It takes more than a firm grasp of the law to be a great labor and employment lawyer. It also requires the human touch.
, a labor and employment attorney who has handled employer-employee issues and disputes for some of the largest corporations in the country, knows exactly how important the human element can be.
With these kinds of cases, Mr. Rutherford says, "Emotions run deep. Recognizing and controlling those emotions on behalf of your clients and the adversaries is difficult but it's a key to your practice."
It's a skill Mr. Rutherford has mastered in his nearly twenty years of practice. Whether the issue concerns employment discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage disputes, or labor-management negotiations, his experience gives him the ability to keep a cool head, a sense of humor, and a creative outlook.
Creativity is key, Mr. Rutherford says, because "You have to be able to recognize solutions to problems that may not be textbook to solve your clients' problems. You have to consider all the factors that could lead to a quick and efficient solution for everyone involved."
And often, considering all the factors helps forestall problems before they happen. A large part of Mr. Rutherford's practice involves counseling employers on leave policies, drug and alcohol testing, privacy issues, compliance with wage and hour laws, covenants not to compete, and employee disciplinary matters. This kind of education and preparation of employers creates a powerful safety net against future complaints.
"You have to be able to recognize solutions to problems that may not be textbook to solve your clients' problems. You have to consider all the factors that could lead to a quick and efficient solution for everyone involved."
That foundation of security can be crucial in the volatile area of employment law, which Mr. Rutherford calls "the primetime TV of law it has all the compelling issues." And, presumably, all of the drama. But after all his years in the field, Mr. Rutherford is prepared for even the most outlandish cases. "It never surprises me what happens in the workplace," he says.
It's a safe bet he's not often bored, either. And for Mr. Rutherford, that's part of the true appeal of employment law. "I like dealing with people," he says. "The same thing that makes this area of law so challenging is what makes it interesting the human component."
Never losing sight of that fact is what gives Mr. Rutherford the real human touch.
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