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Joseph A. Piesco, Jr.

Partner | New York
T (212) 506-1955
F (212) 506-1800
Joseph A. Piesco, Jr. represents employers in litigation before federal and state courts (including defense of putative class actions), administrative agencies and arbitration panels.  His litigation and trial experience includes: defense of claims of sex, race, age, national origin and disability discrimination and sexual harassment; actions brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and various state employment laws; disputes involving the enforcement of employment contracts; enforcement of restrictive covenant and non-competition agreements; and defense of various state common law claims arising out of the employment relationship.  Joseph regularly advises clients and conducts training on a broad array of subjects including: terminations and other disciplinary actions; employment, consulting and separation agreements; reductions-in-force; employment policies and practices; wage and hour auditing; union avoidance and collective bargaining; anti-harassment and workplace diversity; workplace violence; and litigation avoidance.  Prior to joining Kasowitz, Joseph was an associate with the labor and employment groups of Brown, Raysman, Millstein, Felder and Steiner LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Notable Representations

  • Representation of the largest and most diverse ground transportation provider of its kind in North America, certain black car franchises and individual defendants in a wage and hour class and collective action brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Labor Law and New Jersey Wage and Hours Laws for purported misclassification of black car franchise owners and their lease drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
  • Representation of Borders, Inc. in defense of a WARN Class Action brought by former employees of the company in the United States Bankruptcy Court in New York.  Kasowitz secured a very favorable settlement of the class action for Borders early in the case (before even answering the complaint).
  • Representation of Florida Gas Transmission Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Union Company [NASDAQ: SUG], one of the nation's leading diversified natural gas companies, in connection with the defense of an FMLA retaliation and whistleblower lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  Joseph’s team obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims prior to trial, and the decision was affirmed in late October 2011 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the bar of which Joseph is a member.  On January 26, 2012, the Plaintiff filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court denied the Plaintiff’s Petition.
  • Representation of Elliott Management Corp., one of the world’s largest hedge funds with approximately $19 billion under management, in a case against a rival hedge fund and several other corporate and individual defendants in the United States District Court for Southern District of New York for, among other claims, theft of trade secrets relating to trading of mortgage-backed securities.  After obtaining an injunction against the defendants, Kasowitz subsequently obtained a settlement of the matter on terms favorable to the client.
  • Representation of Avnet, Inc., one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic parts and components, in defense of claims against it by a competitor for, among other things, alleged thefts of trade secrets and violations of the Lanham Act.  The case was litigated for almost two years in state and federal courts located in Colorado and in New York.  It ultimately settled after substantial discovery and motion practice.
  • Representation of Rainbow USA, Inc., owner and operator of approximately 1,600 retail apparel stores throughout the United States, in connection with a putative class action brought by former employees alleging various wage and hour law violations in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The case was settled for a very small dollar amount after Kasowitz ran a successful anti-certification campaign which enabled them to convince the plaintiff’s counsel that the alleged claims had little, if any, merit.
  • Representation of International Fight League, a start-up mixed-martial arts league, in connection with the defense of claims for, among others, theft of trade secrets and restrictive covenant violations, brought by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2008, which was fought in Las Vegas state court.  The case was settled after Kasowitz successfully defended against the UFC’s bid for an injunction prohibiting the IFL from competing in the industry.

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