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Ogletree Deakins Opens Office in Orange County, CA

   |   Press Release

ORANGE COUNTY, CA  – February 25, 2010 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms, announced that the firm will open an office in Orange County on March 1.  The move continues the firm’s increased presence in the western United States and represents its fourth office in California.  Joining the firm as co-managing shareholders will be Vince Verde and Keith Watts, formerly with the Orange County office of Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP.  On March 4, associate Angela Pak will join the office.  This is the third new office for Ogletree Deakins in the western United States in as many months: the firm opened its Las Vegas office in January, followed by its Denver office in February.      

“We have found the right group of talented attorneys to lead our Orange County office as both Vince and Keith are highly regarded for their experience.  Because of their complementary practices, clients will benefit from their collaborative, comprehensive and practical legal solutions,” said Ogletree Deakins’ managing shareholder Kim Ebert.  “In addition, a number of companies have their headquarters in Orange County and will benefit from our national platform and depth of knowledge regarding labor and employment law matters.” 

Verde is a seasoned litigator with significant jury trial experience.  In his practice he represents management in all areas of employment law, including wage and hour matters, medical and disability issues, wrongful discharge claims, noncompete agreements, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation suits, employee discipline, hiring and termination issues, privacy claims, and family leave issues.  In addition to handling employment cases, he regularly handles commercial litigation.  His diverse practice includes the representation of local, regional and national clients in all phases of litigation involving complex business disputes.  Verde serves on the board of the Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles and earned his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1995. 

“We’re excited to become a part of Ogletree Deakins and to open the firm’s Orange County office.  The firm has a national reach with deep resources and a well-known commitment to client service,” said Verde. 

Watts practices labor and employment law and has handled a wide range of matters, including sexual harassment, discrimination, wage and hour, and wrongful termination claims.  Watts regularly advises employers on a myriad of workplace issues, including employment contracts, severance agreements, company policies and procedures, and supervisor training.  His practice also involves advising employers on strategies for remaining union-free, as well as successfully representing employers in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, and state court strike injunction litigation.  In addition to his practice, Watts is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment law issues, having conducted workshops, seminars, and speaking engagements throughout the United States.  He is active in his community by serving on the Board of Directors of Best Buddies, California.  Watts earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 1997.  

“Our new office will greatly benefit our clients and employers in this area because of the firm’s national presence and collective experience in labor and employment law matters,” said Watts.  “We are looking forward to the opportunities ahead and being a part of Ogletree Deakins.”     

About Ogletree Deakins

Ogletree Deakins is the nation’s third-largest labor and employment law firm, representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters.  The firm has more than 450 lawyers located in 38 offices across the United States.  In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, employee benefits, and workplace safety and health law.  Ogletree Deakins represents a diverse range of clients, including more than half of the Fortune 50 corporations in the United States.  For more information, please contact Ryan King, public relations manager, at (404) 870-1742.   

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