"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Workers and Civil Rights

Representing employees with wage and hour disputes, minimum wage and overtime, civil rights claims over discrimination, and human rights violations.

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Class Actions

Class actions are pursued on behalf of a class or group or collective of people with a common issue of law or fact.

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International Law & Transactions

Litigating for foreign clients in America, and conducting loan transactions and due diligence for micro finance institutions and worthwhile clients, and pursuing human rights.

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Attorney Gaudet

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Tweets For Justice:

RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC is a law firm registered in Seattle, Washington with a foreign legal entity registered in El Paso, Texas.  The firm was established by American lawyer Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. while he was studying complex litigation in Europe under a Fulbright grant from 2007 to 2008.

Dr. Michael S. Brown and Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. on Pine Street in downtown Seattle

RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC is pleased to announce that civil rights lawyer, Michael S. Brown, Ph.D., J.D.,recently joined the law firm as Of Counsel. Mr. Brown is licensed in Washington and previously served with Mr. Gaudet on the Washington State Bar Association Civil Rights Committee. 

“I am very excited to work with an old friend and trusted colleague such as Mike Brown.  He is a person of integrity, soft spoken, and capable of working through complicated issues with patience,” said Mr. Gaudet who has worked with Mr. Brown on the Civil Rights Committee and, also, on complex litigation matters on appeal.

About Mr. Brown

Dr. Brown has been licensed as an attorney in the state of Washington for over 20 years. Dr. Brown has a J.D. from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as a Ph.D. in history from Washington State University. He is currently working on his second book, Victorio Acosta Velasco and the New Western History about a Seattle-based civil rights activist.

Next to his work as a lawyer, Dr. Brown has taught law and history at numerous institutions of higher education, including the University of Washington in Tacoma, Eastern Washington University at Bellevue College, and Tacoma Community College.  Much of his legal experience has been in the courtroom.

Working Together For Social Justice

Mr. Gaudet and Dr. Brown were active members of the Washington State Bar Association Civil Rights Committee. They both served on the Olympic Peninsula Discrimination Subcommittee, which was tasked with researching discrimination inK-12 public schools.  

Mr. Gaudet chaired the subcommittee.  Dr. Brown, Mr. Gaudet, and other members of the subcommittee authored a report based on a thorough investigation.  Dr. Brown recalls, “I believe our work resulted in changes in a school’s policies on discrimination.”

During and after his leadership of the subcommittee, Mr. Gaudet has sought to advance social justice by working as “people’s lawyer” and through the tool of class actions, while Dr. Brown has served clients with civil rights and criminal issues. 

At RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC, Dr. Brown will work on civil matters while separately pursuing criminal matters as a part of his own independent law practice.  Mr. Brown has continued to educate the next generation of Americans and foreign exchange students on the American legal system.

About the Firm

RJ Gaudet & Associates, LLC. works with lawyers in different jurisdictions, including Washington, Texas, Washington DC, California, Virginia, and the United Kingdom.  RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC can also assist clients with class actions, civil rights, and wage and hour problems outside of these jurisdictions through “pro hac vice”appearances and local counsel.

“We are very saddened by the news of the passing of Louis de Frankopan, the husband to Prof. Dr. Ingrid Detter de Frankopan,” says Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. who is joined other members of RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC in extending their deepest sympathies to Prof. Detter and her family.

 

A Requiem Memorial Mass in the memory of Mr. Frankopan will be held on December 14, 2018 in the Brompton Oratory, Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on Brompton Road in London, England.

 

Prof. Detter met Mr. Frankopan when they were students at Oxford University. It was the start of a life-long partnership and love of 50 years with numerous children and grandchildren.

Mr. Frankopan’s surviving spouse, Prof. Detter, is an accomplished Barrister and author of books on international law including the recently published “Philosophy of the Law of Nations” published by Montesa Jagellonica in 2018. She served as a legal advisor to His Holiness Pope John Paul II and represented the nation of Dominica in legal proceedings.

Mr. Frankopan and Prof. Dr. Detter at the Vatican

More recently, Prof. Detter served as an expert on international law in a federal court in California opining as to whether a terrorist act may constitute an act of war.  Her husband will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

In honor of the first Thanksgiving in North America in 1598 between Juan de Oñate and the Native Americans in the El Paso region, you are cordially invited to meet Rev. Harcourt Klinefelter, former media director for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WHEN: Monday, November 19, 2018 from 5 pm to 7 pm

WHERE: Tigua Tribal Courthouse, 9241 Socorro Road, El Paso, TX 79907.

WHAT: Rev. Klinefelter will show segments of a video documentary about his life and work with Dr. King, answer questions, talk about a new book about his life, and give a pre-Thanksgiving blessing to the Tigua community, Stanford alumni, Dutch-Americans, and other participants.

INVITEES: Tigua residents, Stanford alumni, Dutch-Americans in El Paso, community residents and activists, and their families and friends. RSVPs are preferred but not required.

Tigua residents who plan to attend may notify Aundria E. Garcia at aundria.garcia AT ydsp-nsn.gov. Stanford alumni who plan to attend may notify robert AT rjgaudet.com, tel. (915) 308-0025. Dutch-Americans and other community residents and activists who plan to attend may notify karin AT rjgaudet.com.

On July 19, 2018, a jury in Omaha, Nebraska entered a verdict of $713,000 against a financial advisor for breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent misrepresentation and against a borrower who did not repay a loan from the late Joyce R. Petersen.

Erik Petersen, Joyce R. Petersen, and Jilynn Wall

Ms. Petersen was a long-time resident of Omaha and a music teacher who left behind an insurance policy with a benefit of $140,000 for her church in Omaha.

Ms Petersen Playing Keyboard – Video

Her children, Erik Petersen and Jilynn Wall, filed a lawsuit against her former financial advisor, William Bitters, and a borrower who did not repay a loan that was arranged by Mr. Bitters. Ms. Petersen’s children brought the lawsuit in honor of their mother’s memory and to seek justice on her behalf.

Joyce R. Petersen Standing Before a Sculpture of a Lion and a Lamb Sitting In Peace

Ms. Petersen’s children testified in a trial that included seven days of evidence, testimony, and closing arguments as well as an additional day for jury deliberation. They testified Ms. Petersen absolutely trusted her financial advisor but was misled. For instance, he told her that he was asking the borrower to repay her when, in fact, the borrower testified Mr. Bitters told him not to repay her but, instead, to use the money to pay for a renewal premium on an insurance policy sold to him by Mr. Bitters which allowed Mr. Bitters to earn a commission.

The lawsuit was brought to clear Ms. Petersen’s name, obtain justice, and honor her memory, for instance, with donations to charities that Ms. Petersen loved and to a church that she attended in her last few years.

Joyce Petersen and Her Husband on Scooters

Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. was trial co-counsel, examined numerous witnesses including Mr. Bitters, and made the closing statement.  Karin Gaudet-Asmus assisted with legal research, exhibits, and numerous other matters at trial.

Mr. Gaudet’s co-counsel was Dallas lawyer J. Hamilton McMenamy.  Closing arguments ended on July 18 and the verdict was rendered on July 19.

Taking the Oath of a Lawyer

December 20, 2017 @ 1:05 am

On December 19, 2017, Karin Gaudet-Asmus was sworn into the California bar association by the Honorable David Guaderrama of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso.  The judge complimented her for passing one of the country’s hardest bar exams and noted it is especially an accomplishment for someone who speaks English as a second language.  Mrs. Gaudet-Asmus’s native language is Dutch and she is a proud member of the local Dutch community in El Paso.  It was very gracious of Judge Guaderrama, his clerks, and his bailiff/guard to make time for Mrs. Gaudet-Asmus’s swearing-in ceremony.  Congratulations, Mrs. Gaudet-Asmus!

In November 2017, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. approved a $1.7 million settlement of FLSA and COBRA claims that Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. co-prosecuted against the U.S. Government on behalf of employees of the Customs and Border Protection Service who took a training course for canine detection – in El Paso, Texas and Front Royal, Virginia – but were not paid compensation for after-hours time spent studying.

Court approval is required for any settlement of a FLSA claim.  Although the Government argued no such approval was necessary, the Court sided with arguments researched and drafted by Mr. Gaudet that were submitted to the Court as part of extensive legal briefing.  “I am proud to have been a part of this case on behalf of Canine officers in the Border Patrol who were not paid for training time that benefited their employer, the U.S. Government,” said Mr. Gaudet.

Mr. Gaudet is a lawyer licensed in Texas and Washington who works on cases across the United States with co-counsel. He is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).  Mr. Gaudet is currently prosecuting another case in Washington, D.C. on behalf of employees of a seafood distribution company, OceanPro AKA ProFish, that provides seafood to the White House, the CIA, five-star hotels and restaurants, and over 3,000 customers but that misclassifies its employees as “exempt” from wage requirements and fails to pay them for overtime hours in excess of forty hours per week.

Mr. Gaudet is a fifth-generation El Pasoan whose great-great-grandfather moved to El Paso from Zacatecas, Mexico and whose grandfathers moved to El Paso to serve in the military at Ft. Bliss.  Mr. Gaudet worked for five years at a nationwide class action firm in Seattle, spent 7 years practicing law and teaching in Europe, and moved back to the United States with his wife and colleague, Karin Gaudet-Asmus.  He is currently working on cases nationwide including Seattle, California, Virginia, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Years ago, Prof Dr Ingrid Detter challenged then Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, that the USA would never join the ICC. The spirited dialogue was part of a panel discussion organized by Robert Gaudet Jr. at an American Bar Association SIL International Human Rights Committee event in Paris. Today, roughly 7 years later, Prof Dr Detter had an opportunityto meet now Chief Prosecutor Bensouda, both pictured below, at the yearly Conference of the Société française de droit international in Lille, France, 20 May 2017.

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A giant of the law, Clint Bamberger, passed away in Baltimore, Maryland on February 12, 2017, after a life-time of helping the poor, inspiring students, and living his faith through the practice of social justice, and just 2 days before his first Valentine’s Day alone in 64 years.

I last saw Clint and his wife, Katharine, in their condo in Baltimore a couple of years ago. I knew he had been the first director, in the 1960s, of the nationwide Legal Services Corporation which provides legal services to the poor, appointed by President Johnson.

Clint Bamberger and Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. on May 4, 2015 at the Bamberger residence in Baltimore, Maryland

I did not know (as described in the Baltimore Sun article below) that Clint had argued the Brady case in the Supreme Court. It established the super-famous rule that prosecutors must disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense. That case actually helped one of my former clients, Edwin P. Wilson, who was prosecuted and put in jail for over 20 years after prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence contrary to the Brady decision. When this was disclosed years later, Edwin Wilson used the Brady decision to vacate his decision and get out of jail after over 20 years. We then represented Edwin Wilson in a lawsuit against the former prosecutors and complainant (many of whom had become federal judges despite having broken the Brady rule as prosecutors years earlier, and one is now a partner at a prestigious D.C. law firm). Our case was dismissed on the grounds of prosecutorial immunity although one person, Stanley Sporkin (former CIA executive director), could have been on the hook, as a defendant, since he was not a prosecutor but claims against him were voluntarily dismissed. So, this Brady decision is super-huge in importance and Clint apparently argued it before the Supreme Court. It would not be a decision today if it were not for Clint’s perseverance in taking the case.

I did not know that Clint was the former Dean of Catholic University law school. I did not know that he helped set up legal aid services in South Africa around 1994, about a year after I had worked in South Africa.

Clint spent his life teaching and helping the poor, driven by his Catholic faith, (aside from the years he worked at Piper Marbury as a partner on presumably corporate matters … but he told me that’s why they later picked him to head the Legal Services Corporation – because he was a buttoned-down partner at an established law firm. That firm, which was perhaps the most famous in Baltimore, has now merged into what is now DLA Piper.)

Robert J. Gaudet, Jr.; Katherine Kelehar (Clint’s wife); and Clint Bamberger at the Bamberger residence on May 4, 2015 in Baltimore

[Pictured: Robert J. Gaudet, Jr.; Katharine Kelhehar; Clint Bamberger; May 4, 2015; at the Bamberger home in Baltimore]

When my wife (Karin Gaudet-Asmus) and I last visited Clint and his wife in their assisted living condo in or near Roland Park, about two years ago, Clint seemed frail but he could walk around with a little bit of trouble. I was worried about his health. But he was as gracious as ever. We were late so we unfortunately missed the food that had been available in the dining hall. I believe his wife, Katharine, made something at the spur of the moment. They were kind to entertain us as visitors and share family news and discuss social justice and events which, at the time, involved the riots in Baltimore for which Karin and I served as legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild. I always found Clint inspiring and full of integrity.

The article, below, says Clint’s wife, Katharine, passed away in December 2016. That is very sad. In 2015, she seemed much younger and healthier when we last saw them together; she helped him walk and get around; and she advised him to take it easy although he was enthusiastic and vigorous as a host. Over the past several days, before his passing, I can only imagine that he might have had tremendous grief in anticipating his first Valentine’s Day alone in over 64 years.

In a visit around 2001 or 2001 to Clint and Katharine’s previous condo at the Inner Harbor (which, I think, the father of my high school classmate, Leo D’Aleo, had built), while I was in law school and figuring out where to move to make a difference, I remember Clint told me that Baltimore was a “dying city” and advised me not to return. I was hoping for some links to class action lawyers or social justice lawyers in Baltimore. But I took his words to heart. I looked into some options in Baltimore but never heard back, e.g. from the Angelos law firm. Unlike defense firms, plaintiff’s and social justice firms do not recruit at top law schools across the country. I was offered a summer position at Piper Marbury (where Clint was once a partner int he 1960s, now called DLA Piper) but I did not want to defend Microsoft against antitrust suits, etc., so I turned it down. In retrospect, maybe I should have looked harder into returning to Baltimore. The fact that it was a “dying city” was no reason not to return. If anything, it might indicate there was an even greater need for new lawyers who, in the mold of Clint, could help the vulnerable and dispossessed.

When I entered the law profession, people like Clint and Jack Greenberg (former dean of my undergraduate college at Columbia University) are what I had in mind. They are what I expected from the profession – changing the world, helping the poor and vulnerable. They are the lights of our profession. Sadly, since becoming a lawyer, I have not met very many lawyers like them, with the same devotion, understanding of real people’s troubles, concern for the world, empathy, ambition to do better for everyone, drive, sense of camaraderie with like-minded spirits. I hope I can remember to follow the example set by Clint and try to carry a small piece of the torch.

Thank you, Michael Susko, for introducing me to him.  I am glad you got to know him through the Catholic church in Baltimore, a place that nourished both of you in your faith to care for others and help the vulnerable as a way of life. This example of Clint’s life is the strongest testament to the immense power that faith can have if one actually lives out one’s beliefs.   -Robert J. Gaudet, Jr.

Karin Gaudet-Asmus; Katherine Kelehar; and Clint Bamberger at the Bamberger residence on May 4, 2015 in Baltimore. Around this time, Karin and Robert served as legal observers for the National Lawyers Guild in Baltimore during the time of unrest

Women are sold like cows in India to be brides, victims of human trafficking. Read more and watch a 30-minute video: http://tinyurl.com/jmqj6r4. Robert Gaudet’s colleague in civil rights litigation, Harish, says girls are drowned in water at birth by midwives in parts of India.  They are not cherished.  To the contrary, in parts of India, people give condolences rather than congratulations when a female child is born.  Help us investigate and make a documentary about these injustices. Harish can introduce an interested filmmaker to midwives who will admit to these practices and can be filmed. Contact this firm, RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC, if you are interested in doing something about these grave human rights violations that should trouble anyone with a conscience.  Baby girls do not deserve to be scorned and murdered simply because of their gender. Serious inquiries only, please.  Thanks to Robert J. Gaudet, Jr.’s mother, Barbara Gaudet, for bringing this 30-minute video to his attention.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-2-59-14-am

Today, Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. secured a default judgment against Defendant John L. Henry.  The clerk of the federal court in Nebraska issued the judgment pursuant to a motion filed by Mr. Gaudet and his co counsel, Dallas lawyer J. Hamilton McMenamy.  The judgment was rendered on behalf of the Estate of Joyce Petersen, a now-deceased widow who was cheated out of $150,000 that she loaned to Nebraska resident John Henry under a Promissory Note that promised repayment within 2 years plus interest. Mr. Henry never paid back a dime.

Mssrs. Gaudet and Hamilton will continue to prosecute the lawsuit against remaining defendants including William E. Bitters, the financial advisor who cajoled Ms. Petersen into taking money out of a safe annuity and loaning it to Mr.  Henry, and his partner, Robert Boland.  Mssrs. Gaudet and Hamilton recently drafted an Amended Complaint with RICO claims against these defendants who similarly advised another person, Mr. Nelson, to loan money to the same John L. Henry. Mr. Nelson never got his money back either.  Mr. Gaudet is admitted pro hac vice in federal court in Nebraska.