Bernard J. (“Bud”) Bobber is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Ogletree Deakins, and Chairs Ogletree’s Manufacturing Industry Practice Group. Mr. Bobber represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country in various areas of labor and employment law, with particular focus on traditional labor, trade secrets/noncompete, wage and hour, employee benefits litigation and employment discrimination matters. Mr. Bobber has extensive experience in the defense of class action cases. For example, he served as lead defense counsel in the largest putative employment class action case in the history of the State of Wisconsin in which he defeated two motions for class certification and plaintiffs’ appeal of the class certification issue. He also routinely represents clients in labor arbitrations and in unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.
Mr. Bobber established and currently leads Ogletree’s Manufacturing Industry practice group, consisting of approximately 100 Ogletree lawyers collectively representing over 1800 years of experience advising and defending manufacturing employers.
Mr. Bobber serves as trusted advisor to various employers, including several large manufacturing companies that operate in many states and countries. He provides both organized and union-free employers with strategic employment and labor law advice, effectively balancing legal compliance with the business’ needs and risk tolerance. For example, Mr. Bobber drafts employment agreements and company policies with confidentiality, non-competition and other restrictive covenants for employers to use with key employees. He also counsels employers on collective bargaining and other labor relations strategy, reductions and reorganizations, harassment issues, disability accommodation, problematic terminations, and a host of other work place issues that require thoughtful analysis and practical application of the legal rights and obligations of employers.
Mr. Bobber is an experienced trial lawyer, having tried cases before juries and judges in federal courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Arkansas and Missouri, as well as in state courts in Wisconsin and Illinois. Additionally, he has tried approximately 200 arbitration cases. He also has argued appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits, as well as Wisconsin appellate courts.
In addition to his litigation and counseling work for clients, Mr. Bobber rounds out his practice by frequently speaking and teaching on employment and labor law topics. For example, for 20 consecutive years, Mr. Bobber has been invited by the largest employer organization in the Upper Midwest states to give the keynote address on overall employment law developments at its largest, annual employment law update seminar conducted for its member organizations.
Ogletree’s leadership has appointed Mr. Bobber to serve on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, and its Client Services Steering Committee.
Mr. Bobber lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with his wife of 30 years, Joyce.