After months of fighting and countless hours of briefing to the Federal District
Judge in the Southern District of Texas, on September 15, 2009, the 5th Circuit
Court of Appeals courageously upheld District Judge Keith Ellison's ruling
allowing Jamie Leigh Jones' rape and false imprisonment case to be heard by a
jury of her peers. The Kelly Law Firm fought for Jamie's victory - the first time
that the arbitration provision of Defense Contractor, Halliburton, has been defeated
in the courts. For the complete text of that opinion, click here.
Jamie first went public on the ABC News program, 20/20:
She has since appeared at Congressional Hearings, and on numerous television,
radio and print media sources, speaking out against the sexual abuses of this
corporate giant and the arbitration provisions that foster the environment.
Jamie's story was featured in the September 28, 2009 Texas Lawyer.
|Call for a FREE case evaluation: (713) 255-2055
|Todd poses with his client, Jamie Leigh Jones, at
the press conference on the Fairness in
NPR spoke with Jamie Leigh Jones, who had a harrowing experience as a private contractor in
Iraq when she was raped and beaten by her coworkers. When criminal charges could not be filed,
she sought to hold her employer, KBR / Halliburton, accountable for their misconduct. But a
forced arbitration clause buried in her employment agreement meant she could not have a jury
trial. Instead, she would have to go to arbitration, on the corporation's own terms, for a secret, one-
sided tribunal. Jamie’s attorney is AAJ member Todd Kelly of the Kelly Law Firm, and her
appellate counsel is John Vail of the Center for Constitutional Litigation.
This article is in the wake of an event held at the end of April by AAJ and other consumer,
employment, and civil rights groups to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act and the Fairness in
Nursing Home Arbitration Act. These two bills would put an end to binding mandatory arbitration
clauses in certain consumer, employment, franchise, and nursing home care contracts.
On Arbitration Fairness Day, over 30 victims of forced arbitration from targeted states came to DC
to lobby for the passage of the bills. The day was marked with a noon press conference at which
the sponsors of the Arbitration Fairness Act, Senator Russ Feingold and Representative Hank
Johnson, spoke about the need for the legislation. Also speaking at the press conference were
Jamie and other individuals who have suffered terrible consequences as the result of forced
This is just one example of how our communications and public affairs teams work alongside
members of the consumer, civil rights, and labor communities to garner support for legislation
and generate news stories to proactively position AAJ as fighting for the civil justice system.
Thank you for your continued support.
Wed, 06/10/2009 - 16:25 —
Steven J. Margolis, Esq.
Jamie Leigh Jones will get her
day in court. Todd Kelly, Esq.
of the Kelly Law Firm in
Houston, Texas, after months
of fighting and countless hours
briefing to the Federal District
Judge in the Southern District
of Texas, was able to defeat the
arbitration provision in the
Halliburton contract. Judge
Ellison will allow Jamie Leigh
Jones' rape and false
imprisonment case to be heard
by a jury. This is the first time
that the arbitration provision of
Halliburton, has been defeated
in the courts. I have known
attorney Todd Kelly for a long
time as both a co-worker (before
he began the Kelly Firm) and as
friend. He has won this first
round and he has spoken before
congress in support of the
"fairness in arbitration" Act.
But WE ALL NEED TO
SPEAK TO OUR SENATORS
asking for their support of this
Jamie Leigh Jones, a former Halliburton/KBR worker who claims she was gang-raped in her bedroom by co-workers
in Iraq is one step closer to getting her day in court, thanks to a favorable ruling by a panel of three federal judges in
the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a 2-1 ruling, the judges decided that the allegations made by Jamie Leigh Jones of Houston were not subject to the
arbitration clause in her employment contract, meaning Jones' civil lawsuit against Halliburton, KBR and affiliates can
proceed in court to a possible trial. The primary question before the court was whether the alleged rape and Jones'
other claims were related to her employment and whether the alleged attack took place at an official workplace.
Jones started working for Halliburton/KBR as an administrative assistant in Houston in 2004. She claims that she was
sexually harassed and demanded to be transferred. On July 25, 2005, she began an assignment at Camp Hope, located
in the Green Zone area of Baghdad. Despite requesting to be housed in an all-female barracks, she was placed in
quarters occupied predominantly by men.
A potential recipe for disaster.
Jones claims that she was sexually harassed from the start, and that two days after arriving at Camp Hope she asked
to be moved to safer housing. She says that her bosses did nothing. The next night, Jones claims, following a party
outside her barracks at which her co-workers were drinking booze, she alleges that she was drugged, beaten and
gang-raped in her bedroom. When she woke up the next morning, Jones says, she was naked and one of the alleged
rapists was sleeping in the lower bunk in her bedroom. She claims she suffered several injuries, including a torn
Jones further alleges that Halliburton/KBR mishandled the rape kit, put her in a room with an armed guard who
prohibited her from leaving and refused to let her telephone her family. She claims her KBR bosses told her she could
either "get over it" or go home without the promise of a job when she got there, according to court records. In May
2007, Jones sued.
The Fifth Circuit ruled that the alleged attack did not occur at Jones' workplace and that her four claims up for
discussion -- assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and supervision of
employees involved in the assault, and false imprisonment -- were not subject to arbitration under her contract with
"We agree that [Jones'] bedroom should not be considered the workplace, even though her housing was provided by
her employer," Justice Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale wrote in the court's opinion. He cited, among the evidence, that
since alcohol consumption was allowed only in non-work spaces that Halliburton/KBR did not consider the barracks to
be part of the workplace.
One of the three judges disagreed. Justice Harold DeMoss wrote in his dissenting opinion that Jones' claims were
related to her job.
"If the attacks had occurred in the Green Zone at large, or at a location where Jones was not required to be, her
claims would arguably not be related to her employment," he wrote.
Interestingly, of the three judges, DeMoss is the only one based in Houston. Barksdale is based in Jackson,
Mississippi and the third judge to hear the case, Carl Stewart, is based in Shreveport, Louisiana.
|Forward By Chris Vogel in Courts, Sep 17, 2009 @ 12:21PM
|Senator Al Franken proposes
the "Jamie Leigh Jones
Amendment" on the Senate
floor. It passed 68-30. Click
to watch the proceedings
Read the story HERE.
Todd and Jamie spoke on KHOU Channel 11, about the 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruling - denying Halliburton's attempt to force Jamie's case into
binding arbitration. See it HERE.
Todd and Jamie spoke on KTRK Channel 13, about the pending Arbitration
Fairness Act. Watch the interview HERE
As a result of the efforts of Jamie Leigh Jones and her attorneys at The
Kelly Law firm, the Pentagon will now track assaults on contractors. Story
|We have the honor of representing
Jamie Leigh Jones, Anna Mayo and
several other courageous women who
have courageously come forward to
report the sexually lawless environment
created by Kellogg, Brown & Root;
Halliburton, and other military
contractors in Iraq.
(Click Here for More)
|Arbitration Act of 2007,
Johnson (D) Georgia (also
|The Kelly Law Firm Defeated Halliburton's Motion to Compel
Arbitration on behalf of Jamie Leigh Jones - the first time that
this has been done. Although the jury did not see fit to hold
KBR and Halliburton accountable for the sexually hostile work
environment that led to the injuries that Jamie suffered, we
remain convinced that a jury will eventually understand that
their voices need to change what is happening at the hands of
corporations like KBR. Read about Jamie's TRIAL here:
|Click on the photo to
read what Jamie has
|Anna Mayo was brutally raped at
Joint Base Balad by a KBR
subcontractor. Read her story by
Jamie was Awarded the 2010 Award for
Courage in Advocacy by the Women's
Caucus of the American Association for
Click on the link at left to see comments by
the American Association for Justice about
Jamie's fight against Forced Arbitration.