Southeast Texas Record

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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

By Press release submission | Dec 24, 2019

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Greenberg Traurig, LLP issued the following announcement on Dec. 19.

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.

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