We are a firm of “firsts.” Our founder, Earle K. Shawe, was one of the first attorneys hired by the newly-created National Labor Relations Board in 1937. In 1947, Mr. Shawe left the NLRB to open his private practice, which became one of the first law firms in the country to specialize in the representation of employers. Mr. Shawe then filed and won the first unfair labor practice charge under the just-passed Taft-Hartley Act, which enabled employers for the first time to file ULPs against a union, on behalf of the Baltimore Graphic Arts Association against the International Typographical Union. The firm, which became Shawe Rosenthal LLP with the addition of William J. Rosenthal, quickly developed a reputation for tenacious, successful representation of employers in traditional labor law cases – an area that remains an important and distinctive part of our practice.
In the 1960s and 1970s, our employment law practice was created in conjunction with the passage of landmark federal employment laws, including Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. We expanded our practice to serve our clients in these new fields, and have continued to expand our practice with the passage of additional legislation at the federal, state and local level, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and the Affordable Care Act.
The depth, breadth and sophistication of our practice is reflected in our caseload. We defended USF&G in federal court in Minnesota in one of the largest employment discrimination class actions ever filed. We have represented several companies in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. And in another “first,” we successfully handled one of the first union elections under the NLRB’s revised rules expediting union elections (i.e. the “quickie” or “ambush” election rules).
Other Shawe Rosenthal partners have brought other “firsts.” Bruce Harrison was one of the first attorneys hired by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after it was granted litigation authority. Our co-managing partner and Earle Shawe’s son, Stephen Shawe, was the first general counsel of the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. Elizabeth Torphy-Donzella is the first female General Counsel for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.
In recognition of Shawe Rosenthal’s preeminence in the field of labor and employment law, our firm was selected by the legal publisher Matthew Bender to write several employment law treatises – the Employment Law Deskbook and Employment Law, Volume 10. We were also chosen by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce Resources to author the Maryland Human Resources Manual. We publish a monthly newsletter of current developments in the labor and employment law field, our E-Update. We issue “breaking news” E-lerts on major case or new laws of significance to our clients. In addition, we have a blog, www.laboremploymentreport.com, in which we discuss particular labor and employment topics of interest. All of these publications require us to monitor developments in the labor and employment field closely, and ensures that we remain on the cutting edge of our area of legal expertise.