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About Bob

Bringing practical, creative solutions to labor and employment disputes

Bob Duffy advises employers on human resources issues and disputes, assisting with virtually any need in the labor and employment space. With extensive experience representing employers in the health care, financial, manufacturing and nonprofit sectors, Bob provides front-end employment solutions and advocacy, as well as vigorous and strategic litigation of employment claims.

Recognized for more than 15 consecutive years by Chambers USA as a leader in his field, Bob works closely with employers to identify creative solutions to complex challenges, simplify and clarify issues, calm rattled nerves and otherwise meet difficult problems with a practical, step-by-step plan to resolve them.

Bob’s past service on the firm’s governing Executive Committee and as chair of the Milwaukee office Labor & Employment Group has also helped him guide the many managers and executives he has the privilege of working with on a daily basis.

Experience in Action

  • Successfully defending employers from a full range of labor and employment claims, including civil rights, wrongful discharge, breach of employment contract, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, noncompete and nonsolicitation, wage and hour, whistleblower, worker’s compensation and union-related claims.
  • Representing clients in courts throughout Wisconsin and the United States, including the Wisconsin circuit, appellate and Supreme Court, as well as Wisconsin and other federal district courts, numerous federal appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Winning at trial before judges and juries throughout Wisconsin and the U.S. in discrimination, retaliation, whistle blower and various civil rights cases.
  • Representing clients before the NLRB, EEOC, OSHA, DOL, DWD and other state and local agencies and arbitrators across the country.
  • Counseling employers and helping them manage risk in a variety of areas, including potential discipline, reductions in force, employment policies and contracts, internal and external investigations, employee stock ownership plans, and union elections and de-certifications.
  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreements for corporations and nonprofit organizations in a way that preserves a respectful and continuing relationship between the parties.
  • Working daily with employers to resolve employment issues and avoid the need to litigate them.


  • Argued four separate cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which established precedent helpful to employers in wrongful discharge, disability discrimination, business closing law and arrest or conviction record discrimination cases.
  • Achieved dismissal without the need for trial of every variety of employment claim against employers in federal courts throughout Wisconsin and the country.
  • Achieved arbitration victories on behalf of employers in both individual and collective employment grievances in difficult discipline, contract interpretation and management rights cases throughout Wisconsin and across the country.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year" (2015, 2019: Milwaukee Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • BTI Consulting Client Service All-Star (2011)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2005-present: Employment & Labor)
  • Chambers USA® (2003-present: Labor & Employment)
  • Best Lawyers in America® (1995-present: Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management and Litigation; Labor & Employment)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Peer Review Rated

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, member
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, member
  • Milwaukee Bar Association, member of Litigation and Labor Law sections
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, member
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, internship
  • Interfaith Older Adult Programs Inc., board member (1998-2004, 2007-2013), board president (2004, 2013), Human Resource Committee chair (2007-present)
  • Marquette University High School Junior Hilltoppers, board member, volunteer (2010-2013)
  • Milwaukee Archdiocese
    • Audit and Budget Committee, member (2010-present)
    • Development Council, member (2004–2008)
    • Schools Commission, member (2006-present)
  • Quarles & Brady LLP
    • Executive Committee, member (2013-2016)
    • Milwaukee Office Labor and Employment Group, coordinator (2001–2007)
    • Practical Guide to Employment Relations, editor (1998–2001), author (1994-present)
    • Annual Labor and Employment Symposium, moderator (2001–2004), presenter (1987-present)
  • St. Sebastian Parish, Personnel Committee, chair
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theater, board member and Finance Committee

News & Insights


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