Practice areas

Education

Tulane University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1990

  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes and Comments Editor, Tulane Law Review, 1989-90

Tulane University, magna cum laude, with departmental honors, 1984

  • Phi Beta Kappa

L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, 1982-83

            Chambers USA 2014 Rachel Wisdom

Rachel Wendt Wisdom Best Lawyers

Photo of Rachel Wendt Wisdom

Rachel Wendt Wisdom

Member

Ms. Wisdom joined Stone Pigman in 1991 and is a member of the firm. Her practice is concentrated in employment law, complex commercial litigation, and class actions.

Representative Matters

Defended wage penalty, FLSA, FMLA, ERISA, retaliatory discharge, employment civil rights, as well as race, sex and age discrimination claims in federal and state courts for public agencies as well as hotels, manufacturers, a cable installation company, a railroad and professional services companies.  E.g., Turner v. Kansas City Southern Ry. Co., 622 F.Supp.2d 374 (E.D.La. 2009), Gelin v. The Housing Authority Of New Orleans,456F.3d 525 (5th Cir. 2006) and Sampract v. Dean Bentley, USDC for the Western District of LA, No.1:03cv579.

Successfully prosecuted and defended many claims for breach of employment contracts, including claims to enforce non-competition, anti-raiding and confidentiality clauses.

Represented manufacturing defendants in workplace exposure claims.

Represented public agencies in numerous employee termination appeals to the Louisiana Civil Service Commission and represented management in union arbitration proceedings.

Advises numerous clients regarding employment practices and policies, agreements, terminations and related compensation issues.

Represented a public housing agency, insurance companies and other business defendants in commercial and other class action proceedings, and has successfully defended against class certification.  E.g., Anderson v. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, 554 F.3d 525  (5th Cir. 2008).

Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a Louisiana industrial plant, dismissing damages claims in excess of $50,000,000.

Honors & Awards

In 2008, Ms. Wisdom was named as a New Orleans CityBusiness Woman of the Year. In 2010, she was named as a New Orleans CityBusiness Leader in Law. Ms. Wisdom has been named to The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of commercial litigation, labor and employment and class action litigation and Louisiana Super Lawyers in the field of business litigation. She has also been recognized as a future Louisiana litigation star by Benchmark Litigation. In both 2011 and 2012, Louisiana Super Lawyerslisted Ms. Wisdom as one of the top 25 women lawyers in Louisiana. In 2013, Chambers U.S.A.: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide ranked Ms. Wisdom as a leading Louisiana Labor & Employment lawyer.

Professional and Civic Activities

Ms. Wisdom served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman, U.S. District Court, 1990-91, and as Judge pro temporefor the First City Court of Orleans Parish on multiple occasions from 1999-2009.  Ms. Wisdom is an active member of the Employment Law Committee of the American Bar Association Litigation Section, is a member of the Executive Council of  the Louisiana State Bar Association Labor & Employment Section, and participated as an Instructor for the National Institute of Trial Attorneys Gulf Coast Region Deposition Seminar on multiple occasions from 2003-2009.  From 2000-2005, she served as a Board Member and Secretary of New Orleans Computer Access Program, a charitable organization that provided personal computers and training to disadvantaged New Orleans Public School first grade students and their parents.  Since 2005, Ms. Wisdom has served as the Secretary to the Board of Directors of Advocates for Arts-Based Education, a nonprofit corporation that operates the Lusher Charter Schools in New Orleans.  From 2007 through 2009, Ms. Wisdom served as President of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Our Community, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to assist with rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Katrina.  From 2007 to 2012, Ms. Wisdom served on the Board of Advisors for Ozanam Inn, a shelter and service provider for the homeless. 

Publications

Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 127 S.Ct. 2162, 167 L.Ed. 2d 982 (2007): A Question of Timing, American Bar Association, New Orleans EEO Committee, January 2008.

Home Health Aides Remain Excluded From Minimum and Overtime Wage Requirements, Louisiana Bar Journal, Vol. 55 No. 3, Oct/Nov 2007 (Labor and Employment Law Section Recent Developments Section).

EEOC V. Sidley & Austin: Power and Control,The Woman Advocate, Vol. 11 No. 3, Spring 2006 (Woman Advocate Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association).

Rodriguez v. ConAgra, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 565 (5th Cir. 1/10/06): A More Lenient Standard for Physical Disability Discrimination Claims Than For Those Involving Psychological Disabilities?, Louisiana Bar Journal, Vol. 53 No. 5, Feb/Mar 2006 (Labor and Employment Law Section Recent Developments Section).

Presentations

Evolving Issues Under the FLSA, Federal Bar Association 2013 Labor & Employment Law Conference,  May 2, 2013.

Perils of Digital Technology: Guidance for Employers, Louisiana State Bar Association Section on Labor & Employment Law, Seminar, March 2012.

Coverage Issues and the Small Employer, Louisiana State Bar Association Section on Labor & Employment Law, Seminar, March 2010.

Ethical Issues in Employment Multi-Party Litigation: Defense Perspective, Louisiana State Bar Association Section on Labor & Employment Law, Seminar, March 2008.

Working Overtime under the FLSA, New Orleans Bar Association Sports Law Forum, June 2005.

The Admissibility of Electronic Evidence, Evidence 101 Seminar, Oct. 2003.

Teaching Positions

In January 2011, Ms. Wisdom joined the adjunct faculty at Tulane University Law School as a lecturer in law for Negotiation & Mediation Advocacy.