Know Your Judge: Carlton W. Reeves

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Carmen Castro-Pagan

This week in Know Your Judge, we feature Carlton Wayne Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.

President Barack Obama appointed Reeves to the federal bench in 2010. In 1995, Reeves started working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, a position he held until 2001 when he joined the private practice.

Earlier this year, Reeves held that Halliburton Energy Services likely breached an agreement it entered with the federal government settling a job bias charge against it by failing to rehire the worker who filed the charge.

Last week, Reeves issued an opinion excoriating Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.'s behavior in disability cases over the past two decades. Reeves went through more than 100 court opinions that criticize Reliance’s disability decisions, including more than 60 opinions reversing a decision as an abuse of discretion or as arbitrary and capricious. Reliance engaged in a “decades-long pattern” of arbitrary denials of disability benefit claims and other “misdeeds,” Reeves said.

Numbers & Statistics

Reeves has fully granted one-third of the motions to dismiss before him involving employment disputes. It’s more likely for him to grant full dismissals in general labor disputes.

Reeves’s rulings on employment and benefits cases are overwhelmingly affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit—the appeals court that reviews decisions from federal district courts in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana.

Reeves takes less than a year to resolve labor, employment, and benefits cases. On average, it takes Reeves:

  • 343 days to close a lawsuit under the American with Disabilities Act (he heard 22)
  • 244 days to resolve an Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit (he heard 20)
  • 359 days to dispose an employment discrimination dispute (he heard 188)
  • 355 days to close a wage and hour lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (he heard 39)
  • 359 days to resolve a general labor dispute (he heard 9)

Looking for more analytics on judges? Check back each Wednesday for our Know Your Judge feature or try Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics. And contact us if there’s a judge you want us to highlight.

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