350 F.3d 1216 (Fed. Cir. 2003), 02-5076, Adams v. U.S.

Docket Nº:02-5076
Citation:350 F.3d 1216
Party Name:Adams v. U.S.
Case Date:November 25, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
 
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350 F.3d 1216 (Fed. Cir. 2003)

Rowdy D. ADAMS, Ricardo E. Aguirre, Sheri L. Althoff, Luis R. Alvarado, Luis A. Amavizca, Paul H. Ammerman, Paul A. Anderson, Jaime M. Arras, Larry G. Arthurs, Larry H. Arthurs, Martha I. Arvizu, James R. Ash, David J. Astle, John T. Attanasio, Meri L. Axberg, Albert Bailey, Jr., Robert V. Bakowski, Donald L. Barley, John C. Bates, James W. Baumann, Paul A. Beeson, James S. Bendorf, David P. Bennett, Frank J. Beverly, William L. Black, Paul Blocker, Jr., Robert A. Bollier, Robert A. Bonbright, Alfredo Borrego, Jr., Candice M. Brady, Dennis G. Brady, Gilbertina Bravo-Paisley, Ronald C. Bright, John C. Brinning, Pierce L. Brown, Ronald W. Busch, Gabriel Bustamante, Joseph D. Cabral, Domingo Camacho, Francisco Camacho, Travis R. Canada, Felix Cantu, Jr., James E. Carroll, Eugene J. Carter, Fabian M. Casas, Alfredo L. Casillas, David J. Castaneda, Ernesto Castillo, Alfredo C. Ceniceros, Reuben E. Champion, Ben A. Chavez, Claudio R. Chavez, Roy S. Chavez, Alan C. Christensen, Wayne L. Chumbley, James W. Clifford, Brian P. Cogley, Ron S. Colburn, Dennis L. Connor, Danny J. Conway, Bruce L. Cooke, Juan M. Corona, Adan Cortez, Norma C. Cortez-Lopez, Thomas E. Corvinus, Rory Craft, Robert J. Cranston, C. Alan Creamer, John R. Crockford, George K. Cronin, Madelenee L. Cruz, Michael K. Dalton, John W. Davies, Amado Davila, Jr., Ralph E. Davis, Dennis W. Davis, John R. Day, Ramiro R. de Anda, Jesus E. de la Vega, Rolando de Pau, Manuel P. Diego, Charles E. Dill, William M. Doolittle, Daniel B. Doty, Jerrold C. Duncan, Daniel G. Duran, James P. Economy, Jose Escareno, Romeo L. Escobar, Gary A. Estes, David Estevis, Adan Estrada, Jr., James C. Evans, Dale F. Feist, Sherry L. Feltner, Jeffery M. Fields, Robert L. Finley, Nicholas C. Fisher, Manuel Flores, Kenneth E. Foley, Arnold Forsyth, Charles R. Foss, Christopher E. Foulsham, Marvin Foust, John France, Paul Franco, Randy Gallegos, Agustin Garcia, Charlie E. Garcia, Isaac Garcia, Juan A. Garcia, Mario Garcia, Jr., Uvaldo Garcia, Steven Garcia, David L. Garrett, Glicet C. Garvey, Jesus M. Garza, Oscar H. Garza, Jr., Raul G. Garza, Edward F. Gerber, Robert W. Gilbert, Joseph E. Gleason, Paul D. Glenn, Frank J. Gonzalez, Hector Gonzalez, Narcisco H. Gonzalez, Roland A. Gonzalez, R.T. Goodman, Richard M. Graham, Carlon J.W. Green, Bennie A. Greenfield, Richard J. Greenier, Roberto G. Guevara, Reynaldo Guillen, Jr., Franklin D. Gunter, Hugh O. Gustafson, David R. Gutierrez, Jorge Gutierrez, Roy P. Gwaltney, Jeffrey A. Hamrin, Michael D. Hance, Walter L. Harwell, Robert H. Haynes, Edward M. Head, Ronald H. Henley, Mark R. Henry, James G. Henry, Stacy A. Henry-Swarberg, Patricio Hernandez, A.B. Hibbert, Jr., Steven A. Higgs, Larry L. Hill, Stephen L. Hill, John C. Hines, Jerry Hjelle, Donn R. Hoberg, Lane Horger, Tommy L. Hubble, John Hubert, David Jackson, Larry D. Jackson, John G. Jacobs, Herbert H. Jefferson, Kim G. Jenkins, Albert Johnson III, Dwight L. Johnson, Thomas S. Johnson, William E. Johnson, Andrew R. Jones, Marvin D. Jones, Robert A. Judd, William S. Jumbeck, Mark R. Kemp, Norma A. King, Loren G. Klein, Ronald A. Knight, Stan J. Kozlowski, Frank S. Kopczynski, David L. Krohn, John A. Krupa, John R. Krzeminski, Harold W. Kuenstler, Louis L. Laabs, Jerry C. Lasher, Larry G. Laudner, Patrick T. Lauer, Leo H. Laurel, Thomas J. Lawrence, Frank E. Longoria, Benito Lopez, Roberto S. Lopez, John W. Lotz, Gary R. Lucey, Michael E. Macbeth, Carlos Malandris, Jr., Richard A. Marroquin, Alfredo Martinez, Armando Martinez, Antonio V. Martinez, Ernesto Martinez, Jr., Francisco J. Martinez, Mario Martinez, Xavier Martinez, Stanley N. Matthie, Richard P. Mauer, Guadalupe J. Mauricio, Thomas S. Maxwell, Michael B. McClarnon, Donald G. McDermott, Rodney McDonald, Thomas E. McDonnell, William McIver, Robert J. McNamara, Thomas F. McShane, Fernando Melendez, David W. Merrell, Clark J. Messer, Aaron K. Miller, James R. Miller, Rudy J. Miranda, Robert W. Mitchell, Daniel Molina, Jr., Michael Molloy, Herbert J. Monette, Kenneth J. Moniere, Benjamin Monsivais, Mark R. Moody, Arturo E. Moreno, Lisandro Moreno, Jr., Jesus Morin, Jr., Jeffrey S. Morris, Rodney C. Morris, Jose L. Munguia, John E. Munch, Amaro Munoz, Jesus Munoz, Jr., Paulino Munoz, Jr., Mark V. Murphy, Edward L. Nelson, Manfred L. Ng, Loren W. Nichols, Joe Nunez, Eduardo Nunez, Robert Nussrallah, Chris Oberly, John R. O'Donnell, Rudy H. Orosco, Jose Otero, Joe A. Pagitt, Julian J. Panek, Allen G. Parsons, David B. Pearce, Dennis A. Pease, Luis A. Pedregon, Oscar Pena, Ruben G. Pena, Daniel Perales, Stephen A. Peregoy, Gilbert G. Petty, George Prat, Rolfe J. Raines, Reymundo Ramirez, Jose R. Ramirez, Jesus R. Ramos, Ramiro C. Ramos, Trei C. Rasmusson, Joseph C. Rayball, Jr., Edward Redondo, Jr., Tim C. Rhodes, Neal A. Richards, Joe M. Rivera, Keith A. Roberts, Douglas E. Rodney, Daniel Rodriguez, Eugenio Rodriguez, Jr., Juan Rodriguez, Raul F. Rodriguez, Estanislao A. Rosas, Edward T. Ruffel, Harry Ruffel, Antonio J. Ruiz, Stephen F. Rutkowsky, Alonzo A. Saenz, Alfred G. Salacup, Exiquio Saldivar, Roberto Santos, James A. Savage, Jr., George F. Schoen, Howard A. Schroeder, John D. Scott, Glenn J. Scott, Roger D. Sears, Charles L. Sears, Errol A. Sena, Richard A. Serra, Juan Serrata, Jr., Don A. Shelnutt, Richard O. Sherman, Jack Shipp, Armando Silva, Michael Singh, Thomas W. Slowinski, Frank D. Smith, Juan E. Solis, Jr., Jerry M. Spruiell, Fred Stevens, Victor M. Sumaya, Ann M. Summers, Alan R. Summers, Martin S. Suro, James W. Swanson, Greg D. Switzer, Joseph L. Tammen, William E. Tatu, Michael D. Teague, Aubrey Terrell, Dean B. Thatcher, Charles W. Thompson, Bill Tidball, John T. Tiltti, Hector Trevino, David A. Trevino, Juan J. Trevino, Jimmy M. Trevino, Loncie Tucker, Patrick J. Tuohy, Craig B. Turner, Joe J. Urena, Jesse Uribe, Wesley B. Vanderheyden, Loretto Vasquez, Horacio Vela, Lauro Vidal, Jr., Ruben M. Villa, Jr., Jose R. Villarreal, Ronald D. Vitiello, John R. Wagner, James B. Wagoner, David P. Ward, Michael A. Wells, Dennis E. Welsh, Randle K. West, Kenneth J. Wilson, Michael Wilson, James H. Wimberly, Robert M. Worsham, Michael Wright, Javier F. Yanez, and A drian Zarate,Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 02-5076.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

November 25, 2003

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Everett L. Bobbitt, Bobbitt & Pinckard, APC, of San Diego, CA, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. With him on the brief was Bradley M. Fields.

Virginia G. Farrier, Attorney, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice, of Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. On the brief was David M. Cohen, Director.

Before MICHEL, CLEVENGER, and LINN, Circuit Judges.

MICHEL, Circuit Judge.

This suit was brought by certain present and former United States Border Patrol agents, alleging that the government wrongly and willfully failed to pay the plaintiffs overtime wages at a time-and-a-half rate as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 207(a). The government conceded that the plaintiffs had not been paid for overtime, but contended that all of the various positions held by plaintiffs fell within the "executive exemption" to the FLSA's overtime-pay requirements. See 29 U.S.C. § 213(a)(1) (1994) 1 (providing that FLSA's overtime-pay requirements do not apply to "any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity" (emphasis added)). After trial, however, the United States Court of Federal Claims determined that while some plaintiffs fell into the executive exemption, others did not and should have been paid for overtime at the FLSA rate. The Court of Federal Claims awarded damages to those plaintiffs as required by the FLSA. Plaintiffs-appellants now appeal several pre- and post-trial decisions by the Court of Federal Claims, some as to liability and others as to damages. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

The Court of Federal Claims extensively canvassed the established facts and the applicable law in a series of five opinions: Adams v. United States, 40 Fed. Cl. 303 (1998) ("Adams I "), Adams v. United States, 44 Fed. Cl. 772 (1999) ("Adams II "), Adams v. United States, 46 Fed. Cl. 616 (2000) ("Adams III "), Adams v. United States, 48 Fed. Cl. 602 (2001) ("Adams IV "), and Adams v. United States, 51 Fed. Cl. 57 (2001) ("Adams V "). Presuming familiarity with these opinions, we focus our discussion on the select factual and legal issues raised on appeal. To set the stage, however, we recite the post-trial findings of the Court of Federal Claims as to the general structure of the Border Patrol:

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The Border Patrol is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its function is to enforce the nation's laws with respect to entry from foreign countries. The agency's field structure is built around three geographic regions, each with a regional headquarters. None of the representative plaintiffs are employed at regional headquarters.

Collectively, the regions are divided into twenty one sectors, each with its own sector headquarters. Sector headquarters are under the control of a Chief Patrol Agent ("CPA"). Immediately below the CPA is the Deputy CPA, followed by one or more Assistant CPAs. Each sector encompasses a number of border patrol stations. Stations are headed by Patrol Agent in Charge ("PAIC"), who typically reports to one of the Assistant CPAs. Structure in the different sectors and stations varies to some extent, primarily dependent on size, but in most stations there are also one or more Assistant Patrol Agents in Charge ("APAICs"). In the larger stations, the field position below the APAIC is that of Field Operations Supervisor ("FOS") sometimes referred to as a "Watch Commander." Below the FOSs...

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