For over 20 years, my law practice career has focused in the area of employment and labor law on behalf of a wide spectrum of employers. I provide direction to employers concerning sensitive matters such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and employee privacy and discipline. I draft and negotiate employment agreements and severance agreements, as well as guide employers on unfair competition and trade secret issues. I proactively counsel employers on both the legal and business ramifications in all aspects of employment relationships and business transactions. This includes developing and drafting employment handbooks, creating workplace policies, and conducting in-house training to assist efficient operations and litigation risk avoidance. I possess extensive knowledge and experience in advising employers and ensuring compliance with the full range of state and federal employment laws.These include the Age Discrimination Enforcement Act, Older Workers Benefits Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, civil rights statutes, employment based immigration, pregnancy laws, whistleblower laws, retaliation laws, and all related federal and state common law tort and contract claims.
An important component of my practice is providing legal services to management in traditional labor relationships as governed by the National Labor Relations Act. I coordinate anti-union campaigns, oversee elections, and directly participate in collective bargaining sessions. I navigate employers through labor agreement administration, labor grievances, and arbitration proceedings. I have appeared before the National Labor Relations Board to decertify unions, to defend against unfair labor practice charges, and in unit representation and clarification hearings.
My labor and employment practice results in intrinsic connections to the business affairs of my clients. This allows me to continue to grow my practice by assisting my clients with corporate transactions, intellectual property (software) agreements, and commercial litigation. I am often regarded as the outside general counsel to my clients.
- Defeated two different unions for a single multi-site employer in one year.
- Successfully defended employer against sexual harassment and gender discrimination charges.
- Orchestrated a reduction in force governed by WARN Act.
- Reduced employer liability significantly for contributions to benefits plan.
- Negotiated labor agreement achieving the employer’s strategic business goals in an extended contract term.
- Obtained injunction in federal case against competitor violating Lanham Trade-Mark Act.
- Briefed landmark case regarding distribution of union literature at workplace, upheld in U.S. Supreme Court related case.
- Drafted independent contractor agreements passing IRS audit.
- Argued ADA issue resulting in a federal court setting aside $800,000 jury verdict against employer (quoted in footnote of opinion).
- Created unique attendance policy which a federal court favorably noted in judgment for employer in wrongful discharge case.
- Authored and enforced intellectual property and licensing agreements for software, publishing, and marketing companies.
- Coordinated Amicus Curie Brief currently before U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of national non-profit.
Areas Of Practice
- Labor and Employment Law
- Business Transactions
- Wage and Hour Law
- Intellectual Property (Software) Agreements
- Ohio, 1989
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1992
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1992
- University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio
- J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1989
- University of Akron, Akron, Ohio
- B.S., Bachelor of Science - 00/1986
- Major: Labor Economics
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Cleveland Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- International Institute of Akron, Inc., Board of Directors
- International Institute of Akron, Inc., 2007 - 2008 , Vice President, Board of Directors, 2007 to 2008
- Heart To Heart Communications - Leadership Connection Series, Member
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Akron Bar Association
Past Employment Positions
- Ohio Court of Appeals, 9th District, Law Clerk, 1989 to 1991
- Honorable Leroy J. Contie, Jr., Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Judicial Externship, 1988 to 1989
- Ohio Court of Appeals, 9th District serving Summit, Wayne, Medina, and Lorain Counties, Judicial Staff Attorney, 1989 to 1991
- International Institute English and Citizenship, Instructor
Pro Bono Activities
- Lifebanc, American Red Cross, Kidsave International Adoption Program, and St. Hilary Employment Network Group (SHENG)