Cozen O’Connor: West Coast Expansion Continues with the Addition of 13 Labor & Employment Lawyers from Miller Law Group in California

West Coast Expansion Continues with the Addition of 13 Labor & Employment Lawyers from Miller Law Group in California

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Philadelphia – August 1, 2019 – Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce 13 attorneys from California’s Miller Law Group — one of the largest woman-owned employment law firms in the country — have joined its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. The new hires represent yet another milestone in the expansion of the firm’s highly regarded Labor & Employment practice, as well as the continued development of its West Coast presence.

“Miller Law Group’s focus for the past 20 years has been helping clients navigate the challenging and increasingly complex California employment law environment. Whether a Fortune 50 powerhouse or a burgeoning startup, we know California employment law,” said Michele Ballard Miller, founder of Miller Law Group. “Many of our clients, however, have facilities across the country as well as in other countries. In order to meet these broader needs, we recognized that we needed to change. Cozen O’Connor was the obvious choice. Joining Cozen O’Connor, a firm with a nationally recognized, full service Labor & Employment Department, gives our clients access to professionals who can advise on the full complement of employment issues, including immigration and OSHA and employee benefits,” said Miller.

“Cozen O’Connor’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was also a key factor in our decision,” said Miller. “Miller Law Group is certified women-owned and active in many organizations that are committed to achieving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Cozen O’Connor’s commitment to this important issue, coupled with the myriad of programs they have instituted in furtherance of this goal, best reflected our core values.”

“A key element of our strategic plan remains growing our Labor & Employment Department nationally and, as part of our recent commitment to Mansfield 3.0 certification, continuing to diversify our leadership ranks and talent pipeline,” said Michael J. Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Michele Ballard Miller is one of the country’s leading labor and employment attorneys. Further, seven of the incoming attorneys are women, bringing top-notch litigation skills to bear on a growing and important practice area.”

“We are excited to welcome the Miller Law Group attorneys to Cozen O’Connor,” said Joseph E. Tilson, Co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department. “I have known of Michele Ballard Miller for a number of years, and her stellar reputation and that of the firm she has built are impeccable. The addition of Miller Law Group also drives our West Coast expansion, especially in California, which we see as one of the most fertile areas of employment litigation.”

Cozen O’Connor currently has West Coast offices in Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Its western expansion was bolstered in 2017 with the hiring of all of the lawyers from real estate and commercial litigation powerhouse, Gilchrist and Rutter, and the opening of a Santa Monica Office. 

Miller, who joins Cozen O’Connor as a shareholder and Chair of the West Coast Labor & Employment Practice, represents California businesses in all aspects of workplace employment matters. Consistently named to “Women Leaders in Law” lists nationwide, in 2019 Miller was again named a Southern California Top Lawyer by The Los Angeles Times and a Northern California Top Lawyer by San Francisco Magazine.

Joining Cozen O’Connor with Miller are Miller Law Group shareholders Walter M. Stella and Kerry McInerney Freeman.

Walter M. Stella focuses his practice on employment related transactional matters and litigation. Considered a thought leader on California employment law topics, Stella has been a guest on KQED radio programs and served as a contributing author for Aspatore’s Thought Leadership series on Employment Law. He advises clients on a wide-range of issues, including employee mobility issues and protection of trade secrets.

Kerry McInerny Freeman brings to the firm a broad-based employment litigation practice that complements her robust preventive counseling practice — with an emphasis on workplace disability and accommodation issues. 

Other Miller Law attorneys joining the firm — half of whom are women, affirming Cozen O’Connor’s ongoing commitment to the inclusion and promotion of diverse talent — include:

Nicole Herter Perkin, who joins the firm as a member. She represents clients in wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment disputes and advises on regulatory compliance and personnel policies.

John R. Carrigan, Jr. joins as a member. He focuses on litigating a wide range of workplace claims, negotiating severance deals, and representing clients in matters from wage and hour class actions to charges before the National Labor Relations Board, in addition to preventative counseling.

C. Edward Langhammer joins the firm as a member and advises on wage and hour class actions, Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims and lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

John H. Feldmann III joins the firm as of counsel and leverages his 40-plus years of experience practicing before the National Labor Relations Board to help clients in labor related issues and challenges.

Janine S. Simerly joins as of counsel. Simerly has tried more than 45 jury trials to verdict and is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates. She also has the distinction of having been interviewed by Katie Couric on “60 Minutes” regarding a highly contentious Title IX matter at a private university.

Elena K. Hillman joins the firm as of counsel. As an employment law counselor and litigator, she handles disputes relating to medical leave, employment contracts, OSHA, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.

Ethan Chernin joins as an associate. As a labor and employment litigator, he takes an objective view of the facts and circumstances in each case to provide a practical assessment that helps clients make informed business decisions. 

Litigator Brett C. Greving joins as an associate. He helps clients navigate all areas of the litigation process-from investigation, strategy, discovery, and motions, to mediations and arbitrations, and is particularly adept at managing e-discovery challenges.

Litigator Di Addy Tang joins as an associate and represents employers in wide-ranging litigation and administrative agency actions, including wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and disability accommodation.

Kathryn P. Conard joins as a department attorney. An employment litigator, she handles discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims, as well as internal investigations and discovery.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 29 offices across two continents.