Michael Oliver Eckard

Office Managing Shareholder || Charleston

Shareholder || Atlanta

Michael is a shareholder in the Charleston and Atlanta offices and has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree Deakins his entire legal career. Michael represents companies in labor, employment, restrictive covenant, and wage and hour matters in the healthcare, manufacturing, chemicals, hospitality, transportation and logistics, and retail industries, among others. He regularly advises companies on human resources (HR) and labor policy issues. Michael represents his clients in many types of employment litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment claims, employment discrimination claims, employment contracts, wage and hour claims, trade secrets, and noncompete agreements. He also represents management in litigation and disputes before the National Labor Relations Board, collective bargaining, arbitration, and other union matters.

Michael’s nationwide litigation and advice practice focuses on protecting corporate clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; claims involving restrictive covenants, unfair competition, and trade secret claims; federal and state wage and hour laws; and claims of defamation, breach of contract, and intentional torts. He has litigated labor and employment-related matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His litigation matters include single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and collective action cases, as well as labor and employment arbitrations and administrative proceedings.

Michael serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, regularly providing counsel to corporate executive, legal, and HR leaders on matters such as risk management; labor relations; workforce planning, including workforce growth and reductions in force (RIFs); labor and employment matters pertaining to corporate mergers, divestitures, and other transactions; employee recruiting and hiring practices; employee discipline and termination; wage and hour law compliance; and strategies for preventing and investigating harassment and discrimination claims.

Prior to his legal career, Michael served in the U.S. Army, specializing in Military Intelligence. Michael served in multiple duty stations, including operational tours in Kuwait. Michael is also a licensed pilot and enjoys flying airplanes for recreation.

Michael is a former law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Division, Washington D.C. Michael is also the 2005 recipient of the University of South Carolina Law School’s coveted Knox L. Haynsworth Labor Law Scholarship Award.

Learn more about Michael Oliver Eckard

Michael focuses on all aspects of labor and employment law. He advises companies on labor and employment policy matters, including serving as primary outside labor and employment counsel to multiple private and publicly traded companies. He regularly defends companies and management against discrimination (race, gender, national origin, disability, and religion), sexual harassment, and retaliation claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and before state and federal courts. He has experience representing employers in wage and hour collective actions, multi-party discrimination claims, and administrative actions. He also represents management in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, and unfair labor practice and representation hearings. In addition, Michael has significant experience representing companies and individuals in complex restrictive covenant (nonsolicitation, noncompetition, etc.) and trade secret actions, including seeking emergency injunctive relief to protect his clients’ interests.

In addition to cases in which he has negotiated favorable confidential settlement agreements or other favorable resolutions to employment and labor disputes on behalf of his clients, the following are examples of Michael’s representative matters:

Michael is also a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) trial training program in Boulder, Colorado.


Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • State Bar of South Carolina
  • State Bar of North Carolina
  • Charleston Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Georgia Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section; Young Lawyers Division)
  • Atlanta Bar Association (Member of the Board of Directors, Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers, 2006-07)
  • Military Intelligence Corps Association
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3142 (Life Member)
  • Care and Counseling Centers of Georgia (Member of the Board of Directors, 2010-2014)
  • Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
  • East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club


Best Lawyers Award Badge

Insights by Michael Oliver Eckard