Richard T. Seymour

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney in Washington, DC

Law Office of Richard T. Seymour, P.L.L.C.
 | Suite 900, Brawner Building, 888 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006-3307
Phone: 202-785-2145
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1968
Education: Harvard Law School
Practice Areas:
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (50%),
  • Constitutional Law (10%),
  • Appellate (10%),
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (10%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Civil Rights (10%)
Attorney Profile

I am graified when parties and their attorneys bring their legal disputes to me, to help resolve them in mediation.  This is a vote of confidence in my ability to understand the imperatives of each side, and to come up with functional -- and sometimes creative -- solutions that can also sometimes be a win-win.  I try hard to understand the hidden motivations of the parties, bring several cold buckets of reality with me, and can sometimes help them see goals they like better than the ones they had coming in.  I am even more gratified when the parties and their attorneys ask me, either directly or through an arbitration services provider like AAA and AHLA, to decide their dispute, relying on my knowledge of the law, understanding of litigation, judgment, ad the arbitral equivalent of good judicial demeanor.  

I offer legal services to people and firms in Washington, D.C., its surrounding areas and throughout the nation. I focus my practice on arbitration, mediation, employment and labor, and class actions/mass torts. I regularly handle cases on matters such as sexual harassment, age discrimination, wage and hour, retaliation, religious discrimination, disability discrimination, wage disputes, national origin discrimination, Employee Retirement and Income Security Act violations and overtime disputes.  He is on the American Arbitration Association roster for Employment Arbitrators and its roster for Commercial Arbitrators.  He is on the American Health Law Association roster for Arbitrators and Mediators.  He has completed Healthcare Mediation training with the AAA. 

I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1968, but started working on civil rights cases in Louisiana as a law student starting in 1966.  I served with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights until September 1969, and then turned my attention to representing people in civil rights matters.

For 48 years, I have helped protect the rights of people throughout the country. I obtained a $20 million settlement in a 25-year case for black aplicants and employees of the J.P. Stevenms Co. in North Carolina.  I was a lead attorney on the team that ended the Federal government's use of its Professional and Administrative Career Examination, which at one time was given to more than 160,000 applicants per year.  I have brought or continued class actions against Police and Fire Departments in Houston, Akron, Buffalo, and the State Police in Mississippi and New Jersey, challenging selection standards for hiring or promotion.  I obtained a $7.2 million judgmenht against the Mississippi State Employment Service for racial and sexual discrimination in referring aplicants to employers with job openings.  This is the ONLY time anyone has obtained class back pay from ANY State Employment Service.  I am admitted to several federal trial courts, appeals courts and the United States Supreme Court.

Community involvement is extremely important to me. I am a former Chair of the American Bar Association's then 26,000-member Section of Labor and Employment Law, the third-largest entity in the ABA.  I chaired committees for the American Association for Justice, formerly called ATLA.  I have taught as an adjunct professor for Georgetown University Law Center, appeared numerous before Congress to testify on matters concerning civil rights enforcement, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

I have served on many bar association panels and committees, incuding the former ABA Class Action Task Force. In addition to these activities, I am also an active lecturer and the author of several legal publications.  I am a co-author of fifteen editions of Equal Employment Law Update, copyright Americna Bar Association 1996-2007, published by what is now Bloomberg BNA.  I have also been gratified to be asked to speak to organizations or shows with viewpoints differing from mine, so we could earn from each other.  In cooperation with the Federal Judicisal Center, I have helped train judges on discovery questions, and Federal judicial law cerks on summary judgment. 

I have spoken to the Federalist Society at its national convention and to a local chapter, and been favorably impressed with its openness to diferent viewpoints and the quality of the discussion.  I have been on the Ollie North Show, and really liked the guy.

A key lesson from a half century of work in civil rights, civil litigation, Bar, and other activities: Never, ever, assume that a party or attorney is acting in bad faith.  If they are, they will show it soon enough.  Often, however, there are sound reasons for what they  are doing and it is possible to work with them once one understands their concerns.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Employment & Labor (50%): Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment

Constitutional Law (10%)

Appellate (10%): Appeals

Alternative Dispute Resolution (10%): Arbitration, Mediation

Class Action/Mass Torts (10%): Class Actions

Civil Rights (10%): Americans with Disabilities Act, Race Discrimination, Disability, Discrimination

Focus Areas

Employment & Labor: Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment

Appellate: Appeals

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, Mediation

Class Action/Mass Torts: Class Actions

Civil Rights: Americans with Disabilities Act, Race Discrimination, Disability, Discrimination

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2017

Email Me

To: Richard T. Seymour
Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

White Papers

  • Richard Seymour Responds to Improper Attacks on the Nomination of Eric Dreiband to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, September 4, 2017 (2017) -      I know Eric Dreiband of Jones Day as an eminent attorney of great integrity and judgment.  He has been nominated to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and a leading civil rights organization of formerly great credibility seems to me to have set out to try to destroy him through grossly improper statements, with which it has swayed numerous other oganizations relying on it.  I submitted my response to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 4, 2017, responding to the grossly improper arguments made by this organization on Augist 31, 2017. 

  • About Richard Seymour

    Admitted: 1968, Washington D.C.

    Professional Webpage: http://www.rickseymourlaw.com/biography.shtml

    Honors and Awards:

    • A write-up is on the web site of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, http://www.mwela.org/LawyersoftheYear: "Rick Seymour was honored for his extraordinary contributions to the employment bar, including his annual caselaw update, his willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge of the caselaw, and his decades of dedication to civil rights law."  The statement of the then President of MWELA, Lindsa Correia, can be seen at http://www.rickseymourlaw.com/news3.shtml., Attorney of the Year, Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers' Ass'n, 2007
    • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Chair, 25,000-member American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, August 2011-August 2012, 2011
    • Chair, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2011
    • Member, ABA Class Action Task Force, 2002
    • Leadership positions, American Bar Assocation Section of Labor and Employment Law.  Co-chair of CLE Committee, Co-Chair of Denver Annual Conference Planning Committee, Council Member, Liaison with ABA Governance, 1996
    • Brewery Workers of America, AFL-CIO, while working during college, 1964
    • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow, former member of the Board of Governors, member of the D.C. Circuit Credentials Committee, former member of the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Credentials Committees
    • Chair, 25,000-member American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, August 2011 - August 2012
    • Member, American Bar Association, Section Officers Council, August 2010 - August 2012
    • Member, American Association for Justice
    • National Employment Lawyers Association
    • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association
    • Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
    • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    • Member, Board of Directors of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    • Vice-Chair, American Association for Justice's, Section and Litigation Group Coordinating Committee, 2004 - 2005
    • Member, American Association for Justice's, Section and Litigation Group Coordinating Committee, 2004 - 2010
    • Chair, American Association for Justice's, Section and Litigation Group Coordinating Committee, 2005 - 2008
    • Chair, American Association for Justice, Employment Rights Section, 2003 - 2004
    • Member, American Bar Association, Class Action Task Force, 2002 - 2004
    • Co-chair, American Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1995 - 1998
    • Co-chair, American Bar Association, Annual Meeting Subcommittee, 1994 - 1995
    • Co-chair, American Bar Association, One of its Subcommittees, 1979
    • Co-chair, American Bar Association, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, 1991 - 1994
    • Member, American Bar Association, Governing Council, 1998 - 2006
    • Elected Liaison for ABA Governance, 2006 - 2008
    • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2008 - 2010
    • Member, Board of Governors, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 1998 - 2002
    • Member, Drafting Committee, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights that helped write the Civil Rights Act, 1991
    • U.S. Supreme Court, 1971
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court Northern District of Mississippi
    • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court District of Columbia
    • District of Columbia

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law., 2005
    • From January 1977 to February 2001, I was the Director of the Government Employment Project, and subsequently Director of the Employment Discrimination Project, of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law., 1977
    • I have testified numerous times in Congress on matters concerning civil rights laws, the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

    • Speaking annually to the Arizona State Bar and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute
    • Speaker, Organizations of plaintiffs' attorneys in the District of Columbia, Florida, New Jersey, and Wisconsin
    • Speaker, Wisconsin Bar
    • Speaker, University of Richmond Law School
    • Speaker, University of Louisville Law School
    • Speaker, U.S. Bureau of Prisons
    • Speaker, U.S. Department of Justice
    • Speaker, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • Speaker, Practicing Law Institute
    • Speaker, Pennsylvania Bar Institute
    • Speaker, Ohio Bar
    • Speaker, New York University Law School
    • Speaker, New York State Bar
    • Speaker, National Employment Lawyers' Association
    • Speaker, National Employment Law Institute
    • Speaker, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    • Speaker, Minnesota Bar, Upper Midwest Employment Conference
    • Speaker, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    • Speaker, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    • Speaker, King County, Washington, Bar, Pacific Coast Legal Conference
    • Speaker, Georgetown University Law Center
    • Speaker, Florida Bar
    • Speaker, Federal Judicial Conference, appearing on FJC videotape on employment law for training Federal judicial law clerks; member of panel on Jury Instructions at judges' conference)
    • Speaker, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    • Speaker, District of Columbia Bar
    • Speaker, Connecticut Bar
    • Speaker, Center for American and International Law
    • Speaker, Atlanta Bar
    • Speaker, American Association for Justice
    • Speaker, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
    • Speaker, American Psychological Association
    • Speaker, American Bar Association Section of Torts and Insurance Practice
    • Speaker, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law
    • Speaker, American Bar Association Section of Business Law
    • Speaker, ALI-ABA (American Law Institute/American Bar Association)
    • Speaker, Alabama Conference of the N.A.A.C.P.
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2001 Paper for ATLA
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2002 Paper for ATLA
    • History of Civil Rights Protections in Employment – 2002 Paper for New York State Bar
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2002 Paper for National Employment Law Institute
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2003 Paper for ATLA
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2003 Paper for Arizona Bar
    • Asserting or Defending Back Pay Claims – 2003 Paper for Pennsylvania Bar Institute
    • Arbitration – 2003 Paper for Federalist Society
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2004 Paper for ATLA
    • Evidence – 2004 Paper for Florida Bar
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2004 Paper for Arizona Bar
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2005 Paper for ATLA
    • Sexual Harassment – 2005 Paper for National Employment Lawyers Association
    • Mixed Motives – 2005 Paper for ABA EEO Committee
    • Jury Instructions in Employment Cases – 2005 Paper for Federal Judicial Conference
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2005 Paper for Arizona Bar
    • Electronic Evidence – Practical Issues – 2005 Paper for ALI-ABA
    • Damages and Taxes – 2005 Paper for ALI-ABA Santa Fe Program
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2006 Paper for ATLA
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2006 Paper for Wisconsin Bar
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2007 Paper for ATLA (now AAJ)
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2007 Paper for Arizona Bar – Supplement with New Supreme Court Grants of Review
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2007 Paper for Arizona Bar
    • Discovery Depositions – 2007 Paper for MWELA
    • Discovery Conundra – 2007 Paper for MWELA
    • Class Action Updates – 2007 Paper for ALI-ABA
    • Class Action Ethics – 2007 Paper for ALI-ABA
    • Short Employment Law Update – 2008 Paper for ATLA (now AAJ)
    • Retaliation – Supreme Court and Appellate Update
    • Evidence 2008 – Paper for ALI-ABA
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2008 Paper for DC Bar
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2011 Paper for the Arizona Bar
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2012 Paper for the Arizona Bar
    • Summary Judgment – 2013 Seymour Paper for ALI in Santa Fe
    • Retaliation – 2013 Seymour Paper for ALI in Santa Fe
    • Evidence and Discovery Problems – 2013 Seymour Paper for ALI in Santa Fe
    • Employment Discrimination Update – 2013 Paper for the Arizona Bar
    • Arbitration – 2013 Seymour Paper for ALI in Santa Fe
    • ABA – 2013 Seymour Paper on the Ethics 20-20 Commission's Changes in Client Confidentiality Rules
    • Rescuing Civil Rights Claims After the Supreme Court's 1989 Civil Rights Decisions, I wrote "The Loss of Predictability in EEO Litigation, and Further Questions to Be Resolved," in EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION AFTER THE 1989 U.S. SUPREME COURT RULINGS, Prentice Hall, 1989
    • Rescuing Civil Rights Claims After the Supreme Court's 1989 Civil Rights Decisions, I wrote "Predictability in EEO Litigation," in PROMOTING MINORITIES AND WOMEN: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR THE 1990S, A BNA SPECIAL REPORT, Bureau of National Affairs, 1989
    • Explaining to Industrial Psychologists the Problems in the Tests They Prepare: I wrote "Why Plaintiffs' Counsel Challenge Tests, and How They Can Successfully Challenge the Theory of Validity Generalization," 33 JOURNAL OF VOCATIONAL BEHAVIOR 331, 1988
    • Technical Class Action Problems: I wrote "Post-Certification Problems in Class Actions," published in the PRACTICING LAW INSTITUTE HANDBOOK, FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION, 1982
    • How to Get Relief for Individual Members of a Class: I wrote "The Use of 'Proof of Claim' Forms and Gag Orders in Employment Discrimination Class Actions," 10 CONN. L. REV. 920, 1978
    • Getting Clients' Cases to the Jury: I wrote "16 Summary Judgment Commandments," TRIAL, Dec. 2000, p. 28.
    • Obtaining Information from Employers: I wrote "The Shrinking Door to Discovery," TRIAL, May 2001, p. 48
    • Punitive Damages: I wrote "Pursuing Punitive Damages in Job Bias Cases," TRIAL, July 2002, p. 64
    • Wrote a Chapter on Mediation of class actions in HOW ADR WORKS, Bureau of National Affairs, Norman Brand, ed., 2002
    • Co-author, Equally Highly Respected Attorney for Employers, John F. Aslin of Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington
    • Co-author, Highly Respected Attorney for Employers, Barbara Berish Brown of Paul Hastings, Janofsky, & Walker in Washington, D.C.
    • Co-author, Twelve Editions of EQUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE, Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, D.C., American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law, 1996 - 2005
    • Co-chaired, annual "EEO Update" Conference sponsored by Georgetown University Law Center, 1999
    • Editor, Lawyers' Committee newsletter, Civil Rights Act and EEO News, a free publication that went to over 6,700 plaintiffs' attorneys, public officials, and others across the country, 1992 - 2001
    • Frequently Testified before Congress on affirmative action, testing issues, and the performance of the EEOC and the Department of Justice
    • Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Toronto, Gordon Krischer of Los Angeles, August 2011
    • Co-author, ELIZABETH J. CABRASER AND RICHARD T. SEYMOUR, ANALYSIS, IMPLICATIONS, AND TEXT OF THE CLASS ACTION FAIRNESS ACT 2005, SPECIAL ALERT TO CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTIONS PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, CALIFORNIA FORMS OF PLEADING AND PRACTICE, LexisNexis, 2005
    • Co-author, Fifteen Editions to date of the ongoing EQUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE, published by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law through the Bureau of National Affairs, Washington, D.C., 1996 - 2007
    • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

    Verdicts and Settlements:

    • Kohne v. Imco Container Company, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, This was a small sex discrimination class action for women working at a plastic bottle manufacturing and decorating plant in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The court found that the company had discriminated against women in initial assignments and in promotions. The case was settled in 1981 for $ 210,000 in back pay and interest, and changes in company practices
    • Payne v. Travenol Laboratories, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, This case went to trial on claims of classwide race and sex discrimination in hiring and initial assignment, classwide sex discrimination in initial assignments and in promotion, sex discrimination in imposing a mandatory six-month maternity leave on female employees, and racial discrimination in failing to give retroactive seniority to black employees who were previously discriminated against in hiring. The case was settled for changes in company practices. The class shared $1.1 million in back pay and a number of jobs made available to them as part of the settlement
    • Luevano v. Campbell (D.D.C.) (knocked out Federal government's nationwide hiring test for 118 professional, technical, and administrative occupational series)
    • Lewis v. Bloomsburg Mills, 773 F.2d 561 (4th Cir. 1985) (reversal of findings of nondiscrimination)
    • Edwards v. City of Houston (S.D. Tex.) (consent decree, and defense of consent decree, providing 106 remedial promotions to African-American and Hispanic police officers harmed by discriminatory promotional tests and related litigation) (five Fifth Circuit arguments, one of them en banc)
    • Dowdell v. Ona Corp. (N.D. Ala.) ($2.5 million settlement for 142 former black employees harmed by co-worker racial harassment)
    • Brewer v. Miller Brewing Co. (N.D. N.Y.) ($2.7 million in compensatory damages to 97 black former employees harmed by co-worker racial harassment)
    • Bogan v. Fleetwood Enterprises (D. Idaho) (settlement of nationwide sex discrimination and sexual harassment class action for prospective relief)
    • Sledge v. J.P. Stevens & Co. (E.D. N.C.) ($20 million settlement for 2,900 back pay claimants harmed by racial discrimination in hiring and job assignments at the company's facilities in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina)
    • Pegues v. Mississippi State Employment Service (N.D. Miss.) (first findings of classwide racial discrimination by any State Employment Service in the country against applicants seeking referrals to employers with jobs, first such findings of classwide sexual discrimination; $5.8 million litigated award to more than 700 claimants)
    • Sines v. Service Corp. Int'l (S.D. N.Y.) ($4.45 million recovered in class and collective action for overtime violations under the FLSA and New York Labor Law)

    Representative Clients:

    • William Douglas Fulghum, et al. V. Embarq Corporation, et al.

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • First plaintiff's attorney to be Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section; award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, award from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

    Educational Background:

    • Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, B.A. in English and German Literature, 1965
    Office Location for Richard T. Seymour

    Suite 900, Brawner Building
    888 17th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20006-3307

    Phone: 202-785-2145

     

    Richard T. Seymour:

    Last Updated: 9/11/2017

    Page Generated: 0.44142484664917 sec