VOL. 126 | NO. 28 | Thursday, February 10, 2011
Memphis Law Talk
Ford & Harrison Beefs Up Practice With Meyers Addition
By Andy Meek
Ford & Harrison LLP has added to its Memphis office a new attorney who focuses on labor and employment law.
(Photo: Lance Murphey)
Robert Meyers has joined the firm from Kiesewetter Wise Kaplan Prather PLC, where he practiced for more than 13 years.
Meyers, who also is a member of the Shelby County Election Commission, is a veteran litigator who has defended the practices of companies in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana and Virginia. His long list of credentials includes certification as a civil trial specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
He’s a member of the Memphis, Tennessee and American Bar Associations and is a member of the Defense Research Institute and its employment committee and civil rights and governmental tort liability committee.
His interest in law, admittedly, started a long time ago.
“It was kind of a combination of Atticus Finch and the TV lawyers that got me interested,” Meyers said. “I had a brief health care career before I went to law school, so I was interested in kind of the intersection of law and medicine. And that all brought me to law school.
“When I got out of law school, I was fortunate to go work for some very fine law firms and had some great mentors. That ultimately culminated in my focus on labor and employment law and civil rights defense.”
Louis Britt, managing partner of Ford & Harrison’s Memphis office, said Meyers’ strong experience and health care background will benefit all the firm’s clients served by the Memphis office.
“Robert is a fine employment lawyer and a true professional, and I am delighted to welcome him to the firm,” Britt said.
Meyers said the firm was attractive to him for several reasons. One was that it gave additional reach to his practice.
As companies in Memphis grow and add facilities and employees in other states, Meyers said they can be served by any of Ford & Harrison’s 18 offices around the country.
That, combined with an opportunity for personal growth and to get involved in “bigger, more complex matters,” solidified the move for Meyers.
His areas of focus remain especially relevant amid the aftermath of the recession. The claims employment lawyers like him are seeing a lot of include race claims, as well as gender and age claims. The latter is something Meyers expects to see more of as the work force ages.
Meanwhile, Meyers enjoys sharing advice with younger lawyers, particularly a litigation theory taught to him that he summarizes around the idea of “control.”
“The concept is when a new matter arises, you need to understand immediately what the legal issues are,” he said. “You’re going to want to understand what the elements are of the claims being brought against your client, and you’re going to want to know that as soon as you can humanly digest that. And then you’re going to want to go out and learn the facts that are related to those claims – again, as fast and as thoroughly as you can.
“Because if you don’t get control of the law and the facts on the front end, you can’t steer the ship. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get near the outcome you’d get otherwise.”
Among other highlights of his career, Meyers has helped clients deal with employee medical issues including those related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers’ compensation concerns.
His court admissions include the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, federal courts in Middle, Western and East Tennessee and U.S. Dist. Court for the Western Dist. of Arkansas.