Richard A. Olmstead

(816) 502-4669
Partner
(816) 960-0041 Fax
Richard.Olmstead@KutakRock.com

Mr. Olmstead is a litigation partner, with a practice focused on complex litigation in energy law and employment law. His energy litigation experience includes representing public utilities, oil and gas producers and operators, and royalty owners in a wide array of cases, including disputes concerning ownership of hydrocarbon liquids pulled from natural gas transmission pipelines, issues surrounding migration of natural gas from underground storage fields, condemnation of land and geologic formations for underground gas storage, and oil and gas royalties. In his employment law practice, Mr. Olmstead counsels and defends employers and management in all aspects of the employment relationship including, but not limited to, defense of claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; defending wage and hour claims; and negotiating and litigating employment contracts, covenants not to compete, trade secret agreements, arbitration agreements, and severance agreements.

In addition, Mr. Olmstead is a seasoned appellate attorney, having served as lead or co-counsel in well over 100 appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country. Most notably, Mr. Olmstead served as lead briefing counsel for the prevailing parties in Montoy v. State of Kansas, a case the Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court declared “the most significant case to come before the court in my [30-year] tenure.”


Publication:

Richard A. Olmstead, In Defense of the Indefensible: Title VII Hostile Environment Claims Unconstitutionally Restrict Free Speech, 28 O.N.U. L. REV. 691 (2001).

Mr. Olmstead counsels and defends employers and management in all aspects of the employment relationship including, but not limited to, defense of claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; defending wage and hour claims; and negotiating and litigating employment contracts, covenants not to compete, trade secret agreements, arbitration agreements, and severance agreements. Mr. Olmstead’s clients range from large, national and regional private employers to family owned businesses. His clients encompass a wide variety of industries including, retail sales, food service and restaurants, transportation, oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, and service industries. Mr. Olmstead’s practice has included defending national class-actions and Commissioners’ Charges filed by the EEOC to single-plaintiff discrimination claims in state and federal courts. Mr. Olmstead is frequently invited to present on a vast range of employment law topics to Human Resource industry groups, local bar associations, and private employers. Mr. Olmstead regularly counsels clients regarding compliance with the FMLA, ADA, FLSA, Title VII, GINA, USERRA, ADEA and OWBPA, WARN Act, and a host of other federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Representative Experience:

  • Successfully defending to conclusion at trial claims of slander, fraud and false imprisonment asserted against a national client by two former employees.
  • Successfully defending to conclusion at trial, and through appeal, claims against a national client for retaliation in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
  • Securing summary judgment or dismissal of claims asserted against national clients for race and gender discrimination, sexual harassment, statutory retaliation and common-law wrongful discharge, disability discrimination, workers’ compensation retaliation, and other claims.
  • Successfully representing clients in defense of class action and collective action claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, FLSA, and state wage and hour laws.
  • Representing clients regarding accessible design and removal of barriers of access in places of public accommodation in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Successfully representing clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation filed with the EEOC, DOL, DOJ, and numerous state administrative agencies.
  • Representing clients faced with FMLA and/or FLSA audits by the DOL.
  • Providing counseling and advice to clients regarding all aspects of the employment relationship including, but not limited to, managing FMLA leaves of absence, ADA reasonable accommodation requests, conducting internal investigations, employee discipline and termination, and enforcement of restrictive covenants against former employees.
  • Drafting employment handbooks and policies, employment agreements, non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, FLSA compliant job descriptions.
  • Providing training to companies, management, and human resource professionals regarding risk management, employment law compliance, and best practices.

Mr. Olmstead represents public utilities, inter- and intrastate pipeline companies, and oil and gas producers and operators in a wide array of disputes, from pre-suit negotiations, arbitration and mediation, regulatory disputes, litigation, and appeals. In addition, Mr. Olmstead represents industry clients in matters effecting their business operations including, but not limited to, negotiating and drafting executive employment contracts, lease agreements, right of way and easement agreements, and asset purchase and sale agreements, as well as counseling clients regarding federal and state regulatory compliance.

Representative Experience:

  • Securing a favorable eminent domain award following an eight-week trial in which our client condemned roughly 9,000 acres of underground strata to serve as a buffer area to a natural gas storage field and in which the condemnees sought over $200 million in just compensation.
  • Representing a natural gas public utility in multi-million dollar disputes in both state and federal court involving claims associated with production of natural gas from the client’s FERC-certificated underground natural gas storage field.
  • Securing appellate reversal of an adverse summary judgment decision, which ultimately led to successful resolution of a multimillion-dollar contractual dispute regarding ownership of hydrocarbon liquids pulled out of the natural gas stream during midstream transportation, compression, and processing.
  • Representing an oil and gas operator in a pre-litigation dispute concerning efforts by an intrastate storage field operator to condemn acreage leased to client for production.
  • In a suit for specific performance of a natural gas pipeline purchase sale agreement, secured millions from the buyer while allowing the seller, our client, to retain the pipeline assets that were the subject of the purchase sale agreement.
  • Representing natural gas and natural gas liquid pipeline companies in disputes concerning easement encroachments, pipeline ruptures and remediation, and drafting and negotiation of various right of way agreements for gas pipelines, water lines, and electrical lines.
  • Representing interstate pipeline companies in disputes with state regulatory agencies regarding conflicts between federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Representing pipeline companies in construction disputes.
  • Negotiating complex litigation settlement agreement securing contractual natural gas storage rights with numerous landowners and releases of oil and gas leases from various working interest owners, thus avoiding protracted litigation and prolonged condemnation proceedings following issuance of a FERC certificate of public convenience and necessity.