From time to time I review my website bio to see if it needs tweaking, substantively or otherwise. I am fortunate enough to earn different yearly honors, so if nothing else, those usually require an update. In addition to all the lawyering I do, as described somewhat atypically below, I am one of the Firm’s website administrator’s (IT guru apparently is on my job description now). That gets me on the inside of this website pretty regularly. So with this visit to make adjustments to content, I find myself wanting to erase my entire bio because it seemed so obvious and typical. At the same time, I wonder who reads these. Clients? Potential clients? Adversaries? Colleagues? Stalkers? Everyone in those categories would need to see something a little different. With that in mind, I share the following…
I graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1994 with fancy latin words after my degree. The first thing I did after graduating was avoid getting a real law firm job. I secured an appellate law clerk position on the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. That was a good year – state employee with government hours. I miss those days (not really, but the hours and vacation days sure were nice). I also learned how to write an appellate legal decision like a champ.
I began my real lawyering in 1995 and have been practicing management-side labor and employment law since my very first day (even though I had no clue what a labor lawyer was when I started). Luckily it worked out I liked being one. That is one of things about which I am most proud. I have only been one kind of lawyer my entire lawyer life. I like it. Very much.
I am also very loyal to my Firm. I started with Kollman & Saucier, P.A., where I worked as an associate from 1995 through 2001. In November 2001, I began my eight (8) year sabbatical and went to another well-respected Baltimore management labor and employment law firm, which happened to be officed in the same building as the Firm; this way I could stay close by. I made partner while there in 2004.
I returned to Kollman & Saucier as a partner in November 2009, and have been making it happen ever since. This is a great place to practice law. My partners are as smart as anything, and I actually consider each one my friend. Our associates and support staff are fantastic, smart, sincere and reliable. I consider each one a friend as well. We all know each other, our families, and like to work together. We talk. And not just about legal stuff. When practicing in a field of law that can get heated, contentious and charged at times, I am beyond thankful that I actually like walking into the front door every day. It is very much the large part of why I have continued devoting my time and energy into management labor and employment law.
So what does that mean? I represent employers nationwide in all areas of labor and employment law, and in all venues (agencies, trial courts, appellate courts, both state and federal). I represent the employer. My clients are fantastic businesses and entities looking to do the right thing. They rely on me for assistance in that regard. I am thankful to provide it. When needed, I will defend against claims of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Title VII, FMLA, FLSA, ADEA and ADA claims (all the alphabet claims), state law employment claims, and all the extras that comes along with that process. I also (thanks to Frank Kollman who took me under his wing on my very first lawyer day in 1995) have significant experience defending against federal and state OSHA violations, from the de minimus up through willful fatalities.
While I love fighting the good litigation fight, I feel I best serve my clients when I provide advice and counsel on personnel matters to avoid litigation. I want my clients to know all of the options, and make the best decision from a legal and practical perspective. If I had to pick a slogan it would be something like: let’s make sure employment actions today do not result in lawsuits tomorrow.
I thoroughly enjoy the times when I am asked to conduct training sessions for both managers and non-management staff. First, I get to put names and faces together (much of what I do on a daily basis is handled by phone and email), and second, this is my chance to make sure people understand all of the workplace obligations, rights and nuances out there and provides an extra opportunity to educate and avoid litigation.
Here is the stuff that likely matters mostly to other lawyers, but I am keeping it in here in case it matters to someone else out there. I am an AV-rated attorney, and have been selected to SuperLawyers since 2014. I have been recognized as a Woman Leader in the Law; a Washington and Baltimore – Labor and Employment Top-Rated Lawyer by ALM Legal Leaders; and have been awarded a perfect “10.0” rating from Avvo.
Once upon a time, I was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where I taught both Legal Writing and Employment Law. I no longer teach but I remain connected to UB by serving as a mentor to first year law students. I really enjoy that; I find law students are much calmer then they were when I was in law school.
I also do the writing thing. I have been a contributing editor for multiple labor and employment law treatises, including Matthew Bender’s “An Employer’s Guide to the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” “The Americans with Disabilities Act,” “Employee Discipline and Discharge” and “The Employment Law Deskbook.” I was a Contributing Editor for the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Publication: The Fair Labor Standards Act. I try to write a regular legal column for the Restoration Industry Association’s monthly publication, Cleaning and Restoration (I say try because my editor can attest that does not always happen).
In case anyone out there wants to bond over college (in Baltimore I know it is all about where you went to high school, but I did not grow up here so we can skip that), I went to Virginia Tech, started as an Engineering major, but took a quick detour after a horrendous 5-hour calculus class, and landed in Sociology and Political Science. From there, law school happened because no one was hiring sociology majors.
I am married to a local Baltimore guy (Randallstown High School ’86 in case you were curious) and we have two kids. My daughter is an amazing field hockey goalie, in addition to being really smart, and the college application process is starting. My son plays lacrosse and way too much Grand Theft Auto. He is smart, funny and athletic. They are awesome and keep it very real for me. I am active at their school, and have been an Executive Board Member of the Parent Association since 2009. I am much better working with adults than volunteering in a classroom – I know my strengths and weaknesses.
Hang in there, almost finished…. I spent many years running and have competed in dozens of various distance races. My last long distance event was the 2013 Chicago Marathon. I probably will not do another marathon but I still run the Annapolis 10-miler every year. In May 2013, I discovered CrossFit. Wow. I cannot describe what that sport has done for me. I love everything about it. It makes me a better everything. I am also really strong. I can deadlift you, so be careful.