Monthly Archives: November 2012

Contract Case of Atty. Michael Brown Named by Wisconsin Lawyer to “Top 12” Wisconsin Supreme Court Decisions Last Term

The November 2012 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer magazine has an article titled “Top 12 2011-12 Wisconsin Supreme Court Decisions,” and it lists as number 5 the case of Kroner v. Oneida Seven Generations Corporation.

The plaintiff John Kroner was represented by myself, blog author (attorney) Michael Brown.

Mr. Kroner was formerly the CEO of the defendant Oneida Seven Generations Corporation (OSGC), a corporation affiliated with the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.  Mr. Kroner alleged he had years of good performance with OSGC and was discharged without notice or a good reason.  He further alleged he had a contract-law right, under Wisconsin law, that his employment with OSGC was such he could only have been discharged for “cause.”  (In contrast, many employers have “at-will” employment, where an employer does not need “cause” or a fair reason to terminate an employee’s employment).

Mr. Kroner asserted, to the Brown County Circuit Court, that he should have a trial in that Court to determine whether OSGC’s termination of his employment violated Wisconsin law.  OSGC attempted twice to have the Brown County Court drop the case, for reasons relating to OSGC’s tribal affiliation.  First, OSGC filed a motion to dismiss the case, based in large part on an argument that sovereign immunity applied and that the Oneida tribal forum had exclusive jurisdiction over the parties’ dispute.  That motion was denied by the Brown County Court.

OSGC also filed a motion seeking to transfer the case to the Oneida tribal forum, pursuant to a Wisconsin law allowing tribal transfer in certain situations.  The Brown County Court granted the motion, and the case was to be transferred to the tribal forum.  However, Mr. Kroner appealed.  The Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed with the first Court’s decision, and upheld the transfer.  Mr. Kroner appealed again to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court found in Mr. Kroner’s favor (per its decision here), holding that tribal transfer was not permissible under the circumstances.  Mr. Kroner had argued that the fair decision was that his case be allowed to continue in the Wisconsin courts, based on issues of time and resources, procedure, the availability of fundamental Wisconsin-law rights, and other factors.  Some of the details are discussed at the Wisconsin Lawyer article above, which provides a helpful analysis of the case.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed with Mr. Kroner that OSGC had not established legal grounds to transfer the case, overturned the tribal transfer decision, and remanded the case back to the Brown County Court to proceed there.

The case is set for a jury trial in the Brown County Circuit Court starting April 22, 2013.

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New Complaint Filed in Our H-1B Underpaid-Worker Class Action Against Access Therapies, RN Staff Inc. d/b/a Rehability Care

The attorney-author of this blog, Michael Brown, and co-counsel colleagues have represented underpaid H-1B workers with a number of legal cases across the U.S., including a class action case pending in the Southern District of Indiana federal court.

This federal class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a proposed class of H-1B workers against Access Therapies, Inc., RN Staff Inc. d/b/a Rehability Care, and an associated representative of the companies. The lawsuit alleges that Access Therapies and related entities systematically “bench” and underpay H-1B workers (and force workers to pay visa fees) as part of a scheme that violates civil laws including wage laws, contract law, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The attorney-author Michael Brown, along with Vonda Vandaveer, Daniel Kotchen and Kotchen & Low LLP, are among the attorneys representing the H-1B worker who filed the lawsuit.

Please contact attorney Michael Brown at 920-757-2488 if you have any information or questions about the case.

Scroll below if you’d like to review the latest Complaint, which details the case allegations about H-1B workers being underpaid and mistreated:

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Filed under Employee Tip - H-1B, H-1B

Take Justice Back: A New Website Regarding Rights of Individuals Harmed By Corporations

Today, the American Association for Justice, a lawyers’ group, launched a new website called Take Justice Back.  The website seeks to inform everyday Americans about the civil justice system, and why they should care about protecting that system, and protecting the rights of individuals harmed by corporations.

The American Association for Justice describes the new website as follows:

Take Justice Back will:• EDUCATE people on how their rights are being threatened;

• MOTIVATE Americans by sharing real stories of people denied justice;

• ENGAGE consumers through social media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter; and

• EMPOWER activism by creating a portal where people can share information, send letters to members of Congress, sign petitions, and link through to their own blogs

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Filed under Philosophy - Employee Rights, Political, Progressive, Resources for WI Workers