Michigan - Labor & Employment Lawyers & Law Firms - USA | Chambers and Partners
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USA Guide

Labor & Employment — Michigan


Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C. - Labor & Employment

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Preeminent labor and employment boutique offering sophisticated counsel to a range of domestic and international clients. Demonstrates extensive litigation and trial experience, with particular strengths in FLSA and FMLA disputes, and cases relating to the misappropriation of confidential information. Highly skilled on restrictive covenant matters, and has extensive experience advising clients in the healthcare, construction, banking and automotive sectors.

Strengths Clients state they have "a very positive impression of the firm. They are clearly experts in their niche."

Peers agree that they are "a specialty boutique with high-quality people."

Value for money One source reports that the firm is "very efficient and cost-effective."

Work highlights Defended Ford against claims of age discrimination and retaliation connected to the elimination of an employee's job role and placement in a lower salary grade position. The case was valued at approximately $2.5 million.

Successfully defended Belle Tire Distributors against claims of FLSA violations.

Significant clients Auto Club of Michigan, College for Creative Studies, Comcast, Detroit Tigers, Hurley Medical Center.

Notable practitioners

Elizabeth Hardy is greatly appreciated by clients, who highlight her collegial attitude. "She's approachable, good at explaining issues, and is willing to think 'out loud' with us," says a source. She is experienced at representing clients in employment litigation, both at the first instance and on appeal, and recently acted for Ford in a case against a former employee alleging constructive discharge.

Thomas Kienbaum has been representing employers in high-profile employment disputes for over four decades, and recently defended a Detroit-headquartered law firm against tort claims of under-compensation brought by a former principal. Kienbaum enjoys a superb reputation in the market, and clients say he is "very bright, smooth and diplomatic, and particularly good at working with unions."

Theodore Opperwall has more than 40 years' experience advising businesses on a range of employment matters, including arbitrations, union organization and collective bargaining. He recently acted for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in a case in which the plaintiff alleged age and race discrimination. Clients praise his "strong analytical ability."

Eric Pelton advises on both employment litigation and traditional labor issues, acting on class actions, multiemployer pension matters and restrictive covenant disputes. He recently acted for Ford in an age discrimination case, and sources report that he is "highly regarded for his scholastic skills but also a solid guy in the boardroom."

William Forrest is best known for his work in complex labor disputes, and recently acted for Belle Tire Distributors defending against the plaintiff's accusations of FLSA violations. Clients enthuse that he is "very cost-conscious, knowledgeable and responsive."

Department profile by Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

Now in its 21st year as a labor and employment “boutique,” our firm is widely known in Michigan, the Midwest, and throughout the country for its specialized and high-level management-side practice. We are also known for our excellent clients, including Fortune 500 companies, start-up and small-to-mid-sized businesses, healthcare and educational institutions, non-profits, executives, courts, and law firms, and for achieving excellent outcomes for them.

Our practice covers the gamut of federal and state employment and labor law, from preventive counseling to litigation to appeals. A sizable segment is complex multi-state litigation including class actions. Our appellate practice has long been instrumental in establishing legal principles of major significance for employers.

Many of our clients have seen that, with the high level of sophistication, substantive knowledge, trial experience, and efficiency our practice offers, it is more cost-effective for us to handle their labor and employment work regionally or throughout the country. We offer better and more timely service at Midwestern rates. 

For years our firm has been designated by Chambers as one of the top employment and labor practices based in Michigan, and in recent years as the sole top-ranked firm. All of our principals are ranked by Chambers. A high percentage of our lawyers have been inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. All of our lawyers have devoted their careers to this specialized field.

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As labor and employment lawyers licensed in the United States, and without an office or lawyers in other countries, we do not have an international practice in the conventional sense.  However, we have represented, and continue to represent, a large number of enterprises based in other countries that have established facilities or operations in the U.S. that require labor and employment assistance under our federal, state, and local laws.  In addition, Thomas G. Kienbaum was born in Germany and is fluent in German, which has resulted in a number of representations on behalf of parent entities located in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe).  Recent examples of internationally based clients of our firm have been from the following countries: 

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom

Butzel Long - Labor & Employment

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Well-established regional firm with significant trial experience before a range of state and federal administrative bodies. Routinely advises on labor relations and often provides comprehensive human resources training to major employers. Skilled at handling union-related issues, including organizational drives, strikes and collective bargaining negotiations.

Strengths One client describes this as a strong all-around firm, stating: "They provide deep legal expertise, excellent client service and overall good value."

Another source highlights the department's strong client service ethic. They observe: "All the attorneys I've worked with have taken the time to get to know us very well, and this personal approach is what makes the difference."

Value for money Clients agree that the team offers good value for money, with sources agreeing: "Billing is more than fair!"

Work highlights Successfully represented Beaumont Health before the NLRB, in a case arising from the dismissal of two employees as a result of alleged workplace bullying.

Acted for Manheim Detroit in its negotiations with labor union UAW for a collective bargaining agreement.

Significant clients CBM Managed Services, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, Eastern Michigan University, Nexteer Automotive, Pratt & Miller.

Notable practitioners

Daniel Tukel is best known for defending individuals and businesses against claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, representing clients in federal and state courts. He recently acted for a university program director against a former faculty member who alleged race discrimination. Clients say he "has deep experience, understands all angles of a case, can effectively strategize, and is measured in his approach and responsive to client needs."

Carey DeWitt represents employers in a range of contentious employment matters, and has 30 years' experience in this field. Clients report: "He follows every avenue. He rehearses over and over so he is always prepared for what could come up, and he gets into the weeds and the detail."

John Hancock typically assists clients in collective bargaining negotiations, and is also a skilled mediator and arbitration counsel. He has experience acting for public and private clients, including schools, casinos, public utilities and hospitals.

James Rosenfeld is well known for his expertise in a range of labor litigation, as well as for advising on union-related matters. He acts for a number of clients in the automotive industry, with his recent work including guidance to a global automotive component manufacturer regarding compliance with the FMLA and ADA.

Department profile by Butzel Long

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Clark Hill PLC - Labor & Employment

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Comprehensive practice capable of handling a multitude of labor and employment issues, including discrimination, wrongful termination and employee benefits disputes. Frequently acts for airlines, construction companies, hospitals and medical centers. Also highly skilled at taking on traditional labor matters, such as collective bargaining and strike avoidance.

Work highlights Defended Central Michigan University in a dispute with the faculty union relating to the termination of a faculty member.

Significant clients Bank of America, Community Emergency Medical Services, Henry Ford Health Systems, Mastronardi Produce, Trinity Health.

Notable practitioners

Daniel Bretz has extensive experience acting for management on a range of labor and employment issues, including NLRB proceedings, collective bargaining negotiation and breach of contract disputes. One peer says he is "very practical, and a great communicator who treats people well."

Senior counsel Robert Vercruysse is known for his broad practice, helping employers with traditional labor advice and in employment litigation. He recently advised a major beer distributor on its termination of a defined benefit pension plan and its replacement with a defined contribution plan.

Department profile by Clark Hill PLC

Department profile not yet provided by Clark Hill PLC. Please see their firm profile.

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Varnum LLP - Labor & Employment

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Grand Rapids-headquartered firm noted for its high-quality labor and employment offering and complementary expertise in immigration law. Routinely advises large human resources departments on workforce reduction strategies, contract issues and labor relations. Especially well known for its active and successful arbitration practice.

Strengths The team is highlighted for its client service. Sources say: "They're very professional, always available and provide good guidance and educational seminars."

The team's responsiveness is also praised, with commentators noting: "Whenever we have a question they get back to us immediately. They are dependable and always give good, clear advice."

Notable practitioners

Detroit-based Richard Hooker's practice has a broad remit, encompassing traditional labor matters and employment litigation. Clients enthuse that he is "very knowledgeable and prompt with his responses, and very good at explaining the pros and cons of our options." He also regularly represents clients in arbitration.

Firm chair David Khorey is highly experienced in employment matters and regularly represents clients in the automotive, healthcare and transportation sectors.

Lawrence Murphy is "a fine lawyer" who regularly acts for management on a range of employment litigation. He is also skilled at advising on employment contracts, as well as trade secret and personnel policy matters.

Department profile by Varnum LLP

Good business sense combined with good people sense is perhaps the best way to describe our approach to labor and employment law at Varnum.

Our labor and employment attorneys understand the importance of human resource management and development in your business strategy. We have built a practice that responds quickly to your needs, looks for practical, cost-effective business solutions and holds to sound human resource principles.

With one of the most experienced labor and employment practices in the region, Varnum has expertise in all areas of labor law and employer/employee relations. Clients range from large corporations and universities to small retailers and service firms -- public, private, union and non-union employers -- throughout the Midwest and across the country.

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Barnes & Thornburg LLP - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Distinguished firm handling a wide range of matters for regional and national employers. Particularly recognized for its prowess in labor relations and employment disputes as well as claims brought under the FLSA and Civil Rights Act. Especially well known for its work advising on traditional labor issues in the healthcare sector.

Strengths The team members are said to be "always available and quick to respond."

The team's client service is also highlighted, with interviewees observing that "the firm as a whole cultivates the concept of care for one's client."

Value for money Clients report: "The billing is very fair, excellent value."

Work highlights Represented Mercy Health Partners in negotiations with its SEIU-represented registered nurse unit at the Mercy Campus.

Advised Faurecia Interior Systems on a number of matters, including employee terminations and on-site investigations and in disputes arising from allegations of unfair labor practices.

Significant clients Herman Miller, Kellogg, MidMichigan Health, Perrigo, Quanex Building Products.

Notable practitioners

Robert Sikkel has over three decades' experience representing management in a range of traditional labor matters, such as discipline and terminations, collective bargaining and M&A-related issues. Clients report that he is "well experienced, with a great knowledge base." He has recently advised Mercy Health Partners on a number of negotiations with the SEIU.

Donald Lawless typically advises on labor matters, including arbitrations, defense against allegations of unfair labor practices and contract negotiations. He primarily represents clients in the education, pharmaceutical and food processing industries. Clients say he is "very prompt: he is very responsive to questions and is generally available anytime."

Sources report that Keith Brodie is "detail-oriented in case preparation and in preparing witnesses for testimony, and has very good cross-examination skills." He advises on collective bargaining, FMLA and FLSA matters, as well as arbitrations. He also regularly acts for clients in the healthcare sector on NLRB matters.

Department profile by Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Bodman PLC - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Well-regarded practice representing banking institutions, charitable organizations and government entities in a variety of complex labor and employment cases. Particular strengths include equal employment opportunity actions, labor negotiations and employee benefits work. It is especially well known for its work advising clients in the healthcare industry.

Strengths Clients highlight the firm's responsiveness, and observe: "They are knowledgeable and communicate well with their clients."

Another source enthuses: "They have always been very responsive, helpful, friendly, honest, knowledgeable and have provided excellent service."

Value for money Clients report that "they provide a quality work product at a reasonable price."

Work highlights Successfully defended Comerica Bank against claims of civil rights retaliation by a third-party real estate appraisal provider who was removed from an approved appraiser list.

Represented the City of Harbor Springs in a highly sensitive collective bargaining agreement.

Significant clients Dematic, Detroit Lions, FirstMerit Bank, Memorial Healthcare, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit.

Notable practitioners

John Cashen is a skilled litigator and arbitration counsel, best known for his work defending employers against accusations of wrongful discharge, harassment and discrimination. Clients describe him as "a very seasoned litigation attorney with strong communication skills and an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter."

Steven Fishman has over four decades of experience representing employers on a wide range of labor matters. Clients confirm that he is "very well known in this area."

Karen Piper focuses on employment litigation issues, and clients report that her "investigative abilities are superb and she is extremely knowledgeable on matters. She puts the interest of her client first." She recently defended St. Regis Catholic Elementary School against claims of defamation and age discrimination brought by one of its former teachers.

Department profile by Bodman PLC

Department profile not yet provided by Bodman PLC. Please see their firm profile.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Broad practice known for its expert handling of labor and employment, employee benefits and immigration issues for a diverse client roster. Frequently advises clients in the public and private sectors on labor relations, health and retirement plans, and health and safety compliance. Regularly acts for businesses in the healthcare, automotive, retail and food and drink industries.

Strengths Clients say: "They're very responsive and they help us through complex legal issues."

Another source says: "They understand our business, they provide a very succinct point of view and help walk us through the big picture."

Significant clients Carhartt, Domino's Pizza, Greektown Casino, Michigan House of Representatives, University of Michigan.

Notable practitioners

Timothy Howlett is best known for his work defending employers in a range of employment litigation, including against discrimination allegations of all types, at both the trial and appellate levels. Clients say he "demonstrates substantial subject matter experience and expertise."

Department profile by Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright's Labor and Employment Group has more than 30 lawyers in Michigan who possess extensive experience in every aspect of the laws that govern the employment relationship.

A significant part of our practice involves representing public and private employers in state and federal court in discrimination, whistleblower, wrongful termination, and other labor and employment litigation. We are experienced in counseling clients in a number of employment or labor law issues, including employment agreements, immigration, severance agreements, ADA and FMLA compliance, employee discipline and terminations, harassment claims, privacy, employee handbooks, affirmative action compliance, labor relations and collective bargaining, maintenance of a union-free work environment, workforce reductions, wage and hour issues, OSHA and MIOSHA, and the enforcement of non-competition and confidentiality agreements.

In the past few years alone, we have successfully defended numerous wage and hour collective actions and discrimination class actions - in almost every instance, stopping the case before it starts by successfully arguing that a wage and hour collective status is improper or by defeating class certification.

Over the past year, we have significantly expanded our practice in the healthcare industry. We currently represent physician groups, hospitals and health care insurance providers, which has resulted in a significant growth of our employment healthcare practice.

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Dykema Gossett PLLC - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Robust labor and employment practice popular with a diverse range of banking, higher education and technology clients. Notable strength in representing clients in administrative proceedings before the NLRB and Michigan Employment Relations Commission. Has recently been highly active advising on traditional labor matters, including union issues and wage and hour cases.

Work highlights Defended Gordon Chevrolet against claims of trade secret misappropriation, a $3.4 million matter.

Represented Meggitt-USA in a case in which the plaintiff, terminated due to a workforce reduction, alleged retaliation and disability discrimination.

Significant clients Central Michigan University, Dunham’s Athleisure, MSC Software, Rite Aid, Ypsilanti Community Schools.

Notable practitioners

Robert Boonin regularly acts for clients in the education sector, including universities, charter schools and community colleges. He is experienced at taking on wage and hour, tenure and wrongful discharge matters.

Department profile by Dykema Gossett PLLC

Dykema’s team of labor and employment lawyers apply their knowledge of ever-changing legal issues to the representation of corporate and public employers in such diverse fields as retailing, manufacturing, construction, transportation, banking and finance, health care, government and education.

Dykema provides strategic counsel on all employment-related issues, from civil rights and employee benefits to union negotiations, immigration and litigation. With its advice, clients navigate and comply with complex laws and meet specific employment-related objectives. Dykema also maintains a labor and employment law blog (www.laboremployment-lawblog.com), in which its attorneys highlight important legal developments with practical implications for our clients.

Dykema's labor and employment attorneys assist clients in several areas, including:

  • Employment Litigation​
  • Unions and Collective Bargaining
  • Employment Counseling
  • ERISA Litigation
  • Immigration
  • Non-Compete, Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
  • Wage & Hour

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Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Solid labor and employment practice with a strong reputation in high-stakes collective and class action employment litigation, and employment issues arising in a transactional context, with particular expertise advising on M&A-related matters. Additionally prevalent in traditional labor law relating to union avoidance and collective bargaining negotiations, as well as acting on high-profile FLSA collective actions.

Strengths The team is praised for its devotion to clients. Sources say: "Not only do they provide sound advice and direction when we are addressing complicated situations, they do it in such a manner as though they are owners in the business."

Another source agrees: "Their structure of having an overall relationship partner, paired with their breadth of services, adds much value by us not needing to give tremendous amounts of background information on every issue."

Value for money One client reports that the team "provides outstanding value."

Work highlights Defended Conway Prowash in an FLSA litigation filed by a former employee.

Represented Title Source and Quicken Loan against claims of whistle-blower violation and race, age and sexual discrimination.

Significant clients CWL Investments, Detroit Institute of Arts, FedEx Ground Package System, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Notable practitioners

William Sargent has 30 years' experience representing management in a wide range of employment and labor cases, including wrongful termination, discrimination and wage and hour matters. One client says that he has "significant experience and insight as we discuss problematic situations."

Department profile by Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Department profile not yet provided by Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Offers broad traditional labor law and employment services to public and private sector clients, with particular activity for prominent automotive companies, nonprofits and healthcare organizations. Exhibits considerable strength in FMLA and ERISA benefits litigation and counseling. Also skilled at taking on collective bargaining mandates and other union-related matters.

Strengths The team's dedication and depth of expertise are praised highly. A source says: "As situations arise, a subject expert is always able to be found to assist with an issue. The attorneys are attentive and thorough."

Work highlights Defended the University of Michigan against allegations of sexual harassment, retaliation and Title IX violations.

Successfully defended Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan’s Heartland against charges of defamation and wrongful terminations.

Significant clients Comerica Bank, DTE Energy, Sparrow Health System, University of Michigan, Wayne County.

Notable practitioners

Megan Norris represents employers on a range of issues, including conducting sexual harassment investigations, plans to deal with difficult employees and defense against claims of FMLA violations. Clients enthuse that she is "terrific: thorough, reassuring and incredibly efficient." She recently defended the University of Michigan against a number of claims brought by a former PhD candidate, including sexual harassment and retaliation.

Senior of counsel Leonard Givens has nearly 50 years' experience advising businesses on a range of traditional labor matters, including strikes and collective bargaining. Peers say they have "a very high regard for him" in this area.

Christopher Trebilcock advises on wage and hour, workforce reduction and internal FLSA reviews, among other matters. Recently, he acted for Wayne County in successfully dismissing union challenges against its cost-saving and financial reform initiatives. One source says that he "always makes himself available and is very responsive. He is very straightforward and communicates in a way that makes it easy to understand."

Department profile by Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

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Miller Johnson - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Solid reputation for its representation of public and private clients across a number of sectors, including education and food and beverage. Highly praised for its experience in management training and alternative dispute resolution. Has a significant traditional labor practice, with particular areas of expertise including management of union relationships and union avoidance.

Strengths Sources say: "They are responsive and always have our best interests at heart."

Another source reports: "They did a fantastic job at instructing us and guiding us through the process."

Work highlights Defended the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital against claims of racial discrimination by two registered nurses.

Successfully represented Dow Corning against claims of breach of contract, fraud and discrimination involving potential damages of $2 million.

Significant clients Denso Air Systems Michigan, Gordon Food Service, Musashi Auto Parts, Samaritas, SpartanNash.

Notable practitioners

Grand Rapids-based Peter Kok is described by one peer as "a very accomplished lawyer," and is experienced at advising unionized and nonunionized businesses, with his client list featuring both small-to-medium operations and nationwide corporations. He has significant experience representing management in discrimination, affirmative action, harassment and wage and hour matters.

Department profile by Miller Johnson

Department profile not yet provided by Miller Johnson. Please see their firm profile.

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The Murray Law Group, P.C. - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Impressive labor and employment group representing local and national employers in the automotive, manufacturing, healthcare and media industries. Regularly appears before the EEOC and DOL, as well as state and federal courts, in an array of labor and employment disputes. Well known for its work engaging in negotiations with unions, and is also skilled at taking on immigration-related matters.

Strengths Clients appreciate that "they have a very keen knowledge of our business and our collective agreement with our union-represented employees."

Another source says they are "very professional, prompt and knowledgeable."

Significant clients Beaumont Health, Dayco Products, Faurecia, Maxion Wheels, Penske.

Notable practitioners

Gregory Murray represents management in discrimination, wrongful discharge and other significant litigation matters. One client says that he is "especially helpful in helping resolve issues that require balancing business needs and legal risks."

Susan Hartmus Hiser is highlighted by one client as a lawyer who is "responsive and gives practical legal advice." She represents both public and private sector employers in harassment and discrimination disputes, and also advises on FMLA and ADA compliance.

Department profile by The Murray Law Group, P.C.

Department profile not yet provided by The Murray Law Group, P.C.. Please see their firm profile.

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Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC - Labor & Employment

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

What the team is known for Respected full-service labor and employment practice, with comprehensive resources across an extensive network of national and international offices. Demonstrates noteworthy skill in traditional labor law issues and FLSA and FMLA lawsuits. Works closely with both small-to-medium enterprises and larger employers, with attorneys frequently acting as interim on-site employment counsel.

Strengths Sources say that "one of the strengths of Ogletree is the very timely responses we receive."

Value for money One client reports that "compared to other national firms, Ogletree is excellent value for money."

Work highlights Successfully represented Delta Air Lines in an appeal against an earlier summary judgment in a racial discrimination case.

Defended Jack Cooper Transport against claims of racial discrimination made by a terminated employee.

Significant clients Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy, General Dynamics Land Systems, Tenet Healthcare, Wright & Filippis.

Notable practitioners

Margaret Carroll Alli has experience representing nonprofit, corporate and educational institutions in state and federal courts. One client appreciates that she is "very organized, very detailed, and not afraid to express her opinion."

Detroit managing partner Thomas Cattel has over 30 years of experience representing management in a range of labor litigation, defending against both individuals and groups of plaintiffs. He is best known for his work advising clients in the manufacturing, retail, health and energy sectors. Clients say that he is "knowledgeable and personable."

Department profile by Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC

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Senior Statesmen

Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Senior of counsel Leonard Givens has nearly 50 years' experience advising businesses on a range of traditional labor matters, including strikes and collective bargaining. Peers say they have "a very high regard for him" in this area.

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Band 1

Clark Hill PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Bretz has extensive experience acting for management on a range of labor and employment issues, including NLRB proceedings, collective bargaining negotiation and breach of contract disputes. One peer says he is "very practical, and a great communicator who treats people well."

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Band 1

Elizabeth P Hardy

Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Elizabeth Hardy is greatly appreciated by clients, who highlight her collegial attitude. "She's approachable, good at explaining issues, and is willing to think 'out loud' with us," says a source. She is experienced at representing clients in employment litigation, both at the first instance and on appeal, and recently acted for Ford in a case against a former employee alleging constructive discharge.

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Thomas G Kienbaum

Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Thomas Kienbaum has been representing employers in high-profile employment disputes for over four decades, and recently defended a Detroit-headquartered law firm against tort claims of under-compensation brought by a former principal. Kienbaum enjoys a superb reputation in the market, and clients say he is "very bright, smooth and diplomatic, and particularly good at working with unions."

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The Murray Law Group, P.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Gregory Murray represents management in discrimination, wrongful discharge and other significant litigation matters. One client says that he is "especially helpful in helping resolve issues that require balancing business needs and legal risks."

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Band 1

Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Megan Norris represents employers on a range of issues, including conducting sexual harassment investigations, plans to deal with difficult employees and defense against claims of FMLA violations. Clients enthuse that she is "terrific: thorough, reassuring and incredibly efficient." She recently defended the University of Michigan against a number of claims brought by a former PhD candidate, including sexual harassment and retaliation.

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Band 1

Robert Vercruysse

Clark Hill PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Senior counsel Robert Vercruysse is known for his broad practice, helping employers with traditional labor advice and in employment litigation. He recently advised a major beer distributor on its termination of a defined benefit pension plan and its replacement with a defined contribution plan.

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Band 2

Margaret Carroll Alli

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Margaret Carroll Alli has experience representing nonprofit, corporate and educational institutions in state and federal courts. One client appreciates that she is "very organized, very detailed, and not afraid to express her opinion."

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Band 2

Hickey Hauck Bischoff & Jeffers PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Patrick Hickey of Hickey Hauck Bischoff & Jeffers PLLC is well known for his work advising on ERISA, trade secret and noncompete litigation for a wide range of clients, and is described by one peer as "an outstanding practitioner."

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Band 2

Varnum LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Detroit-based Richard Hooker's practice has a broad remit, encompassing traditional labor matters and employment litigation. Clients enthuse that he is "very knowledgeable and prompt with his responses, and very good at explaining the pros and cons of our options." He also regularly represents clients in arbitration.

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Dickinson Wright PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Timothy Howlett is best known for his work defending employers in a range of employment litigation, including against discrimination allegations of all types, at both the trial and appellate levels. Clients say he "demonstrates substantial subject matter experience and expertise."

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Varnum LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Firm chair David Khorey is highly experienced in employment matters and regularly represents clients in the automotive, healthcare and transportation sectors.

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Lawrence J Murphy

Varnum LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Lawrence Murphy is "a fine lawyer" who regularly acts for management on a range of employment litigation. He is also skilled at advising on employment contracts, as well as trade secret and personnel policy matters.

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Band 2

Theodore Opperwall

Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Theodore Opperwall has more than 40 years' experience advising businesses on a range of employment matters, including arbitrations, union organization and collective bargaining. He recently acted for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in a case in which the plaintiff alleged age and race discrimination. Clients praise his "strong analytical ability."

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Band 2

Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Eric Pelton advises on both employment litigation and traditional labor issues, acting on class actions, multiemployer pension matters and restrictive covenant disputes. He recently acted for Ford in an age discrimination case, and sources report that he is "highly regarded for his scholastic skills but also a solid guy in the boardroom."

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Band 2

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Sikkel has over three decades' experience representing management in a range of traditional labor matters, such as discipline and terminations, collective bargaining and M&A-related issues. Clients report that he is "well experienced, with a great knowledge base." He has recently advised Mercy Health Partners on a number of negotiations with the SEIU.

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Band 2

Butzel Long

From the Chambers USA guide

Daniel Tukel is best known for defending individuals and businesses against claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, representing clients in federal and state courts. He recently acted for a university program director against a former faculty member who alleged race discrimination. Clients say he "has deep experience, understands all angles of a case, can effectively strategize, and is measured in his approach and responsive to client needs."

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Band 3

Dykema Gossett PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Boonin regularly acts for clients in the education sector, including universities, charter schools and community colleges. He is experienced at taking on wage and hour, tenure and wrongful discharge matters.

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Band 3

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources report that Keith Brodie is "detail-oriented in case preparation and in preparing witnesses for testimony, and has very good cross-examination skills." He advises on collective bargaining, FMLA and FLSA matters, as well as arbitrations. He also regularly acts for clients in the healthcare sector on NLRB matters.

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Band 3

National Employment Counsel, PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Linda Burwell of National Employment Counsel, PLLC has a solid reputation for her work advising on mediation and internal investigations. She has over three decades of experience, and clients report that she is "knowledgeable in her field and effective at what she does."

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Band 3

Bodman PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

John Cashen is a skilled litigator and arbitration counsel, best known for his work defending employers against accusations of wrongful discharge, harassment and discrimination. Clients describe him as "a very seasoned litigation attorney with strong communication skills and an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter."

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Band 3

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Detroit managing partner Thomas Cattel has over 30 years of experience representing management in a range of labor litigation, defending against both individuals and groups of plaintiffs. He is best known for his work advising clients in the manufacturing, retail, health and energy sectors. Clients say that he is "knowledgeable and personable."

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Band 3

Butzel Long

From the Chambers USA guide

Carey DeWitt represents employers in a range of contentious employment matters, and has 30 years' experience in this field. Clients report: "He follows every avenue. He rehearses over and over so he is always prepared for what could come up, and he gets into the weeds and the detail."

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Band 3

Steven J. Fishman

Bodman PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Steven Fishman has over four decades of experience representing employers on a wide range of labor matters. Clients confirm that he is "very well known in this area."

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Band 3

Epstein Becker & Green PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Adam Forman of Epstein Becker & Green PC has been active advising on employment matters for over two decades. He is well known for his work on equal opportunity issues, as well as for his expertise in cybersecurity matters. He divides his time between Detroit and Chicago.

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Band 3

William B. Forrest, III

Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

William Forrest is best known for his work in complex labor disputes, and recently acted for Belle Tire Distributors defending against the plaintiff's accusations of FLSA violations. Clients enthuse that he is "very cost-conscious, knowledgeable and responsive."

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Band 3

John P Hancock Jr

Butzel Long

From the Chambers USA guide

John Hancock typically assists clients in collective bargaining negotiations, and is also a skilled mediator and arbitration counsel. He has experience acting for public and private clients, including schools, casinos, public utilities and hospitals.

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Band 3

Susan Hartmus Hiser

The Murray Law Group, P.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Susan Hartmus Hiser is highlighted by one client as a lawyer who is "responsive and gives practical legal advice." She represents both public and private sector employers in harassment and discrimination disputes, and also advises on FMLA and ADA compliance.

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Band 3

Jackson Lewis P.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Maurice Jenkins of Jackson Lewis P.C. acts for clients on both traditional labor matters -including collective bargaining negotiations - and litigation, regularly representing businesses in the technology, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors. One client says he gives "business-savvy, straightforward and practical advice." He recently acted for Ally Financial on a number of matters, including breach of confidentiality litigation and employment issues arising from a reduction of its workforce.

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Band 3

Miller Johnson

From the Chambers USA guide

Grand Rapids-based Peter Kok is described by one peer as "a very accomplished lawyer," and is experienced at advising unionized and nonunionized businesses, with his client list featuring both small-to-medium operations and nationwide corporations. He has significant experience representing management in discrimination, affirmative action, harassment and wage and hour matters.

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Band 3

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Donald Lawless typically advises on labor matters, including arbitrations, defense against allegations of unfair labor practices and contract negotiations. He primarily represents clients in the education, pharmaceutical and food processing industries. Clients say he is "very prompt: he is very responsive to questions and is generally available anytime."

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Band 3

Nemeth Law, PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Law, PC is highlighted by one peer as "a very solid attorney and well respected." She has a broad employment practice, and has helped clients with complex litigation, arbitration and investigations. She frequently acts for clients in the healthcare, gaming, insurance and retail industries.

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Band 3

Bodman PLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Karen Piper focuses on employment litigation issues, and clients report that her "investigative abilities are superb and she is extremely knowledgeable on matters. She puts the interest of her client first." She recently defended St. Regis Catholic Elementary School against claims of defamation and age discrimination brought by one of its former  teachers.

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Band 3

James S Rosenfeld

Butzel Long

From the Chambers USA guide

James Rosenfeld is well known for his expertise in a range of labor litigation, as well as for advising on union-related matters. He acts for a number of clients in the automotive industry, with his recent work including guidance to a global automotive component manufacturer regarding compliance with the FMLA and ADA.

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Band 3

William D Sargent

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

William Sargent has 30 years' experience representing management in a wide range of employment and labor cases, including wrongful termination, discrimination and wage and hour matters. One client says that he has "significant experience and insight as we discuss problematic situations."

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Up and Coming

Christopher Trebilcock

Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

From the Chambers USA guide

Christopher Trebilcock advises on wage and hour, workforce reduction and internal FLSA reviews, among other matters. Recently, he acted for Wayne County in successfully dismissing union challenges against its cost-saving and financial reform initiatives. One source says that he "always makes himself available and is very responsive. He is very straightforward and communicates in a way that makes it easy to understand."

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