LANDMARK DECISIONS & APPEALS
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: THE RESULTS OF ALL CLIENT MATTERS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH MATTER. PAST SUCCESSES DO NOT PREDICT OR GUARANTEE FUTURE SUCCESSES.
- Mathew B. Tully – State of New York County Court: Orange County – People v Jones – Decision and Order – Client’s 9 year sentence and conviction vacated with Appeal victory.
- Greg T. Rinckey – Savage v. Savage – Successful Supreme Court appeal in which lower court decision which found client to be in willful violation of a child support order was reversed and reimbursed counsel fees.
- Mathew B. Tully – Jose D. Hernandez v. Dept of the Air Force – Obtained appeal decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board that the board should overturn its original decision and could adjudicate claims of USERRA violations prior to the statute’s enactment in 1994. Jose D. Hernandez, a retired aircraft mechanic for the Air Force contended he was erroneously charged for leave time from 1980 to 2001. Hernandez was granted the petition and the original decision was vacated.
- Mathew B. Tully – Pucilowski v. Department of Justice – Alexander F. Pucilowski Jr., a federal corrections officer and federal air marshal contended he was erroneously charge for military leave from 1989 to 2002 while in the National Guard. Court said a series of its recent rulings on military leave pay cases, including Hernandez, has signaled its view that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act should be interpreted liberally to the benefit of guardsmen and reservists. This case resulted in more favorable military leave pay determinations by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board toward federal employees who are also in the National Guard or military reserve. “Will expand the time frame for which guard personnel can seek compensation and potentially make their case easier to prove” – Mathew B. Tully
- Mathew B. Tully – Jackson v. United States – The United States Supreme Court vacated the prior judgment upholding defendant’s sentence and remanded the matter to the court for reconsideration of defendant’s sentence in light of Booker.
- Mathew B. Tully – Miller v. U.S. Postal Service – MSPB said reservists who worked at the Postal Service also eligible for back pay because of an erroneous leave policy.
- Mathew B. Tully and Greg T. Rinckey – Collins v. Department of the Agriculture – Filed an appeal alleging that while employed by the Department of the Agriculture he was charged military leave even on non-work days which caused him to use annual, sick, or leave without pay to perform military duties from 1989 -2000. Based on USERRA, the agency was ordered to correct its records and to pay appellant the back pay that was owed.
- Greg T. Rinckey – Garcia v. Department of State Marc – A. Garcia petitioned for review of an initial decision denying his request for corrective action. Garcia was granted the petition and the original decision was vacated. Held that the board could adjudicate claims of USERRA violations prior to the statute’s enactment.
- Steven L. Herrick – Darrell Crawford v. Dep’t of the Army – Obtained decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board that the Army violated his rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by failing to reemploy him in a proper position after his return from active military duty.
- Steven L. Herrick – James Townsend v. JP Morgan Chase – Obtained settlement in which defendant, who had effectively demoted client upon his return from service in violation of USERRA, reassigned client to the position he occupied before leaving for military service. Defendant also paid client’s attorney fees.Due to Tully Rinckey PLLC’s aggressive case strategy, the Department of the Army agreed to settle the case and pay the client $150,000, which included back pay with interest and benefits, plus one year of salary, and full reimbursement of attorneys’ fees. Moreover, the Agency agreed to expunge the proposal and decision to remove from the employee’s entire record, create a successful rating for the client’s 2009 performance evaluation as well as produce a neutral reference for employment purposes.
- Steven L. Herrick – Isabella v. Department of State – Appellant Isabella applied to the Department of State (DOS) for a Defense Security Service appointment. DOS refused to hire him because his 37th birthday was approaching before they could get his application processed. He appealed to the MSPB who rejected the DOS claim due to the law that requires a federal agency to waive the maximum age rule when hiring a veteran unless they can prove that the age limit rule would be essential to the job duties. The MSPB remanded the case to the Administrative Judge who ruled in favor of DOS. Appellant appealed to the MSPB again, who reaffirmed its decision that the age rule cannot be applied. MSPB ordered DOS to process Appellant’s application. In this case, the OPM intervened saying that the MSPB’s decision would severely impact civil service law. MSPB once again reaffirmed its original decision.The Agency originally removed the employee from federal employment due to alleged sexual harassment. However, while deposing the alleged victim, Tully Rinckey PLLC got her to acknowledge that the incident in question could have been unintentional conduct, and the Deciding Official testified that he would not have removed the employee if the alleged conduct was in fact not deliberate. Further, through discovery, Tully Rinckey PLLC was able to establish that the Proposing Official was not a credible person and had ulterior and improper motives for the employee’s removal.
- Federal Employment Law Case – Filed an MSPB appeal after an OPM denied client’s claim for a survivor annuity benefit following her ex-husband’s death. The divorce settlement agreement, although handwritten and fairly unsophisticated, did express the ex’s intent for her to receive the annuity upon his death. OPM rescinded its decision and issued the survivor annuity.
- Thomas J. Carr – Successfully defended U.S. Border Patrol agents Dennis J. Rascoe and Daniel S. Taylor who were justified in shooting Timothy J. Fleury in what authorities call a drug related incident.
- Schenectady County SPCA v. Richard Mills – Won appeal in FOIL request to have information released regarding veterinarians, and veterinarian technicians.
- Tully Rinckey PLLC - Hussey v. United States Department of Agriculture – To date, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has issued three final decisions awarding the firm over $45,000 in reasonable attorneys’ fees based upon the successfully enforced settlement of the appellant’s removal appeal. In one of those decisions, the Board held that “the appellant met his burden of showing that he is the prevailing party, he incurred attorney fees and that an award of attorneys fees is warranted in the interest of justice.” E.g., Hussey v. United States Department of Agriculture, MSPB Docket No. DA-0752-10-0130-A-1 (Jan. 6, 2011).
- Donald E. Kelly – Tully Rinckey PLLC secured a Supreme Court decision dismissing all charges against their client. The client was facing a range of felony charges stemming from a shooting in the City of Syracuse. The client potentially could have spent the remainder of his life in jail for a crime he did not commit. He always maintained his absolute innocence of the crime and the court agreed.
- Donald E. Kelly – Client was charged with possessing drugs with the intent to sell. We convinced the court this indictment lacked sufficient legal grounds to stand, and the searches leading to it were illegal. Ultimately, the evidence tied to the indictment was suppressed and we secured dismissal of all charges.