Firm / Organisation

Barran Liebman LLP

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This content is provided by Barran Liebman LLP.

Managing Partners: Edwin Harnden, Andrew Schpak
Number of partners: 13
Number of attorneys: 23
Languages: English, Farsi, Spanish

Firm Overview:
Barran Liebman LLP was formed in 1998 as an Oregon partnership dedicated to representing employers and universities, and to finding solutions for their labor management, employment law, and compliance needs. The firm consists of 23 specialized attorneys who offer clients seamless assistance and responsiveness. To assist employers in preventing legal issues before they arise, the firm provides a full range of tools including ‘Food for Thought’ breakfast seminars held throughout the year, the firm’s award winning Annual Seminar held every fall, and customized onsite trainings to meet the individual needs of employers with regard to their industry and experience. As a special service, the firm also provides valuable Electronic Alerts free of charge. These updates summarize new case law and statutes that impact businesses and universities. Specialized training materials are also available.

Main Areas of Practice:
Barran Liebman attorneys focus on six practice areas: employment law advice, employment litigation, labor relations, employee benefits advice, higher education compliance and protection of intellectual property.

Employment Law Advice:
The firm counsels employers on preventative practices, focusing on how to properly maintain low-risk work environments, training them to adapt to legal changes, and ultimately, working to reduce the risk of litigation. The majority of the firm’s employment work is in equal employment opportunity, wage and hour, and protected leave. This high volume of work allows the firm’s lawyers to stay abreast of fast-developing case law, including knowledge of unreported new decisions, an ability which is extraordinarily valuable at a critical time. The attorneys participate in rule development for administrative agencies and in the legislative process, and prepare amicus briefs in employment EEO and employment-at-will cases in state appellate courts. The wide range of employment law issues the firm can address include: discrimination, including ADA, ADEA and Title VII; substance abuse issues in the workplace; compensation issues; ethics and compliance; employee handbooks and manuals; employee status and classification; employee theft; employment contracts; equal employment opportunity matters; family medical leave; general employment dispute resolution; hiring and performance management; internal investigations for clients; policy and procedure reviews; privacy issues in the workplace; retaliation claims; sexual harassment; violence in the workplace; wage and hour issues; workplace investigations; wrongful termination claims; complex executive disputes over termination; and separation benefits.

Employment Litigation:
Should litigation become necessary, Barran Liebman’s attorneys are equipped with extensive experience before state, federal and appellate courts, as well as administrative agencies. Each year, the firm handles hundreds of BOLI, EEOC, OFCCP and Washington Human Rights Commission charges and defends dozens of court actions in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts. The attorneys are committed to achieving favorable, efficient resolutions and limiting client exposure. The firm focuses on understanding what motivates the dispute and evaluating whether offering counseling, re-training, severance packages, or other benefits might assist the parties in resolving a matter on mutually beneficial terms.

Labor Relations:
The firm represents employers in both public and private sectors, appearing before the National Labor Relations Board and Oregon Employment Relations Board, and offering counsel in both union and non-union environments. Barran Liebman’s labor work includes responding to labor organizing, collective bargaining, conducting grievance and interest arbitrations, and defending against unfair labor practice complaints. Six attorneys at Barran Liebman maintain a substantial labor relations practice.

Employee Benefits:
The firm represents employers in the drafting, design and growth of retirement and health plans, as well as executive compensation and §409A compliance. Attorneys counsel private employers, municipalities and multi-employer pension and benefit trusts in all aspects of the design, tax qualification and ERISA compliance of retirement plans, executive compensation and health and welfare benefit plans.

Higher Education:
Barran Liebman provides legal advice and representation to public and private universities for their specialized employment and compliance needs. That work includes a deep understanding of the kinds of issues that are unique to institutions of higher learning including issues with faculty (recruitment and hiring, tenure disputes, discipline and academic freedom), students (employment, discipline, confidentiality), and staff, as well as Title IX and FERPA compliance advice and training.

Protection of Intellectual Property:
The firm assists employers whose employees misuse confidential business information. For example, without proper internal protections, a former employee can start a competing business, solicit clients and customers, recruit employees away or use key competitive assets. The firm has expertise in preparing non-competition agreements and protecting against misappropriation of trade secrets. It also offers training on proper drafting and use of non-competition and trade secret agreements.

Barran Liebman attorneys represent clients in the following industries: academic institutions, chemical businesses, civic agencies, communications and media organizations, agricultural groups, apparel companies, construction, architectural and engineering firms, energy companies, financial institutions, food and consumer products companies, healthcare organizations, hi-tech companies, law firms, hospitality businesses, insurance companies, manufacturers, non-profits, professional sport organizations, real estate developers, religious institutions, retail, cities and counties, banks, trade associations, brewing companies, transportation companies, ad agencies, and accounting firms.