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March 2016 Archives

Labor dispute involves issue of joint liability for franchises

For businesses, managing workforce is an important task, and one which can easily lead to legal liability if it is done dishonestly or improperly. For businesses which have full control over their workforce, managing related liabilities is a relatively clear task, at least with respect to who is responsible, but what about companies that don’t have full control of their workforce, as is the case with franchises?

Work with experienced attorney to establish effective arbitration agreement

The Federal Arbitration Act, as we noted last time, is an important law in that it applies to all contracts involving interstate commerce, both in state and federal court. The Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws which are inconsistent with its provisions. 

Arbitration agreements in employment disputes

In our last post, we mentioned the increasing number of layoffs in the oil and gas industry, which has coincided with steady decreases in the price of oil. Along with that increase, there has been an increase in employment law disputes, though the increase has been tempered by the fact that employers and employees, in many cases, resolve their disputes through arbitration. In many cases, arbitration is compulsory under employment contracts.

CHOICE OF LAW UNDER OCSLA

The Fifth Circuit in Petrobras America, Inc., et al v. Vicinay Cadenas, S.A., No. 14-20589, (5th Cir. March 7, 2016) considered the choice of law provision under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act ("OCSLA").

Oil companies face increased litigation over terminations

Everybody has noticed significant decreases at the gas pump in recent months due to the decreasing price of oil. As oil prices have been significantly dropping over the last couple years, layoffs in the oil industry have picked up, particularly over the last year or so. Along with the employment cuts has come an increase in employment litigation.

Managing liabilities under the LUTPA: work with experienced counsel

In our last post, we began speaking about the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (LUTPA), and some of the criticisms that have been made regarding expansions of the law, including that the law as it currently stands has resulted in harm to both businesses and consumers.

OCSLA SITUS & INDEMNITY PROVISIONS

The Fifth Circuit in Tetra Technologies, Inc. v. Continental Insurance Company addresses a common and important issue for companies brought into litigation under the indemnity provision of a Master Service Agreement ("MSA"); whether the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act ("LOIA") voids an MSA's indemnity provision.

PUNITIVE DAMAGES UNDER THE JONES ACT

In Calvin Howard, et al v. Offshore Liftboats, LLC, No. 13-4811, Judge Susie Morgan of the Eastern District of Louisiana examined the issue of punitive damages under the Jones Act. slip op. (E.D.La. November 20, 2015). In this case, plaintiffs filed suit against their employer alleging negligence under the Jones Act and seeking punitive damages. Plaintiffs also sued a non-employer third party under general maritime law for negligence and unseaworthiness, as well as for punitive damages. Both defendants brought a motion to dismiss the punitive damage claims.

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