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Tully Rinckey PLLC is a multi-state law firm based in Albany, New York It is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and is certified under the U.S. Small Business Administration's 8(a) Business Development Program. The firm was founded in 2003 and it has become one of the nation's fastest growing companies, according to Inc. magazine.[1] Business journals in Albany, New York[2] and Washington, D.C.[3] have named Tully Rinckey PLLC one of the "Best Places to Work."

Tully Rinckey PLLC employs over 40 attorneys at its four offices in Albany, New York, Syracuse, New York, Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Virginia The firm's attorneys in upstate New York offer a full menu of legal services while those in the D.C. Metro Area primarily concentrate on federal employment law, national security law, and military law. By 2011, the firm's annual revenues totaled $7.6 million.[4] The firm is organized as a Professional Limited Liability Corporation (PLLC).

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Mathew B. Tully formed Tully Rinckey PLLC in 2003 in his home in Greene County, N.Y., after escaping from the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks.[5] After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, Greg T. Rinckey in 2004 partnered with Tully to build a full-service law practice in Albany, New York.[6]

Ownership/Name Changes[edit]

In 2005, Tully & Associates, PLLC, which was solely owned by Mathew B. Tully, became Tully Rinckey & Associates, PLLC, which was jointly owned by Mr. Tully and Greg T. Rinckey. The Firm changed its name again in 2008 to Tully Rinckey PLLC, prompted by the addition of new partners and the opening of a Washington, D.C. office.

Office Expansion[edit]

In 2004, Mathew Tully and Greg Rinckey established a law office in Albany, New York, where they served clients throughout New York's Capital Region. The firm's upstate practice areas include family and matrimonial law, criminal defense, estate planning, real estate law, bankruptcy, civil litigation, business law, and employment law. In 2008, Tully and Rinckey PLLC opened its second office near the White House in Washington, D.C., where attorneys concentrate on federal employment law.[7] To meet growing demand for its federal employment law services in the D.C. Metro Area, the firm in 2011 opened another office in Arlington, Virginia A year later, in 2012, Tully Rinckey PLLC entered the Central New York market with its fourth location, in Syracuse, New York.[8]

Growth Rankings[edit]

Since opening its Washington, D.C. in 2008, the firm has been repeatedly recognized for its strong and sustained growth. Its rankings on Inc. magazine's Inc.5000 List of America's Fastest Growing Companies have been:

  • 2009: No. 1,598 (200 percent revenue growth over three years to $2.8 million)[9]
  • 2010: No. 949 (313 percent growth in revenue over three years to $5 million)[10]
  • 2011: No. 906 (338 percent revenue growth over three years to 6.7 million)[11]
  • 2012: No. 1,672 (173 percent revenue growth over three years to $7.6 million)[12]

Tully Rinckey PLLC has also ranked high on the Albany Business Review's list of the Capital Region's fastest growing companies. It rankings have been:

Key People[edit]

As of October 2012, Tully Rinckey PLLC had 13 partners. Notable attorneys associated with the firm include:

Mathew B. Tully (Founding Partner)[edit]

A lieutenant colonel in the New York Army National Guard, veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Purple Heart recipient.[15] He is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Army Times Publishing Company[16] and pioneer in the field of USERRA litigation.

Greg T. Rinckey (Managing Partner)[edit]

A former attorney in the Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He was featured in the movie "The Invisible War," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and documents sexual abuse in the military.[17]

Neil A.G. McPhie (Managing Partner)[edit]

Former chairman of the United States Merit Systems Protection Board. In April 2003, he was appointed to the Board by President George W. Bush.[18] Later that year the president designated him vice chairman of the MSPB.[19] In December 2004, the United States Senate confirmed him as the Board's chairman.[20] He previously served as the executive director of the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution.

Barbara J. King (Partner)[edit]

Named by the New York Law Journal as a "Lawyer Who Leads by Example" for her extensive community service, which includes founding the Schenectady County Modest Means Panel Program for lower mid-income families who cannot afford legal services but who don't qualify for traditional pro bono representation.[21] She also established the first mandatory pro bono program for a law firm in New York's Capital Region.[22]

Mark D. Roth (Of Counsel)[edit]

The longest-serving general counsel of the American Federation of Government Employees, the nation's largest federal employee's union.[23]

John E. Sweeney (Of Counsel)[edit]

Served four terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented New York's 20th congressional district. Former commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor.[24]

Landmark Court Victories[edit]

Firm attorneys have represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the New York State Court of Appeals, state and federal appellate courts across the country, the New York State Public Employment Relations Board; New York State Division of Human Rights; the United States Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The firm also has extensive experience representing service members at Court martial, Article 15 proceedings, letters of reprimand, and officer/enlisted elimination proceedings.

Significant firm victories include:

Matter of Schenectady County Socy. for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. v Mills, 2011 NY Slip Op 7476 (N.Y. Oct. 25, 2011)[edit]

=New York's highest court upheld a decision by a state appellate court that further requires all governmental agencies to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The decision will affect nearly 800,000 professionals in 47 fields in New York.

Wang v New York State Dept. of Health, 2011 NY Slip Op 21380 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011)[edit]

The court further clarified that circumstances can arise that could allow a USERRA case to be first heard in the New York State Supreme Court, a decision that has never been clarified up to this point. The choice of forum is important for several reasons, most importantly, the time limit for filing claims in the court of claims versus the Supreme Court. Whereas a plaintiff only has 90-days to file a claim with the Court of Claims, there is no statute of limitations to pursue USERRA claims in the Supreme Court.

Erickson v. United States Postal Serv., 636 F.3d 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2011)[edit]

The Federal Circuit vacated an MSPB dismissal and remanded the case. The court twice rejected the MSPB's decisions and remanded the case to the independent, quasi-judicial agency. In the court's most recent ruling, it concluded expressed dissatisfaction with an agency coupled with a time lapse in appealing a removal does not constitute a waiver of USERRA rights.

Jose D. Hernandez v. Dept. of the Air Force, 498 F.3d 1328 (Fed. Cir. 2007)[edit]

The Federal Circuit held that the Merit Systems Protection Board has authority to order relief for violations of USERRA prior to its enactment in 1994. Previously, Reservists could only receive compensation for improperly charged leave from 1994 to 2000. The decision allowed for compensation from the years 1980 to 2000, which nearly triples the amount available. It was estimated that as many as 300,000 people would be affected and that the average amount of compensation per employee could average over $3,000.

Pucilowski v. Department of Justice, 498 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2007)[edit]

The Federal Circuit ruled USERRA should be interpreted liberally to the benefit of National Guard members and Reservists. The case resulted in more favorable military leave pay determinations by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board toward federal employees who are also in the National Guard or Reserves.

Isabella v. Department of State, 106 M.S.P.R. 333 (2007)[edit]

The Merit Systems Protection Board issued a decision which forced the Department of State to reconstruct its hiring selection process and waive the maximum entry age requirement for the position of Special Agent in its elite Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Garcia v. Department of State, 101 M.S.P.R. 172 (2006)[edit]

The Merit Systems Protection Board ruled the board could adjudicate claims of USERRA violations prior to the statute's enactment in 1994, further strengthening pre-1994 claims by federal employees.

Jackson v. United States, 543 U.S. 1103 (U.S. 2005)[edit]

Mr. Jackson was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 327 months under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the point increases (i.e. "enhancements") prescribed under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines violated the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights. Making it harder for prosecutors to unlawfully lengthen sentences through enhancement manipulation, the Court vacated the prior judgment upholding the defendant's sentence and remanded the matter to the court for reconsideration of defendant's sentence in light of Booker.

Collins v. Department of the Agriculture, 104 MSPR 76 (2006)[edit]

The Merit Systems Protection Board said military reservists who worked for the federal government before 1994 could recover back payment for leave days that were credited against their military time. The ruling opened the door to allowing federal employees who also served in the Reserves to seek back pay for the period from 1994 to 2000.

USERRA[edit]

The firm, under Mathew Tully's leadership, has become a pioneer in litigation relating to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). This law protects service members, including those in the Reserves and National Guard, against discrimination on the basis of their military duty. It also provides them with important rights to employment and reemployment, including pay, status, seniority and benefits and rights of seniority.

The firm's commitment to protecting the employment rights of veterans grew out of Mathew Tully's personal experience of having his USERRA rights violated while working as a law enforcement officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 1999 and 2000, he filed multiple complaints against his employer, represented himself before the Merit Systems Protection Board, and used the proceeds from the settlement of this case to support him through law school.[25]

Tully Rinckey PLLC has developed a niche market in helping service members – particularly those who work in the federal civil service – recover damages from improperly charged military leave, referred to as "Butterbaugh cases." In 2007, the firm was awarded a contract to co-represent approximately 10,000 members of the American Federation of Government Employees in Butterbaugh cases.[26] The arrangement was described as one of the "largest service contracts in the [Capital] region's history."[27]

The firm has also had an impact on outside of the courts. In October 2007, Tully testified before the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on ways to improve USERRA.[28] Four months later he returned to Washington, D.C. to testify on the same subject before the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.[29]

Community Support[edit]

Tully Rinckey PLLC's highest profile activities in the community include the following events and services:

  • Turkeys for Veterans: The firm gave free gift certificates for a ham or turkey given to local service members or their families for Thanksgiving.[30]
  • Event Dates:
  • Nov. 23, 2009 at Tully Rinckey PLLC's headquarters in Albany, N.Y.
  • Nov. 22-23, 2010 at Tully Rinckey PLLC's headquarters in Albany, N.Y.
  • Nov. 22-23, 2011 at Tully Rinckey PLLC's headquarters in Albany, N.Y.
  • Coats for Veterans: The firm gave free coats to local homeless veterans during the holiday season.[31]
  • Event Dates:
  • Dec. 23, 2010 at "The Vet House" of the Albany Housing Coalition
  • Dec. 21, 2011 at the Veterans Community Service Center
  • Pro bono representation for the Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Between 2008 and 2012, the firm provided the SPCA, non-profit animal cruelty law enforcement organization, with 766 hours of pro bono legal services. Much of this legal work culminated in a favorable New York State Court of Appeals decision ordering the New York State Department of Education to provide the SPCA with contact information for local veterinarians.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Springer, Neil, "Capital Region has 18 on Inc.'s fastest-growing 5000 list", The Business Review (Albany), August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ The Business Review (Albany), "The Business Review announces its Best Places to Work winners", November 1, 2007.
  3. ^ Tully Rinckey PLLC, "Tully Rinckey PLLC Named One of the Best Places to Work", press release, April 24, 2009.
  4. ^ Springer, Neil, "Capital Region has 18 on Inc.'s fastest-growing 5000 list", The Business Review (Albany), August 21, 2012.
  5. ^ Yusko, Dennis, "One day shaped their lives" Albany Times Union, September 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Tully Rinckey PLLC, Firm History, Firm Overview, Web site.
  7. ^ The Business Review (Albany), "Tully Rinckey opens office in Washington, D.C.", April 1, 2008.
  8. ^ McChensey, Charles, Albany law firm opens branch in Syracuse's Franklin Square, The Post Standard (Syracuse), August 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Inc. Inc. 500 List, 2009.
  10. ^ The Business Review (Albany), "353 NY companies make Inc.'s list", August 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Springer, Neil, "16 Capital Region companies make Inc's fastest growing list, The Business Review (Albany), August 25, 2011.
  12. ^ Springer, Neil, "Capital Region has 18 on Inc.'s fastest-growing 5000 list", The Business Review (Albany), August 21, 2012.
  13. ^ The Business Review (Albany), "Book of Lists: Fastest-Growing Companies," July 1, 2011 (Print subscription needed to view full list.)
  14. ^ The Business Review (Albany), "Book of Lists: Fastest-Growing Companies," July 2, 2012 (Print subscription needed to view full list.)
  15. ^ McChensey, Charles, "In Afghanistan, law firm partner awarded Purple Heart", The Post Standard (Syracuse), September 7, 2012.
  16. ^ Tully, Mathew B. "Ask the Lawyer", Index of columns, Army Times.
  17. ^ Scott, A.O., "For Some Who Served, an Awful Betrayal of Trust: 'The Invisible War,' Directed by Kirby Dick", New York Times, June 21, 2012.
  18. ^ U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, "Nominations of Terrance A. Duffy, Susanne T. Marshall, and Neil A.G. McPhie", hearing testimony, May 15, 2003.
  19. ^ Merit Systems Protection Board, "Neil A.G. McPhie Acting Chairman of MSPB", press release, December 10, 2003.
  20. ^ Merit Systems Protection Board, "U.S. Senate Confirms President Bush's Nominations of Neil A.G. McPhie as Chairman and Barbara J. Sapin as Member of the Merit Systems Protection Board", press release, December 16, 2004.
  21. ^ New York Law Journal, "Barbara King (profile of 'Lawyers Who Lead by Example' honoree"), September 12, 2012.
  22. ^ Stull, Elizabeth, "Small Firm Makes It Mandatory", New York Law Journal, November 29, 2012.
  23. ^ American Federation of Government Employees, "AFGE General Counsel, Mark Roth, Announces Retirement", press release, March 21, 2010.
  24. ^ Sicko, Adam, "Tully Rinckey Hires ex-Rep. Sweeny as 'rainmaker'", The Business Review (Albany), July 17, 2011.
  25. ^ Tully, Mathew B., "Witness Testimony of Mathew B. Tully, Esq., Tully Rinckey PLLC, Albany, NY, Founding Partner", U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, February 18, 2008.
  26. ^ Davidson, Joe, "Court Says When in Doubt, Give Veterans the Benefit", Washington Post, September 5, 2007.
  27. ^ Churchill, Chris, "Biggest legal services contract in region's history?", Albany Times Union, October 29, 2007.
  28. ^ Tully, Mathew B., "Oversight Hearing on Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act", testimony, October 31, 2007.
  29. ^ Tully, Mathew B., "Witness Testimony of Mathew B. Tully, Esq., Tully Rinckey PLLC, Albany, NY, Founding Partner", U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, February 18, 2008.
  30. ^ WNYT News, Law firm gives away free turkeys for Vets, November 23, 2010.
  31. ^ WNYT News, "Law firm donates winter coats to Vets", December 21, 2011.
  32. ^ Caher, John, "Judges Call for Common Sense in Responding to FOIL Requests", New York Law Journal, October 26, 2011. (E-subscription needed to access article.)