Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment - Washington


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What the team is known for Offers a depth of specialist talent covering class action and labor relations work, as well as litigation. Also assists clients with internal investigations, including those related to discrimination issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have an absolutely top-tier Seattle labor and employment group."

"They have a really excellent employment group who give practical advice and do a good job on litigation."

Notable practitioners  

Firm chairman Mark Hutcheson is highly regarded for his skilled representation of employers in labor relations management. He handles collective bargaining and strike issues as well as executive employment agreements. 

Michael Reiss is well thought of in the market, particularly for his employment-related litigation skills. He deals with wage and hour and discrimination cases representing management, and is also an experienced mediator.

Robert Blackstone is the partner in charge of the Seattle office. He acts for clients on issues relating to trade secrets, labor relations planning, technology in the workplace and executive employment agreements.

Sources report that Lawton Humphrey is "highly regarded by hard to please people." She advises clients on employment policies, and represents employers in disputes. She is experienced in handling investigations into sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Clients say Mark Berry is "really terrific" and "understands our needs and objectives, and does a good job of being very efficient and effective in helping resolve matters." His broad experience includes advising on training, employee agreements and disputes. 

Henry Farber is described by clients as "very knowledgeable, very helpful," and they appreciate that he has "excellent relations with unions." He advises employers on arbitrations, labor negotiations and NLRB cases.

Thomas Lemly has three decades of experience representing clients in complicated employment disputes. He has represented clients in both state and federal courts, and counsels businesses on wage, overtime and labor relations management issues.

Significant clients Microsoft, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Alaska Airlines.

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What the team is known for Significant employment team in Washington operating from its offices in Seattle and Bellevue. Advises clients in industries such as healthcare, construction, transportation and technology on wage and hour and age discrimination matters as well as class actions and investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A really talented law firm. A deep bench with lots of great lawyers."

"One of the best firms in Seattle. Size and scope means they have many knowledgeable partners."

"Regionally very strong." 

What's new? New clients include Jive Software, Portland Trail Blazers and McClatchy Newspapers. 

Notable practitioners Defended Les Schwab Tire Centers in a series of wage and hour cases brought by former employees, including the successful defeat of a class action certification.

Representing Redbox Automated Retail against a disability class action case relating to the accessibility of its automated DVD rental shops.

Defending Boeing against an allegation of violating the FMLA, as well as representing it in various employment arbitrations.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Michael Cross has been working on employment matters for over four decades, and advises on class actions, wage and hour, and NLRB-related matters. He has particular strength handling FLSA issues.

Sources report that Jeff Hollingsworth "knows the court systems in Washington and our primary adversaries very well." He advises public employers and large private companies on complicated class action matters. He defended Comcast against a wage and hour class action brought by call center employees.

Sue Morgan specializes in advising on executive compensation and employee benefits. She has experience advising technology, manufacturing and retail clients.

Clients praise Kevin Hamilton as being "very personable, a good writer, and strong in the employment field." He is the chair of the firm's labor and employment practice, and is experienced at taking on noncompetition, class action and trade secret issues. He recently acted for on two noncompetition cases involving former employees.

John Aslin has more than 40 years' experience working on employment matters, and is particularly knowledgeable in equal employment law. He also acts on ADR and mediation matters.

Nancy Williams is a highly experienced labor attorney, advising clients on discharge and discipline and equal opportunity litigation, as well as broader counseling. She is defending Recreational Equipment against a disability discrimination allegation.

Kurt Linsenmayer is vice chair of the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation practice, and has worked on ERISA, health and welfare, federal tax and pension matters for over 20 years.

Significant clients Starbucks, Nintendo of America, UPS.

Band 2 | Lane Powell PC

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What the team is known for Strong regional firm headquartered in Seattle. Represents clients in the education, pharmaceutical, technology and banking sectors, among others, on ERISA and non-ERISA benefits, class action, and wage and hour cases. Also offers a significant litigation and arbitration practice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very accessible and respond quickly. They make me feel very comfortable."

"They give concise, straightforward advice, make productive use of time, and present new and thoughtful ideas."

What's new? New clients include Cray Supercomputers, The Home Depot and Group Health Cooperative.

Work highlights Successfully defended Starbucks against a $250,000 alleged FMLA and interference and retaliation claim.

Represented Group Health Cooperative in negotiations with labor unions in relation to a $400 million employee healthcare plan covering 17,000 employees.

Represented The Home Depot in a case in which the plaintiff alleged disability discrimination. The matter was successfully settled shortly before trial.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Reilly is director of the labor, employment and employee benefits group. Clients say: "He is a fantastic attorney, strategist and partner. He is incredibly responsive and works very hard." He recently defended Starbucks against claims of retaliation and FMLA violation.

Clients report that Gail Mautner "provides excellent feedback and proactive suggestions in an efficient and straightforward way." She has a focus on employment litigation, and also works on mediation and general counseling.

Laura Morse chairs the firm's labor and employment practice group, and focuses on litigating wrongful dismissal cases, including those related to gender, disability, religion and race.

Significant clients Macy’s, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Nordstrom.

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What the team is known for Sought-after boutique offering effective teams across all aspects of employment and labor matters. Particularly expert in respect of arbitrations and litigation. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A favorite. I refer cases there in times of conflict - tremendous lawyers."

"A top-notch firm." 

Notable practitioners  

Mark Busto is greatly respected by peers, and has over 20 years' experience working on employment matters. He has a background as an employee relations consultant and as an organizer and field representative for the Service Employees International Union. He has represented employers in both state and federal court.

Jeffrey James advises companies on employment compliance issues, as well as defending them in litigation. He advises on wage and hour, discrimination, health and safety, labor relations and contract matters.

Robert Sebris advises clients on the prevention and containment of HR problems, and represents management on collective bargaining issues. Areas of specialty include strike avoidance, wage and hour, and wrongful discharge matters.

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What the team is known for Highly regarded for its comprehensive employment and labor skills, assisting clients in sectors ranging from entertainment and education to technology and manufacturing. Handles investigations, pension plans and healthcare benefits as well as arbitration and collective bargaining matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They understand our business and needs. Specific attorneys are assigned to our work, so they are familiar with our plans."

"Very knowledgeable and experienced working on 401(k) plans."

Work highlights Advised MultiCare on union management negotiations in relation to its acquisition of an acute care hospital, as well as successfully defending it against unrelated allegations of unfair labor practices.

Represents Franciscan Health System in relations between management and unions, and recently defended management against charges from the NLRB and union grievances.

Successfully sought summary judgment for ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services concerning alleged infringements of federal and Washington disability laws.

Notable practitioners  

Melanie Curtice is the managing partner of the Seattle office, and advises clients on HIPAA, ERISA and other compliance issues associated with employee benefits.

Clients say that Mimi Warner is "very responsive and gives good recommendations on how we can improve our plans." She advises clients on employee benefits, focusing on maximizing employers' value from their plans, including pension schemes.

Timothy O'Connell is described by a peer as "incredibly smart, with tons of experience," with another commenting: "If I were an employer, I'd have full faith in him." He advises on unfair labor practice and collective bargaining issues before the NLRB, as well as litigating on employment matters. He recently represented Franciscan Health System against a number of charges by the NLRB.

James Shore has 25 years' experience working on labor law issues, and is described by clients as being "very responsive, and the kind of person we want to work with on more complicated issues." He recently defended CamWest Development against claims it violated the Washington Wage Rebate Act.

Keelin Curran has been working in the employment field for over two decades, and peers report that she is "very capable, knows how to assess a matter and gets straight to the point." She advises on wage and hour, internal investigations and noncompetition issues.

Jerome Rubin covers labor relations and employment matters including discrimination and wage and hour issues.

Significant clients McDonald's, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, ITEX.

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What the team is known for Specialist boutique representing private, public and nonprofit employers in union and non-union situations. Advises a range of corporations and smaller businesses on benefits and compensation, equal opportunity, labor relations and trade secrets issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Top employment lawyers at small firm rates. Very practical."

"The firm is thorough and detail-oriented. Staffing is appropriate for my matters and cost-effective."

"They're responsive, knowledgeable, and they provide a balanced, common-sense approach to issues."

What's new? New client wins include the City of Renton, F5 Networks and ScribeAmerica.

Notable practitioners  

Steven Winterbauer is managing member at the firm, and is highly respected by peers, who describe him as "top-flight," while clients say he is "hard-working and has great client relationships." He advises on staff reductions, plant closures, early retirement and labor aspects of M&A.

Clients say of Kenneth Diamond that "the quality is fantastic. He knows his stuff, is very conscientious and careful, and he gives us utmost consideration." He advises on training, discharge and compliance, and litigates on FMLA, discrimination and retaliation matters.

Significant clients Expedia, King County, Walgreens.

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What the team is known for National employment specialists, whose Washington office serves clients across the Northwest. Advises on ERISA, discrimination, harassment and collective bargaining issues for client in sectors such as retail, finance, manufacturing and healthcare.

What the team is known for
"They are located all over the US and employ attorneys who are experts in all federal, state and local employment law matters."

"Their main strengths are their geographic reach and its depth in terms of labor and employment expertise."

"They give concise, prompt and accurate legal advice and documents, with fair billing charges."

Work highlights Successfully sought summary judgment for the Washington Restaurant Association, Alaska CHARR, Oregon Restaurant and Lodging, and the National Restaurant Association in a case concerning tip pooling with non-waiting staff.

Successfully defended Milliman against a $200,000 breach of contract claim.

Obtained summary judgment against claims that Spokane Civic Theatre dismissed an employee based on his sexuality.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Griffin is described by clients as "an excellent lawyer in the field of disability and employee leave, and is always available to help." He is the Seattle office's litigation manager, and defends employers in discrimination, retaliation, whistle-blower and harassment cases. He recently defended Milliman against a claim of breach of contract.

Significant clients Sears Holdings, The Bartell Drug Store, Inspire Development Centers.

Band 3 | K&L Gates

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What the team is known for International firm with a Washington employment practice spread across offices in Spokane and Seattle. Acts on compliance, labor relations, litigation and employment matters arising from transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They cater to several different practice areas, so they can give us resources and experienced staff dealing with our specific needs."

"Incredibly happy to have them as a resource for us. I find them to be really responsive, thoughtful, experienced, and they have a good sense of the market."

"Extremely knowledgeable lawyers who provide timely, practical advice."

Work highlights Acts as labor counsel to Equity Residential, including representing it in NLRB investigations and collective bargaining, and providing strategic advice.

Advises McKinstry on all its labor and employment matters, such as policy drafting, union negotiations and litigation.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Madden advises clients on class action, compliance, and wage and hour matters. Clients describe him as "incredibly creative and hard-working, and very creative in terms of his strategy." He advises Equity Residential on a range of labor and employment matters.

Mark Filipini advises private and public employees on wage and hour, labor relations and fair practice matters. He represents TransAlta Centralia Mining on all its labor relations matters, including collective bargaining. Sources say he is "very solid, smart and dependable."

Suzanne Thomas is described by clients as "very thorough and precise" and a lawyer who "works with diligence and zeal." She focuses on representing clients in complex litigation, including class action cases, and acted as employment counsel for the South Correctional Entity.

Significant clients Network Global Logistics, Safeway, TrueBlue.

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What the team is known for Seattle firm highly active in the Northwest advising on employment issues for clients in the gaming, aerospace, energy and healthcare industries. Particular strengths in workplace safety, trade secrets and noncompetition issues.

Work highlights Successfully defended Microsoft against a former employee's claims of discrimination based on sex, age and disability.

Successfully defended Quanta Services against a claim that it violated the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, brought by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

Represented Boeing against a claim of retaliation and wrongful dismissal brought by a former employee, a claim which was later dropped voluntarily.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Howie cochairs the firm's labor and employment practice group. He advises and litigates for employers on issues such as harassment, wage and hour, and trade secrets matters. He recently successfully represented Boeing against claims that an employee was terminated for engaging in whistle-blower behavior.

Significant clients University of Washington, T-Mobile, Quanta Energy Services.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Michael Droke of Dorsey & Whitney LLP is praised for his "customer service skills and excellent approach." He advises management on union relations and compliance matters and is also a litigator. He is representing Zillow in a discrimination suit alleging unfair dismissal as a result of disability. 

Anne Preston of Garvey Schubert Barer assists employers with a range of workplace negotiations as well as litigation. Clients say that she "balances the legal and practical side, gives practical advice quickly and is very efficient."

Clemens Barnes of Graham & Dunn PC is considered by sources to be "very capable," and has been an employment litigation and compliance specialist for over 25 years. He acts for companies on discipline and termination, labor relations, and wage and hour matters.

Carolyn Cairns of Stokes Lawrence, PS is described by peers as "a highly experienced employment lawyer and a very capable trial lawyer." She has extensive experience both advising on and litigating employment matters, and recently successfully defended Evans Fruit against a class action suit brought by the EEOC.

Otto Klein of Summit Law Group, PLLC is said by sources to be "a fabulous, tremendous lawyer." He has 30 years' experience representing employers on executive compensation and collective bargaining cases, as well as arbitration.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.