and termination and to implement policies and procedures to protect clients from unnecessary and costly litigation.
Commercial Contract Preparation and Review
As part of our monthly fee, the firm can draft new commercial contracts and review and revise any existing commercial agreements, including purchase and sale agreements, master service agreements, terms and conditions, commercial contracts, non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, employment-related contracts, consulting agreements, and property leases.
Corporate Succession and Corporate Governance
Wallace Meyaski, LLC recommend that companies regardless of size and scope take a good hard look at long-term business succession planning. In the simplest terms, succession planning is a process whereby an organization ensures that employees at all levels are recruited, developed, and maintained to fill each key role within the company. Succession planning also anticipates and addresses issues that inevitably arise with any change in management and/or ownership to ensure a smooth transition and long-term success for the company. Through a proper succession planning process, businesses recruit superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles.
For additional information:
Wallace Meyaski, LLC
5190 Canal Blvd., Suite 102
New Orleans, LA 70124
Mr. Kenneth Todd Wallace is an attorney and founding partner of the law firm Wallace Meyaski LLC. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal and business professions with established excellence in trial advocacy, negotiation, strategic and initiative planning, employment law compliance, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, and team building.
U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found that individual living and working in Texas does not have sufficient minimum contacts with Louisiana
New Orleans, LA (August 2018) - The law firm Wallace Meyaski LLC announced today that attorney Kenneth Todd Wallace was able to successfully move a federal court case to his client’s home state of Texas. Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana ordered that this case (Security Data Supply, LLC et al v. Nortek Security and Control, LLC et al) be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Comments K. Todd Wallace: “This order is of crucial importance in this case in that the Court properly concluded that it does not have personal jurisdiction over an individual client who lives and works in another state. Instead, to continue a lawsuit against him, it must be pursued in his home state of Texas.”
In this case, Plaintiffs Security Data Supply, LLC (“SDS”), and its franchise locations, brought claims for antitrust and price discrimination violations and violations of state laws in Louisiana, Texas, and California. While SDS is a wholesale distributor of electronic security systems and sells these systems through franchise retail locations, SDS filed antitrust and price discrimination claims against Defendants Nortek Security and Control (“Nortek”), Wave Electronics, Inc. (“Wave”), and Mr. Earnest Bernard. Nortek is a manufacturer of electronic security systems; Wave is a wholesale distributor of electronic security systems in competition with while E.B. is a former sales representative.
SDS and Wave sell Nortek products in direct competition with each other. SDS alleges that while E.B. was employed at Nortek, he provided Wave with preferential pricing on Nortek products to the exclusion of Wave’s competitors. SDS further alleges that Nortek sold identical products to SDS and Wave but intentionally discriminated in price, providing a lower price to Wave through a “Four Star Program,” a type of rebate program. SDS believes that this program allowed Wave to sell Nortek products at a lower price than SDS could purchase them. SDS also alleges that Nortek management was aware of this preferential pricing scheme and allowed it to continue long after E.B. left the company. The defendants, including E.B., have denied these unfounded allegations throughout the litigation. SDS alleges that they have been injured and SDS has lost at least 59 clients and $9.5 million per year. Therefore, SDS bring claims against Defendants for violations of the Robinson-Patman Act (“RPA”) (15 U.S.C. §13(a), (c), (d), (f)), and state law claims of corporate bribery and violations of state trade practices acts.
E.B sought to dismiss all claims against him, in part, based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction in a Louisiana federal court. Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana found that Mr. B. is an individual residing in the state of Texas. The Court noted that, since he was an employee of Nortek and worked in Texas, therefore, the Eastern District of Louisiana does not have general jurisdiction over him. Additionally, the Court found that Plaintiffs did not allege in their complaint that Mr. B. traveled to, or acted in, or directed any other actions within the state of Louisiana. Therefore, Mr. B. lacked sufficient contacts with Louisiana that would allow the Louisiana Court to exercise specific jurisdiction over him.
Mr. Wallace states, “as you can imagine we are very pleased that the Court properly considered the arguments we presented that Mr. B. lacks sufficient minimum contacts with Louisiana necessary to force a non-resident to defend himself in another state. If this case is to continue, Texas is the only appropriate venue.”
About K. Todd Wallace, Attorney in New Orleans
Mr. Wallace has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal and business professions with established excellence in trial advocacy, negotiation, strategic and initiative planning, employment law compliance, government relations, mergers and acquisitions, and team building. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, LA and while at Loyola, he served as the Managing Editor of the Loyola Law Review, and as a member of the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Team. Before law school, he received his Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
The underlying court case is at https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/louisiana/laedce/2:2017cv10578/204023/62/
Chapter on Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law was updated and written by experienced attorneys Dana M. Douglas and K. Todd Wallace to be published in late 2018 or early 2019.
New Orleans, LA (August 2018) - Antitrust Attorney Kenneth Todd Wallace of the law firm Wallace Meyaski, LLC announced today that he has co-authored a revised chapter with Dana M. Douglas for the upcoming fourth edition of the American Bar Association (ABA) Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer: A Transaction-Based Guide to Intellectual Property Law. Co-Author Ms. Douglas is a shareholder with Liskow & Lewis, whose practice is focused on commercial litigation and intellectual property. Mr. Wallace focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation matters, including the prosecution and defense of potential antitrust and other trade regulation violations.
The ABA Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer, Fourth Edition is a valuable and practical "go-to" reference guide for general practitioners, business lawyers, and corporate counsel who need to quickly learn and understand the intellectual property (IP) issues and challenges that may arise in various business contexts. Some of the topics to will be featured in the upcoming edition will be start-up companies, security interests, licensing, due diligence, bankruptcy, antitrust law, real property transactions and many more topics.
Most importantly, Wallace and Douglas remind companies and their legal counsel that if intellectual property rights are licensed to others, there are potential antitrust implications that must be considered. This flows from the fact that most antitrust laws prohibit certain “combinations in restraint of trade,” and many license agreements contain provisions that restrain how the licensed IP can be used. Therefore, license agreements may (even unintentionally) be interpreted as unlawful restraints on trade.
Mr. Wallace states that “I am honored to have been asked once against by the ABA Business Law Section to contribute with Ms. Douglas to the latest edition of the Intellectual Property Deskbook. I strongly believe that this particular deskbook serves as an important resource to both practitioners and in-house lawyers alike. It is an easy-to-follow resource that outlines effectively the key IP issues to be aware of and consider when drafting business agreements and considering business ventures. Our contribution is Chapter 13 entitled ‘Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law.’” He went on to add that “we look forward to the anticipated publication of the fourth edition of this deskbook by the end of 2018 or within the first quarter of 2019.”
This is not the first time that Mr. Wallace has been asked to write for the ABA. In 2006 and 2014, Mr. Wallace drafted and updated a chapter of the ABA Business Torts and Unfair Trade Competition Handbook, Ch. 9 (3d ed), entitled “Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Antitrust and Business Torts Litigation.” In 2009 and 2013, Mr. Wallace and Ms. Douglas co-authored the updated chapter on Intellectual Property and Antitrust Law for the second and third editions of the ABA Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer: A Transactions-Based Guide to Intellectual Property Law,” Ch. 13 (2d and 3d eds.).
Mr. Wallace frequently gives presentations and seminars on various business litigation matters. Most recently he gave a presentation at the New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA) Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) (July 24, 2018).
Mr. Wallace is a founding member of Wallace Meyaski, LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana. He focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation matters. His practice includes the prosecution and defense of potential antitrust and other trade regulation violations while also serving as antitrust advisory counsel for several clients. Mr. Wallace’s experience includes the seeking and obtaining of regulatory approval of mergers and acquisitions in compliance with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.
The current version (3rd Edition) of the ABA Deskbook is available at https://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=214020