Bernard J. Bobber

Shareholder || Milwaukee

Bernard J. (“Bud”) Bobber is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Ogletree Deakins. Mr. Bobber represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country in all areas of employment law, with particular focus on wage and hour, trade secrets/noncompete, employee benefits and employment discrimination matters. Mr. Bobber has extensive experience in the defense of class action cases. He also routinely represents clients in labor arbitrations and in unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Bobber also provides both organized and union-free employers with employment and labor law advice, and provides assistance with problem prevention. 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 reductions and reorganizations, harassment issues, disability accommodation, problematic terminations, collective bargaining strategy, 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 and Missouri, as well as in state courts in Wisconsin and Illinois. Additionally, he has tried well over 150 arbitration cases. He also has argued appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits.

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 over 12 consecutive years, Mr. Bobber has been invited by the largest employer organization in Wisconsin and Illinois to give the keynote address on overall employment law developments at its annual employment law update seminar conducted for its member organizations.

Mr. Bobber’s abilities and professionalism have been observed and acknowledged by others as he has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. The publisher that conducts the review process explains that the rating awarded to Mr. Bobber confirms “preeminent legal ability,” and reflects his “very high professional ethics.” Similarly, Chambers USA, a company based in London that reviews and rates American lawyers and publishes its ratings for European and American businesses, rated Mr. Bobber to be one of the top labor and employment attorneys in the state of Wisconsin. Chambers confirmed that top rating in each of its 2003-2015 publications. Mr. Bobber has also been listed in The Best Lawyers In America® for over 10 years.  He was also selected for inclusion in the 2005-2015 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists.

Mr. Bobber lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with his wife, Joyce.


Learn more about Bernard J. Bobber


  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1987
  • B.A., University of Illinois, 1984

Admittance to Practice

  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee Bar Association


  • Ogletree Deakins Labor Law Solutions - "Policy Fixes for the Real World" - Las Vegas - December 7, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor Law Solutions - "Pardon the Interruption! Labor Updates" - Las Vegas - December 6, 2018
  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Managing the Threat of Violence in the Workplace" - La Quinta - November 9, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce in 2019 - "Heads Up, Eyes Open – What To Plan For In 2019" - Kohler - September 20, 2018
  • ACC Annual Conference - "The Future Of Class Action Waivers: How Employers Can Best Leverage the Supreme Court Ruling in Murphy Oil" - Elkhart Lake - May 17, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Don’t Let Class Actions Keep You Up at Night: Avoiding, Defending, and Winning These Cases" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Confidentiality and Non-Competes Wisconsin Style" - March 15, 2018
  • MRA Employment Law Update - "2017 Employment Law Year in Review" - Waukesha - February 22, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins "Reel Ethics" Briefing - "The Limits of Confidentiality" - Waukesha - January 17, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins/Wisconsin Chapter of ACC Annual Conference - "Pulling Back the Curtain: Why and How Businesses Are Becoming More Transparent" - Elkhart Lake - May 18, 2017
  • 2017 MRA Employment Law Update (Federal & Wisconsin) - "2016 Employment Law: Year In Review" - Milwaukee - February 23, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Restrictive Covenants 101: The Basics" - Milwaukee - January 2017
  • Ogletree: Not Your Father’s Seminar - "Joint Employment & Mixed Unit Bargaining: New Standards, New Challenges, New Strategies" - Las Vegas - December 2016
  • Ogletree: Not Your Father’s Seminar - "So Now What? Preparing For The Year Ahead" - Las Vegas - December 2016
  • American Employment Lawyers Council - "NLRB Dynamics – The Key Developments and Best Practices For Non-Union Employers" - Naples - October 2016
  • Ogletree Managing a Workforce in 2017 - "Equal Pay – The 70 Cent Question" - Kohler - September 1, 2016
  • Ogletree Managing a Workforce in 2017 - "How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck: Planning and Budgeting Priorities for 2017" - Kohler - September 1, 2016
  • Ogletree Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Resolving the Tough Ones: Effective Strategies for Mediating Complex Cases" - Colorado Springs - September 2016
  • Ogletree Workplace Strategies - "'Ambush' Elections Boot Camp: A Campaign Simulation" - Chicago - May 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "The Federal Alphabet Trilogy: An Update on Litigation and Regulatory Initiatives from the EEOC, NLRB, and DOL" - Appleton and Brookfield - March 2016
  • Management Resource Association - "Employment Law Year in Review" - Milwaukee - January 2016
  • February 7, 2019 - SHRM Online - "How Should HR Set the Stage for Workplace Investigations?"
  • January 28, 2019 - Business Management Daily - "NLRB ruling limits independent contractors right to form or join a labor union"
  • September 19, 2018 - Employment Law Daily - "Ogletree Deakins zeros in on manufacturing industry"
  • February 22, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Supreme Court: Union Retiree Health Benefits Weren’t Vested for Life"
  • August 9, 2017 - Wisconsin Law Journal - "Bobber helps clients through employment-law maze"
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • AV preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA
  • Benchmark Litigation Star (2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America; Milwaukee Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year (2018); Milwaukee Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year (2017)
  • Who’s Who Legal USA – Management Labour & Employment (2006)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers (2005-2018)
  • Benchmark Litigation Star
  • Order of the Coif
  • Former Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Milwaukee Area
  • Board of Directors, Guitars for Vets

Insights by Bernard J. Bobber