Brian Rochel recognized again as North Star Lawyer for pro bono service

Brian Rochel has been designated as a North Star Lawyer for 2015, the third consecutive year Mr. Rochel has received the designation.

The North Star Lawyer designation is awarded to Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) members who provided 50 or more hours of pro bono service in 2015.  The  entire list of recipients will soon be available here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Partners Present at 8th Circuit Employment Law Conference

 On April 14, 2016, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners Brian Rochel, and Phillip Kitzer presented continuing legal education programming at the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) – Eighth Circuit Affiliate conference.

NELA’s Eighth Circuit conference is held every two years, and draws employment lawyers from throughout the Upper Midwest. This years’ conference was held in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Rochel was invited to speak on a panel that addressed employment law issues unique to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender communities. Mr. Kitzer spoke on the issue of dealing with abusive and harassing litigation tactics.

Phillip Kitzer, Brian Rochel, and Doug Micko Present on Intersection of Disability, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Laws

On October 26, 2015, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel presented a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar on the intersection between disability discrimination laws under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) and the American’s With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and Workers’ Compensation retaliation (“WCA”).  The presentation was moderated by Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Doug Micko, and addressed the complicated legal considerations faced by both employers and employees when an employee has a workplace injury or disability.  The  presentation was made as part of Minnesota CLE’s Employment Law Webcast Series.

To learn more about the disability discrimination, your rights under the FMLA, or your rights under workers’ compensation retaliation, please contact Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel today.

Brian Rochel Named Author of the Year by FBA L&E Section

Brian Rochel was presented the “Author of the Year Award” by the Labor & Employment Section of the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award was given to Brian “in recognition of deep appreciation for outstanding contributions to Section publications.” Brian served as a volunteer editor of the Section’s monthly Circuit Updates, co-authored the Circuit Update for the Eighth Circuit along with Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Phillip Kitzer, and also co-authored an article for the Labouring Oar in spring 2015, also in conjunction with Phillip Kitzer. 

Brian was also named the Co-Chair of the Publications and Public Relations Committee of the Labor & Employment Section at the FBA annual meeting as well. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel congratulates Brian for his hard work and dedication to the labor and employment field. 

BTR FBA

Phillip Kitzer Named “Up & Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochelpartner Phillip Kitzer was recently recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as an Up & Coming Attorney for 2015, an honor bestowed on a select group of attorneys who have demonstrated outstanding work within the profession and who have fewer than 10 years of experience. This year’s award was limited to 28 attorneys throughout Minnesota, and Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud to have Phillip stand among this outstanding group. 

Click here to learn more about Phillip’s recognition and click here to access the digital edition of this year’s Minnesota Lawyer Up and Coming Attorneys & Unsung Legal Heroes.

Rochel Co-Organizes and Moderates FBA Labor & Employment Seminar

 

On August 26, 2015, the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) Labor & Employment Section hosted a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar. The seminar was co-hosted with the Minnesota Chapter of the FBA, and was held at Faegre Baker Daniels in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Brian Rochel of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel helped organize the event along with fellow Labor & Employment Committee members Corie Tarara, of Seaton Peters Revnew and  Joel Schroeder of Faegre Baker Daniels.

The seminar featured three separate panels: (1) What’s New at the EEOC in the Wake of Recent Supreme Court Decisions; (2) Employment Law Implications following the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court Term: Integrity Staffing, UPS, Abercrombie & Obergefell; and (3) Improving Collegiality and Civility in Employment Litigation. Brian Rochel moderated the first panel which featured the new Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chicago District, Julianne Bowman. Ms. Bowman presented along with long-time EEOC Trial Lawyer Nicholas Pladson out of the Minneapolis office. 

The seminar featured several prominent panelists, including Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the United States District of Minnesota and The Honorable Steven E. Rau, who currently serves as Magistrate Judge for the District of Minnesota. Click here for a full agenda of the seminar.

Contact Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel for more information.

Rochel FBA Seminar

Brian Rochel Named North Star Lawyer for Pro Bono Service

Brian Rochel has been designated as a North Star Lawyer for 2014.

The North Star Lawyer designation is awarded to Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) members who provided 50 or more hours of pro bono service in 2014.  Click here to see the entire list of recipients.

Phillip Kitzer Recognized as Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer

Phillip Kitzer, partner at Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, has been named an “Up & Coming Attorney” by Minnesota Lawyer.

The Up & Coming Attorneys recognition is a prestigious honor awarded to a select few attorneys in Minnesota. Recognition is limited to lawyers in their first 10 years of practice who have already distinguished themselves by their achievements. The criteria for selection are: professional accomplishment, leadership service to the community and the profession or achievement as in-house counsel.

Up & Coming Attorneys are nominated by colleagues, supervisors and peers, and chosen by a panel of prior winners of the award. Mr. Kitzer will be recognized along with the other award recipients, and attorneys who have been named Unsung Legal Heroes, at an event on September 10 in downtown Minneapolis. Minnesota Lawyer will publish a special section on September 14 profiling Mr. Kitzer and the rest of the honorees.

Click here to read more.

Kitzer & Rochel Publish Article in FBA Labor & Employment Magazine

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners Brian Rochel and Phillip Kitzer co-authored an article in the Spring issue of The Labouring Oar, published by the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) Labor and Employment Law Section. Phillip and Brian wrote the article along with Frances Baillon, partner at Baillon Thome. The article, titled “Is McDonnell Douglas Too Burdensome? Circuits Question the Utility of the Decades Old Burden-Shifting Model,” analyzes recent court decisions calling into question the usefulness of the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting scheme.

Noting the varying approaches in the federal circuits of applying the McDonnell Douglas test to employment claims, at least two judges have advocated for doing away with burden shifting, otherwise called the indirect method, altogether because of the confusion caused by its application.  District Judge Paul Magnuson, sitting on the Eighth Circuit panel by designation, provided a lengthy exposition of McDonnell Douglas in Griffith v. City of Des Moines, 387 F.3d 733 (8th Cir. 2004), calling the direct/indirect evidence distinction a “legal fiction,” and opined that it “should have fallen into disuse after Congress amended the Civil Rights Act in 1991.”  Likewise, Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood provided a well-reasoned critique of the indirect method in Coleman v. Donahoe, 667 F.3d 835 (7th Cir. 2012).  Judge Wood wrote, “Courts manage tort litigation every day without the ins and outs of these methods of proof, and I see no reason why employment discrimination litigation (including cases alleging retaliation) could not be handled in the same straight-forward way.” The article concluded by suggesting the United States Supreme Court may ultimately take the issue to resolve the confusion within the circuits.

Click here to view the full article.

Kitzer Rochel, PLLP Defeats Summary Judgment in MHRA Disability Claims

In Oliver v. MCTC, Kitzer Rochel attorney Brian Rochel, along with co-counsel Michelle Dye Neumann, successfully argued against the employer’s motion to dismiss Ms. Oliver’s Minnesota Human Rights Act claims. Ms. Oliver suffered a disabling injury at work and alleged that she was terminated because of her disability, and because she requested reasonable accommodation for her disability. The Minnesota District Court denied the motion, ruling that a jury could find in Ms. Oliver’s favor on her claims. The case will now proceed to a jury trial.

The court’s opinion is important because it held that Karst v. F.C. Hayer Co, 447 N.W.2d 180 (Minn. 1989), a case long used by employers to fend off liability for disability discrimination, did not apply to Ms. Oliver’s claims. In doing so, the court narrowed the application of Karst and called into question whether it is still good law.