Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP RSS Feed Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800firmwise Nunnally's Saba Syed and Sydnie Shimkus Accepted into Higginbotham Inn of Court<p>Bell Nunnally attorneys Saba F. Syed and Sydnie A. Shimkus have been accepted into the Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court. Syed was selected as a Barrister, and Shimkus was selected as an Associate. Partner Jeffrey S. Lowenstein is a Master of the Inn.</p> <p>Members are divided into three categories based on their legal experience: Masters, Barristers and Associates. Each level consists of members of the legal community interested in litigation. The membership term for Masters is unlimited; Barristers participate for three years; and Associates have a one-year term. Election for new members is held prior to the beginning of a new term in September.</p> <p>Syed routinely represents companies and high-net-worth individuals in complex commercial litigation matters in a variety of practice areas, including securities, business torts, patent and trademark disputes, partnership disputes and real estate litigation. She is experienced in a variety of arbitration venues, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and has represented consumers and financial advisors in financial disputes. Syed also assists clients in the live events and hospitality industries, including representation in litigation matters, assisting with trademark issues and providing industry-specific legal counsel. She was named to <i>The Best Lawyers in America&rsquo;s&nbsp;</i>&ldquo;Ones to Watch&rdquo; list for 2021, awarded the Dallas Bar Association&rsquo;s Outstanding Minority Attorney Award in 2019 and selected for the &ldquo;Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas&rdquo; list in 2021.</p> <p>Shimkus focuses her practice on commercial litigation and labor and employment matters. Her broad experience covers cases involving general business disputes, contract disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, fraud, landlord-tenant disputes and construction litigation. She also works with business managers, in-house legal departments and human resources managers to ensure compliance with a wide array of federal, state and local employment laws, including Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. Shimkus has experience defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation before the Texas Workforce Commission, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in both state and federal court. Shimkus contributes pro bono hours to the Human Rights Initiative, an organization dedicated to assisting individuals seeking asylum in the United States because of past persecution or fear of future persecution in their home countries. She was named to&nbsp;<i>The Best Lawyers in America&rsquo;s</i>&nbsp;&ldquo;Ones to Watch&rdquo; list for 2021.</p> <p>To learn more about the Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court, please visit their website <a href="">here</a>.</p>News16 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Biden Announces Sweeping New COVID Vaccination and Testing Requirements Aimed at the Private Sector last week &mdash; 18 months after the United States entered the battle against COVID-19 &mdash; President Biden announced the federal government will take sweeping steps to mandate vaccination and testing requirements that could affect nearly 80 million workers, including millions in the private sector.<br /> <p><span><span><span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The Administration directed the Department of Labor&rsquo;s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a rule &mdash; through an &ldquo;Emergency Temporary Standard&rdquo; (ETS) &mdash; to require employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or require their unvaccinated employees to produce a negative test result on a weekly basis before coming to work. The Administration directs OSHA to require applicable employers to provide paid time off for the affected employees to use to become vaccinated or to recover from any post-vaccination health responses. Failure to comply could lead to penalties.</span></span></p> <p><span>In addition, the Administration issued an executive order mandating federal workers and private sector employees of federal contractors to become vaccinated, eliminating the vaccinate or test option </span>permitted previously<span>. The executive order directs the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force to provide further guidance by Sept. 24, 2021.&nbsp;For more information on the executive order, see the White House&rsquo;s publication <a href="">here</a>.</span></p> <p><span>The other notable movement is the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services&rsquo; action to require workers in most health care settings, which receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19. This extends to &ldquo;hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies.&rdquo;&nbsp;It also includes &ldquo;nursing home staff&rdquo; and &ldquo;staff in hospitals and other CMS-regulated settings, including clinical staff, individuals providing services under arrangements, volunteers, and staff who are not involved in direct patient, resident, or client care.&rdquo;&nbsp;For more information, see the White House&rsquo;s COVID-19 action plan <a href="">here</a></span><span><span>. </span></span></p> <p><a href="">These developments do not alter existing employer requirements to provide reasonable accommodations, if available, for eligible employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs.</a><span> It is also important to note that an ETS is a temporary designation that remains in effect for six months, after which OSHA must finalize a permanent standard under the formal rulemaking process.</span></p> <p>Employers should expect legal challenges from states and private businesses arguing against the constitutionality of the federal government implementing a nationwide vaccine mandate through OSHA. One perspective already presented is that OSHA is an agency specifically tasked with implementing regulations governing workplace safety, and here, the federal government attempts to use OSHA&rsquo;s powers to implement a mandate targeted to remedy a public health hazard not specific to the workplace. In other words, OSHA would be turning American employers into the enforcement mechanism for a nationwide health hazard.</p> <p>While these recent developments are almost certain to tie up courts across the country, employers with workforce of at least 100 employees and federal contract employers would be wise to begin preparation immediately by, at the very least, identifying who in their workforce is unvaccinated and preparing policies for impending implementation and strategies for communicating any changes to their workforces.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bell Nunnally will continue to monitor this development and update once the Department of Labor and OSHA make the Rule available.</p>Newsletters & Client Alerts14 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Kanye Can Teach Us About Litigation<p><b>Event Details:</b></p> <p>Partner Brent Turman is presenting &ldquo;What Kanye Can Teach Us About Litigation&rdquo; for the Italian American Attorney Association of Los Angeles, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, Amarillo Area Bar Association and the Corpus Christi Bar Association Young Lawyers.</p> <p><b>Date/Location:</b></p> <p><i>Italian American Attorney Association of Los Angeles and Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association - Virtual</i><br /> Wednesday, September 8, 2021<br /> 6:00 &ndash; 7:30 PM (PDT)<br /> <a href="">Register</a></p> <p><i>Amarillo Area Bar Association &ndash; In-person</i><br /> Thursday, September 9, 2021<br /> 12:00 PM (CDT)<br /> 112 W. 8th Avenue, Suite 615<br /> Amarillo, Texas 79101</p> <p><i>Corpus Christi Bar Association Young Lawyers - Virtual</i><br /> Friday, September 10, 2021<br /> 12:00 PM (CDT)</p> <p><b>Overview:</b></p> <p>This webinar seamlessly weaves trial tips and ethics into the story about an unlikely source of knowledge. Through the story of the rise and fall (and rise again) of a Billboard regular, Turman highlights important lessons litigators can learn and apply to their practices. The lessons include how to properly structure questions during a cross-examination, details attorneys should pay attention to in the courtroom and the different strategies litigators can use when communicating with a jury.</p>Events07 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally's Randy Lindley Quoted in NACM Article on Change Orders Considerations Nunnally Partner Randall K. Lindley is quoted in the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) eNews article &ldquo;Why Construction Creditors Must Pay Close Attention to Change Orders.&rdquo; The article delves into the important considerations for change orders, which should be created any time the terms of an original contract are amended by a party. Typical changes involve scope of work, price and completion time. The author notes that change orders can be important tools for tracking changes, but &ldquo;they must be carefully executed to ensure payment in a timely manner.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Lindley, a member of Bell Nunnally&rsquo;s Creditors&rsquo; Rights practice area, notes that a change order can be a &ldquo;lightning rod&rdquo; for disputes, particularly as it can contain language unfavorable to the subcontractor. &ldquo;If a client isn&rsquo;t getting paid, we must carefully review both the terms of the original contract and the change order.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The article continues:<br /> <br /> <em>Since the purpose of a change order is to document &ldquo;additional work&rdquo; not covered by the original contract, Lindley recommends that credit professionals carefully identify the new scope of work. &ldquo;Using vague or unclear language in a change order, increases the likelihood there will be a dispute,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Creditors also have the leverage of stopping work to encourage payment. However, Lindley cautions that material suppliers may be exposed to high risks by taking this route because they may be subject to claims of breach of contract. Instead, Lindley advises doing the following if a dispute surfaces:<br /> </em> <ul> <li><em>Start with an email objection to work requested without a signed change order.</em></li> <li><em>Ask for confirmation when following up.</em></li> <li><em>Keep careful documentation throughout every step.</em></li> <li><em>Obtain legal guidance.</em></li> </ul> To read the full article, please click <a href="">here</a>.News03 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally Represents Texas Bank in Loan Deal Involving D/FW Airport Real Estate Development Nunnally Partner Nikki Hurst Gibson represented BOKF, NA, which does business as Bank of Texas, in an $80,067,000 syndicated loan. Closed on August 19,2021 following negotiations dating back to November 2020, the construction loan is part of a four-phase development and involves three industrial buildings totaling 1,953,620 square feet on two leasehold estates in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and owned in fee by the D/FW Airport. The borrower is a joint venture between a major New York-based investment firm and a local developer. In addition to the negotiation of the terms of the loan documents, the firm tackled an all-encompassing review of the multi-layered borrower structure, as well as extensive review and negotiation of the ground leases and ancillary documents with the airport and borrower.<br /> <br /> <strong>Related Media Coverage:</strong><br /> <br /> &quot;<a href="">CDT Roundup: 17 Deals, 11 Firms, 103 Lawyers, $10.6B</a>,&quot;<em> Texas Lawbook</em><br />News02 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally's Brent Turman Breaks Down Potential Impacts of Johansson/Disney Lawsuit for Backstage Magazine<p>Bell Nunnally Partner Brent Turman is<span> quoted throughout the Backstage Magazine article &ldquo;Scarlett Johansson&rsquo;s Disney Lawsuit Could Change How Actors Are Paid.&rdquo; Johansson&rsquo;s lawsuit against Disney alleges the company violated her contract by releasing &ldquo;Black Widow&rdquo; simultaneously in theaters and via its streaming service, effectively reducing Johansson&rsquo;s compensation by tens of millions of dollars by decreasing box office revenues. Turman notes that Johansson&rsquo;s suit may embolden other talent to file similar lawsuits because their contracts &ndash; which were signed before COVID &ndash; may result in similar legal disputes.</span></p> <p>Johansson&rsquo;s lawsuit demonstrates how interests within the film industry have diverged at times during the past 18 months. <span>&ldquo;With the studios who have streaming platforms, there has obviously been a lot more emphasis on building those platforms,&rdquo; said Turman. &ldquo;Initially, when we&rsquo;re looking at 100% exclusive theatrical release, the party&rsquo;s interests were aligned. Once we bring in the streaming service, those financial interests aren&rsquo;t necessarily aligned anymore. For example, with Disney, they have a financial interest in increasing revenues through Disney+. And it could be in Disney&rsquo;s best [financial] interest to do the day-and-date release, even if that means less money comes in the box office, which affects other people, like Johansson.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p>To read the full article, please click<a href=""> here</a>.</p>News27 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Nunnally's Alana Ackels on D CEO Digs into Texas Employer COVID Vaccination Mandates<p>Bell Nunnally Partner Alana Ackels offered her insights in a D CEO piece, &ldquo;Expert: Employers Can Mandate COVID Vaccination in Texas, with Narrow Exceptions.&rdquo; The article digs into DFW health systems&rsquo; mandates and their impact on employers in other states, which has the potential to be wide reaching. Ackels stresses employers&rsquo; rights to impose mandates on physically present employees and notes two narrow exceptions: &ldquo;1) when an employee cannot get vaccinated because of a covered disability (pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act); or 2) when an employee does not get vaccinated because of a sincerely held religious belief (pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act).&rdquo; She goes on to discuss reasonable accommodations for excepted workers, the history and reasoning behind the mandates, and California&rsquo;s approach to vaccination mandates. &nbsp;</p> <p>Ackels concludes: &ldquo;In most places, including in Texas, private employers are still free to impose vaccine and mask mandates on employees. Employers considering implementation of a vaccine mandate or a vaccine tracking system should partner with legal counsel to craft policies and procedures that will withstand legal scrutiny at the federal and local level. Businesses should also consider employee morale in evaluating and implementing any type of vaccine program. In the end, most companies want a loyal, productive and healthy workforce. This can be accomplished by continuing to navigate the pandemic with thoughtfulness and decisions grounded in science and medicine.&rdquo;</p> <p>To read the full article, please click <a href="">here</a>.</p>News26 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Associate Arianna Goodman Accepted into Dallas Association of Young Lawyers' Leadership Class Nunnally attorney Arianna G. Goodman has been accepted into the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers&rsquo; (DAYL) 2021 Leadership Class. <br /> <br /> Founded in 1997, this program is designed to bring together young attorneys from across North Texas who want to make a difference in their community and at the bar. Classes are limited to 40 and activities include an introductory happy hour; an overnight retreat; a series of luncheons where members learn more about Dallas and opportunities for involvement with non-profits, the bar association and city politics; and a class project benefiting the community. <br /> <br /> Goodman focuses her practice on white collar criminal defense. She represents corporations and professionals from the initial phases of an investigation through trial, conducts internal investigations and counsels clients in regulatory proceedings.<br /> <br /> To learn more about the DAYL Leadership Class, please click <a href="">here</a>.<br />News23 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Brent Hockaday Accepted into Dallas Regional Chamber's 2022 Leadership Dallas Class Brent D. Hockaday has been accepted into the Dallas Regional Chamber&rsquo;s (DRC) Leadership Dallas Class of 2022. Founded in 1975, the program is welcoming its 47th class and has more than 2,300 graduates, including elected officials, as well as prominent business and civic leaders. Bell Nunnally Partners Benjamin L. Riemer, Danica L. Mathes and Kassandra G. McLaughlin are Leadership Dallas Alumni.<br /> <br /> Through a nine-month program, Hockaday and fellow business and community leaders from across North Texas are brought together for educational, networking and service opportunities. These are all aimed at offering insights into the region&rsquo;s challenges and focused on how to be part of meaningful change, collectively and individually.<br /> <br /> In the DRC&rsquo;s press release announcing the 2022 class, Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber said, &ldquo;The unique challenges we face today require agile leaders committed to doing the work necessary to help create a better quality of life for all people in the Dallas Region. We at the DRC are honored to welcome the 2022 Leadership Dallas class, and we look forward to working closely with each class member to help make the Dallas Region the best place in the United States for all people to live, work, and do business.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Hockaday represents, advises and counsels businesses of all sizes in the legal aspects of their business, focusing on labor and employment and complex commercial litigation. He has substantial experience litigating matters in different forums and jurisdictions across the country, including trying multiple cases and obtaining multiple successful jury verdicts and arbitration awards.<br /> <br /> Hockaday is a graduate of DRC&rsquo;s LEAD YP Class of 2017. He also served on the DRC YP Advisory Council from 2018-2020.<br /> <br /> To learn more about the program and the 2022 class, please click <a href="">here</a>.<br />News23 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Bell Nunnally Attorneys Recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2022<p><i>The Best Lawyers in America&reg; </i>announced that 21 Bell Nunnally attorneys are on its 2022 list.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our model as consummate business partners and problem solvers for our clients has been successful for more than 40 years in large part because we have, as this list reinforces, truly &lsquo;all-star&rsquo; talent across our services,&rdquo; said Christopher B. Trowbridge, Bell Nunnally managing partner. &ldquo;Clients consistently reference our depth of knowledge and the ease with which our attorneys can pick up the phone and get the needed answer or strategy by reaching out to a talented colleague.&rdquo;</p> <p>Lawyers named to <i>The Best Lawyers in America </i>and their respective areas of recognition include:</p> <ul> <li>Alana K. Ackels &ndash; Litigation &ndash; Labor and Employment</li> <li>Jeffrey J. Ansley &ndash; Criminal Defense: White-Collar</li> <li>Mikel J. Bowers &ndash; Litigation-Construction</li> <li>Jean Pierre Boyea &ndash; Real Estate Law</li> <li>R. Heath Cheek &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Nikki Hurst Gibson &ndash; Commercial Finance Law</li> <li>Karen L. Hart &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Heather H. Jobe &ndash; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law</li> <li>Randall K. Lindley &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Jeffrey S. Lowenstein &ndash; Commercial Litigation; Litigation &ndash; Intellectual Property</li> <li>Danica L. Mathes &ndash; Entertainment Law &ndash; Motion Pictures and Television; Entertainment Law &ndash; Music</li> <li>Ed McQueen &ndash; Corporate Law</li> <li>Kassandra G. McLaughlin &ndash; Real Estate Law</li> <li>Russell W. Mills &ndash; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law</li> <li>Larry L. Shosid &ndash; Commercial Finance Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Real Estate Law</li> <li>John D. Smart &ndash; Employment Law &ndash; Management</li> <li>Christopher B. Trowbridge &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Jay M. Wallace &ndash; Litigation &ndash; Labor and Employment</li> <li>David A. Walton &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Beverly A. Whitley &ndash; Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation</li> <li>Tammy S. Wood &ndash; Commercial Litigation</li> </ul> <p>Gibson was also selected as a &ldquo;Lawyer of the Year&rdquo; in the area of Commercial Finance Law for the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan region.</p> <p>Mathes has been listed 15 consecutive years (since 2007). In addition, the following attorneys have been listed for 10 or more consecutive years: Bowers (since 2013), Lowenstein (since 2013). And, the following have been listed for five or more years: Ansley (since 2018), Boyea (since 2018), Gibson (since 2017), Hart (since 2017), McLaughlin (since 2018), Shosid (since 2018), Smart (since 2018), Trowbridge (since 2017), Whitley (since 2016) and Wood (since 2016).</p> <p>In addition to those recognized in <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>, 15 other Bell Nunnally attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers&rsquo; 2022 &ldquo;Ones to Watch&rdquo; list.</p> <p><b>About </b><a href="">Best Lawyers</a><b> (provided by Best Lawyers)</b></p> <p>Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers&reg; has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 108,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and we have received over 13 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2021 Edition of <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>&copy;, 9.4 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 67,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Contact Information:</strong><br /> Brittany Lewis<br /> Marketing Manager<br /><br /> 214-880-6661</p>Press Releases19 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0800