Menu

Rail

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Gentry Locke attorneys keeps things moving down the line – the rail line.  We understand the complex industry issues related to rail transportation, regulation, legislation, and industry associations.  We have worked on behalf of our clients in many settings, from private negotiations, to regulator’s hearing rooms, to the halls of the legislatures.

We are proud to work on issues related to Class I railroads, members of the Shortline railroad community, developers, rail customers, and governments.  We have extensive experience working issues involving multiple railroads, between railroads and their customers, between governmental entities and railroads, and between railroads and their suppliers.  Our extended team of railroad and construction experts are knowledgeable in areas related to contracting for construction projects to move more freight by rail.

We deal with rail-related issues, including:

  • Entering into contracts among railroads, with suppliers
  • Dealing with takeover battles, mergers, and acquisitions
  • Litigating the scope of federal preemption
  • Complying with market entry and exit regulation
  • Determining the scope of common carrier and legal obligations unique to freight rail
  • Advising on relationships among freight railroads and passenger or commuter railroads
  • Facilitating rail line sales and abandonment of inactive rail lines, negotiating acquisitions, and obtaining all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals
  • Advising clients on regulatory issues arising under the ICC Termination Act of 1995
  • Negotiating rate and service contracts, trackage rights agreements, and joint facility agreements
  • Helping shippers and railroads to acquire underutilized rail lines through the feeder railroad development and offer of financial assistance forced-sale processes
  • Organizing rail line acquisitions by several clients, dealing with regulatory authorization and compliance matters, real estate issues and operating contracts
  • Advising on Rails-to-Trails issues
  • Defending third party casualty claims at crossings and on railroad property
  • Defending FELA claims

We support groups working to advance rail transportation, including our membership in the Virginia Railroad Association.

John Scheib, who leads the firm’s Rail group, is a former Chief Legal Officer to a Class I railroad and has extensive experience with many railroads, regulators, and trade associations.

Comments Off on Rail

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Regulatory Compliance

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Regulatory compliance is crucial for a diverse array of industries.

Attention to detail and real-world experience can be key to success, whether for securities and financial transactions, real estate and land use, employment, health care entities, corporations, or educational institutions. The lawyers at Gentry Locke are adept at advising clients, strategizing, and ensuring that the proper groundwork and follow-through are in place, so our clients can focus on attaining their goals.

We help our clients comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations in a variety of contexts, including:

We encourage you to review our Regulatory Compliance & Enforcement Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Comments Off on Regulatory Compliance

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Zoning

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Gaining approval for your real estate project is part law, part relationships, and part process.

The experienced members of Gentry Locke’s land use and zoning team understand that all three of these must be in alignment to be successful.

We have developed close working relationships with the administrators, planners, and elected representatives throughout western Virginia, and they know us well. These connections give us an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions on the front end regarding the likelihood of success of your project and the pitfalls and concerns we can anticipate along the way.

Our Zoning attorneys represent property owners, developers, and local governments in all matters relating to local land use regulations. Our work includes:

  • Project planning and development
  • Rezoning proceedings
  • Conditional use permits
  • Subdivisions
  • Enforcement issues
  • Variances
  • Litigation

Gentry Locke lawyers have applied their extensive knowledge in these areas to help many clients resolve their land use issues. Our attorneys use their experience and creativity to address and resolve your land use regulatory challenges.

We will design a strategy to gain approval of your project and guide you through the process of staff review, preliminary meetings with elected officials and interested citizen groups. We will also make the presentations at public hearings where decisions are made.

We have completed hundreds of successful projects for developers, wireless communication companies, and commercial and retail operators in connection with their land use and zoning needs, including:

  • Rezonings
  • Special Use Permits
  • Variances
  • Real Estate Development & Finance

We encourage you to review our Zoning Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Comments Off on Zoning

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Aircraft & Aviation

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Corporate Aircraft Transactions

Gentry Locke represents leasing companies, corporations and individuals in the acquisition, financing, leasing and sale of commercial and corporate aircraft.

Group Chair Bill Gust is active in handling the purchase and sale of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and regularly advises aircraft owners and aviation companies relative to aircraft purchase, leasing, and FAR Part 91 and Part 135 operations. Our attorneys also help clients implement of their corporate strategies and operational arrangements including:

  • Entity structuring for aircraft ownership
  • Fractional share operations
  • Ground-handling and maintenance agreements
  • Fixed based operators
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Aircraft partnership agreements
  • Aircraft wet and dry leases, hangar leases, airport premises leases and equipment leases.
  • Aircraft management agreements under Part 91 and 135
  • Aircraft charter operator agreements
  • Aircraft sales and purchase agreements

 

Comments Off on Aircraft & Aviation

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Products Liability

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Every day, people are injured from defective products sold in the marketplace.

Gentry Locke’s experienced products-liability team is ready to handle the complex litigation that results.

In a world run by mass production, defective products can range from sophisticated industrial equipment and medical devices to children’s toys. We have prosecuted cases against national and international manufacturers and distributors, including pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices.

As consumers, we have little to no way of knowing if a product has been properly manufactured. When we purchase products, we leave our trust in the corporation or entity responsible for creating the product to ensure all manufacturing safety codes and protocols are met. When a product fails to perform in its intended way and instead causes its user harm, it may be considered a faulty product. 

Our experienced team of defective product liability attorneys has successfully opposed product manufacturers, distributors, and sellers, holding them accountable for the injuries and damages caused by their faulty products. Together, our product liability attorney’s commitment to ensuring public safety and defeating corrupt product practices drives us to pursue justice for those affected by unsafe products—advocating for justice to prevent future harm.

Our products liability law firm handles cases involving defective products in a variety of areas, including: 

  • Aviation accidents
  • Automobile accidents
  • Defective prescription drugs
  • Drugs and medications
  • Heart devices
  • Implants
  • Industrial products
  • Intrathecal pumps
  • Morphine pumps
  • Suicide instigated by pharmaceuticals
  • Toxic materials
  • Recalled products

We encourage you to review our Products Liability attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your legal needs.

Comments Off on Products Liability

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Employment Litigation

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Litigation and trials

Many employment decisions result in a government investigation or a lawsuit by a disgruntled employee.  Our lawyers regularly represent businesses in response to complaints filed with the Department of Labor, OFCCP, OSHA, the National Labor Relations Board, the Employment Equal Opportunity Commission and Virginia’s Department of Labor & Industry. Whatever the forum, our attorneys are equally adept at mediation, arbitration, and federal and state court proceedings.

We know that a trial is sometimes the right answer to a disputed matter. When it makes sense to litigate, wise employers turn to Gentry Locke for candid counsel, deep experience, and our reputation with federal and state judges across Virginia—crucial attributes in a legal team.

When litigating a matter, a new level of trust and confidence is earned from management as we partner with our clients to a successful resolution. Our clients have firsthand knowledge of our ability to litigate cases brought by or against current or former employees. Employment law issues cover the gamut: discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, non-compete and nondisclosure violations, trade secret claims, wage-hour/overtime issues, whistleblower claims, unfair labor practice charges, and employee benefits disputes, just to name a few.

Our work is valued by our clients, respected by opponents, and well regarded by those before whom we bring the case. When the dust of conflict settles, our clients know that we have represented their interests zealously.

We encourage you to review our Employment and Labor Practice Group attorneys’ personal pages for additional information and then contact us to discuss your company’s legal needs.

Discrimination & Harassment

Each year more than 75,000 charges of discrimination are filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission despite the best efforts of companies to eliminate employment practices and discipline employees who violate rules prohibiting discrimination and harassment. The fastest growing category of claims, and potentially the most dangerous for employers, are claims of retaliation brought by employees who believe they have been punished or penalized for reporting unlawful behavior. With the 2006 decision by the United States Supreme Court in Burlington Northern v. White, exposure to retaliation claims has only increased. The lawyers of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Gentry Locke have significant experience in defending employers of all types, from large multi-national companies to small business owners, on claims which can cover the following topics:

  • Race discrimination or harassment
  • Gender discrimination, which can include Equal Pay Act claims
  • Retaliation Claims
  • Sexual harassment
  • Religious discrimination or harassment
  • Disability (ADA) discrimination or harassment
  • Pregnancy discrimination or harassment
  • Age discrimination or harassment
  • National origin discrimination or harassment
  • Discrimination against veterans
  • Reverse discrimination claims

Harassment Investigations & Advice

Harassment in the workplace continues to be a real challenge for corporate America. We have substantial experience litigating harassment cases. This experience allows us to provide practical and candid proactive advice to companies on the front end. Specifically, we regularly assist our corporate clients in drafting harassment policies that contain effective complaint procedures.

When an employee registers a complaint, we have the experience and instincts to direct the required investigation. We recognize that harassment cases are rarely “black and white.” Companies faced with harassment complaints often are faced with credibility determinations and conflicting evidence. We have the experience to assist management in evaluating such cases, and developing and implementing an effective response.

Wage–Hour & FLSA Claims

Perhaps no area of employment law wreaks greater havoc for employers than the issues raised under the federal and state wage and hour laws. Unfortunately, the complexities of the wage and hour laws often defy common sense. The simple misclassification of employees or inadequate recordkeeping can result in significant exposure to a company.

The attorneys in Gentry Locke’s Labor and Employment Section regularly assist employers:

  • Defending administrative and judicial wage and hour proceedings, including the Department of Labor audits
  • Advising employers on issues including overtime, independent contractors, recordkeeping and other wage and compensation policies
  • Assisting with proper classification of employees as exempt and non-exempt
  • Creating practical policies and procedures that comply with federal and state law requirements
  • Analyzing and reviewing job descriptions and payroll practices
  • Properly identifying opportunities for federal tax credits offered to private sector employers who hire individuals from certain targeted groups

State Claims

Given the fact that Virginia courts have strongly adhered to the at-will doctrine which results in most wrongful discharge claims being dismissed prior to trial, disgruntled employees are increasingly turning to claims of defamation and other tort claims in an effort to hold employers responsible. Since at least 2000, the law has been clear in Virginia that communications within a company about another employee (whether in an interoffice memo, performance evaluation or report of investigation) can give rise to a defamation action. Larimore v. Blaylock, 259 Va. 568, 528 S.E.2d 119 (2000). While there are defenses (i.e., the truth) and privileges that apply, recent multi-million dollar verdicts have been upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court on statements some thought were pure “opinion.” See Raytheon Tech. Servs. Co. v. Hyland, 641 S.E.2d 84 (2007); Gov’t Micro Res., Inc. v. Jackson, 624 S.E.2d 63 (2006). Simply couching statements in terms of an “opinion” will no longer preclude pursuit of a defamation cause of action.

Other claims frequently brought, but with much less success, are claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and violation of an individual’s right of privacy. The types of claims we have defended are:

  • Defamation arising out of references
  • Defamation arising out of evaluations
  • Defamation in comments made to employees, vendors and other third parties
  • Claims arising out of statements made in internal investigations
  • Claims of invasion of privacy
  • Claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • Claims of intentional interference with contract

Employment Contract Claims

Although the “at-will” doctrine applies in Virginia, it is not uncommon for companies to enter into employment contracts with their key executives, salespeople or others who bring unique talents and skills to the organization. In addition to having significant experience in litigating noncompete and nonsolicitation disputes, our attorneys have significant experience in both federal and state courts in the litigation and trial of employment contracts. Among the types of issues we have handled are:

  • Incentive compensation disputes
  • Termination for cause provisions
  • Stock option vesting evaluation issues
  • Commission payment issues
  • Anti-piracy provisions
  • Nonsolicitation provisions
  • Noncompete provisions
  • Oral agreements/statute of frauds issues
  • Severance pay disputes

In this area, our attorneys can find themselves on either side of a dispute representing the company or an existing or former executive who has a dispute.

Defamation Claims

Given the fact that Virginia courts have strongly adhered to the at-will doctrine which results in most wrongful discharge claims being dismissed prior to trial, disgruntled employees are increasingly turning to claims of defamation and other tort claims in an effort to hold employers responsible. Since at least 2000, the law has been clear in Virginia that communications within a company about another employee (whether in an interoffice memo, performance evaluation or report of investigation) can give rise to a defamation action. Larimore v. Blaylock, 259 Va. 568, 528 S.E.2d 119 (2000). While there are defenses (i.e., the truth) and privileges that apply, recent multi-million dollar verdicts have been upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court on statements some thought were pure “opinion.” See Raytheon Tech. Servs. Co. v. Hyland, 641 S.E.2d 84 (2007); Gov’t Micro Res., Inc. v. Jackson, 624 S.E.2d 63 (2006). Simply couching statements in terms of an “opinion” will no longer preclude pursuit of a defamation cause of action.

Other claims frequently brought, but with much less success, are claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and violation of an individual’s right of privacy. The types of claims we have defended are:

  • Defamation arising out of references
  • Defamation arising out of evaluations
  • Defamation in comments made to employees, vendors and other third parties
  • Claims arising out of statements made in internal investigations
  • Claims of invasion of privacy
  • Claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • Claims of intentional interference with contract

EPLI Defense

Given the continued explosion of employment litigation, insurers have created a product generally known as employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). These policies assist employers in managing the financial risk resulting from various types of employment-related claims. Gentry Locke has been selected to be panel counsel for many of the top insurance carriers that offer EPLI coverage. Our attorneys can assist companies in determining whether EPLI coverage might be worthwhile and whether or not a particular claim is covered. Once a claim is filed, we assist clients by working with the insurance company to ensure the client is aggressively represented.

Comments Off on Employment Litigation

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Regulatory/Administrative Representation

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Gentry Locke represents clients in a variety of regulatory and administrative matters before a number of state boards and agencies. Our experience includes matters before the following boards:

  • Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board
  • Real Estate Board
  • State Corporation Commission
  • ABC Board
  • Board of Contractors
  • Board of Medicine
  • Board of Pharmacy
  • Board of Nursing
  • Board of Dentistry
  • Fair Housing Board
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer Board

We also regularly work with VDOT, the DMV, and various other state agencies on regulatory rulemaking and other issues.

Comments Off on Regulatory/Administrative Representation

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Economic Development & Government Grants

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Gentry Locke assists clients from start to finish with economic development projects.

  • Site Selection – Gentry Locke can help clients review, select, and evaluate site options for proposed projects. This includes working with local governments, economic development agencies at the local and state level, completing due diligence reviews, zoning cases, and navigating acquisitions and purchases.
  • Funding Applications – We can prepare and submit applications for funds with the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, GO Virginia, and a number of other local, state, and federal funding programs.

Comments Off on Economic Development & Government Grants

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Strategic Communications

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Gentry Locke provides strategic communications guidance to help clients meet their legal and policy goals:

  • Message Development – We develop, manage and monitor messages for clients. This includes research, analysis, public opinion surveys, and producing content that defines the client’s core message.
  • Earned Media Strategy Development & Management – Gentry Locke develops, manages and executes earned media (print, television, radio, or digital journalism) strategies. This includes influencing news coverage, developing editorial material, and preparing or creating press events.
  • Paid Media Strategy Development & Management – We can develop, manage and execute paid media (television, radio, print or digital advertising) strategies. This includes providing strategic advice to help partners develop ad campaigns and produce content, managing vendors, and measuring success.
  • Digital Media – We develop, manage and execute digital media strategies that fit with an overall strategy and help clients achieve their goals. This includes digital advertising and social media management.
  • Engaging Grassroots Campaigns – Gentry Locke can assist with the development, management, and execution of engaging grassroots campaigns to support legal and policy goals.
  • Crisis Management – We are prepared to help clients navigate difficult legal, political, and public relations scenarios, including unexpected emergencies, institutional attacks, and external crises.
  • Internal Communications Strategy Development & Management – Gentry Locke can help businesses, organizations, and associations develop, manage, and execute internal communication strategies. This includes producing written material, managing member communication, and creating systems/processes to ensure efficient communication within an organization.

Comments Off on Strategic Communications

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

Franchise Law

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

If you own a franchise, you know that the laws, regulations, and issues that can arise with franchises can be complicated, challenging, and unique. All of the legal intricacies of owning a business — taxes, regulations, real estate transactions, employment issues, etc. — are magnified by the franchise relationship and the state and federal laws and regulations governing it.

At Gentry Locke, we’ve been helping franchise owners navigate these hurdles for decades. Whether automotive, healthcare, retail, hospitality, or any other type of franchise, our expertise can help guide you through all the various aspects of owning and operating a franchise — from reviewing the initial contract with the franchisor to ensuring your interests are protected to dealing with any disputes that arise during the course of daily operations.

Greg Habeeb, chair of our franchise practice, has been representing franchisees for almost twenty years with a special focus on automobile, healthcare and retail franchises. Greg is a member of the National Association of Dealer Counsel and knows all the nuances of franchise law in Virginia from his time as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Our attorneys understand franchise law, and work hard to keep up with changes at the state and national level.

Protecting your interests
Gentry Locke attorneys can help ensure you are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We’ll keep you informed of changes as they happen and help you design compliance systems, draft appropriate paperwork and properly train your employees. Gentry Locke’s Government and Regulatory Affairs group has experience dealing with all of the relevant state agencies that oversee your business, licensing and operations.

Real estate, employment and corporate law
In addition to our expertise on franchise law, Gentry Locke has worked with many types of businesses on real estate transactions, taxes, employment issues, regulatory compliance, licensing, premises liability, and other legal issues.

In real estate, we can help with acquisition, zoning, land use, environmental compliance, financing issues and more. We can help you deal with any personnel legal issues, make sure all your employment documentation is in order and ensure your training covers all the legal bases. We can help in contract disputes, wage and hour issues, and more.

Litigation
In situations where going to court becomes necessary, you will want Gentry Locke’s experienced litigators on your side. We’ll fight harder than anyone for you, and we have the track record to prove it.

The legal representation you need
Gentry Locke is here to make your business better. If you want more information about how we can help your dealership, contact us.

Comments Off on Franchise Law

Category | Tags:

Social Networks : Technorati, Stumble it!, Digg, de.licio.us, Yahoo, reddit, Blogmarks, Google, Magnolia.

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn