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Overview

As an employment law attorney, Joe connects with clients, their businesses and their employees so he can provide the ongoing, custom guidance they deserve.

Joe concentrates much of his practice on the facets of employment law that regularly change, such as wage and hour collective/class actions under state and federal law. This developing, and often times state-specific, body of law offers new arguments and fresh approaches for Joe to seize as he vigorously advocates for his clients. He also counsels clients on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Department of Labor actions and discrimination laws.

Joe knows that most employers genuinely have their employees’ best interests at heart and want to promote a productive, satisfying work environment. However, there is often uncertainty within the evolving layers of employment law. From routine counseling to investigations and litigation, he is a trusted partner as clients navigate the labor and employment jungle.

Joe has served on the firm’s Executive Board since 2015. In this capacity, he has played a major role in revising and modernizing the firm’s performance expectations and evaluation metrics. He also contributes to associate compensation matters.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2015
  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment Law, 2014-2016
  • Lexology Client Choice Awards, Missouri, Employment & Labor, 2013
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, Rising Star, 2009
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer,” 2013
  • St. Louis Business Journal, “30 Under 30,” 2006, “40 Under 40,” 2017

Education

  • J.D., Washington University School of Law
    • Order of the Coif
    • Washington University Law Quarterly, Associate Editor
  • B.J., University of Missouri-Columbia
    • magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
Featured Case Study

ConAgra Lands Major Victories Over Exempt Status

ConAgra Foods was sued in a class and collective action filed by supervisors who sought overtime compensation because they allegedly were misclassified as "exempt" under state and federal wage and hour laws. In Garrison v. ConAgra Foods, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for ConAgra and found that the supervisors satisfied all tests for the "executive" exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law. The court also ruled on an issue of first impression and agreed that the plaintiffs were liable to ConAgra for its litigation costs. Joe served as lead counsel in ConAgra’s defense.


Additional Experience
  • Represented Conagra Brands Inc. for more than a decade in labor and management relations for all of the company's major divisions: grain milling, snacks, frozen foods, shelf-stable goods, spices and potato products.
  • Represented major home healthcare agency in defeating motion for conditional certification of nationwide class of plaintiffs seeking overtime wages in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action.
  • Served as lead counsel for Conagra in Adair v. ConAgra Foods, a collective action filed by employees seeking compensation for walking to/from work stations and adjacent dressing time. In a novel decision, Conagra prevailed, with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Conagra did not violate the FLSA.
  • Defended injunction litigation filed by world’s largest information management services company seeking more than $1 million in damages for alleged unfair competition and tortious interference in New York federal court.
  • Obtained summary judgment for global corrugated box and packaging company against claims of breach of contract and wrongful discharge. Plaintiff sought more than $1 million in individual damages.
Outside the Office

Joe is a family man through and through. He has four young children, and when he is not practicing law, he is usually with them.

Joe helps coach his children in sports, primarily soccer and baseball. This experience allows Joe to not only spend extra time with his children but also give back to the community. It also provides a good balance to his work as an attorney. While he enjoys teaching the fundamentals of game play, his true satisfaction comes from teaching kids the importance of teamwork and positive attitude. Joe values the honest life lessons that accompany participation in organized sports.

Community Leadership
  • Craft Alliance, Board of Directors, 2005-2011 
  • Intercommunity Housing Association, Board of Directors, 2006-2011 
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Corporate Achiever Honoree, 2006