Todd D. Wozniak is a trial attorney and the leader of Holland & Knight's ERISA Litigation Team and Atlanta Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Wozniak defends companies, fiduciaries and public institutions throughout the United States in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), labor and employment, and business disputes.

Mr. Wozniak is also experienced in wage-and-hour litigation, state and federal whistleblower statutes, non-discrimination laws, plant closing and mass layoff laws, collective bargaining and traditional labor relations, executive contracts and compensation, non-compete and trade secrets litigation, and partnership/business disputes. During his career, Mr. Wozniak has defended dozens of class or collective actions and tried more than 40 cases or arbitrations to verdict.

In addition, Mr. Wozniak is a frequent lecturer and writer on a wide range of ESOP, employee benefits, employment and business-related issues, including ERISA compliance and preemption, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) audits and investigations, protecting trade secrets, implementing reductions-in-force, pre-dispute arbitration agreements and programs, class action defense, eDiscovery, and wage-and-hour compliance.

Representative Experience

  • Defending an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) class action filed by participants in a defined benefit plan who claim class members were illegally denied the right to grow into early retirement benefits as a result of a corporate reorganization and business spinoff. The plaintiffs allege they were denied promised benefits and assert claims under ERISA and state law. A motion to dismiss all claims was recently filed.
  • Representing the plan sponsor of a defined contribution retirement plan against claims that the sponsor allowed investment options to be included in the plan that charge excessive fees.
  • Representing an investment manager against claims brought by a multi-employer pension plan alleging that the manager violated ERISA and breached the parties' Investment Management Agreement (IMA) when it invested approximately $115 million of plan assets into proprietary funds managed by the manager. The plan also asserted that the manager violated the most-favored nations provisions of the IMA when it allegedly failed to apply more favorable management and performance fee terms to the plan's investments. After a five-day arbitration hearing, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the manager on almost all counts.
  • Represented a casino and resort operator against claims that the company included investment options in its 401(k) plan that charged excessive fees.
  • Defended a bank against claims brought by 401(k) plan participants alleging that the bank included proprietary investment funds which charged excessive fees and/or achieved poor investment returns for its primary benefit and not the benefit of its plan's participants.
  • Defending a lawsuit filed by the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) against the plan sponsor of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), as well as its board of directors and selling shareholders, alleging violations of ERISA in connection with the formation of the ESOP and sale of stock in the plan sponsor to the ESOP. The DOL alleges that the independent trustee engaged to represent the ESOP in connection with the sale of the stock to the ESOP failed to perform sufficient diligence and relied upon a flawed stock valuation in violation of its ERISA fiduciary duties when it approved the stock transaction at a price that the DOL alleges was tens of millions of dollars too high and that the ESOP was damaged as a result. The DOL further alleges that company's board of directors violated ERISA by failing to monitor the independent fiduciary and by enabling and otherwise participating in the trustee's breach of ERISA fiduciary duties. The case is in discovery.
  • Defending a putative class action lawsuit filed against the plan sponsor of an ESOP, its board of directors, and other alleged fiduciaries accused of violating ERISA in connection with the termination of the ESOP in 2017, the redemption of the ESOP's stock in 2017, the distribution of benefits to ESOP participants, and the sale of the plan sponsor's assets to a private equity group. In particular, plaintiffs allege that the valuation used in purchasing the company stock held by the ESOP was too low and that the ESOP participants suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result of defendants' actions. This putative class action is in the early stages of litigation.
  • Representing the plan sponsor of any ESOP with respect to a class action lawsuit alleging claims for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA against the trustee of the ESOP. Plaintiffs allege that the trustee breached its fiduciary duties when it authorized the ESOP to purchase company stock in the transaction that created the ESOP for allegedly above fair market value. The plan sponsor moved to intervene in the case to compel arbitration. Motion to intervene was granted but the motion to compel arbitration was denied.
  • Obtained a historic settlement in putative ERISA class action in which the trial court ultimately certified a non-opt out class action and dismissed all class members claims with prejudice and without defendants paying anything of value to absent class members. Plaintiff's counsel also received nothing of value from the defendants. The case started in 2014, when a former participant of the ESOP filed a putative class action lawsuit against plan sponsor, the ESOP and several of the ESOP's former fiduciaries and affiliates alleging violations of ERISA in connection with the termination of the ESOP in 2011 and the distribution of benefits to ESOP participants. In particular, plaintiff alleged that the valuation used in purchasing the sponsor's stock held by the ESOP was too low and that the ESOP's participants suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result of defendants' actions. We convinced plaintiff's counsel and the court that the key issue in the case was the valuation of the sponsor's stock held by the ESOP and that the valuation issue could be decided by an independent valuation expert appointed by the court as a special master. The parties agreed to a valuation process, which included presenting the independent valuator with copies of all prior valuations, argument by the parties, and the parties' expert reports. Process also called for all parties to be bound by the independent valuator's determination and the certification of a non-opt out settlement class regardless of the outcome of the valuation. The independent valuator ultimately agreed with our client's position and determined that the ESOP was paid at least fair market value for the stock bought from it. As a result, the independent valuator determined the class members suffered no damages. Following a class action fairness hearing, the court (U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey) approved the settlement, certified the case as a non-opt out class action for settlement purposes, and dismissed with prejudice all claims asserted by the class. Defendants paid no money or anything else of value in connection with the settlement and plaintiff's counsel received nothing. Plaintiff's alleged damages, interest and attorneys' fees of approximately $10 million.
  • Representation of most of the board of directors of a major sugar corporation and certain other defendants in four putative ERISA and shareholder class actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Obtained summary judgment on all but one of the claims and the cases ultimately settled on very favorable terms for our clients.
  • Defended client's board of directors and several former officers in a putative ERISA and securities class action, a derivative action under ERISA, three related individual lawsuits, and a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). In each of these related cases, the plaintiffs allege that our clients breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA and/or engaged in federal securities fraud. Several of the related lawsuits also allege various common law claims for breach of corporate fiduciary duties and fraud. The allegations are centered on annual valuations of client's stock held by the Employee Stock Bonus Plan (ESBP; similar to an ESOP), and whether information regarding the exploration of a possible sale by the client, a privately held company, should have been disclosed sooner to plan participants and shareholders.
    • In the original putative class action filed on July 6, 2009, we defeated class certification and got five of the six named plaintiffs dismissed. We took the sole remaining plaintiff's securities law claim to trial in May 2012. Although the plaintiff was awarded approximately $1.5 million by the jury, this is a fraction of the $250 million original damages sought.
    • Defended the same clients against a lawsuit brought by the SEC in which the SEC alleges our clients defrauded shareholders out of over $110 million. The SEC moved for summary judgment on collateral estoppel grounds. We defeated that argument and settled shortly before trial for a fraction of the amount demanded.
    • A related case brought by the former vice chairman of the client's board of directors was dismissed on summary judgment. The plaintiff sought damages in excess of $43 million arising out of his sale of company stock to the company. On June 21, 2013, the court granted summary judgment to clients, agreeing that the statute of limitations had expired in light of the vice chairman's in-depth knowledge of the company and information necessary to support his claims.
    • Represented client in case that involves both ERISA and securities fraud claims brought by the former CFO of the company. The plaintiff sought damages in excess of $2.1 million arising out of his sale of both plan and non-plan stock to the company. We tried the matter in October 2013 and received a complete defense verdict. Plaintiff appealed the verdict and it was upheld on appeal.
  • Represented client in case that involved six former participants in an ESOP who filed a derivative action under ERISA on behalf of the entire plan and all of its participants. Effectively, plaintiffs were attempting to sue on behalf of the class of participants without certifying a class action. We convinced the court that it should not allow the plaintiffs to proceed on behalf of the entire plan or absent plan participants. We successfully got five of the six plaintiffs dismissed from the case. Company settled with the final plaintiff on favorable terms.
  • Currently defending numerous DOL investigations of ESOP-related transactions and plan administration.
  • Represented a directed trustee against claims that the directed trustee breached various ERISA fiduciary duties. The claims arose out of a case in which a group of employees of a government contractor for the U.S. Postal Service alleged that their employer and the named plan fiduciaries did not deposit employee contributions into their 401(k) plan. In addition to suing the employer and the named plan fiduciaries, plaintiffs also sued the directed trustee for allegedly not ensuring the contributions were timely made to the plan.
  • Represented defendant in lawsuit alleging that client systematically under-reimbursed providers for emergency medical services provided to client's insureds on an out-of-network basis. Plaintiff asserted claims involving over 3,000 patients and claimed more than $15 million in damages. Filed a motion to dismiss and, while it was pending, the case settled on favorable terms.
  • Representing managed care organization in multiple lawsuits and arbitrations filed by providers alleging that the client under-reimburses providers for out-of-network emergency medical benefits. Cases are pending in Georgia and Texas and involve thousands of patient claims.
  • Representing insurer against a group of out-of-network healthcare providers that staff emergency departments and other licensed healthcare facilities which filed suit alleging breach of an implied-in-fact contract and breach of an implied-in-law contract under the theory that the defendants failed to fairly pay the out-of-network healthcare providers for the reasonable value of the emergency medical services provided to insureds. In August 2019, we filed a motion to dismiss due to the healthcare providers failure to establish the existence of any contract, express or implied, with defendants, and because the healthcare providers theory of recovery, which seeks to hold defendants liable for the debts of insureds, violates the State of Frauds. The case is currently in discovery.
  • Representing multiple clients, as well as their medical benefits plans, against ERISA breach of fiduciary duty, ERISA benefits, and California unfair competition claims arising out of the plans' denial or partial denial of claims for services provided by out-of-network medical providers. Plaintiffs allege in this mass action filed against more than 400 defendants that the plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties by outsourcing claims administration to national healthcare company and by failing to properly monitor the company. Plaintiffs allege that the healthcare company denied claims in violation of the Plan terms, discriminated against certain medical conditions and disabilities, and engaged in other ERISA violations about which the plan administrators and plans should have known and corrected. Prevailed on motions to dismiss and the case is now pending on appeal.
  • Representing multiple clients, as well as their medical benefits plans, in this mass action alleging ERISA breach of fiduciary duty, ERISA benefits and various state law claims. Plaintiffs allege that the plans' claims administrator systematically under-reimbursed participants and providers for out of network services by using falsified data to calculate "usual and customary rates" (UCR) for such services. Plaintiffs allege that the plan administrators and plans knew or should have known that claims administrator was intentionally underpaying out of network claims and failed to correct fiduciary breaches. All claims have been dismissed with prejudice without our clients paying anything.
  • Representing multiple clients, as well as their group welfare plans, in this mass action alleging ERISA breach of fiduciary duty, ERISA benefits and state law claims. Plaintiffs allege that the plans' claims administrators improperly refused to honor valid patient claims assignments in violation of alleged plan terms and ERISA. Plaintiffs allege that the plan administrators and plans knew or should have known that the claims administrators were improperly refusing to honor valid assignments and therefore paying the wrong party. The court granted our first motion to dismiss but has given plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint.
  • Represented the primary defendant in very contentious lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, as well as in a related U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigation. Client was the former owner and CEO of a hospice. Client established the 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan in 2004 and served as the Plan's initial trustee. Client later sold the business, repurchased it, and sold it a second time. After the second sale, the newly installed trustees of the Plan brought more than a dozen claims against our client accusing him of stealing Plan money, breaching various ERISA fiduciary duties, engaging in a prohibited transaction with the Plan, failing to advise participants of their rights under the Plan, and other alleged misconduct. DOL also initiated an investigation of the Plan's administration by our client. We were successful in getting the worst of the allegations against our client dismissed. The plaintiffs asked for reconsideration and the district court denied that request.
  • Defended national airline against an ERISA class action alleging a multitude of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of the company's administration of its medical benefits plan and the plan's reimbursement of out-of-network medical expenses. The defense involved some unique Railway Labor Act preclusion arguments.
  • Advised and defended multistate retailer in an ERISA stock drop case.
  • Advised national airline in its defense of an ERISA stock drop case. The claims were ultimately dismissed on Railway Labor Act preclusion grounds.
  • Advised national airline regarding its institution of a class action declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking a declaration that the terms of a benefit plan the airline negotiated with its pilots union complied with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and ERISA.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 company in its negotiations with several states regarding the preemptive effect ERISA had on the states' family and medical leave laws as applied to the company's ERISA-qualified sick leave plan.
  • Defended a utility company in a DOL investigation related to its purchase of an ESOP-owned corporation.
  • Defended brokerage firm against claims it was acting as ERISA fiduciary when advising plan trustees on potential investment lineup.
  • Currently defending clients involved in DOL investigations involving 401(k) plans, including against claims of alleged prohibited transactions and violations of plan documents.

  • Served as lead trial lawyer for defendant in this nationwide FLSA collective action and Ohio state law class action. Plaintiff alleged that client unlawfully deducted 30 minutes from each employee's time for lunch, even if the employee worked through lunch; unlawfully rounded time entries up or down to its advantage; and engaged in other improper time keeping practices. The lawsuit was filed in May 2018. After significant discovery, it was learned that plaintiff had lied on his application, had committed identity theft to cover up his criminal history, and had engaged in other misconduct. As a result of those discoveries, plaintiff's counsel agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice. The putative class included approximately 4,000 current or former employees.
  • Represented defendant in this nationwide-wide FLSA collective action and New York State class action. Plaintiffs alleged that the company failed to treat time spent riding in a vehicle to a job site as time working and, therefore, did not properly pay them overtime for all hours over 40 that they worked in a workweek. The case was filed in September 2018 and the parties agreed to bifurcate discovery into two stages. Stage 1 related to issues surrounding the class and collective action certification motions. The parties would then file briefs on the certification issues. The case moved to discovery, but the client filed for bankruptcy.
  • Defending a national industrial packaging manufacturer and supplier against a class action alleging that the company has failed to properly pay overtime to its California employees in violation of the California Labor Code.
  • Defending a national, for-profit operator of massage therapy schools in a nationwide class and collective action alleging that students providing massage therapy services in a clinic environment while training to become licensed massage therapists are employees entitled to minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and various state laws. Plaintiffs estimated the backpay liability alone exceeded $10 million. After convincing the court to bifurcate discovery and address the student-employee merits issue first, the court ruled that plaintiffs were not employees and were not entitled to minimum wage or overtime before ever addressing the pending motion for conditional class certification.
  • Defended an investment bank in a nationwide collective action alleging the bank misclassified hundreds of administrative employees and failed to pay them overtime. Plaintiffs estimated damages in excess of $5 million. After defeating the class certification motion, the case settled on an individual basis.
  • Defended a national home healthcare company against claims that it misclassified hundreds of its nurses, therapists and other service providers. After successfully excluding many of the employee groups from the class definition, the case settled on an individual basis.
  • Defended a publishing company and its CEO in a collective action brought on behalf of all hourly employees alleging that the company manipulated its employees' workweeks and reported hours to reduce overtime pay.
  • Defended national building supply company in a nationwide collective action alleging the company routinely allowed off-the-clock work by nonexempt employees.
  • Defended multistate services company in a collective action alleging off-the-clock work.
  • Defended a relocation company and its founder against a collective action alleging the company misclassified as exempt from overtime its relocation specialists. The case alleged a multistate collective action.
  • Defended a national operator of parking decks against New York state and federal overtime claims alleging that the company failed to properly pay overtime to its New York employees.
  • Defended a national restaurant chain against claims that it misclassified as exempt from overtime thousands of store managers and assistant store managers throughout the United States. The case involved state and federal overtime claims.
  • Defended a multistate transportation company against a collective action alleging that the company misclassified as exempt from overtime hundreds of bus and van drivers.
  • Defended a home-health services group with respect to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into its wage and hour practices.
  • Defended dozens of other individual and multi-plaintiff cases alleging minimum wage, overtime or meal period violations. Some of these claims involved unique issues under the FLSA's airline industry or transportation worker exemptions.

  • Resolved a race discrimination and harassment class action brought against a national airline after the case had been settled on a class-wide basis by another law firm. The settlement agreement required all class members who did not opt-out of the settlement to arbitrate their claims within a six-month period. Acted as lead coordination counsel for all arbitration cases and acted as lead trial counsel for more than 15 of the cases. All cases were timely arbitrated with complete defense awards being obtained in all but three cases.
  • Defended a national department store against a nationwide class action alleging race discrimination in the company's pay, evaluation and promotion practices. Obtained a dismissal of all class claims and the plaintiff's individual claim was settled on favorable terms on the eve of trial.
  • Defended a U.S. airline against a nationwide class action alleging race discrimination in all of the airlines' employment practices and a racially hostile work environment.
  • Defended a national transportation company against claims that its layoff criteria had a disparate impact on African Americans.
  • Defended a national fast food restaurant company in three separate race discrimination class action cases alleging the company had a policy and practice of matching the demographics of employees hired at a store to the demographics of the community in which the store was situated. Won summary judgment in two of the three cases. The third case settled after being significantly narrowed.
  • Defended dozens of single and multi-plaintiff cases alleging race, sex, age and disability discrimination or harassment, as well as retaliation. Tried a couple of the cases to juries and or to courts in bench trials, with complete defense verdicts in each.

  • Represented mechanical company in a case involving theft of trade secrets and unfair competition brought by the company against a direct competitor, as well as three former employees who had joined the competitor. Company alleged that the defendants stole the company's trade secrets, violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and committed other unlawful acts under Florida law. Client obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction against all defendants. The injunction ordered defendants to return all company property within 24 hours and enjoined the defendants from using the company's trade secrets or calling on the company's customers. It was the first time this judge had recommended preliminary injunctive relief in her more than 20 years as a jurist. Pursuing an aggressive discovery strategy, established that the three former employees had stolen the company's computerized trade secrets and used them to expand the competitor's business into the Florida market, where the company was located. Discovered that the former employees had secretly funneled customers and corporate opportunities to the competitor while still employed by the company. The employees and others had also secretly wiped various computers and PDAs in an effort to hide their wrongdoing. Moved for sanctions because of spoliation of evidence, and the court ordered that an adverse inference jury instruction would be given. Immediately prior to trial, the matter settled on favorable financial terms, as well as the defendants' agreement to extend both the time and scope of the already-sweeping preliminary injunctive relief. All the individual defendants, as well as the CEO, COO and a division president of the competitor, were terminated during or as a result of this litigation.
  • Represented a sizeable dental practice in retrieving a customer list stolen by a former dentist-employee and used to set up a competing practice. After successfully obtaining a preliminary injunction against the former dentist-employee and all of his employees, obtained evidence that the defendants spoliated evidence and likely perjured themselves. While motion for sanctions and contempt was pending, defendants offered to settle the case by agreeing to a permanent injunction and the payment of a significant sum of money.
  • Obtained two-year permanent injunction barring a former vice president of sales from competing against national paper manufacturer. The injunction required the former employee to terminate his then-current employment with a competitor. Brought claims of tortious interference with contract and misappropriation of trade secrets against the competitor and obtained a favorable, confidential settlement.
  • Defeated efforts by a wholesale insurance brokerage firm to enforce non-compete, nondisclosure, and customer non-solicitation agreements against a team of brokers defecting to a competitor. After defeating plaintiff's effort to obtain preliminary injunctive relief, and the dismissal of several claims, the case settled on very favorable terms.
  • Defeated an effort by an insurance brokerage firm to prevent one of its shareholders and officers from going to work for a competitor. After obtaining a preliminary injunction ruling that the restrictive covenant agreements were likely unenforceable under Georgia law, the plaintiff filed suit in Texas seeking to enforce the covenants under Texas law. Convinced the Georgia court to enjoin the plaintiff from pursuing the Texas case, enter a nationwide injunction against enforcing the restrictive covenants, and award the former shareholder/officer more than $500,000 in damages and attorneys' fees.
  • Defended a healthcare entrepreneur and two of his companies against a number of tort, breach of contract and breach of non-compete agreement claims brought by the purchaser of the entrepreneur's medical device business. After obtaining a dismissal of several claims, and winning some critical discovery motions, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all remaining claims. The court ordered the plaintiff to pay more than $150,000 in fees and expenses to client.
  • Tried a case involving claims for breach of contract, unfair competition, employee pirating, misappropriation of trade secrets and quantum meruit. After a weeklong trial, a favorable judgment was entered in favor of client.
  • Defeated motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in a case that sought to prevent an employee from working for one of our medical device clients. The case settled on favorable terms after the court denied the plaintiff's motions and sought to dismiss several of the plaintiff's claims.

  • Represented a corporate client against a number of claims brought by one of its vendors, including alleged breach of contract for nonpayment of fees and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Tried a breach of employment contract case brought against a senior executive of a corporate client. The executive's former employer alleged that he owed it in excess of $200,000 at the time he resigned. Defended the case and asserted counterclaims for breach of contract and constructive discharge. After a multi-day arbitration, an award was entered in favor of the executive on all claims and he was awarded more than $400,000 on his counterclaims.
  • Litigated a multitude of cases arising out of partnership agreements and stock/asset purchase agreements, including claims for alleged breach of representations and warranties, alleged violations of non-compete agreements, and disputes over whether a material adverse change had occurred.

  • Defended a private university in a contentious dispute with an expelled medical student. After lengthy discovery, and repeated attempts by the student to publicly paint himself as a wronged whistleblower, the court granted summary judgment on all claims and found that the student was properly expelled for misconduct. The opinion was affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals.
  • Defended a private university against a multitude of claims brought by a former professor, including breach of contract, retaliation, defamation, fraud and various whistleblower allegations. Obtained two contempt orders and a sanctions order against the former professor and have obtained a sanctions award in excess of $1.3 million for the university.
  • Represented a Georgia city in the appeal of multimillion-dollar jury verdict against the city. The plaintiffs had prevailed on a number of First Amendment, Due Process and Equal Protection claims alleging that their terminations were in retaliation for their First Amendment speech and based on their race. The verdict was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the plaintiffs later settled for a small percentage of the original verdict.
  • Defended a national employer against claims asserted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that certain confidentiality and release language contained in its standard separation agreement was retaliatory.

  • Represented a steel company in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging an unfair labor practices finding by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The case involved a labor dispute in which the union wanted to cut employees' pay, vacation and benefits in order to obtain a new contract with client. After the employees rejected the contract and declined to strike, the union filed an unfair labor practices claim with the NLRB alleging that steel company failed to honor its collective bargaining agreement. Client disagreed and opposed the union. Sought review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit challenging the merits of the NLRB's findings and argued that the board lacked authority to issue the decision because two members did not constitute a quorum. The Seventh Circuit ruled in the NLRB's favor. Filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and subsequently reversed the Seventh Circuit's decision by holding that the NLRB's decision was invalid because the board lacked authority to issue decisions when there were only two sitting board members.
  • Defeated efforts by an engineering union to organize a client facility in South Texas. The company was unaware of the organizing campaign until after a petition was filed with the NLRB. Argued that the one facility unit proposed by the union was inappropriate and that a multi-facility unit, which was approximately five times larger, was the proper bargaining unit. The company ultimately won the campaign by a 2-1 margin.
  • Represented a rail client in a union campaign in which a national union sought to organize a locomotive repair facility employing hundreds of workers. The union filed dozens of unfair labor practice charges, and the NLRB filed a Section 10(j) injunction action against the company. Successfully prevailed on all but a few charges and on the injunction action. After disposing of the last unfair labor practice charges, the election was finally held and the company won the election by a 2-1 margin.
  • Defeated arguments made by a railway trade union to the NLRB that client was a successor employer and, therefore, was obligated to recognize and bargain with the union at 10 facilities.
  • Defeated efforts by a railway trade union to unionize three client facilities in the Chicago area.
  • Negotiated neutrality agreements and collective bargaining agreements on behalf of several clients.
  • Arbitrated several important multimillion-dollar business issues on behalf of various clients.

  • Advised both buyers and sellers regarding potential exposure and risk mitigation strategies involving Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act issues, non-compete and trade secrets protection, collective bargaining, union avoidance, and labor and employment law compliance.


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Duke University, A.B., summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Georgia
Court Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation; Section of Labor and Employment Law
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia, Litigation Section; Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Anti-Prejudice Consortium, Board of Directors, 2008-2012
  • Atlanta Legal Aid, Volunteer
  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation
  • Special Olympics Georgia, Past Honorary Board Member, 2009-2011; Member, 2012-2017; Board of Directors, 2017-Present; Treasurer, 2020-Present; Volunteer, 1997-Present
  • Strafford Publications, Employment and ERISA Advisory Board, 2011-Present
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Employment Law – Management, 2013-2024; Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2016-2024
  • Georgia Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2024
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Labor & Employment (Georgia), 2007-2023
  • Lawdragon and Human Resource Executive magazine, 2015-2020; Leading Corporate Employment Lawyer, 2020; The Nation's Most Powerful Employment Lawyers – Top 100, 2019; 40 Up and Comers in Employment Law, 2015-2018
  • MVP – Benefits, Law360, 2018
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia, Georgia Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2015, 2018
  • The Legal 500 USA, 2012, 2016-2019
  • The Legal 500 USA, Intellectual Property – Trade Secrets, 2018-2019
  • The Legal 500 USA, Labor and Employment – ERISA Litigation, 2017-2019, 2021, 2022
  • The Legal 500 USA, Labor and Employment Disputes Including Collective Actions: Defense, 2017-2018
  • Who's Who Legal, Labor, Employment and Benefits, 2016
  • Who's Who Legal, Pensions and Benefits, 2015-2017
  • Top 100 Attorneys in Georgia, Atlanta magazine, 2013
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Contributions to Employment Discrimination Law, Fifth Edition, Bloomberg BNA, 2013
  • Georgia Legal Elite, Georgia Trend magazine, 2009-2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements