J. Michael McGuire




Mike McGuire

Phone: 410-843-3461
Fax: 410-752-8861
E-Mail: mcguire@shawe.com

With over four decades of management-side labor and employment law,  J. Michael McGuire represents employers nationally in labor law litigation at Shawe Rosenthal  LLP since 1978.  His expertise includes representing management before the National Labor Relations Board in representation and unfair labor practice cases, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and arbitrating labor and employment disputes on behalf of management.

Michael has also represented employers in state and federal court in numerous employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination lawsuits. He has argued and/or briefed many well known precedents in Maryland State Courts and the Federal Appeals Courts including Hopkins v. Baltimore Gas & Electric (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit)(same sex harassment).

Michael has also advised many corporate clients with regard to early termination programs, reductions-in-force and downsizing, including separation and release agreements. Although representing clients in many industries, Michael has particular expertise in the financial services, energy, healthcare, utilities, gaming  and manufacturing industries.

Read More

Michael served as Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association for the 2004-2006 term. Michael was named by The Best Lawyers in America as the Maryland 2020 Labor Law-Management “Lawyer of the Year.” He has received that award in prior years (2012,2014,2016 and 2018) as well as 2018- Litigation-Labor and Employment “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers. Mike was named among Labor Relations Institute’s “Top 100 Labor Attorneys” in the United States for 2009, based on a 5 year record of successful arbitration cases and NLRB election cases.  (He was one of only 2 on that list from Maryland – partner Steve Shawe was the other.)  In addition, based on peer and client interviews, Mike has been recognized as “a brilliant strategist and problem solver,” “extremely knowledgeable,” “eminent labor lawyer,” “one of the very best traditional labor lawyers on the management side,” “down to earth, and knows his stuff backwards and forwards,” “fantastic reputation . . .  highly experienced in representing employers nationally in labor law litigation as well as in employment discrimination claims,” and “able to get to the root of any problem, offer solutions and interface with unions to bargaining on our behalf successfully” by Chambers & Partners Publishers in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions) where he is ranked in the top tier of labor and employment attorneys in the State and first among management attorneys in Maryland. Shawe Rosenthal is ranked by Chambers in the top tier of labor and employment firms in Maryland and described as a “long established employment boutique” that offers a “specialized service to management clients with unique labor and employment law concerns,” and “well-known for its strength in dealing with union issues.”

Mike is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  Mike is a Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law BNA (2016-present) and is also the past Chair of the Employment & Labor Committee of the Maryland Association of Defense Trial Counsel.  Mike has co-authored two books, “Employee Discipline and Discharge,” and “An Employer’s Guide to the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” both published by Matthew Bender. He has also authored numerous articles for the Maryland State Bar Journal on topics such as “Pre-dispute Jury Trial Waiver Agreements,” “How to Conduct Sexual Harassment Investigations” and “Legal Issues Associated with Acquiring a Unionized Business.” He is a frequent speaker on labor and employment matters.

Practice Areas

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Collective Bargaining/Labor Contract Negotiations
  • Contract Administration and Unfair Labor Practice Defense
  • Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
  • Employment, Non-Compete/Non-Solicit, Confidentiality and Severance Agreements
  • Employment Litigation, including complex Class and Collective Actions
  • FMLA/ADA/Workers’ Compensation Leave Management
  • Grievances and Labor Arbitration
  • Human Resources Advice and Counseling
  • NLRB Elections
  • Occupational/Workplace Safety and Health
  • Personnel Policies, Procedures and Handbooks
  • Plant Closings and Reduction in Force (WARN)
  • Strikes and Picketing
  • Union Avoidances
  • Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation


  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2014-present
  • Chambers USA, 2007-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-present
  • Best Lawyers’ Baltimore Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Super Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ AV5.0


  • American Bar Association
    – Member, Litigation Section, Section on Labor and Employment Law, Committee on Practice and
    – Procedure before the National Labor Relations Board; Developing Labor Law
  • Maryland State Bar Association
    – Chair, Labor and Employment Section (2004-2006)Recording Secretary, Labor and Employment Section, 2002-04
  • Maryland Association of Defense Trial Counsel
    – Chair, Employment and Labor Committee, 1993, 1994, 1996-98


  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1978
    • Recipient, Joseph Bernstein Prize
    • Notes and Comments Editor, International Trade Law Journal
  • University of Maryland, B.A., (Economics Honors Program) 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th and D.C. Circuits