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Ogletree Deakins Elects 16 New Shareholders

   |   Press Release

ATLANTA – January 30, 2012 – 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 16 attorneys were voted to the position of Shareholder on January 28 during the firm’s Annual Shareholders Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia:

Amie Willis of the firm’s Atlanta office; Patrick Curran, Jr. of the firm’s Boston office; Jason Rothman of the firm’s Cleveland office; Michael Bell of the firm’s Dallas office; John Combs, Jennifer Gokenbach, Stacy D. Mueller, and Roger Trim of the firm’s Denver office; C. John Wentzell, Jr. of the firm’s Greenville office; Leslie Wallis of the firm’s Los Angeles office; Andrea Kiehl of the firm’s Minneapolis office; Jennifer Rusie of the firm’s Nashville office; Michelle Ganz and Caroline Larsen of the firm’s Phoenix office; Gregory Cheng of the firm’s San Francisco office; and Ginger McCauley of the firm’s Washington office.

Amie Willis, of the firm’s Atlanta office, has represented employers in a wide variety of industries, including school districts and municipalities, manufacturing, hospitality, technology, and health care. She has extensive experience advising on and litigating breach of contract, discrimination, harassment, wage/hour, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, and wrongful termination matters. Willis also counsels clients regarding disciplinary matters, personnel issues, and the interpretation and application of various federal and state employment laws. She also serves on the Ogletree Deakins Diversity Committee. Willis earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Patrick Curran, Jr., of the firm’s Boston office, focuses his practice on labor and employment law and related commercial litigation with broad experience in matters involving class and collective action wage disputes, alleged discrimination and retaliation, contract disputes, and non-solicitation and non-competition disputes. Curran is member of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and has served as Chair of the Chapter’s Younger Lawyers Division. Curran earned his J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jason Rothman, from the firm’s Cleveland office, is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group. In his practice, Rothman counsels clients on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation law, including qualified and nonqualified employee benefit plans, executive compensation plans, health and welfare plans, and employment and related agreements. Rothman is an active and sought after speaker and presenter on a wide range of employee benefit topics such as “Healthcare Reform and the HR Manager” and “Is Your Health Plan Healthy?” Rothman earned his J.D., cum laude, from Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Michael Bell, from the firm’s Dallas office, represents employers in the defense of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, employment-related torts, and civil rights claims under state and federal law. He also has broad experience in developing employee handbooks and employment contracts, training managers, addressing problematic employee situations, and responding to EEOC and state agency charges of discrimination. Bell is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

John Combs, based in the firm’s Denver office, focuses his practice on employment-based immigration solutions including temporary worker petitions and permanent residency applications. Throughout his career, Combs has directed business immigration programs for a number of multinational companies, particularly in the information technology sector, assisting those employers with development of streamlined processes for preparation of nonimmigrant visa petitions, coordination with the lengthy permanent residency application process, and implementation of employment verification compliance programs. Combs earned his J.D. from the University of Idaho and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Jennifer Gokenbach, also in the firm’s Denver office, has broad experience defending employers in cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, wage and hour claims, wrongful termination, breach of restrictive covenants, breach of duty of loyalty, and trade secret violations, among other employment-related claims. She also regularly provides proactive counseling to her clients on issues involving personnel policies and handbooks, employment agreements, workplace investigations, leaves of absence, terminations, handling difficult employees, and reductions in force. Gokenbach is also the author of the Colorado Employer’s Law blog. She earned her J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law.

Stacy Mueller, in the firm’s Denver office, has successfully defended clients in actions before administrative agencies and state and federal courts involving employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. Mueller also has represented employers in connection with wage and hour audits and collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Her experience also includes extensive involvement in the defense of several nationwide and statewide class action lawsuits and multi-plaintiff lawsuits, including pattern and practice lawsuits brought by the EEOC and consumer class action suits filed against major corporations. Mueller earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado.

Roger Trim, of the firm’s Denver office, focuses his practice exclusively on representing and counseling employers in a broad spectrum of employment matters including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, and noncompete cases. Trim also has extensive experience in pattern and practice and class action litigation. Clients regularly rely on Trim to provide advice concerning a multitude of human resources issues, including the creation of employee handbooks and leave policies, the design and implementation of layoffs and reductions in force, and the drafting of employee contracts and noncompete agreements. Trim earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

John Wentzell, Jr., based in the firm’s Greenville office, practices in the areas of employee benefits law, ERISA, and taxation. He represents clients in the areas of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, fringe benefits, and compliance with other federal laws relating to employee benefits matters. Wentzell assists clients in designing and drafting plans, advises clients regarding the legal requirements for operating and administering plans, and prepares and submits filings to the Internal Revenue Service. Wentzell earned his J.D. in 2003 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In 2004, he received an LL.M. in Taxation.

Leslie Wallis, from the firm’s Los Angeles office, is a litigator with a strong background in breach of contract, trade secret and unfair competition cases, wrongful termination, and related employee disputes. For a number of years Wallis served as in-house counsel for a financial institution representing the company in a broad range of litigation matters. Outside of her litigation practice, Wallis advises clients on a wide spectrum of employment issues, auditing employment practices and policies and responding to administrative charges. She also provides training in the areas of harassment, discrimination, wage and hour issues, and workplace investigations. Wallis earned her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Andrea Kiehl, in the firm’s Minneapolis office, has successfully defended employers in matters involving the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), ADA, Title VII, Title IX, invasion of privacy, trade secret violations, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and defamation. Kiehl also has also managed and led the defense of off-the-clock and misclassification collective and class actions. She has successfully defended local and national companies in discrimination, retaliation, and breach of restrictive covenant actions. Due to Kiehl’s unique background in products liability and fire and explosion litigation, she is also a member of the Ogletree Deakins Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. In this regard, Kiehl has managed the investigation of workplace accidents, advised clients on OSHA compliance, and counseled clients on best practices to improve employee safety. Kiehl earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Jennifer Rusie, from the firm’s Nashville office, has experience representing management in all types of employment matters before federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative agencies including representing and counseling clients regarding discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of employment contracts, public policy claims, and wage and hour issues. She also has experience working on traditional labor law matters including union election campaigns, NLRB hearings, labor arbitrations and unfair labor practice charges. Rusie earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Michelle Ganz, in the firm’s Phoenix office, represents private and public employers in all aspects of employment law, including federal and state laws on employment discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, leave, wage and hour, contracts, restrictive covenants, and various torts. Ganz assists employers in avoiding litigation by providing issue-specific advice and by helping develop effective employment practices and policies. Specifically, Ganz drafts employee handbooks, internal policies, employment and separation agreements, and conducts internal investigations. Ganz earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

Caroline Larsen, also in the firm’s Phoenix office, has experience defending employment-related lawsuits in state and federal courts involving allegations of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the ADA. Additionally, she represents clients in administrative proceedings before the EEOC, the Arizona Civil Rights Division, OSHA, and other state and federal agencies. Larsen also counsels clients to avoid employment-related disputes and litigation by developing personnel policies, drafting employment contracts, and advising regarding leave, accommodation, downsizing, and termination issues. Larson earned her J.D., cum laude, from the Arizona State University-Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Gregory Cheng, from the firm’s San Francisco office, represents and has represented employers from virtually all industries and sizes ranging from Fortune 50 corporations to sole proprietors. As a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group, Cheng has substantial experience defending employers in complex wage and hour class actions alleging misclassification, unpaid overtime, meal and rest periods violations, travel time, and off-the-clock work. He regularly advises employers on reasonable accommodation issues, wage and hour compliance, employee discipline, terminations, employee handbooks, reductions in force, plant closings, drug testing, non-compete agreements, severance negotiations, internal investigations, and workplace violence. Cheng, who is fluent in Chinese-Mandarin, earned his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law.

Ginger McCauley, based in the firm’s Washington office, has significant litigation experience involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, non-compete agreements, and wage and hour disputes. She also counsels employers regarding employment and separation agreements, reductions in force, leave and other employment policies, and compliance with federal and state discrimination and wage and hour laws. In addition to employment law, McCauley also has a background in business litigation, including antitrust and health care. McCauley earned her J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law.

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 600 lawyers located in 40 offices from Miami to Los Angeles. 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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