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Overview

Tom is a strategic partner who is tuned-into his clients’ culture, understanding their risk tolerance and supporting each move from client-centric focus.

Employment law is a very people oriented business and Tom identifies each issue and crafts a solution, with the people factor in mind. At times it requires digging deep through complicated and conflicting facts, interpreting contracts and the law, while sorting out emotions, but Tom always reduces these factors to find an answer to a problem.

Peter Pakalski, President of Granite Resources Corporation had this to say about Tom, “We are extremely pleased with all of Husch Blackwell’s work on this deal. Tom [Godar] and Paul [Karch] provided incredible expertise throughout the long negotiations. They had an amazing ability to understand all the moving parts, and quickly resolve issues. And their genuine interest and friendship gave us the confidence we needed to keep moving forward.”

Tom is ready to share the late night worries clients have of recruiting and retaining the best employees at all levels by offering his experience on recruitment, policy development, training and discipline. Tom views his position as a counselor, with his greatest joy to see a successful client achieve even more.

Specific examples of Tom’s work include:

  • Providing human resources counsel to a variety of businesses, including large and small healthcare organizations:
    • Restructuring the relationship between an orthopedic clinic and local hospital
    • Investigating  allegations of employee and executive misconduct and counseling management on appropriate next steps
    • Improving employer relationships with unions through the use of proactive communication, and when necessary, winning at the bargaining table or in arbitration
    • Counseling  clients on the expansion of their business, including the purchase of a community care organization
  • Advising nonunion employers on the purchase of unionized facilities, as well as ongoing collective bargaining obligations related to the purchase
  • Obtaining summary judgment and subsequently defending Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) summary judgment at Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Representing owners in $12 million sale of 16 Wisconsin cemeteries and  granite monuments business to NYSE-traded company
  • Securing reversal of a million-dollar verdict for an employee in a successful appeal to the California Court of Appeals
  • Defending against class action wage and hour claims

Industries

Services

Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Labor and Employment Law, 2009-2012, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management and Litigation - Labor & Employment, 2012-2019, Lawyer of the Year, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2017, 2019
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2008-2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
    • cum laude
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin
    • cum laude
  • Telugu Diploma, Andhra University Vishkaputnam India

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Residential Services Association of Wisconsin, Advisory Board Member
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Associate Member Board
  • Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Wisconsin State Elections Board, Former Member and Chairman
Experience
  • Represented owners in $12 million sale of 16 Wisconsin cemeteries and a granite monuments business to NYSE-traded company.
  • Obtained summary judgment and subsequently defended Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) summary judgment at Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Secured reversal of a million-dollar verdict for employee in a successful appeal to the California Court of Appeals.
  • Improved employer relationships with union through use of proactive communication.
  • Advised nonunion employer on the purchase of unionized facilities, as well as ongoing collective bargaining obligations related to the purchase.
  • Restructured the relationship between an orthopedic clinic and a local hospital organization.
  • Investigated employee misconduct and counseled management on appropriate next steps.
  • Drafted employment, confidentiality, noncompete, consulting and independent contractor relationship agreements.
  • Represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Madison Department of Civil Rights, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the U.S. Department of Labor and other administrative agencies.
  • Developed policies and handbooks for employers.
  • Conducted seminars and training sessions for clients, as well as for the Cities and Villages Mutual Insurance Co., Society for Human Resource Management, Lorman, National Business Institute and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Presented training for trade organizations such as the Residential Services Association of Wisconsin and Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin.
  • Successfully defended client against discrimination charges.
  • Counseled and litigated employee noncompete issues.
Community Leadership
  • The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Board of Directors
  • Okauchee Lake Management District Board, Secretary
  • Kettle Moraine Curling Club, Board of Directors