Halunen Law is pleased to announce attorney Amanda R. Crain has joined its Employment Practice Group. After several years as a partner in a family law firm, Cain comes to Halunen Law with an astute understanding of client emotional trauma, conflict, and complex legal matters. Recognized by her peers for her outstanding legal work, professional work ethic, and advocacy on behalf of her clients, Crain has been selected to the Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list from 2014-2018. This elite group represents just 2.5% of Minnesota attorneys who are under the age of 40 or have practiced law for less than ten years. Read more
It was announced yesterday that the CEO of Insys Therapeutics Inc., Micheal Babich, pleaded guilty to participating in a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe its opioid medication Subsys. Babich resigned as the Arizona-based drugmaker’s CEO in 2015. His guilty plea comes just weeks before Insys founder, and one-time billionaire, John Kapoor goes to trial facing allegations of racketeering conspiracy. Read more
Lawyers Who Represent Whistleblowers
Halunen Law’s False Claims Act attorneys, chaired by Susan Coler, have joined a coalition of lawyers who represent whistleblowers, along with United States Attorneys, academics, and public interest groups, in sending a letter to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Asked him to ensure that Attorney General nominee William Barr is affirmed only if he expressly commits himself to honor past Supreme Court precedent and protecting the False Claims Act as a critically important tool to combat fraud against the government.
Read recent coverage by Reuters: “Whistleblower lawyers to Grassley: Mike Barr commit to False Claims Cases
Read the letter submitted to Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley
Clayton Halunen Represents Marilyn Turnbull
Clayton Halunen is representing longtime Tower School “lunch lady” Marilyn Turnbull, in her challenge to the St. Louis County School District and their failure to address her years-long struggle to be compensated as a “cook manager,” a title and pays grade that most closely reflects her actual duties. The 66-year-old Turnbull has been a certified food handler for decades, and the Tower School kitchen is kept open solely on her license.
The case has a personal connection for Halunen. Born and raised in northern Minnesota, he and husband David own a home near Tower on Lake Vermillion, as does Halunen’s mother.
“I look forward to assisting Ms. Turbull on this important matter,”
“We will try to work out an amicable settlement, however, if we fail to reach an agreement we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit to address this injustice.” stated Halunen
Read the full story
Halunen Law, Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., and Levin Sedran & Berman, announced recently that plaintiffs they represented entered into an agreement to settle various class actions relating to IKO roofing shingles. The settlement applies to the “organic” asphalt shingles that were installed on buildings in the United States primarily between 1978 and 2008.
Read the recent press release about this settlement
People who own or owned buildings with IKO organic shingles can obtain additional information about the settlement by checking the website at http://www.ikoorganicroofingshinglesclassactionsettlement.com
KSTP-TV spoke with Halunen Law attorney Charles Moore regarding a recent suit against major airlines. The class action lawsuit was filed against American, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines, where passengers allege the airlines improperly worked together to limit the number of seats available on domestic flights to drive up ticket prices.
While not directly involved with this case, Halunen Law is recognized for its expertise and is frequently asked by media organizations to comment on legal matters in the news.
View Moore’s recent interview with KSTP reporter Matt Belanger:
Halunen Law attorneys, Susan Coler, Gerald Robinson, and Nathaniel Smith attended the national conference of Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF), an organization of attorneys who represent whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases across the United States.
During the conference, Halunen Law’s Nathaniel Smith moderated a panel titled “Overcoming Lack of Agency Concern or Action.” Along with Nathaniel, the panel included other experienced qui tam attorneys Lesley Skillen of Getnick & Getnick, Joseph Trautwein, of Joseph Trautwein & Associates, and Colin Huntley, Assistant Director with the Department of Justice. This panel generated vigorous discussion of challenges faced by False Claims Act practitioners in achieving agency support in cases, whether there is deference to agencies in deciding whether to move forward with cases, and ways to maximize the likelihood of agency support in False Claims Act cases. For Nathaniel, one of the key takeaways is that the reasoning in Escobar, a recent Supreme Court case, makes clear that the standard to apply in determining whether a false claim is material to payment continues to be an objective one.
The TAF Conference brings together attorneys who represent whistleblowers, Assistant United States Attorneys from various states, attorneys from the Department of Justice, and representatives of government agencies including VA, HHS, and DoD. The sessions tend to be practical and oriented to sharing strategies for success in cases, government priorities, and analysis of new case law.
Says attorney Susan Coler, “this organization is unusual in the camaraderie and sharing that occurs; we are all focused on helping each of us get good results for our clients and the United States. We look forward to the conference every year as a re-energizing force in our professional lives. ”
As an attorney at Halunen Law, Nathaniel Smith focuses on cases involving fraud against the government through the False Claims Act and retaliation litigation. He represents whistleblowers across the United States in areas including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, small business programs, procurement, and defense contracting. Learn more about Nathaniel Smith. https://www.halunenlaw.com/our-team/nathaniel-f-smith
In the age of the #MeToo movement, many law firms are experiencing an increase in sexual harassment cases. And they are considering changes in how they litigate these cases. On October 17, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s “How #MeToo is Impacting Employment Law Today” panel will discuss how attorneys assess sexual harassment claims, how employers evaluate their liability and exposure in responding to claims, the role of non-disclosure agreements, and much more. Halunen Law employment attorney Emma Denny will share her expertise in this important discussion and will be joined by Antone Melton-Meaux of Work Release Mediation and Sarah Riskin from Nilan Johnson Lewis PA on the panel.
Learn more about this CLE opportunity
Learn more about Halunen Law employment attorney Emma Denny https://www.halunenlaw.com/our-team/emma-r-denny/
Halunen Law recently filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against Target Corporation alleging failure to address alleged sexual harassment experienced by Eva Biswas who was employed at a Twin Cities Target store. The suit claims a potential promotion was delayed because Biswas turned down unwanted sexual advances by one of her managers, and others in senior positions failed to respond appropriately when told of the allegations.
“We stand firm in defending employee’s rights including the right to work in an environment free of harassment and discrimination,” said Halunen Law employment attorney Emma Denny. “Women like Ms. Biswas – minimum wage employees, immigrants, and women of color – too often have their voices ignored when they report sexual harassment or other workplace misconduct to their employers. We look forward to pursuing justice on behalf of Ms. Biswas.”
Read recent news coverage of this case:
Target sued by an employee who alleges sexual harassment and store management doing little to address it
Target Worker Claims Manager At Fridley Store Sexually Harassed Her, Staff Didn’t Help
Target employee claims sexual harassment, and that management didn’t stop it
A former college dean who says she was blackballed after suing the now-scuttled Globe University may have a second career as a whistleblower advocate. Heidi Weber, who moved to the Twin Cities from South Dakota to become a Globe University dean only to be fired in 2011, was featured on the Aug. 31 episode of CBS-TV’s new series “Whistleblower.”
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