MaryJo L. Roberts

Shareholder

Office: New Orleans | 504-596-4195

Overview

“Consummate preparation plays an important part in everything I do and accounts for my successful record in the courtroom. Whether I’m gathering facts, getting witnesses ready to testify, or rehearsing a courtroom argument, I leave no stone unturned. The same philosophy applies when I work diligently to ensure that my clients stay informed and compliant with the law.”

Practice Overview

Highly regarded employment litigator MaryJo Roberts advocates nationally for clients in a wide range of workplace-generated disputes from inception through resolution, whether in motion pleading, mediation, or trial. MaryJo represents employers in Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law discrimination issues, harassment, and retaliation claims. She also offers strategic yet practical guidance in wage-and-hour and Department of Labor audits and investigations.

With more than 15 years of experience spanning federal and state trial and appellate courts, MaryJo adeptly manages and defends employers in large cases, such as complex, high-stakes class action and collective actions, and also advises on a variety of tort law matters, including claims of defamation, battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Additionally, she provides counsel on issues involving employment contracts, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, confidentiality agreements, and in garnishment and wage-and-hour litigation. Previously, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James J. Brady, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana.

Although MaryJo brings outstanding trial skills to her practice, particularly in oral advocacy, she greatly prefers to help companies avoid problems and disputes on the front end. Partnering with clients to keep them compliant with all relevant laws and regulations, she provides astute guidance and comprehensive training in the areas of hiring and discharge, employee discipline and investigations, drafting employment handbooks and policies, and the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). MaryJo ensures that supervisors understand all rules and expectations and that they in turn convey critical information to their staffs—an approach that helps minimize damage if litigation ultimately ensues.

Bringing a calm, compassionate approach to often fraught situations, MaryJo takes an initially broad look at each case, narrows her focus to the most relevant facts, and develops an engaging story to weave throughout its course. She listens carefully to clients’ concerns and goals and lays out all strategy options so together they can choose a path to resolution that encompasses their priorities most advantageously. 

As well as serving as the firm’s hiring partner, where she focuses on recruiting diverse, top-tier talent, MaryJo is currently spearheading Kullman’s Henry P. Julien Law Scholars Program. The yearly event provides students from multicultural backgrounds who are entering law school with a week-long grounding in the legal system. In addition, she chairs the firm’s scholarship committee and annually helps choose a deserving recipient of a grant towards a law school education. MaryJo feels gratified that she’s able to help the community through these programs.

EDUCATION

  • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2006
    • Certificate in Civil Law
    • Loyola Law Review
    • Moot Court
    • Legal Research and Writing Teaching Assistant
    • Moot Court Teaching Assistant
    • Outstanding Achievement Award in Evidence
    • William L. Crowe Scholar
  • University of New Orleans, B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science, 2002; Distinguished Political Science Graduate Award

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 2006
  • Texas, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • InspireNOLA Charter Schools, Board of Directors
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • InspireNOLA Charter Schools, Board of Directors
Thought Leadership

Publications

  • Practical Law Contributor, Independent Contractors: Louisiana
  • “Porter v. Ascension Parish School Board: Drawing in the Contours of First Amendment Protection for Student Art and Expression,” 52 Loy. L. Rev. 467 (2006)

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Recent Developments in Employment Law” (22nd JDC Bar Association Annual All-Day CLE) (November 2022)
  • Presenter, “Training, Educating, and Growing Paralegals and Lawyers” (American Immigration Lawyers Association Midsouth Chapter Fall Conference) (September 2022)
  • Presenter, “The Use and Abuse of Social Media in the Workplace” (NOLA SHRM Annual Conference) (September 2022)
  • Panelist, “Worker Classification, Tax, Benefits, Wage & Hour, and Other Issues,” (New Orleans Bar Association)(July 2019)
  • Presenter, “Human Resources Law From Start to Finish,” (National Business Institute)(February 2019)
  • Presenter, “Applying the Rules of Civil Procedure: Discovery: Scheduling, Conducting and Paying,” National Business Institute (June 2018)
  • Presenter, “Employment Law: 2017 Comprehensive Guide,” National Business Institute (November 2017)
  • Presenter, “Wage Claims,” Consulate of Honduras in New Orleans (August 2017)
  • Course Instructor, “FMLA and ADA Compliance Seminar” (March 2017)
  • Presenter, “Deciphering FMLA, ADA and Workers’ Compensation Issues” and “Preparing for Electronic Discovery in Litigation,” National Business Institute (December 2016)
  • Hiring and Firing Issues in the Workplace (June 2016)
  • Presenter, “I Have Employees: Now What,” Louisiana Small Business Development Center (3/24/2015) (March 2015)
  • American Payroll Association, presenter, “Wage Garnishments: The Basics and Beyond,” 2015 (March 2015)
  • Current Developments in Labor & Employment Law – LSU Law Center (March 2015)
  • “I have employees! Now what?” (April 2014)
  • Panelist, “The Future of Practicing Law in the Digital Age,” American Bar Association, Law Student Division (2012)
  • New Orleans Employment Law Seminar (August 2012)
  • National Business Institute CLE (January 2012)
  • Presenter, “Social Media in The Workplace: Can Employers Regulate Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?,” National Business Institute (2011)
  • Co-Presenter, “Staying Afloat the Changing Tides Under the ADAAA, FMLA, and Pregnancy Laws,” New Orleans and Houston Employment Law Seminars (2011)
  • Presenter, “Handling Wage Garnishments Effectively,” American Payroll Association (2011)
  • Presenter, “Employment Law Overview and Strategies to Avoid Potential Employment Law Disputes,” University of New Orleans’ Non-Profit Law Graduate Course (2010)
  • Presenter, “Handling Wage Garnishments, Levies, and Child Support Orders,” American Payroll Association (2010)
  • Presenter, “How to See Your Future: State and Federal Legislative Developments in Employment Law,” Employment Law Seminar (2009)
  • Presenter, “Employment Law Updates: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments and The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” Legal Secretaries of New Orleans and the River Region Meeting (2009)
  • Presenter, “Back to the Basics,” New Orleans Employment Law Seminar (2008)
  • Presenter, “How to Respond to EEOC Charges and Investigations,” Northshore Human Resources Forum (2008)
  • Presenter, “How to Succeed in Your HR Practice,” New Orleans Employment Law Seminar (2007)

Recognition

  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel (LADC) – Frank L. Maraist Award (2015)
  • New Orleans CityBusiness “Ones to Watch – Law” (2015)
  • National Black Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40 for Louisiana (2015)
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2013-2020)
  • Lawyer Monthly – “Women in Law Awards” Recipient (2019)