James M. Paul

Shareholder || St. Louis

Jim has extensive trial and appellate experience with handling labor and employment law litigation in federal and state courts, and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Illinois Department of Human Rights, and several other federal and state agencies. He has also earned the national Society for Human Resource Management’s “SHRM-SCP” certification and regularly advises employers on all labor and human resource management issues in an effort to prevent or resolve employee issues before they escalate into legal disputes. As Co-Chair of the firm’s Disability Access practice group, Jim advises clients regarding legal requirements for accommodating disabled individuals and defends Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Act lawsuits nationally.

Prior to his private practice of law, Jim served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ray Price, Jr. of the Missouri Supreme Court and then as a Missouri Assistant Attorney General. As Assistant Attorney General, he represented the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the Missouri Division of Labor Standards, and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights by enforcing state discrimination and wage and hour laws. He also worked in Washington, D.C. on legislative issues for the late Missouri Governor Carnahan and has taught Trial Advocacy at Saint Louis University as an Adjunct Professor.

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Jim has extensive experience advising employers on all labor and human resource management issues. Jim advises and defends international, national, regional and local companies, as well as non-profit organizations. Examples of these labor and employment matters include: discrimination charges; the interaction of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and workers’ compensation laws; the enforcement and drafting of employee arbitration and jury waiver agreements; the enforcement of, and defense against, employee non-competition agreements; and the drafting and analysis of employee handbooks and policies. He has significant experience drafting and negotiating employment and non-competition/non-solicitation agreements, and—depending on the client’s perspective—he enforces (or defeats) these types of agreements in court. Jim has successfully defended and settled hundreds of discrimination charges and wrongful discharge claims. When necessary, Jim litigates cases in court and has tried dozens of cases to verdict by juries, judges and arbitrators.

Jim also has significant experience with training, advising and defending hospitals, hotels, retailers, theaters, and other entities regarding their obligations to disabled patients and customers pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, with a particular emphasis on deaf interpreting and captioning, deaf culture, and American Sign Language (ASL).  He defends those entities when claims are brought against them by the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, or similar state civil rights agencies.

Many employment laws vary from state to state, and Jim has worked with clients who have multi-state (and even 50-state) operations to ensure that their policies and practices are compliant in every jurisdiction.

Finally, because of his judicial clerkship experience and the direct handling of many appeals since that appointment, he is able to effectively assist clients when it is necessary to either defend a ruling on appeal or to obtain a reversal or other relief from an appellate court.

Education

Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section; Management Co-Chair, FMLA Subcommittee, 2009-2015)
  • Missouri State Council of SHRM (Vice-Director, 2017-present); (Director, Eastern District, 2016-2017)
  • Human Resources Management Association of Greater St. Louis (President, 2015)
  • The Missouri Bar (Labor and Employment Law Committee; Chair, 2003-2006)
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Bar Association of Central and Southern Federal Districts of Illinois
  • United Hebrew Congregation (Interfaith Outreach Committee, 2002-2006)
  • ABA Annual Midwinter Meeting Report of the Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act (Editor, 2009-2016; Contributing Author, 2000-present)

Speeches

Insights by James M. Paul