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Michael Patrick O'Brien


Phone: 801-534-7315
VCard

Attorney Blog Litigation

FIRM:

Shareholder

Former Chair, Litigation Department

Leader, Employment Law Practice Group

PRACTICE FOCUS:

Employment Law

Media Law

Courtroom Litigation

EXPERTISE:

Employment Law:

Partners with employers in many industries to prevent and solve employment problems.

Mike works with the local and national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and serves as the legal and legislative director for Utah SHRM and Salt Lake SHRM. For such services, National SHRM honored him with its prestigious Capital Award, given annually to one of SHRM’s 170,000 members worldwide. Utah SHRM has given him its Award for Professional Excellence.

Counsels employers on how to minimize and manage risks, including those involving: civil rights, discrimination, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), sexual harassment, other harassment, retaliation, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), payment of wages, overtime pay and exemptions, employee benefits, drug and alcohol testing, workplace violence, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), affirmative action, unemployment compensation, employee misconduct, investigations, unions, unfair labor practices, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), employment contracts, noncompetes, defamation, torts, wrongful discharge, mediation and arbitration.

Represents employers when disputes become lawsuits.

Has successfully handled hundreds of cases before administrative agencies, trial courts, juries, arbitrators, mediators and appeals courts.

Works with clients regarding preventive employment law activities, such as investigations, supervisor and employee training, policy and handbook reviews, job descriptions, human resource audits and counseling on day-to-day employee problems.

Has published numerous articles on employment law topics.

Popular public speaker, often addressing the news media and local and national employer groups on various employment law trends and issues.

Serves as an arbitrator and mediator in employment law disputes.

First Amendment Law:

Assists news and publishing organizations in obtaining access to places and records (FOIA and Utah GRAMA), and in minimizing risks (and responding to claims) of defamation, invasion of privacy, tort and other matters related to publishing.

Represents clients including The Salt Lake Tribune, CNN, the Deseret News, the Associated Press, the Newspaper Agency Corporation, Newsweek, the Society of Professional Journalists, KUTV News, the Utah Media Coalition and KSL-TV and radio.

Member of, and has received “sunshine” and freedom of information awards from, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Co-editor of the Utah Media Law Handbook published by the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

CAREER:

Adjunct Professor, University Of Utah S.J. Quinney College Of Law

EDUCATION:

University of Utah, J.D., 1986

  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Utah Law Review, Member, 1984-1985 and Executive Editor, 1985-1986

University of Notre Dame, B.A., in Government/Theology, 1983

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:

Utah State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, Employment Sections

Board Member, Society for Human Resources Management.

Member, Society of Professional Journalists

Member, National Association of Broadcasters

Ulster Project of Utah

Wasatch Homeless Healthcare, Inc.

Catholic Business Network

St. Vincent de Paul School

PERSONAL:

Born, Orleans, France, 1961

Attended schools in Ogden, Utah.

Departments
Industry Awards

OBrienAV

OBrien Best

 

 

Best Lawyers In America, “Salt Lake City Best Lawyers Employment Law Lawyer Of The Year,” 2011-2012, 2014

Best Lawyers In America, First Amendment Law, Labor And Employment Law, 2005-2015

OBrien Chamber 2015

Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, 2003-2014

Employment Lawyer Of The Year, Utah State Bar, 2001

Human Resources Executive, Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers In America, 2010

Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2007-2012

Utah Business Magazine, Legal Elite, 2006-2015

Bar Admittance

1986, Utah

U.S. District Court, District of Utah

U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court