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Biography

John defends those who create jobs. Employers look to John to keep legal issues from adding unnecessary costs, distraction, or inefficiency to their workplaces.

John’s work focuses upon (1) helping employers avoid litigation; (2) prevailing if litigation is unavoidable; (3) keeping the workplace union-free; (4) managing existing union relationships; and (5) protecting employers from unfair competition from former employees.

John brings a pragmatic eye to an employer’s objectives in order to take the most direct, cost-effective route to achieving them. For example:

  • Avoiding litigation. Because plaintiff’s lawyers use a “no recovery/no fee” business model, John positions employment decisions so plaintiff’s counsel see challenging them as a “bad bet,” and the EEOC and other government agencies have little interest in them.
  • Litigation. Realistic cost/benefit analysis, avoiding surprises, and a down-to-earth defense strategy characterize John’s litigation practice. Judges, juries, and government agencies lose sympathy for “sympathetic” plaintiffs when they see the burden they placed on co-workers. John empowers an employer’s factual and legal arguments by turning the focus from profits to protecting jobs and the day-to-day work life of solid employees.
  • Unions. Unions can threaten the effectiveness of any workplace. Employers who face union organizing, negotiations, arbitrations, or contract interpretation need legal guidance steeped in labor law and the workplace dynamics unique to unions. John combines labor law knowledge with insight into the “workplace politics” that determine success or failure when facing a union.
  • Unfair competition. Information, business contacts, and goodwill are often a firm’s most important assets in today’s economy. Employers must entrust these assets to their employees. John uses a practical understanding of what will work to protect these assets.
  • Resources. John can rely upon a deep bench. John recently served a six-year term as Chair of the firm’s over 50-lawyer Labor and Employment Practice Group. These lawyers offer diverse expertise, backgrounds, price-points, and local knowledge. John knows them well.  Plus, John can call upon over 500 lawyers across the firm when a labor or employment issue touches on another legal field.

John and his wife, Melissa, have four adult daughters. John’s favorite diversion is commuting to work on his motorcycle.

 

Experience

Employment Litigation

Obtained jury verdict for employer in multiple plaintiff discrimination and retaliation challenge to a reduction in force based upon the employer’s subjective assessment of employees’ performance.

Avoided collective (class) action certification in wage and hour legal challenge to client’s nationwide classification of employees as “exempt” from overtime pay.

Obtained jury verdicts in state court lawsuits alleging breach of implied employment contract and promissory estoppel.

Obtained preliminary injunction enforcing world-wide covenant not to compete against computer software salesperson.

Obtained Directed Verdict in action alleging employer retaliated against plaintiff for testifying in sex discrimination litigation.

Obtained summary judgments in statutory discrimination and wrongful discharge lawsuits.

Used e-mail and other electronic discovery evidence to obtain summary judgment dismissing claims of wage and hour law violations and breach of express and implied employment contracts.

Obtained enforcement in Kentucky state court of individual employee arbitration agreements.

Obtained private arbitration award dismissing employee’s claim of workers’ compensation retaliation.

Unions

Assisted clients in defeating over sixty union organizing campaigns.

Assisted clients in winning decertification and deauthorization NLRB elections.

Defended employers in NLRB proceedings involving unfair labor practice charges, Section 10(j) injunction, and NLRB election objections.

Defended employer in LMRA § 301 lawsuit to enforce collective bargaining agreement.

Negotiated collective bargaining agreement limiting the employer’s contribution to the cost of employee health insurance to a fixed amount over five years.

Obtained preliminary injunctions and prepared strike preparation plans in response to union strikes and threatened strikes.

 

Counseling & Training

Partners with in-house counsel, HR and other managers to position personnel decision to avoid litigation, agency actions, and union organizing.

Provides clients with cell phone, home phone, as well as office access to assist management with personnel decisions in real time.

Has a track record of successfully guiding employers through the investigation and remedy of “He said/She said” sexual harassment allegations without litigation from either the “victim” or the “accused.”

Offers 30 years of experience successfully training supervisors and managers on how to maintain positive employee relations and lawfully avoid unions at worksites from New Hampshire to Florida and Maryland to California, for manufacturing, distribution, and health care employers and U.S., European, and Asian owned enterprises.

Provides custom-tailored, interactive training for supervisors, managers, and employees on: “You Just Can’t Do That Here!” (sexual and other unlawful harassment training); “How To Stay Out of Trouble and Out of Court” (employment litigation avoidance training); and, “What To Do When Workers Can’t/Won’t Work” (FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Comp Retaliation risk avoidance training).

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Other Info About John

Education

Law School

University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., with distinction, 1981
Order of the Coif
Kentucky Law Journal, member of Staff

Undergraduate School

Indiana University, B.A., 1978

Clerkship

John served as a clerk for the court(s) and judge(s) below:

Law Clerk, United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, 1981-2

Bar Membership

John is licensed to practice in the following state(s):

Kentucky, 1981

Courts

John is admitted to practice before the following court(s):

United States Supreme Court

United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana

U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky

Recognition

Local & National Recognition

Chambers USA, Labor & Employment

Named one of the “Top 100 Labor Attorneys” in the U.S. by the Labor Relations Institute

The Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Employment Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year,” 2017; Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, 1999-2019

AV® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®

Selected for inclusion in Kentucky Super Lawyers®,  Employment & Labor, 2007-2016

Member and former Chair, Labor Lawyers Advisory Committee, CUE: An Organization for Positive Employee Relations

Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC), Kentucky Construction Industry Award for Excellence by an Associate Member 1997

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Kentucky Bar Association

American Bar Association

Louisville Bar Association

Kentucky Bar Association, Past Service on Judicial Evaluation Committee

American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section

American Employment Law Council, Charter Member

Labor Lawyer Advisory Committee, CUE:  An Organization for Positive Employee Relations

ABC Attorneys Council (Associated Builders & Contractors)