Proskauer Rose LLP Opens New Office In New Orleans

Friday, April 1, 2005 - 01:00

Proskauer Rose has announced the opening of an office in New Orleans devoted exclusively to the provision of legal services in the labor, employment and employee benefits law areas.

The New Orleans office is led by Howard Shapiro, an ERISA litigator who has defended some of the country's largest employers in highly complex ERISA class action cases. He currently serves as chair of the American Bar Association's Section on Labor and Employment Law.

With the addition of the New Orleans office, Proskauer has almost 50 attorneys who practice in the employee benefits area exclusively.

Proskauer Rose represented Bristol-Myers Squibb in a recent federal case that won a favorable decision for the company. The case involved two insurance policies issued by UK-based SRI International Business Insurance Company to Bristol-Myers. After issuing the policies, SRI wanted to rescind them and enter into arbitration, stating that Bristol-Myers manipulated publicly reported financial results to induce SRI to enter into the insurance contracts. Bristol-Myers said there were no grounds to rescind the claims or enter into arbitration. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, ruled in favor of Bristol-Myers on both points.

Louis Solomon was the lead attorney representing Bristol-Myers in the case. He was assisted by Hal S. Shaftel and Emily Stern.

Proskauer Rose LLP has partnered with WeComply, Inc. to offer the first fully customizable online training program designed to help companies comply with the new California sexual harassment training law. Signed into law last year by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the statute requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide their California supervisors at least two hours of training on "preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation" at least every two years, with the first compliance deadline coming up on January 1, 2006.

With Proskauer's most up-to-date employment-law content, the program helps supervisors recognize and deal with all forms of workplace discrimination and harassment, with a special emphasis on sexual harassment. The two-hour program combines text, video vignettes, interactive exercises, "expert commentary" from Proskauer attorneys, and links to news items and other helpful resources.It also includes a mechanism for evaluating employees' understanding of the material. All content is customizable so that companies can insert their own anti-discrimination policies, modify the text so that it is industry and/or company-specific, and emphasize issues of particular importance to their supervisors - all with the use of a simple web-based interface. The program tracks usage and scoring and reports information to the company for compliance-auditing purposes.