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Ogletree Deakins Elects 15 New Shareholders

   |   Press Release

ATLANTA, GA – January 31, 2011 – Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms, is pleased to announce the following 15 attorneys were voted shareholders at the firm’s Annual Shareholders Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on January 29:

Dominick C. Capozzola of the firm’s Morristown office; Jennifer L. Colvin and Jeremy C. Moritz of the firm’s Chicago office; Ashley P. Cuttino and Peter B. Murphy of the firm’s Greenville office; Monique R. Gougisha Doucette of the firm’s New Orleans office; Beth Gunn of the firm’s Los Angeles office; Christopher P. Hammon of the firm’s Miami office; Kerry S. Martin of the firm’s Phoenix office; Christopher C. Murray and Stephanie A. Smithey of the firm’s Indianapolis office; J. Carin Pendergraft and Gordon L. Blair of the firm’s Birmingham office; Erica K. Rocush of the firm’s San Francisco office; and Sean C. Urich of the firm’s Dallas office. 

Dominick C. Capozzola, of the firm’s Morristown office, focuses his practice on the representation of employers in all areas of employment, including wage and hour claims, race, age, gender and national origin discrimination and harassment, and breach of contract.  He earned his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in 2001 where he was Editor in Chief of the Hastings Law Journal and brief editor for the Jessup International Moot Court Team.

Jennifer L. Colvin, of the firm’s Chicago office, represents management in labor relations and employment matters.  She began her legal career as an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, specializing in public sector labor law.  Colvin also has extensive litigation experience in representing private sector management in a variety of employment and tort related matters.  She earned her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law – Chicago in 2001.

Jeremy C. Moritz, also of the firm’s Chicago office, represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law with a distinct emphasis on traditional labor matters.  He handles scores of union organizing drives involving a wide range of businesses.  Moritz’s practice also focuses on the representation of management in collective bargaining and arbitration proceedings.  Moritz earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington in 1997. 

Ashley P. Cuttino, with the firm’s Greenville office, concentrates her practice in management-side employment litigation, including defending claims against wage and hour, discrimination, wrongful discharge, and breach of contract.  She also has significant experience in e-discovery, the use of emerging technologies in the workplace, and developing records retention policies.  Cuttino earned her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2002.  

Peter B. Murphy, also of the firm’s Greenville office, has experience representing management in all types of employment matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies including representing and counseling clients concerning discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of employment contracts, noncompetition covenant disputes, and wage and hour claims.  He also has experience working on traditional labor law matters including union election campaigns and contract negotiations.  Murphy earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2002.

Monique R. Gougisha Doucette, of the firm’s New Orleans office, practices primarily in the area of employment litigation and represents management in claims arising under Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as other federal and state employment laws.  She also regularly represents employers in various state and federal administrative proceedings.  Doucette is an active member of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities committee of the American Bar Association and the Labor and Employment section of the National Bar Association.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the New Orleans Ballet Association, the community action committee for the Louisiana State Bar Association and the membership committee for the World Trade Center of New Orleans.  Gougisha earned her J.D. from Tulane University in 2002.  While attending law school, she was a semi-finalist in the Robert F. Wagner National Labor & Employment Law Moot Court Competition and served as a Senior Justice on the Tulane Moot Court Board.
Beth Gunn, of the firm’s Los Angeles office, represents and counsels employers in a variety of labor and employment matters, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and federal and California wage and hour issues.  In the area of litigation, Gunn defends employers against claims of discrimination and harassment based on race, age, gender, national origin, disability, and other protected classes, as well as claims of wrongful termination and retaliation.  She also represents employers in wage and hour litigation, including class actions, involving claims for overtime violations, meal and rest period violations, waiting time penalties and other purported wage and hour violations.  Gunn earned her law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 2000.

Christopher P. Hammon, of the firm’s Miami office, practices in the areas of labor and employment litigation, arbitration, counseling, and investigation.  He represents management in all variety of employment disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies and before various arbitral tribunals.  He also provides human resources counseling advice to employers on compliance and employee management and relations issues.  Hammon is a magna cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he received a number of distinctions, including induction into the Order of the Coif.  During law school, Hammon also served as the editor in chief of the American Criminal Law Review.  Hammon is fluent in Spanish, being a native speaker of that language.  

Kerry S. Martin, of the firm’s Phoenix office, is experienced in defending lawsuits involving allegations of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  He also defends wage related lawsuits, including collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In his practice, Martin also assists clients in developing personnel policies, handbooks, individual employment contracts and severance agreements, all of which are targeted at avoiding employment related disputes and litigation.  Martin graduated, cum laude, from the Indiana School of Law-Indianapolis in 2001.

Christopher C. Murray, of the firm’s Indianapolis office, represents management in individual and class action litigation.  He defends clients in wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, and other employment-related lawsuits in federal and state court.  He also prosecutes and defends actions involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements and other contract claims.  Murray received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 where he was an Articles Editor for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

Stephanie A. Smithey, also of the firm’s Indianapolis office, devotes her practice to all aspects of employee benefits law.  She represents clients with respect to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans, assisting with a variety of plan design, compliance, and administration issues.  She regularly counsels clients as to the scope of their fiduciary duties and how they may seek to limit fiduciary exposure.  She also frequently assists health plans in complying with the HIPAA privacy and security rules and provides in-house training for employers and other plan personnel.  In addition to counseling clients as to how to comply with the many laws that apply to their employee benefit plans, Smithey advises them how to handle benefit plan-related disputes in an effort to avoid litigation.  Smithey earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1991. 

J. Carin Pendergraft, of the firm’s Birmingham office, represents management in employment-related litigation concerning claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, unemployment compensation, wage and hour violations, and workers’ compensation.  Pendergraft also regularly provides individualized and group training on issues such as employee discipline, harassment prevention and investigation, litigation avoidance, record retention, and workplace policies and procedures.  Outside of her legal practice, Pendergraft is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law.  She earned her J.D. from the University of Georgia in 2001 where she served as notes editor for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law, was on the Mock Trial Executive Board, and was a Student Prosecutor for the Rockdale Judicial Circuit. 

Gordon L. Blair, also of the firm’s Birmingham office, devotes his practice to the representation of employers in workplace-related matters, ranging from administrative proceedings to federal litigation.  He counsels employers on day-to-day employment decisions, conducts training seminars, and works to develop effective workplace policies and procedures.  Blair also lectures to human resources personnel and related groups on topics such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Blair received his J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2001.

Erica K. Rocush, of the firm’s San Francisco office, represents employers in discrimination, harassment and wrongful discharge cases.  She has tried multiple cases to verdict and successfully represented her clients’ interests before the Ninth Circuit.  She also advises clients on how to avoid wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation lawsuits.  Rocush earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2001.  While in law school, she was Managing Editor of the Arizona Law Review.  

Sean C. Urich, of the firm’s Dallas office, has been Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law since 2006.  He regularly counsels management and HR professionals regarding compliance with state and federal laws covering family and medical leave, sexual harassment, discrimination, and wage and hour issues.  Urich also defends employers against single and multi-plaintiff lawsuits involving claims under various statutes, including Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Texas Labor Code.  Urich received his law degree from Baylor Law School in 2001, where he was inducted into the Order of Barristers and the Harvey M. Richey Moot Court Society.       

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 500 lawyers located in 40 offices across the United States.  In addition to handling labor and employment law matters, the firm has thriving practices focused on business immigration, construction, employee benefits, environmental, 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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