My introduction to the the hospitality industry began with employment at a hotel in downtown Boston while I was attending Boston University. This work fostered the stamina that served me when I later pursued a law degree at William & Mary, served as a law clerk for a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and began practicing with a large international law firm in Atlanta.
When we founded our firm over twenty-five years ago, it gave me a chance to refocus on hospitality and I’ve done so ever since. The scope of my work has included the representation of hotels and restaurants in federal and state trial and appellate courts in 31 states as well as before regulatory agencies, such as the NLRB and the EEOC. It also has included extensive alternative dispute resolution practice in mediations, employment arbitrations, and labor arbitrations. I’ve additionally had the opportunity to represent executives and managers in our industry when they’ve unexpectedly had to confront more individualized problems.
The hospitality industry is nuanced with unique labor and employment issues alongside an ever changing array of government regulations. My experience allows me to succinctly identify the best and most practical solutions for our clients.
This kind of problem solving fuels my passion for practicing law. It also has led me to teach Labor Law as an adjunct Professor at the Emory University School of Law as well as give continuing legal educations seminars for other attorneys, provide training sessions for managers, and publish articles on different legal topics for the industry.
January 3, 2020
John Hunt’s latest article for HotelExecutive.com covers the history of the Equal Pay Act, the latest updates nationwide, and how this legislation affects hotels and restaurants across the county. Head over to the link to get all the details, or keep reading for the full text! For further questions, clarifications, and conversation no matter your state, please reach out to Stokes Wagner.
February 3, 2019
Last week the Ninth Circuit filed its en banc opinion by the Ninth Circuit in Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, No. 15-15791, 2018 WL 4440364 (9th Cir. Sept. 18, 2018). In this case, the full Ninth Circuit overturned previous panel and district court decisions and upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s “20%” rule for tipped employees.
September 23, 2018
This week, HotelExecutive.com published an article by our own John Hunt and Ashley Nunneker, covering the nuanced differences between different types of compensation for hotel and restaurant servers. Check it out on their website! And if this thorough review doesn’t quite clarify everything you’re wondering about gratuities and service charges, contact Stokes Wagner with any questions you might have!
December 17, 2017
June 16, 2017
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that placed restrictions on the ability of law enforcement officers to inspect hotel guest registers and other records. Many local laws, which had authorized unlimited police inspections, suddenly were rendered unconstitutional. This article reviews that decision and discusses the developments that have occurred in this area during the past year.
Until recently, hotels in many jurisdictions routinely provided the police with access to their guest registers without much concern about the privacy issues that might be involved. After all, numerous cities and towns possessed ordinances that required hotels to collect specific guest information and allowed the police inspect the information upon request. A failure to allow access could result in a fine or in some cases, jail time.