Long Days Ahead for Frank Trapp

( 37 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
In August, 2008, federal ICE agents raided Howard Industries, Inc. Acting on tips that the transformer company and Mississippi's second largest employer was routinely hiring illegal immigrants and then directing them to mislead the Social Security Administration, the nation's largest workplace raid unfolded in this small southern town. Close to 600 illegal immigrants were captured and before the day was over, the company's human resources manager was arrested. Jose Humberto Gonzalez is awaiting sentencing for his guilty plea. He faces five years for each of the 24 charges of falsely certifying the employment records of many of these immigrants. He also admitted to altering the Form I-9s for these illegals. Howard Industries, however, denied any knowledge and professed its innocence for nearly two years before finally admitting its knowledge of what was going on.

Frank Trapp, the company's lead counsel, stood by last Thursday as the guilty plea was entered and the whopping $2.5 million fine was handed down. The U.S. Justice Department claimed victory and less than twenty-four hours later, four African American women filed a class action lawsuit claiming discrimination. Interestingly, three of those four women were eventually hired. They say they were denied jobs before due to the cheap labor provided by the immigrants. It wasn't until after the raid they were offered positions.

The women, through their own legal teams, filed the suit last Friday in a Hattiesburg court. Trapp says he was unaware of the latest legal quagmire, though he stands ready to defend his clients once again.

Trapp graduated from the University of Mississippi with his BA in 1969 and then received his JD in 1972 from the same university. He is a member of the Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and District of Columbia State Bars. He's a partner with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Jackson. The firm specializes in white collar crime, and some of his clients include banks, insurance companies and of course, transformer companies.

Before arriving at Phelps Dunbar, Trapp worked as a lawyer with the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division in both the DC and Atlanta areas. He was also an assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Florida and was recently selected one of The Best Lawyers in America.

Now that Trapp has made history by being part of the defense against the largest immigration raid, it looks as though he's now in for another tough legal battle with those same clients.

In the meanwhile, Gonzalez, the human resources manager, had his sentencing date delayed yet again. It's unlikely his next court date this week will be pushed back again.

Phelps Dunbar LLP

  2 reviews   

Featured Testimonials

I'm satisfied and benefited by the services provided at LawCrossing as I found my dream job here.
Dorothy Jean


LawCrossing Fact #21: Users can save various searches that they have used on LawCrossing.

Let's Do It!

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

I was incredibly happy with the site. I thought it was very easy to use; had significantly more postings than any other site (or combination of sites); and provided a lot of useful information. (the number, and caliber, of job postings). Exactly what I was looking for – I have 5 years’ experience and was looking for a lateral move or an in-house position, and that’s exactly what I found!
  • Sarah E. Potter Louisville, KY