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National Guard attorney settles with firm

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An Evansville attorney and Indiana National Guardsman is settling a federal lawsuit against the Indianapolis law firm he previously worked for and sued for wrongfully refusing to re-employ him as a staff attorney when he returned from serving active duty in Iraq.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement and consent decree with law firm Mike Norris & Associates, where Mathew B. Jeffries had worked prior to his call to active duty in February 2003. In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Indiana earlier this year, Jeffries alleged that the firm had refused to re-employ him after his honorable discharge in April 2004, a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

The act provides that those who leave their jobs to serve in the U.S. military be timely re-employed by their civilian employers in the same or comparable position that they would have held if they hadn't left to serve their country.

Jeffries filed a complaint with the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), which investigated, determined the claim had merit, and referred the matter to the justice department. The DOJ sued on Jeffries' behalf in March. Norris & Associates denies that it has violated the USERRA, according to the decree. Under the terms, the law firm must provide Jeffries with $40,000 to compensate him for lost wages and accrued interest.

A Mt. Vernon resident, Jeffries is now working as a bankruptcy attorney in Evansville.

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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