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, non-compete and non-solicitation, 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 United States 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.

Successes

  • 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

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers in America® 2015, 2019 Milwaukee Litigation – Labor and Employment “Lawyer of the Year”
  • BTI Consulting – Client Service All-Star, 2011
  • Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists (Employment & Labor, 2005 to present)
  • Listed in Chambers USA® as a leading Wisconsin Labor and Employment Lawyer who is recognized as a "terrific litigator," a "brilliant, personable and proactive" lawyer who exercises "exceptional judgment" in serving his clients, "one of the finest counselors in the state," and someone whom clients "absolutely trust and rely [on]" (2003 to present)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management and Litigation; Labor & Employment) (1995-present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association (Member)
  • Milwaukee Bar Association (Member: Litigation and Labor Law Sections)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Member)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Internship)
  • Interfaith Older Adult Programs, Inc. (Board Member, 1998-2004, 2007-2013, Board President, 2004 and 2013, Human Resource Committee Chairperson, 2007 to present)
  • Marquette University High School Junior Hilltoppers (Board Member and Volunteer 2010-2013)
  • Milwaukee Archdiocese, Audit and Budget Committee (Member, 2010 to present), Development Council (Member, 2004–2008), Schools Commission (Member, 2006 to present)
  • Quarles & Brady LLP, Executive Committee (Member, 2013 to 2016), Milwaukee Office Labor and Employment Group (Coordinator, 2001–2007), Practical Guide to Employment Relations (Editor, 1998–2001 and Author, 1994 to present), Annual Labor and Employment Symposium (Moderator, 2001–2004 and Presenter, 1987 to present)
  • St. Sebastian Parish, Personnel Committee (Chairperson, 1995–2012), Building Committee (Chairperson, 1998-2002), Stained Glass Renovation Committee (Chairperson, 2007-2010)
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theater Board Member and Personnel Committee (2015 to present)

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