I’m well-positioned to help employers navigate through existing workplace problems and avoid future ones because I’ve been an employer. When I ran a 100-plus-employee business, I hired, I fired, and I got hit by law suits. I retained and paid for attorneys before I became one. Consequently, as an attorney with more than 30 years of experience, I always ask clients: “What are your business goals?” Then I help them meet those objectives, and I coach them on how to think about employment problems, and solutions in the future.
Brooke Duncan III advises regional and national clients on a wide range of employment law issues, by partnering with them on their options while helping them stay consistent with their overall business plans. Brooke counsels employers in many industries, including hospitality, maritime, manufacturing, warehousing, education, the non-profit world, and even other law firms.
As one example of pragmatic problem-solving, Brooke helped resolve a difficult union stranglehold on the convention and trade show industry in New Orleans, which was threatening one of the area’s vital economic engines. Brooke strategized a way to break the union's hold and allow employers to operate efficiently and more competitively with other cities, also vastly expanding employment opportunities for local workers. In prevailing in a long litigation battle, Brooke and his team essentially helped transform the industry for the good of the clients, their employees, and the area’s economy.
Recently, because attention on sexual harassment in the workplace has increased greatly, employers need to make sure they avoid such behavior and the harm and liability it brings. Brooke frequently speaks about and presents seminars to employers and their managers on training techniques for sexual harassment avoidance, as well as on the myriad of other issues employers face.
Other ways in which Brooke brings value to clients include:
- Practical, proactive consulting with CEOs, managers and human resources professionals about problematic labor and employment issues. Drawing on his real-world workplace management experience, Brooke helps avoid needless legal entanglements and achieve positive employee relations.
- Helping employers maintain union-free status, defending job discrimination claims, answering FMLA questions, understanding wage and hour regulations, resolving reduction-in-force issues, and complying with the myriad of workplace regulations and laws facing all employers.
- • Developing and revising handbooks and policies, preparing employment agreements and confidentiality/non-competition contracts, and advising on employment issues arising from mergers and acquisitions.
- For unionized employers, handling grievances and arbitrations, and collective bargaining agreements.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Brooke gained practical business and management experience by running a factory that manufactured industrial fabric products. Brooke also served as a detective with the New Orleans Police Department, receiving several awards for outstanding duty.
“ Clients value a lawyer who takes complicated legal issues, makes them understandable, and helps solve business problems. I talk clients through options, help them prioritize concerns, and collaborate with them to strategize good decisions. After we think through issues together, my clients often tell me, thanks, they looked at the problem from a different angle than they would have before this conversation. That’s when I get the greatest professional satisfaction. ”
- Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1986
- Vassar College, A.B., 1974
Areas of Practice
- AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Management Labor Law, 2014
- Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year - Management Labor Law, 2018
- Best Lawyers® - Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, 2007 - Present
- Chambers USA - Labor and Employment, 2003-Present
- Louisiana Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Employment and Labor: Employer 2007-2019
- Client Choice Award, Louisiana Employment & Benefits, 2016, 2017
- New Orleans' Top Lawyers, New Orleans Magazine, 2017, 2020
- New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Honoree, 2011
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- Society for Human Resource Management, New Orleans Chapter, Board of Directors
- Louisiana Civil Service League, Board of Directors
- Metropolitan Crime Commission, Board of Directors
- New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Board of Directors
- New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness, Board of Directors
- Louisiana State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Vassar College, Former Trustee
- Louisiana State Police Commission, Past Chair