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.

Learn more about James M. Paul

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

  • J.D., Washington University, 1995
  • B.S.B.A., summa cum laude, Labor Relations, Saint Louis University, 1992
  • B.S.B.A., summa cum laude, Economics, Saint Louis University, 1992
  • Minor, Health Information Management, Saint Louis University, 1992
  • Certificate, Deaf Communication Studies/American Sign Language (ASL), St. Louis Community College, 

Admittance to Practice

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

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

  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Professional Responsibility in Employment Litigation: Best Practices and Worst Mistakes" - Clayton - June 2018
  • Clear Law Institute - "FMLA Self Audits: Make Sure You Are in Compliance" - National Webinar - May 2018
  • DisruptHR St. Louis 2.0 - "Disrupting the Animal in ALL of Us" - Helium Comedy Club - May 2018
  • Employment Connection of St. Louis - "How Justice-Involved Individuals Navigate the Application and Interview Process" - St. Louis - May 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "The Life of a Discrimination Claim - From Allegation Through Trial" - Phoenix - May 2018
  • CAPLAW.org - "To Pay or Not To Pay: That is the Question Regarding Your Interns and Volunteers" - National Webinar - April 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins - "To Pay or Not To Pay: That is the Question Regarding Your Interns and Volunteers" - National Webinar - March 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Employment Law Briefing" - St. Louis - February 1, 2018
  • HRMA of Greater St. Louis - "Overhauling Your Performance Appraisals to Avoid or Defeat Claims" - St. Louis - February 2018
  • Missouri SHRM - "Missouri Day on the Hill - How to Advocate on Behalf of the HR Profession" - Jefferson City - January 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Effectively Managing the Most Difficult Leave of Absence and Accommodation Issues" - St. Louis - September 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Employment Law Update" - St. Louis - September 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "To Evaluate or Not to Evaluate: Performance Appraisal Strategies" - St. Louis - September 2017
  • Enterprise University - "Ever-Expanding Disability Accommodation Obligations" - St. Louis - May 16, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "The Ultimate Exit Interview Checklist" - San Diego - May 5, 2017
  • Enterprise University - "Labor & Employment: What Can We Expect from the New Administration?" - St. Louis - March 15, 2017
  • American Bar Association, Federal Labor Standards Committee Midwinter Meeting - "FMLA Games: What if YOU Were the Employee, or the Employer, or the Judge?!" - Playa del Carmen - February 2017
  • HRMA of Greater St. Louis - "The Ultimate and Effective Termination Checklist" - St. Louis - February 2017
  • Enterprise University - "Document Creation, Retention and Destruction - Including E-mails, Voicemails and Texts... Oh My!" - St. Louis - November 2016
  • Lemay Chamber of Commerce - "The New OT Regulations Are Coming . . . Are You Ready?" - St. Louis - November 2016
  • Equifax Client Advisory Board Conferences - "The Importance of Disciplinary Documentation" - St. Louis and Chicago - October 2016
  • Express Employment Professionals Briefing - "The New Overtime Regulations From the Department of Labor Are Coming . . . Are you Ready?" - St. Louis - October 2016
  • Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) - "Quick Decision Time – How Are You Going to Implement the DOL’s New Overtime Regulations?" - St. Louis - September 2016
  • Enterprise University - "Top 10 Dangerous Wage and Hour (Payroll) Mistakes" - St. Louis - September 2016
  • SHRM Missouri State Conference - "The Ultimate Exit Interview and Checklist" - Lake of the Ozarks - August 2016
  • SHRM Missouri State Conference - "Waive Goodbye to Juries Without the Pitfalls of Arbitration Agreements" - Lake of the Ozarks - August 2016
  • Enterprise University - "Top Ten Dangerous Wage and Hour (Payroll) Mistakes" - St. Louis - May 2016
  • HRA of Central Missouri - "2016 Employment Law Update – The DOL and EEOC Are Aggressive This Election Year!" - Columbia - May 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - "The Website Accessibility Litigation Explosion: Is It on Your (Radar) Screen?" - Chicago - May 2016
  • Crane Agency Briefing - "Top 10 Wage and Hour (Payroll) Mistakes and Effective Discipline, Discharge and Documentation" - St. Louis - April 2016
  • Enterprise University - "Document Creation, Retention and Destruction - Including E-mails, Voicemails and Texts...Oh My!" - St. Louis - April 2016
  • American Bar Association, Federal Labor Standards Committee Midwinter Meeting - "F(amily)MLA Feud" - San Juan - February 2016
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - "Workplace Feuds – How the St. Louis Rams and Abercrombie & Fitch Are Changing the Employment Law Landscape" - St. Louis - September 2015
  • Enterprise University - "Juggling the FMLA, ADA, GINA and Workers' Compensation Laws" - St. Louis - September 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Proactively Tackling the DOL’s 2015 Agenda – Exempt Status, Salary Basis Test, After-Hours Use of Smartphones, Independent Contractors, and Same-Sex Spouse Leave Benefits" - St. Louis - September 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Two Can Play that Game . . . Or Can They? Unlawful Retaliation in the Workplace" - St. Louis - September 2015
  • SHRM Missouri State Conference - "You’re NOT the Boss of ME! Regulating Employees’ Off-Duty Conduct" - Lake of the Ozarks - August 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - "You’re Not the Boss of Me!" - St. Louis - April 2015
  • Enterprise University - "Is Your Employee Handbook Up-to-Date and Effective?" - St. Louis - April 2015
  • Enterprise University - "Is Your Employee Handbook Up-to-Date and Effective?" - St. Louis - November 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "FMLA and ADA Workshop" - St. Louis - October 2014
  • Enterprise University - "New Age Social Media Pitfalls" - St. Louis - May 2014
  • Enterprise University - "Is Your Employee Handbook Up-to-date and Effective?" - St. Louis - April 2014
  • American Bar Association, Federal Labor Standards Committee Midwinter Meeting - "FMLA Jeopardy" - Miami - February 2014
  • Corporate Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Technology and ADA Access Litigation" - Charleston - November 8, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "ADA Title III Accommodations" - New Orleans - May 10, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Advanced Workshop - "An In-Depth Overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act" - St. Louis - February 27, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Expectations 2013: An Employment Law Update for Employers" - St. Louis - January 23, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "The ADAAA - The New Definition of 'Disability' and the EEOC's Position on Reasonable Accommodations" - St. Louis - March 29, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Dogs, Ponies And Scooters Are In The House! Key Public Accommodation Challenges" - Chicago - May 2011
  • Interactive HR Workshop - "Managing the Impact of Social Media in Workplace Decisionmaking" - Boca Raton - March 3, 2011
  • Lorman Education Services - "Missouri Employment Legislation and Case Developments" - webinar - November 9, 2010
  • American Bar Association, 4th Annual ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference - "We’ll Just See What the Judge Says About That!" - Chicago - November 4, 2010
  • AAIM Employers’ Association, 2010 Strategic Directions Conference - "Employment Law Trends: The Obama Effect" - St. Louis - October 21, 2010
  • The Missouri Bar - "Stepping Up and Stepping Out: The New Lawyer Experience" - St. Louis - October 16, 2010
  • Lorman Education Services - "Return-to-Work Compliance When Jobs Are Gone" - webinar - June 23, 2010
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter - "The New Attorney-Client Privilege and Representation of Corporate Representatives . . . How Litigation Will Impact These Issues in 2010 and Beyond" - St. Louis - March 18, 2010
  • 2018 - Practical Law Series, Thomson Reuters - "Compelling and Staying Arbitration in Missouri"
  • December 2017 - Bloomberg BNA/American Bar Association (Co-Editor-in-Chief) - "The Family and Medical Leave Act, Second Edition"
  • September 6, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Employee’s FMLA Claims Survive Because Employer Miscounted Leave Days Used"
  • 2017 - Practical Law Series, Thomson Reuters - "Enforcing Arbitration Awards in Missouri"
  • December 2015 - Bloomberg BNA/American Bar Association (Co-Editor-in-Chief) - "The Family and Medical Leave Act, Cumulative Supplement"
  • October 2015 - Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter - "More 'Waiving' Goodbye to Juries - Almost a Decade Later"
  • October 2015 - Bloomberg BNA/American Bar Association” (Co-Editor, Chapter 10 – FMLA) - "Workplace Data Law & Litigation"
  • August 2014 - HR Magazine - "Worker Prevails on FMLA Retaliation Claim"
  • June 16, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Worker Prevails on FMLA Retaliation Claim"
  • 2011 - Missouri Administrative Law, Fourth Edition - "Administrative Procedures Under Civil Rights Laws"
  • Winter 2010 - Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter Newsletter - "How Personal Liability for Workplace Injuries Has Extended to Co-Workers"
  • Fall 2010 - The Monitor (publication of The American Society of Safety Engineers) - "Functional Capacity Evaluations & Return to Work"
  • 2008 - Missouri Employer-Employee Law, 3rd Edition - "Leaves of Absence"
  • 2008 - 2011 - The Family and Medical Leave Act - "Interrelationship with Other Laws, Employer Practices and Collective Bargaining Agreements (Chapter 9 Editor)"
  • January 2006 - Midwest In-House Lawyers Weekly - "Will Employers and Employees ‘Waive’ Goodbye to Juries?"
  • 2002 - How Arbitration Works - "Use of Substantive Rules of Law"
  • April 2001 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Drafting Effective Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in the Employment Relationship"
  • 2000 - 2011 - American Bar Association - "ABA Annual Midwinter Meeting Report of the Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act (Contributing Author, 2000-2008; Editor, 2009-2011)"
  • April 1998 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Disability Benefits vs. Disability Discrimination-Which One Will It Be?"
  • Summer 1995 - Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law - "Immunity Through Reporting Oil Spills-A Safe Harbor, or Just the Tip of an Iceberg?"
  • April 19, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Know the Law Before Paying Students Less Than Minimum Wage"
  • February 1, 2018 - HR Dive - "Will unpaid internships make a comeback in light of new guidelines?"
  • January 16, 2018 - Business Insurance - "Labor Department rebalances test for intern pay"
  • January 9, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Will DOL’s New Intern Test Revive Unpaid Internships?"
  • November 6, 2017 - SHRM Online - "How Can Health Care Workers Who Refuse to Get Flu Shots Be Accommodated?"
  • October 20, 2017 - Law360 - "GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week"
  • October 18, 2017 - Law360 - "4 Tips For Flu Shot Programs That Won't Get You Sued"
  • September 7, 2017 - Refinery29 - "What's the deal with severance?"
  • June 15, 2017 - Refinery29 - "Are You Legally Required To Give Two-Weeks Notice?"
  • April 6, 2017 - Refinery29 - "Can I Use FMLA If I Don't Have a Baby?"
  • January 20, 2015 - St. Louis Business Journal - "Expert Roundtable: What's the Best Way to Find a Job?"
  • May 6, 2014 - Workforce magazine - "FAMILY Act: A Baby Boon?"
  • November 21, 2010 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Court OKs New Jury Instructions"
  • September 19, 2010 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "GOP Looks to Roll Back Supreme Court Decisions"
  • January 21, 2009 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Wrongful Firing Case Remanded for New Trial"
  • November 3, 2008 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Jury on Trial"
  • August 6, 2001 - Missouri Lawyers Weekly - "Arbitrator’s Discovery Ruling Not Reviewable"
  • SHRM-SCP Certification
  • Best Lawyers St. Louis Litigation – Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year, 2016
  • “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers Top 100: Kansas and Missouri (2018)
  • Super Lawyers Top 50: St. Louis (2018)
  • Super Lawyers (2008-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2010-present)

Insights by James M. Paul