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Pilchak & Cohen PC

Address:
Pilchak & Cohen PC
3062 East Walton Boulevard
Auburn Hills, Michigan 48326
Phone: (248) 409-1900
Fax: (248) 409-1999
Web site: www.mi-worklaw.com
Firm Size: 3 Lawyers
Primary Contact:
William Pilchak
wpilchak@mi-worklaw.com

Firm Description

OUR FIRM

Pilchak & Cohen (“P&C”) represents management in labor and employment matters exclusively in Michigan and across the United States. We take pride in planning discipline and discharge to avoid litigation, and if litigation is filed, identifying creative defenses, counter claims and winning strategies for employers. We identify defects in the Plaintiff’s case at the earliest possible stage of litigation to achieve early dismissal, deflate our opponent’s enthusiasm or to illustrate low settlement value to the opponent.

OUR PRACTICE AREAS

Our attorneys have extensive experience in virtually all areas of labor and employment law including:

Litigation Avoidance
• Discipline, Discharge Planning
• At-Will Disclaimers, Employee Handbooks
• Employment Applications, Forms
• Employment Contracts
• Reductions in Force
• Job Descriptions
• Personnel File Requests
• Policy Development and Revisions
• Severance Packages and Releases
• Supervisor Training

Discrimination/Harassment/Retaliation
• Charges Before the EEOC/MDCR
• Litigation in State and Federal Courts
• Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, Other Harassment

Disability & Absence Issues and Litigation
• FMLA, ADA policies & claim administration
• Leave and Accommodation Requests
• Charges Before the EEOC/MDCR
• Litigation in State and Federal Courts

Safety, Drug and Alcohol Testing
• DOT Regulations
• Drug/Alcohol Testing Policies
• Last Chance Agreements
• Workplace Violence Policies, Response
• MIOSHA Audits, Charges, Retaliation

Federal Contractor/Subcontractor Compliance

• Affirmative Action Plans
• Federal Contract Compliance Audits
• Service Contract Act
• Davis Bacon Act, Prevailing Wages
• False Claims Act Litigation Traditional Labor Law
• Organizing Drives & Union Elections
• Bargaining and Negotiations
• Construction Picketing-Dual Gate Issues
• Contract Administration
• Deauthorization, Decertification
• Contract Termination
• Grievance Arbitration
• Protected Concerted Activities
• Project Only Agreements
• Secondary Boycotts
• Strikes
• Unfair Labor Practice Charges and Trials
• Union Discrimination

Wage/Hour Compliance/Audits
• Minimum Wage, Overtime Issues
• State, Federal Audits
• Fringe Benefit Issues

Employment Litigation
• Commission Claims
• Invasion of Privacy
• Tortious Interference with Contract
• Whistleblower Cases

Lawsuits & Counter-Claims vs Employees
• Breach of Contract
• Breach of Fiduciary Duties
• Business Torts
• Conspiracy
• Conversion Lawsuits to Recover Property
• Corporate Defamation
• Recovery of Unearned Compensation

Protection of Customers, Trade Secrets
• Non-Compete Clause Preparation, Analysis
• Confidentiality, Trade Secret Agreements
• Litigation Asserting or Defending Same

OUR EXPERIENCE

Our most experienced attorneys have been representing management in labor and employment matters continuously since 1984 and 1988. Our most junior attorney held Human Resource positions for fifteen years before getting her law degree in 2012.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our lawyers are committed to provide our clients with exceptional, innovative, and creative legal solutions specifically designed to deliver the best possible outcomes with the least legal exposure for their business. We are honored that businesses have sought us out for labor and employment matters for decades without a marketing machine behind us. Our success results from commitment, resolve and the following components:

Avoiding Litigation – Likely, our most valuable service is disarming employees with protected status when discipline or discharge is required. Clients are seldom sued when we assist with the termination.

Creativity – Employing creative investigative techniques and inventive legal defenses is routine at P&C. Techniques usually reserved for criminal matters have sometimes made the difference, such as secretly obtaining a plaintiff’s fingerprints at deposition, or recovering documents from an opponent’s trash. Some cases have been “blown open” by evening interviews with shady characters or an opportune visit to an ex-girlfriend’s home to learn the real story. We have successfully defended sexual harassment claims by obtaining admissions from plaintiffs’ own therapists that childhood experiences had skewed adult perceptions or that the plaintiff was sexually compulsive and likely initiated sexual banter. We derailed one $52 Million class action claim within weeks of being filed by identifying a “silver bullet” defect.

Quality Work Product/Persuasive Writing – Most legal issues are decided on briefs. We sometimes work without pay to turn out a fine legal product, because our reputation in the courts depends on the quality of every brief and argument. Superior writing means that our product actually gets read.

Trial Readiness – We enjoy trying cases. We would like to conduct more trials, but our job is to get cases dismissed or impair an opponent’s case so that trial is avoided by a reasonable settlement. A trial ready posture helps even those clients who wish to avoid trial at all costs. One trial victory can result in the dismissal or settlement of other pending actions, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

Aggressive, Yet Civil, Advocacy – We know that plaintiffs have settled cases with our clients at a discounted value rather than return for a second day of vigorous deposition. We know that our clients have been spared litigation because of our reputation for not missing defenses.

Hard Work – We simply work harder than most other attorneys, because we believe the most prepared attorney usually prevails.

We Care Passionately About Our Clients – We are honored that our clients place their trust in us. We earn our pay by taking on our clients’ problems. Often, our commitment to our clients extends beyond the practice of law. Ask about the time when we were prepared to “take a bullet” for the client – literally.

A Reputation for Tightfisted Settlement Practices –We have been told that we disregard the interests of “the bar” by not coughing up sufficient settlement dollars for opposing counsel.

Justice and Ethics – If our client isn’t “guilty,” it is our job to do everything ethically possible to win.

OUR COMMITMENT TO VALUE

We strive to make sure our bill reflects services with obvious value. If we have recorded time that objectively does not seem to be worth the cost to the client, we have an easy solution: We don’t bill it. We believe our commitment to value is demonstrated by the following:

Lower Fees – Because we serve clients ranging from the smallest to the largest businesses, we have intentionally kept our rates as low as possible so they remain affordable to the entire range of clients.

No Nonsense Billing – We just don’t like certain billing practices. For example, our clients rarely see a bill that reports a “conference” between two attorneys. While we confer constantly on strategy and the law, we do so on our time. Accordingly, if our clients are ever actually billed for a “conference,” they can be sure that it was a major strategy brainstorming session, where the attorneys have pulled out their resource files and contributed significantly to the meeting. We have similar feelings about “double billing.” When two of our attorneys attend to a client at the same time, we make an intelligent decision on whether the client receives value from both attorneys. If the session merely educates a junior attorney (for example for a discovery project) we generally bill a single blended rate for the two attorneys.

Early Disposition Of Cases – We have identified many strategies for obtaining dismissal or settlement early in the litigation process. We have obtained many dismissals or nominal settlements through vigorous depositions, discovery, requests for admission and motions in limine. Of course, we also use summary judgment motions to eliminate claims and damages.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP, HONORS AND AWARDS

Of course, the most important rewards for us are victories in contested matters and the continued patronage of clients over the years. However, since civic, business and legal groups have honored us with appointments to leadership positions or other recognition, we are proud to share them:

• National Federation of Independent Business Leadership Committee
• Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce
   o Chairman, Vice Chairman, Bd. Member
   o 2013 “Board Member of the Year”
• Best Lawyers in America, Superlawyers
• National Champion, ABA Client Counseling Competition • Oakland County Bar Association, Leon Hubbard Community Service Award In Support of Diversity
• American Bar Association, "The Best Labor & Employment Article Published by the ABA," The Labor Lawyer, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall, 2005, Republished GP Solo Magazine 2006
• 2012 Ellsworth Graduating Class Distinguished Student Award
• Thomas M. Cooley Law Review E. Krasicky Award

OUR WORKLAW® NETWORK CONNECTIONS

As the only Michigan member of the Worklaw Network, P&C is instantly connected to 300+ management labor and employment attorneys across the country, and more around the world. When we encounter the rare problem we have not faced before, WLN colleagues stand ready to provide insight and briefs, at great savings to our clients.
 

Attorney Biographies

William E. Pilchak
William E. Pilchak has represented management exclusively in employment issues and litigation since 1984. A former Senior Trial Attorney for the Oakland County Prosecutor's office, Mr. Pilchak has conducted dozens of jury trials in state and federal courts. Mr. Pilchak is a frequent lecturer and author on employment law topics, addressing such groups as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, the Oakland County District Judges Association, and the Michigan Court Administrators Association. He was appointed to the American Bar Association's National Sexual Harassment Mock Trial Defense Team for 1996 and the ABA Mock Trial Faculty for the National Institute for the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1998.

Mr. Pilchak has briefed Congressional staffers and members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He has addressed groups across North America on the psychiatric profile of plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases, including an address at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association. In addition, he served as contributing editor to "The Risk Management Advisor," published by the Bureau of Business Practice.

Mr. Pilchak has advised employers facing threats of violence by employees and has represented companies in litigation after the termination of potentially violent employees. Working closely with security and mental health professionals, Mr. Pilchak has formulated and directed crisis response teams to prevent violence in the workplace and to remove problem employees from the workforce.

Mr. Pilchak is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Committee, the American Bar Association, Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Committees, the Defense Research Institute and the Oakland County Bar Association where he chaired the Labor and Employment Law Committee from 1986 to 1988.

Daniel G. Cohen
Daniel G. Cohen concentrates his practice representing employers exclusively in the areas of labor law and employment litigation. He has practiced in this area since 1988. A large part of his practice involves the assistance of human resource professionals with the administration of workplace policies and procedures with an emphasis on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workplace violence, sex harassment, substance abuse, and employee benefits. Mr. Cohen also regularly represents businesses in their dealings with unions, including union negotiations, grievance arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Cohen has written and lectured extensively on various employment law issues. He has spoken to Congressional staff members through the American Bar Association on the topic of Federal employment and labor legislation, and has addressed the ABA National Meetings on the FMLA and its interplay with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Cohen has conducted a number of management training courses for public and private sector organizations including the American Bar Association, the American Society of Industrial Security, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Council on Education, and the Michigan Association of Chiropractors.

Mr. Cohen sits on the Leadership Counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, Michigan Chapter. In 2012, his firm was awarded the Leon Hubbard Community Service Award in support of diversity by the Oakland County Bar Association.

Robert N. Dare
Robert “Rob” N. Dare joined the firm as an Associate in November 2014, and he concentrates his practice on the representation of management in a wide variety of labor and employment matters. He received his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, where he served as the Executive Editor of the Duquesne Law Review. Upon graduation, Rob also received the ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award, which the faculty awards to the student of each graduating class who best represents a combination of scholarship and leadership. While in law school, Rob completed a coveted internship with Justice Debra Todd on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and he was also recognized for distinguished achievement in Appellate Moot Court Competition. For more than three years prior to law school, Rob worked in the business development group at Reed Smith LLP, a large international law firm.

Attorneys Admitted to Practice In:
Michigan