Charlie has established a legal practice in excess of 25 years in all aspects of labor, employment and employee benefits law counseling and litigation. He is chair of the firm's Employee Benefits Practice Group.
Charlie regularly counsels employers, providing preventive advice and practical solutions to the day-to-day problems confronting businesses large and small. He has an active practice advising employers on a wide range of benefits compliance issues such as COBRA, HIPAA, USERRA and the FMLA. He has represented employers in strikes, union election campaigns, contract negotiations, railway labor, and employment litigation. He has also led successful court challenges to statutes and regulations intended to restrict employer flexibility.
Charlie has represented public and private employers in Maine and New Hampshire from diverse industries, including pulp and paper, textiles, health care, energy, transportation, construction, and retail in union-organizing campaigns, arbitrations and unfair labor practice claims. He frequently advises unionized employers concerning contract interpretation, benefits and negotiation issues, and represents employers in both grievance and interest arbitrations. Charlie has been actively involved in strike preparation, planning and implementation and litigation arising out of Maine's largest strikes over the past two decades. He has obtained numerous temporary restraining orders against unlawful union picketing conduct during strikes.
Charlie frequently appears before the region's Human Rights Commissions and the EEOC on discrimination matters and is often involved in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and arbitration of employment disputes in an effort to avoid litigation.
Charlie has represented carriers in a wide range of areas under the Railway Labor Act and under the other statutes regulating railroads. For example, he has represented the region's largest rail carriers in contested matters before the National Mediation Board concerning the appropriateness of a bargaining unit, the eligibility of train dispatchers to organize under the Railway Labor Act, and in union organizing and election campaigns. He has been involved in cutting-edge litigation concerning the jurisdiction of the federal courts (as opposed to Section 3 arbitration boards), where allegations of violation of a collective bargaining agreement are made in conjunction with allegations of violation of the Railway Labor Act. He has litigated the survivability and portability of collective bargaining agreements following lease or consolidation transactions pursuant to ICC (now STB) procedures. He has been involved in both grievance arbitration before Section 3 Railway Labor Act Boards and interest arbitration brought pursuant to Labor Protective Conditions imposed by the ICC. He has also made presentations to Presidential Emergency Boards.
Charlie has led the successful challenge to several legislative and administrative attempts to restrict employers. For example, he was lead counsel for the Maine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its Amicus Brief to the Justices of Maine's Supreme Judicial Court resulting in a unanimous opinion that proposed legislation to restrict an employer's right to hire replacements during a work stoppage was unconstitutional. He successfully obtained a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court against a Municipal Ordinance designed to obstruct an employer's ability to operate during a strike. He obtained a judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine holding that the so-called Railroad Employees Equity Act-which imposed significant burdens upon new rail carriers was unconstitutional. He also filed suit against regulations concerning Maine's wood measurement laws. As a result of that lawsuit, the Attorney General's office withdrew the regulations and promulgated new regulations.
Honors & Distinctions
- Listed since 1995 in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law and Labor Law
- Recognized in Chambers USA for Labor & Employment Law
- Member, Cumberland County, Maine State, and American Bar Associations
- Member, American Bar Association Railway Labor Act Committee; Labor and Employment Law Committee
- Member, Maine State Bar Association Employment Law Committee
- Member, Association of Transportation Practitioners
- Frequent speaker and author, presenting papers and lecturing at various industry forums