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Greenberg Traurig’s Alicia Sienne Voltmer Secures False Claims Act Retaliation Victory in the Fifth Circuit

DALLAS – Dec. 19, 2019 – Alicia Sienne Voltmer, of counsel in the Dallas office of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, served as lead counsel for Paul Quinn College, a nationally recognized Historically Black College, in the Rebecca Musser v. Paul Quinn College (PQC) case, wherein Musser, a former PQC employee, alleged retaliatory discharge under the federal False Claims Act (FCA). In a matter with facts that spanned an eight-year period, Voltmer secured summary judgment for PQC and Musser appealed.

In an opinion issued this week and designated for publication, the Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for PQC and found that Musser could not establish that PQC’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for her discharge, including poor performance and a reorganization, were pretextual. According to the Court, no reasonable juror could conclude Musser’s firing was due to retaliation for engaging in protected activity.

“The opinion is significant for two reasons,” Voltmer said. “First, because it confirms what PQC has adamantly maintained throughout the lengthy history of the matter---that it never engaged in unlawful conduct, and second, because it provides valuable guidance regarding the type and quality of evidence which is insufficient to establish pretext.”

Voltmer is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and advises clients on day-to-day employment matters, including reductions in force, disciplinary actions, accommodations, hiring, and firing. She also handles client mediations, arbitrations, administrative hearings, and court proceedings involving state and federal laws.

The Labor & Employment Litigation group in the firm’s Dallas office is listed in the 2020 Edition of ‘Best Law Firms’ by U.S. News-Best Lawyers, in which the office solidified its position among nationally ranked practices in 11 additional areas.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Labor & Employment Practice: Greenberg Traurig’s Global Labor & Employment Practice serves clients from offices throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Members of the practice have had numerous trial wins and are frequently called upon to handle complex, bet-the-company, and large high-stake cases, including nationwide class and collective actions. On the labor side, a leading group of lawyers regularly represents management with labor-relations matters. Labor & Employment team members assist clients with complex employment issues, and design practical, proactive strategies that can be readily implemented by today’s human resources professionals. In addition, the practice is recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the areas of Labor and Employment Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, ERISA Litigation, Workplace & Employment Counseling, and Trade Secrets Litigation. Visit Greenberg Traurig’s Labor & Employment Blog for insights and analysis of the latest labor and employment developments, including legislation, regulations, cases, policies, and trends.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP – Texas: Texas is important to Greenberg Traurig and part of its history. With more than 125 Texas lawyers in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Greenberg Traurig has deep roots in the Texas business, legal, and governmental communities. Greenberg Traurig Texas works with clients to address their interdisciplinary legal needs across the state utilizing the firm’s global platform. The Texas attorneys are experienced in industries key to the state’s future, including: aviation, chemicals, construction, education, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, health care, hedge funds, hospitality, infrastructure, insurance, media, medical devices, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, real estate, retail, sports, technology and software, telecommunications, transportation, and video games and esports.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has approximately 2100 attorneys in 41 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. Web: Twitter: @GT_Law.