News Releases
December 16, 2013

Polsinelli begins the New Year with the addition of an Atlanta, Georgia office ushering into the firm a group of highly experienced and well-known employment attorneys. Rafuse Hill & Hodges LLP law firm will join national law firm Polsinelli effective January 1, 2014. The group includes six employment attorneys including Nancy Rafuse, who is ranked by Chambers USA in Georgia as Tier 1 in Labor and Employment, and described by clients in Chambers USA as an “excellent defense attorney and tough negotiator.”

"We are very excited to welcome this outstanding group of employment attorneys who share our dedication and commitment to client service," said Polsinelli Labor and Employment Chair W. Terrence Kilroy. "Nancy Rafuse and Jim Swartz, along with their colleagues, complement our growing team of employment litigation, collective action and class action attorneys. They are renowned for their ability to gain positive results for clients in employment, class action and 'bet-the-company' cases."

Polsinelli’s growing Labor and Employment Practice includes attorneys in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Kansas City, Springfield, St. Joseph and St. Louis, Missouri and with the addition of the group in Atlanta, now includes 48 attorneys. The practice has more than doubled in size in the last five years.

BTI Litigation Outlook listed Polsinelli among a dozen national firms as a "standout" for its counsel in complex employment litigation matters. Kilroy believes the attorneys at Rafuse Hill & Hodges joining Polsinelli, strengthens our already strong complex employment practice.

"Everything we learned about Polsinelli’s client service and commitment to addressing clients' challenges attracted us to the firm,” said Nancy Rafuse about joining Polsinelli.  "In addition, we like the firm’s national reputation in labor and employment law and litigation. The firm has a deep trial history and is not afraid to try tough cases. We look forward to joining this dynamic firm with national resources, and collaborating with some of the country’s most respected employment and trial attorneys."

Chambers USA writes about the firm: "The accomplished team attains widespread acclaim for its ability to defend employers against lawsuits filed in connection with a variety of employment-related statutes."

Employment Attorneys Joining Polsinelli in Atlanta Include:

  • Shareholder Nancy E. Rafuse ranked Tier 1 in Chambers in Labor and Employment. Rafuse, the managing partner of Rafuse Hill & Hodges, is described in Chambers as having "a stellar reputation for bet-the-company cases." Chambers chose Rafuse as a Leading Lawyer in Georgia in employment litigation, and in 2012 she was a Chambers USA Women in Law Awards nominee. Chambers writes that clients "value her exceptional work ethic and formidable intelligence."
  • Shareholder James J. Swartz, Jr. represents employers in a wide variety of employment-related matters, including discrimination, harassment, restrictive covenant and employee raiding disputes, and high-stakes wage-and-hour litigation, including class and collective actions. In addition, Jim advises clients on a host of day-to-day employment matters such as wage-and-hour compliance, employment contracts, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, pay and promotion issues, employment handbooks, and workplace investigations and audits.
  • Associate Teeka K. Harrison focuses on employment law and litigation before federal and state courts. Her practice focuses on litigation and advice concerning Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, Section 1981, the FMLA, the FLSA and other employment-related federal and state laws. She was named a Georgia Rising Star 2011-2013.
  • Associate Stan Hill represents clients on individual, collection and class actions under state and federal employment laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Patricia C. Fawcett, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
  • Associate Amy Palesch represents clients on a variety of employment issues including EEOC matters, sexual harassment, discrimination, unpaid wages and overtime, wrongful discharge and contract disputes between businesses.
  • Associate Ellenor Stone focuses on individuals, collective, and class action brought under state and federal employment laws. She served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable E. Clayton Scoffield III, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Georgia.

Among Nancy Rafuse’s high profile litigation engagements:

  • Represented a national restaurant chain in defense of a series of alleged race discrimination trials, all concluding in complete defense verdicts for our client.
  • Represents national retail clients in collective wage and hour actions challenging the use of the exemption for managers as well as in actions for overtime pay for alleged off the clock work for non-exempt employees.
  • Represents large public and private employers as lead counsel in alleged employment class actions, having defeated Rule 23 class certification motions in well over 20 such actions (on average at least one per year of her practice).

Among Polsinelli’s high profile litigation engagements:

  • Successfully defended several major interstate motor carriers against class action claims by truck drivers that alleged the company had improperly calculated driver compensation, violated FMCSA truth-in-leasing regulations and/or misclassified drivers as independent contractors.
  • Successfully represented the Kansas City Chiefs during a five-week jury trial involving discrimination suit filed by a former employee against the National Football League team.
  • Represented a major health care provider with its immigration needs in hiring and retaining personnel, including J waivers, through the Conrad 30 and Delta Regional Authority Programs.
  • Pregnancy discrimination trial in Kansas City against FishNet Securities resulting in a defense verdict.

The American Lawyer magazine featured Polsinelli in its June 2013 issue and recognized it as the fastest-growing law firm in America over the past five years. This year, the firm moved up to the 69th position from 78th in The National Law Journal’s ranking of the largest U.S. based law firms.

*Chambers USA is considered the world’s leading guide to the legal profession for lawyers and practice groups.

For more information contact Public Relations Manager Heather McMichael at 816-223-8780, hmcmichael@polsinelli.com

About Polsinelli

Real Challenges. Real Answers.sm  Serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs, and individuals, our attorneys build enduring relationships by providing legal counsel informed by business insight to help clients achieve their objectives. This commitment to understanding our clients' businesses has helped us become the fastest growing law firm in the U.S. for the past five years, according to the leading legal business and law firm publication, The American Lawyer.  Our more than 695 attorneys in 17 cities work with clients nationally to address the challenges of their roles in health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation. The firm can be found online at www.polsinelli.com. Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP.