John R. Hunt
John R. Hunt
Shareholder, Atlanta
Formerly: Dishwasher; Front Desk Clerk; Assistant Front Office Manager; Engineering/Maintenance Employee
Education
  • B.S., Journalism, Boston University, magna cum laude;
  • B.A., History, Boston University, magna cum laude;
  • J.D., The College of William and Mary.

While I was growing up, I saw first-hand the impact that even a questionable lawsuit can have on someone – worry, money and time. It would have been difficult to say which of these was the worst. As an attorney, I’ve tried to reduce all of these concerns for our clients when solving any legal challenge.

Originally, I worked in the hotel industry at properties in Boston and Cleveland. I later pursued a law degree, clerked for a prominent federal judge and started at a large international law firm. When we founded our law firm over twenty years ago, it gave me a chance to refocus on hospitality and I’ve done so ever since. Along the way, I’ve been privileged to represent hotels and restaurants in both trial and appellate courts in 31 states as well as before numerous agencies, arbitrators and mediators. I’ve also been honored to represent executives and managers in our industry when they’ve unexpectedly had to confront more individualized problems.

Regardless of whom we’re representing, I’ve never forgotten the toll that litigation can take on a business or person. As a result, I work to provide early, practical assessments of the pros and cons of each case and its potential economic and emotional consequences. Once this occurs, we can implement the best strategy to win at trial (or sooner) or resolve the dispute in other ways. With class and collective actions involving hundreds of people, this is particularly important. The same is true for counseling and advice. I try to use my experience in the industry and with its unique labor and employment issues to identify the best and most practical solutions as quickly as possible. In fact, this kind of problem solving is one of the things that I find to be the most rewarding about practicing law.

Of course, this requires keeping up with an ever changing array of government regulations and the sometimes unintended consequences they can pose for hotels and restaurants. While we try to anticipate these changes and communicate them to our clients as rapidly as possible, they also have given me the opportunity to speak about them at seminars for other attorneys and at training sessions for managers as well as write about them in articles for the industry.

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.

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On HotelExecutive.com, be sure to check out John Hunt’s article covering the US Department of Labor’s rule regarding tipped and non-tipped work. John Hunt is always ready to get you answers, so contact Stokes Wagner with any questions you might have!

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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.

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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!

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Head on over to HotelExecutive.com to read the latest article by John Hunt, covering a brief review of laws pertaining to hotel mergers and acquisitions! If that doesn’t slake your appetite for knowledge, contact Stokes Wagner at any time with your questions.

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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.

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