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Ogletree Deakins Names New Managing Shareholders in Five Offices

   |   Press Release

ATLANTA – February 10, 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 that five of the firm’s 40 offices have new managing shareholders – Tom Deer in Chicago; John Gerak in Cleveland; Leah Freed in Phoenix; W. Scott Hardy in Pittsburgh; and Tibor Nagy in Tucson. These shareholders were recently elected to their positions during the Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Atlanta, Georgia.       

Tom Deer joined Ogletree Deakins in 2008 and will lead the 30 lawyers in the Chicago office along with co-managing shareholder Bob Casey. During his nearly 20 years of practice, Deer is experienced in defending and counseling national, regional, and local employers through many of today’s complex workplace issues. As an active member of the firm’s Employment Law and Litigation Practice Groups, Deer represents employers nationally in the retail, financial, and education industries, among others. Colleagues and clients alike hold Deer in high esteem as evidenced in his being named in the Best Lawyers in America. He has served as lead trial counsel in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge cases in the federal district and state courts in numerous states.   

John Gerak will co-manage the firm’s Cleveland office with Dan Pace until July 1, 2012, after which Gerak will assume full responsibility for the role. Gerak has developed a reputation as a true business partner, assisting employers to avoid litigation through highly-focused custom training, human resource policy and process improvement, and legal compliance. In the event litigation cannot be avoided, Gerak has extensive experience litigating single-plaintiff employment cases, as well as class action discrimination and wage and hour cases. Gerak has handled a broad range of litigation matters for a diverse group of clients, including hospitals, restaurants, manufacturers, nursing homes, industrial distributors, financial institutions, and transportation and logistics companies. Gerak is a prolific speaker and presenter who is frequently requested by human resources professionals and employment groups for his knowledge on a wide range of employment law topics impacting today’s workforce. Some of the topics Gerak covers include, “The Social Media Revolution: Employee Privacy vs. Employee Rights”, “Workplace Drama of a Different Kind”, “Hostile Work Environment Harassment”, “Medical Information in the Workplace”, and “Five Simple Rules for Minimizing the Risk of Employment Litigation.” He has been named a “Rising Star” for the last two years by Super Lawyers. Prior to a career in law, Gerak was a professional football player with the Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams in the National Football League.

Leah Freed, in the firm’s Phoenix office, advises, counsels and represents private and public employers in all aspects of employment law, including defending employers against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful termination in state and federal court, as well as administrative forums. Freed also regularly advises employers with respect to litigation avoidance and compliance with state and federal employment laws, developing personnel policies, drafting employment agreements, and regarding leave, accommodation, downsizing, discipline, and termination issues.

W. Scott Hardy, who will co-manage the Pittsburgh office along with Tom Smock, has a well rounded practice both in employment litigation and traditional labor matters with clients in the healthcare, higher education, banking, transportation, and manufacturing industries. Employers seek out Hardy as a trusted advisor knowing that his judgment, skills, and talents can be deployed effectively to address issues impacting personnel throughout an organization. Hardy counsels employers on all aspects of their employment relationships to achieve their organizational goals while avoiding litigation whenever possible. In doing so, Hardy takes a practical and proactive “real world” approach to solving workplace problems. Because lawsuits cannot always be avoided, much of Hardy’s practice involves representing employers as lead counsel in federal and state court litigation, including class and collective actions and appeals, commercial and labor arbitrations, and administrative proceedings. Hardy has amassed an extensive list of speaking engagements and authored articles benefiting trade groups and associations throughout the country. He collaborates with employers to craft legally compliant and strategically effective workplace policies, and he provides training to managers and employees on various legal and ethical compliance issues. Hardy is active in his community through his service on the Board of Directors for the Good Samaritan Hospice of Pittsburgh, and the Board of Directors for the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Hardy is on the executive board of the W. Edward Sell Chapter of the American Inns of Court, and also serves as vice chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group for the American Healthcare Lawyers Association. Hardy has been recognized in Best Lawyers and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. He is “AV” rated according to Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence.

Tibor Nagy leads the firm’s Tucson office. Nagy joined Ogletree Deakins in 2006 and represents employers in all facets of labor and employment relations law, and provides litigation avoidance advice on a broad spectrum of federal and state employment laws and regulations. Nagy is the 2012 Tucson Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers, and is consistently listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and Southwest Super Lawyer. Nagy is one of only a handful of attorneys located in Tucson with experience defending employers before the National Labor Relations Board, including representation elections, and hearings pertaining to representation petitions and unfair labor practice complaints. Earlier in his career, Nagy was the chairman of the State Bar of Arizona Labor & Employment Section.


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 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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