Professional Experience
Hurricane Katrina Victims Class Katrina Victims; Diane Ridgley; Judy Sturcken; David Bellinger; and Tamica Dickson, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. Federal Emergency Management Agency; United States Department of Homeland Security; Michael Chertoff, Secretar Represented a group of low-income individuals displaced from their homes by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other Federal officials; class action lawsuit in Federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Court certified class action and granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting FEMA from terminating people from its rental assistance program.
Non-Native English Speaking Teachers (Lowell MA) AALDEF/Lowell Teachers; Vandy Dutch, et al. v. City of Lowell Weil Gotshal won a major pro bono victory on behalf of non-native-speaking teachers from the Lowell, Massachusetts school system, fired when they failed an English fluency test. The arbitrator found the terminations were without just cause and reinstated the teachers with full back pay, all seniority rights, health care benefits, and pension benefits. The arbitrator further found that Lowell’s policy impermissibly discriminated against non-native-speaking teachers and that the teachers’ constitutional rights were violated when Lowell failed to observe the teachers and examine their past teaching history. On January 16, 2007, a single justice of the Appeals Court ruled in favor of the teachers and denied Lowell’s motion to stay. The teachers are now back at work while the appeal is pending. more
David Wittig U.S. v. Wittig Appealed conviction of 40 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and circumvention of internal financial controls. Won appeal; conviction overturned on all counts and retrial barred on 25 most serious counts.
Enron Power Marketing Inc. Enron Power Marketing, Inc. (EPMI) Obtained a significant victory in favor of the Enron bankruptcy estate involving a constitutional challenge to Congressional legislation aimed at stripping the Bankruptcy Court of jurisdiction over disputes concerning Enron's power contracts with various trading counterparties.
Supportkids Inc. In re Supportkids, Inc. Represented Supportkids, Inc. in a class-action lawsuit filed by Cynthia Morris, as named plaintiff, against Supportkids, Inc., the nation’s largest private child-support collection company. Ms. Morris, a client of SupportKids claimed violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act and unauthorized practice of law by Supportkids in the way that it obtained the court order securing her child-support payments. Ms. Morris sought discovery of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all of Supportkids’s Texas clients since 1991, when the business began. On appeal, WGM filed an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus against the trial court’s order requiring production of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of Supportkids’s client list. The court of appeals immediately granted the emergency motion for stay and granted the mandamus petition and ordered the district court to vacate its orders requiring Supportkids to disclose its clients’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Stanford University
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Harvard University
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Speaking Engagements
University of Texas School of Law 14th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals 2004: “United States Supreme Court Update” (TX, January 01, 2004)
University of Texas School of Law 12th Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals 2002: “Obtaining and Using Legislative History” (TX, January 01, 2002)
State Bar Suing & Defending Governmental Entities Courses in 2001, 2002, and 2003: “New Cases You Need to Know About: Supreme Court Update” (TX, January 01, 2001)
Attorney General Advanced Appellate Advocacy Seminar 2001: “Interlocutory Appeals & Immunity Issues: Sovereign, Qualified, Official” (TX, January 01, 2001)
State Bar Suing & Defending Governmental Entities Course 2000: “Individual Rights in Public Places” (TX, January 01, 2000)
13th Annual Local Government Seminar 2000: “Political Retaliation” & “Immunity: Individual & Governmental” (TX, January 01, 2000)
Education Law Association Conference 1999: “Legal Strategies for Avoiding Individual Liability Under Federal Civil Rights Laws: How to Maximize the Benefits of Qualified Immunity” (TX, January 01, 1999)
Author/Speaker for the Public Sector Employment Seminar 1999: “Reassessing Personal Liability” (TX, January 01, 1999)
Websites & Blogs
Contact & Map
8911 North Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX 78759
Telephone: (512) 349-1938
Fax: (512) 527-0798