Labor and Employment - Midwest


Labor and employment
Labor and Employment - Midwest


*Please note: Nationally ranked firms can find editorial analysis here.



Nyemaster Goode

Nyemaster Goode is a full-service firm housing one of the largest labor and employment groups in Iowa. The firm is recognized as top-tier for its emphasis on labor and employment and its strategic offices spanning the major cities in Iowa.

Des Moines-based Frank Harty recently defended the State of Iowa in a six-week trial against allegations of sexual-orientation discrimination, retaliation and constitutional violations of due process. The matter is currently on appeal at the Iowa Supreme Court. Mary Funk was lead partner in defending Drake University in a lawsuit filed by a former Board of Trustee member who brought alleged claims of retaliation under Title IX and the ADA. She prevailed on summary judgment in district court, and the plaintiff appealed to the Eighth Circuit, which affirmed the win on all claims. Funk’s team included Harty and Frances Haas, and all three partners also worked on defending the university against the student’s Title IX alleged claims, which garnered significant media attention.



Mayer Brown

Illinois-based Mayer Brown maintains a collective of labor and employment litigators exclusively dedicated to handling disputes arising from the employer-employee relationship. The practice’s specialties include wage-and-hour class and collective actions and complex, high-profile discrimination cases for its long list of nationally recognized and industry-leading clients.

The Chicago office boasts two of the firm’s notable labor and employment lawyers such as co-leader of the practice Andrew Rosenman, who recently represented AllScripts against two former employees in a lawsuit alleging that they breached their non-compete and confidentiality obligations. Rosenman settled the matter. Marcia Goodman has been involved in several matters, two of which she represented clients in the banking and financial services industry. Goodman handles a wide range of matters, including disputes involving global mobility since her clients tend to have a global reach or they are based internationally. She has a specialty in handling matters for Japanese clients and co-leads the firm’s Japanese Client Initiative.



Dickinson Wright

Dickinson Wright’s headquarters is in Detroit where its largest collection of labor and employment lawyers is housed. The firm’s practice is routinely engaged in litigation for clients facing all types of claims that arise from employment.

Timothy Howlett is the labor and employment practice leader. He has been increasingly active in litigation for a variety of clients, both public entities and private companies. His practice has involved matters alleging whistleblower and retaliation, discrimination and a number of other employment-related claims. Katherine Wood is also active in litigation, having handled several discrimination-related cases over the last year. Her clients have ranged from universities to companies in the automotive industry.



Dorsey & Whitney

Dorsey & Whitney’s headquarters sits in Minnesota where the firm’s largest collective of labor and employment lawyers are located. The entire practice group spans many of its numerous offices found nationwide. The practice is equipped with litigators seasoned in matters arising in administrative proceedings, state and federal courts, and up to appellate courts.

The Minneapolis office features several of the firm’s most highly regarded litigators. Ryan Mick is the practice group head. Over the last year, his practice has involved litigation throughout the country, from Massachusetts to California and down into the Northern District of Texas. Mick defended Ameriprise Financial Services in a matter that sought to challenge constitutionality of the Financial Advisor position’s exemption and classification as independent contractors. Earlier this year, Mick obtained a favorable ruling from the court which granted their motion for adjudication and agreed with Mick’s argument that the plaintiff lacked the authority to act on behalf of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency in a challenge to the CA Labor Code while filing the lawsuit as a PAGA plaintiff.  Melissa Raphan’s practice has recently involved both class and collective actions and single-plaintiff cases. She and Mick handled two separate putative class actions for two entities of Canon – Canon Solutions America and Canon Business Processes. Both wage and hour cases alleged numerous claims in violation of PAGA and California Labor Code. Both cases have been settled and with court approval pending.  



Armstrong Teasdale

Armstrong Teasdale maintains one of the top-tier labor and employment groups operating out of Missouri, the full-service firm’s headquarters.  Labor and employment lawyers at the firm mainly span the St. Louis and Kansas City offices at the firm.

Tyson Ketchum is a labor and employment litigator out of Kansas City. He has recently worked on two separate matters that involve alleged discrimination. His practice involves mostly employment litigation, but additionally handles investigations as well.

The St. Louis office houses two leading labor and employment litigators as well. Daniel O’Toole has had an active practice over the last year. He successfully resolved a two-year-long matter earlier this year. The case involved a truck driver who filed alleged retaliation claims against the client Proffer Wholesale Produce. O’Toole settled the matter on confidential terms. O’Toole also successfully completed a matter representing UPS in a lawsuit filed by a high-ranking manager who alleged race discrimination and retaliation claims against the client. The case went up to the Eighth Circuit after O’Toole was granted a motion for summary judgment, which was affirmed last June. Robert Kaiser also practices out of the St. Louis office. His practice involves single-plaintiff and class- and collective-action litigation, as well as experience handling matters under the National Labor Relations Act. Kaiser recently defended client MACO in a multi-state class and collective action that asserted alleged violations of overtime laws and misclassification claims. The matter was settled favorably.




Benesch is a full-service firm featuring a labor and employment practice comprised of lawyers who practice in both traditional labor and employment litigation. The Ohio labor and employment lawyers are located in two of the state’s major cities: Cleveland and Columbus.

Eric Baisden and Margo Wolf O’Donnell co-chair the labor and employment practice group. Baisden has been exceedingly active, representing Shearer’s Foods in a number of matters spanning eight states. He has assisted the client in OSHA investigations in Iowa and Ohio, a discrimination lawsuit filed in Oregon, and a wrongful death lawsuit that was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. In addition to his extensive list of matters for Shearer, Baisden also recently favorably settled two separate matters for other clients, both for significantly lower amounts than what plaintiffs sought in each case. O’Donnell obtained a dismissal of disability claims against nationally known client Quest Diagnostics. She also received a dismissal of a FLSA lawsuit based on enforceable arbitration agreements and the matter is in process of settling.

Peter Kirsanow was brought in to defend Arizona Logistics in a lawsuit alleging minimum wage and overtime wage violations brought by the Secretary of Labor. The matter is ongoing with pending cross motions for summary judgement.


Thompson Hine

Thompson Hine is a full-service firm that maintains a stand-alone labor and employment practice with lawyers spanning several of the firm’s offices. The Ohio offices houses the largest and most-well known collective of lawyers dedicated to the practice area. The firm’s offices in the state include its mainstay in Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton.

Labor and employment practice group leader Nancy Barnes is especially recognized for her wage and hour class action litigation. She successfully resolved separate actions for two clients. One matter was filed in Middlesex Superior Court in Massachusetts. Barnes’ practice also includes single-plaintiff lawsuits involving alleged discrimination claims, as well as many other claims arising from employment disputes.

Deborah Brenneman practices out of the Cincinnati and Dayton offices. Her practice mixes labor and employment and business litigation. Brenneman recently represented Lumaware, a start-up company, in a two-day arbitration alleging disability discrimination, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract claims. The plaintiff made a multi-million-dollar demand; however, the arbitrator rejected all claims but awarded the plaintiff backpay for the termination notice error.

Cincinnati-based Scott Young also maintains an active labor and employment practice. His recent matters have largely involved defending clients in OSHA investigations and wrongful death lawsuits. He has also defended Nickolas Sayko & Sons in a matter involving whistleblower and wrongful termination claims alleged by a former employee. The Department of Labor acted on behalf of OSHA and both entities found no violation of whistleblower laws and dismissed the matter.


Ulmer & Berne

The Ohio offices of Ulmer & Berne are equipped with highly respected and high-quality litigators with a vast experience in the courtroom. The firm’s litigation capabilities range from business and commercial litigation to labor and employment, and many other areas. The labor and employment lawyers are seasoned in handling some of the most significant and complex disputes, especially those involving business and commercial elements as well. The practice is concentrated in the firm’s Cleveland office, but the partners in the group are experienced in litigating matters for clients in venues throughout the state and beyond.

The leader of the labor and employment practice group William Edwards dedicates his practice to obtaining successful resolutions to clients’ most complex employment disputes. Edwards represents clients before the EEOC and up to federal and state courts where he litigates class and collective actions, as well as single-plaintiff cases featuring various employment-related claims.

Vice-chair of the firm’s litigation department Jeffrey Dunlap has decades of experience in handling litigation that includes both commercial and employment matters. Regional and national clients seek Dunlap to handle all types of employment-related lawsuits – from various discrimination claims to complex restrictive covenant disputes. Stephanie Harley is a highly regarded litigator who practices exclusively in the area of labor and employment. Harley is routinely sought out to address allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual harassment for large and small clients operating in a variety of industries.