Yearly Archives

Kathryne E. Baldwin published in Paradigm

Kathryne E. Baldwin published “Negative Online Reviews: Recommendations for Navigating an ‘Ethical Minefield'” in the Primerus Magazine Paradigm. 

Read the full article here:


Michael G. Polis featured in Comstocks Magazine!

Michael G. Polis was featured in “The Family Niche” published in the October issue of Comstocks magazine! The article illustrates Mike’s passion for niche farming and ethically raised lambs along with his protective llamas!

Read the full article here: 

And an additional Q&A here:

Wilke Fleury Recognized in U.S. News 2019 Edition ‘Best Law Firms’ in America

Wilke Fleury is pleased to announce its inclusion in the 2019 edition of ‘Best Law Firms’ in America. This award reflects excellence in legal service – firms included in the 2019 ‘Best Law Firms’ list are recognized for professional excellence by clients and peers.

“Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.”

Employment Law Basics for Veterinarians


In California, four primary laws govern veterinarians’ interactions with their employees: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal wage and hour laws, state wage and hour laws and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, national origin or color. This law applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, recruitment, benefits, pay, promotions, layoffs, assignments, use of company facilities and more. If a prospective, current or former employee believes he or she has been a victim of discrimination, he or she can file a complaint against your veterinary practice with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the complaint cannot be resolved, it may lead to a lawsuit.

Federal Wage and Hour Laws

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the minimum wage you can pay an employee in the United States is $7.25 per hour. In addition, when an employee works more than 40 hours in a single week, federal law requires you to pay a wage equal to at least 1.5 times the employee’s usual rate.

State Wage and Hour Laws

The state of California mandates a minimum wage of $9.00, which is higher than the federally-mandated minimum wage. As a result of this law, veterinarians in California must pay their employees at least $9.00 for every hour worked. As of January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in California will increase to $10.00. Likewise, California requires overtime pay equal to at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for every hour worked in excess of 40 per week or 8 per day. The minimum amount of overtime pay increases to double the employee’s regular rate for hours worked in excess of 12 in a single day.

Fair Employment and Housing Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act’s requirements for veterinarians are similar to those of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, in addition to all of the protections provided by the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act also prohibits employers from discriminating against current or prospective employees because of sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, military of veteran status, medical conditions, marital status, ancestry, disability or genetic information.

Five Wilke Fleury Attorneys awarded Sacramento’s Best of the Bar!

Wilke Fleury congratulates attorneys Dan BaxterSteve Marmaduke, Dan Egan, George Guthrie, and David Frenznick on their inclusion in the Sacramento Business Journal 2018 Best of the Bar! The Sacramento Business Journal annually honors the region’s top attorneys after a rigorous process of selection. To be awarded the Best of the Bar, attorneys are nominated by fellow attorneys and then vetted by a panel of peers.

Wilke Fleury is thrilled to celebrate the five attorneys awarded this distinction and looks forward to the attorney’s profiles in the Sacramento Business Journal’s special ‘Best of the Bar’ publication.


Wilke Fleury Attorney David Frenznick Recognized in 2019 Best Lawyers in America

Wilke Fleury congratulates attorney David A. Frenznick on his inclusion in the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. For the 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

David A. Frenznick – Litigation, Real Estate

David has extensive and broad experience in the areas of complex civil litigation, with particular emphasis on the representation of residential and commercial property owners in construction-related disputes. David represents homeowners, homeowner associations, developers and contractors in real estate cases, as well as complex construction defect claims involving multiple single-family residences and multi-unit developments.

Wilke Fleury Attorney Dan Baxter Named as Sacramento’s Top-Rated Business Litigator, and One of the Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California!

Congratulations to Dan Baxter!  Dan was named by SuperLawyers as one of Northern California’s Top 100 lawyers, and one of Sacramento’s Top 25 lawyers.  The latter designation also identified Dan as Sacramento’s top-rated business litigation attorney!

Eight other attorneys from Wilke Fleury were also selected as SuperLawyers for 2018!

Super Lawyers® is a service of the Thomson Reuters, Legal Division. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers® undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing  and disciplinary check. The Super Lawyers list represents only five percent of lawyers in California and Rising Stars reflects 2.5% of the state’s up-and-coming lawyers.


“I’ve Had Enough!!!” (Or, When and How to Fire a Client), Part One

In any service profession. terminating a relationship with an existing client Is one of the most uncomfortable tasks a practitioner has to undertake, “Firing a client” is not only personally unpleasant. but it
is often at cross-purposes with the economic interests of the practitioner. Whether the profession at issue is veterinary medicine. the practice of law. or mowing lawns. it is hard to “fire” someone who is paying you money And, even when the client’s dereliction involves a persistent failure to pay the interpersonal dynamics attendant to firing a client can be nettlesome. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that. for California veterinarians, there 1s no clear legal roadmap governing how a client relationship should be terminated.

Read the full article here: “I’ve Had Enough!!!” (Or, When and How to Fire a Client), Part One

2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!

Wilke Fleury is thrilled to announce our 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars! Twelve of our talented attorneys have been honored with the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars distinctions.

Super Lawyers® is a service of the Thomson Reuters, Legal Division. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers® undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area and a good-standing and disciplinary check. The Super Lawyers list represents only five percent of lawyers in California and Rising Stars reflects 2.5% of the state’s up-and-coming lawyers.

Congratulations to Wilke Fleury’s 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!

2018 Super Lawyers

Dan Baxter, Business Litigation; Daniel Egan, Bankruptcy: Business; David Frenznick, Construction Litigation; George Guthrie, Construction Litigation; Jim Krtil, Estate and Probate; Ronald Lamb, Medical Malpractice: Defense; Stephen Marmaduke, Business/Corporate; Michael Polis, Healthcare; Steve Williamson, Business Litigation

2018 Rising Stars

Adriana Cervantes, Medical Malpractice: Defense; Samson Elsbernd, Civil Litigation: Defense; Bianca Samuel, Employment Litigation: Defense

Wilke Fleury Ushers Health Plan Client’s Expansion into Texas

Sacramento, Calif., April 30, 2018 – Wilke Fleury’s health care law team has again assisted client Paveljit S. Bindra, MD, MBA, MSc, FACC to form a new health care entity. In 2016, the firm helped Dr. Bindra obtain a Knox‐Keene license to create Imperial Health Plan of California, Inc., one of California’s only full‐service health plans formed and entirely owned by a single physician.

With the firm’s help, on April 13, 2018, Dr. Bindra was issued a certificate of authority as an Accident and Health insurance company by the Texas Department of Insurance, allowing him to establish Imperial Insurance Company of Texas, Inc.

“Helping Dr. Bindra with the complex regulatory, financial and legal aspects of expanding access to quality care in both California and Texas has been immensely gratifying,” said Michael G. Polis, partner, Wilke Fleury, who worked with Associates Anna Eck and Aaron Claxton on the recent licensing in Texas.

Dr. Paveljit Bindra has extensive healthcare experience in population health, health maintenance, and healthcare administration. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology. He has served as a Chief Medical Officer and Chief Information Officer of an acute care health system, was a partner in a large cardiology practice in Southern California, and served as the CEO and founder of an investment firm. Dr. Bindra earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MD from Harvard Medical School and an AB from Harvard College. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and received an MSc in Comparative Social Research.

Wilke Fleury is a thriving mid‐sized general practice law firm located in California’s business and political epicenter, Sacramento. Our attorneys offer broad expertise, creativity, and strong ties to local businesses, families and individuals, making Wilke Fleury one of the region’s most respected and long‐standing law firms. Our support of local charitable organizations, universities, law schools, political interests and the community reveals the character of the firm and our sincere commitment to the Sacramento region.

David Frenznick and George Guthrie Named Fellows of the Construction Lawyers Society of America

Wilke Fleury attorneys David Frenznick and George Guthrie have been selected as Fellows of the Construction Lawyers Society of America.

David Frenznick is a partner with the firm and handles complex cases involving construction and construction defect. George Guthrie’s practice focuses on litigation involving construction, including complex civil matters encompassing private and public construction disputes.

The CLSA is an invitation-only international honorary association composed of preeminent lawyers specializing in construction law and related fields. Fellowship is limited and selective, with lawyers being invited into Fellowship upon a proven record of excellence and accomplishment in construction law at both the trial and appellate levels. Lawyers nominated or selected may be in any discipline in the construction law arena, including contract specialization, negotiations, litigation, arbitration, appellate and/or surety law, but who have in addition superior ethical reputations. The CLSA seeks a high level of diversity in its selection process. Fellows are generally at the partner or shareholder level or are independent practitioners with recognized advanced status among their peers. The CLSA is dedicated to promoting superior advocacy and ethical standards in construction law and fostering a scholarly and advanced exchange of ideas in all practices related to the specialty.

Be Careful What You Ask For: How To Make Sure Your Return-to-Work Policies Don’t Violate the ADA

As the costs of doing business increase each year, many employers are looking for effective ways to ensure productivity among their employees, promote workplace safety and prevent chronic absenteeism. Many employers, for example, require that employees returning from a medical leave of absence undergo a “return-to-work” medical exam to ensure that the employee can safely perform his or her job functions.

Generally, return-to-work medical exams or disability-related inquiries are legal. Employers can ask questions about the medical issues surrounding an employee’s disability or leave. However, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act, the exams and disability-related inquiries must be limited in scope and narrowly tailored to evaluate whether the employee can perform the essential functions of the job. The employer cannot use the employee’s medical leave as an excuse to make broad, intrusive disability-related inquiries or subject the employee to medical exams that have nothing to do with why the employee went out on medical leave.

An Example of What NOT To Do
In Scott v. Napolitano, an employee suffered a number of physical injuries and psychological disorders that required him to take medical leave. Over a period of six years the employee suffered sinusitis, an injury to his right arm and shoulder, and was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and work-related stress. The employee’s supervisor became concerned that these health issues would impact his ability to perform the full range of his job duties and be trusted with his government issued side-arm. The supervisor recommended that the employee complete a “fitness for duty” examination.

Prior to the scheduled exam, the employee was asked to fill out a medical questionnaire by the examining physician. Many of the questions were very broad and not limited to a specific time-frame. For example, the employee was asked if he had ever been treated for a mental condition and to list all medications he was currently taking. In addition to the questionnaire, the employee was required to sign a release that permitted any doctor, hospital or clinic to release all of the employee’s medical information to his employer.

The employee refused to answer many of the questions in the medical questionnaire because he believed they violated his legal rights. Further, the employee crossed out the language of the release and wrote that he would only authorize the release of the results of the upcoming “fitness for duty” exam, not any other personal medical records. The employee was warned that he had 14 days to answer all of the questions and sign the full release. When the employee did not comply, he was suspended for insubordination and was advised that he must answer the questions and sign the release. The employee again refused and was terminated. The employee sued, alleging the employer’s practices violated the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

The court agreed with the employee and found that the questions in the medical questionnaire were impermissibly over-broad disability-related questions. The court held that medical exams and inquiries cannot be required unless those exams and/or inquiries are shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. A business necessity may include ensuring workplace safety or preventing excessive absences. Further, once a business necessity is shown, the exam or inquiry cannot be any broader or more intrusive than needed for the employer to determine if the employee is currently able to perform the essential functions of his or her job. For the most part, exams or inquiries related to the specific medical condition for which the employee took leave will be all that is warranted and should be limited to a specific time-frame.

Lessons for You
Return-to-work medical exams or disability-related inquiries are permissible as long as you comply with the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. Remember that these exams and inquiries must be driven by a business necessity, such as ensuring workplace safety. Also, the exams or inquiries must be limited to determining whether the employee can currently perform his or her essential job duties. Exams or inquiries not limited in time or tailored to the specific medical condition for which the employee took medical leave may violate the ADA and Rehabilitation Act and subject you to liability.