Robert L. Bowman

Robert L. Bowman

Managing Partner
Location:
Knoxville, Tennessee
Phone:
865-525-5134
Fax:
865-522-5723
Email:

Robert L. Bowman is an extremely qualified, experienced, and effective trial attorney whose practice areas are Employment and Labor and Local Government and Public Utilities.  Mr. Bowman has over 20 years of experience and is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.  He represents Fortune 500 companies as well as small business owners in complex litigation involving employment discrimination, Fair Labor Standards Act,  non-competition, and trade secret issues.  He also represents numerous quick-serve restaurant franchisees across the entire State of Tennessee and a cellular telephone retailer throughout the United States.

Helping his clients resolve their issues in a cost-effective and timely manner is one of Mr. Bowman's most important goals, while simultaneously providing a high degree of quality legal work.  When representing a client, he looks for solutions and paths to prompt dismissal or summary judgment of the lawsuit.  Employment Law is a constantly changing and challenging arena, and he is adept at keeping his clients proactively informed about laws that help protect their business interests.

Mr. Bowman has successfully tried numerous jury and non-jury cases involving a wide range of issues and industries in state circuit and chancery courts and federal district courts.  He has handled cases on appeal in all state and federal appellate courts.  In one such instance, he successfully defended in the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Supreme Court an award of summary judgment to an employer accused of retaliation.

His important areas of focus within his Employment and Labor practice include:

  • Litigating employment discrimination, retaliation, and Fair Labor Standards Act cases, including class and collective action cases
  • Defending throughout the country employment discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)and overtime complaints filed with the Department of Labor
  • Providing daily employment law advice and feedback to clients
  • Providing training, as necessary, to his clients on Employment Law related topics
  • Arbitrating employment claims
  • Litigating Non-Competition Agreements and Trade Secret Cases

His Local Government and Public Utilities practice includes:

  •  Litigating Open Records Act lawsuits
  • Reviewing contracts
  • Giving daily advice and feedback on zoning and planning issues
  • Interpreting statutory law applicable to local governments

His Professional Liability practice includes:

  • Defending manifold professional negligence claims
  • Litigating claims on behalf of mortgage brokers, title examiners, and bookkeepers
  • Advising engineers and other professionals on contract issues

Many of Mr. Bowman’s cases have involved multiple plaintiffs; for example, he defended a municipality in a Fair Labor Standards Act case involving over 70 plaintiffs and played a significant role by handling discovery, drafting a dispositive motion, and negotiating a favorable settlement for his client.  He defended a multi-national mining company in several counties in East Tennessee which had 125 separate employee benefits cases pending against it.  Mr. Bowman has also defended several class and collective action overtime cases brought against quick-serve restaurants and retailers.

He recently represented a national school photography company in a non-competition and trade secrets lawsuit and obtained a verdict for compensatory damages of over $530,000, plus punitive damages, in his client’s favor against the defendants, a former salesperson and his new employer.

Mr. Bowman was successful in getting a 2007 sexual harassment case dismissed on summary judgment, with the result of sanctions and costs entered against the plaintiff and her counsel, during his representation of the owner and president of an East Tennessee textile company.

He defended a lawsuit brought by a former manager against a convenience store chain who claimed that the company provided materially false information about the employee in a reference check from a prospective employer.  Mr. Bowman was able to have the case dismissed on summary judgment due to the fact that the plaintiff had given a release encompassing his client.

Mr. Bowman recently defended a quick-serve restaurant that was accused of racial harassment by multiple employees and was successful at having the claims dismissed.  He was instrumental in implementing training procedures for his client to use to help prevent similar future claims.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Local Government and Public Utilities

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee

Education

  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D. cum laude
    • Major: Order of the Coif
    • Major: Moot Court Board Member
  • University of Tennessee
    • B.A.
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Political Science

Representative Cases

  • Mitchell v. Superior Steel, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155844 (E.D. Tenn. Nov. 17, 2015)
  • Adkins v. Restaurant Management Group, LLC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23830 (E.D. Tenn. Feb 23, 2012)
  • Brumbalough v. Camelot Care Centers, Inc., 427 F.3d 996 (6th Cir. 2005)
  • Cross Mountain Coal, Inc., v. Ward, 93 F.3d 211 (6th Cir. 1996)

Classes/Seminars

  • "Work Arrangements that (actually) Work" Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2015
  • "Employee Misclassification" Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2013
  • “The Wage and Hour Investigators Are Coming, Be Prepared” Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2010
  • “Public Employers’ New and Unique Issues” Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2009
  • “Lessons Learned From Bad Facts, Behavior and Decisions” Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2008
  • “How to Deal With a Department of Labor Wage Hour Audit” Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2007
  • “Selecting the Best Employees Within the Law" Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2005
  • “Retaliation Claims: How to Avoid Winning the Battle and Losing the War” Kramer Rayson LLP Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, Knoxville Bar Foundation 2015 Inductee
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator
  • Greater Knoxville Business Journal - "Top 40 Under 40" Business Leaders in East Tennessee
  • City View - 2009-2015 Top Attorney Awards for Appellate Practice, Class Action, Labor & Employment, Federal Court Practice, Constitutional/Civil Rights or General Civil Litigation
  • AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry Political Action Committee , Board of Directors
  • Knoxville Bar Association, Fellow, 2015 - Present
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Eagle Scout Association
  • Management Committee Member, Kramer Rayson LLP, 2010 - Present
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Tennessee Bar Association, East Tennessee Delegate to the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section, 2010 - Present
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Leadership Law Class of 2010
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors of Child and Family of Tennessee

Past Employment Positions

  • Minority Floor Leader of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Legislative Aid

Civic/Community Involvement

  • Serving as a Vestryman and Assistant Lead Usher for St. John’s Cathedral
  • Advisor to the Sportsmen’s Wildlife Foundation