PIONEER SPIRIT Craig Primis worked as a paralegal during college. "I went to five trials to help support the team. After law school, I had clerkships, including with the Supreme Court. I was hooked on the pace and challenge." Winn Allen also clerked at the appellate level and Supreme Court. "But I came to the opposite decision. Unlike most Supreme Court clerks, I didn't want to be in the academic-like world of judges and appeals. I started thinking about general litigation, which has a much faster pace. Kirkland was receptive."
TRAILS BLAZED Primis and Allen consider themselves generalists. Primis said, "What's been most rewarding is resisting the push towards specialization. We handle anything-and the more novel, the better." Primis points to cases over the Communications Decency Act. "We've been involved in three of these." That includes having terrorism complaints dismissed for their client Facebook. Allen points to another case that is before the Supreme Court involving Florida's claims that Georgia's increasing use of water in metropolitan Atlanta and the state's agricultural regions is causing harm. Last year, they also won the dismissal of a health care class-action lawsuit against Honeywell and went on to win the appeal in the Sixth Circuit. "For many years, the Sixth Circuit was unique and out of step with the rest of the country by presuming collective bargaining agreements include health care for life unless the CBA specifically states otherwise," said Primis. Following the decision, employers are only responsible for providing health care for life if the CBA specifically calls for it.
FUTURE EXPLORATIONS According to Allen, Communications Decency Act cases will continue. "We've seen a pattern of people trying to push the limits of the CDA." Primis said plaintiffs involved in labor litigation will look for venues outside the Sixth Circuit. "Previously the labor side was always trying to move these cases to the Sixth Circuit, but labor will look for more hospitable worlds now."
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