Mr. Sutherland frequently works with and trains Human Resource professionals and key management personnel on a broad variety of employment and labor law subjects. These topics include recruiting, hiring and Affirmative Action practices, FMLA, ADA and workplace accommodations, compensation, union organizing and managing under a union contract, discrimination, harassment and violence in the workplace, discipline, corrective action and termination issues, investigation of workplace misconduct and avoiding employment related litigation.
He has broad experience in all facets of union-management relations from organizing, through collective bargaining and dispute resolution, to union decertification, and has negotiated union contracts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. He has successfully handled numerous labor arbitrations on subjects ranging from disciplinary and termination issues, to difficult contract interpretation questions, changes in business practices and implementation of new operation processes.
He has extensive federal, state and administrative trial experience in virtually every area of employment-related litigation and provides practical consulting and training to employers in all areas of employment-related regulation. He has litigated wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wage and hour lawsuits before state and federal courts and administrative agencies and has successfully represented employers before the NLRB, the EEOC, the DOL including WHD, OFCCP and OSHA, and their respective state counterparts.
His clients include several national and international employers such as Alsco Inc., Weir Minerals, L-3 Communications, Overstock.com, The Sygma Network, NexOne Inc., HCA Inc., Sysco Corporation subsidiaries in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington, for whom he has served as outside employment and labor counsel since 1984, as well as numerous additional state and regional employers.
As a former professional freestyle skier, he achieved tenth place in the world. In addition to his ongoing love for skiing, Mr. Sutherland also enjoys mountain biking where he has participated in numerous long distance and endurance races consistently placing with the top finishers. He has always had a very competitive drive that compels him to pursue excellence in all his endeavors. He brings that same enthusiasm, competitive spirit and desire to excel to representation of the clients he works with.CAREER:
In 1993, the demands of two ongoing clients—a local Title Company and the intermountain division of a large foodservice marketing and distribution operation—caused him to direct his attention entirely to their needs. By 1995, his work for the distribution company had expanded from employment, litigation and transactional work in only the intermountain area to include labor and governmental compliance work in several additional western states. Over the following years, he has continued to grow his practice throughout much of the country.
Law Clerk, Associate Attorney, 1979-1983
Law Practice as Partner in Small Law Office, 1983-1984
Founding Partner of Law Firm, 1984-1993
General Manger of Title Company, 1993-1995
Private Practice of Employment and Labor Law, 1993-Present
University of Utah, S. J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, J.D., 1981
University of Utah, B.S. Business Finance, cum laude, 1978
Utah State Bar
Utah State Forest Stewardship Committee
Former professional freestyle skier and ski instructor. Mountain bike racer, triathlon competitor and ranch owner. Enjoys waterskiing, backpacking, horseback riding, skate-skiing, and outdoor adventure.
- After taking over a case for an employer who had lost claims of sexual harassment and retaliation at the administrative level, he succeeded in winning summary judgment in federal court dismissing all claims.
- Successfully defended employer against wrongful termination, defamation and infliction of emotional distress claims brought by ex-employee. Obtained Summary Judgment which was upheld on appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.
- Obtained a directed verdict in favor of company in case brought by past sales representative alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract and bad faith.
- Won verdict in favor of employer after trial on claims of violation of public policy, wrongful termination and retaliation.
- Obtained Summary Judgment in favor of company in Title VII discrimination case which was upheld on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Tried case brought against company asserting numerous claims of violation of various federal statutes. Won verdict dismissing all causes of action which was upheld on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- After extensive litigation in federal court in West Virginia received the second largest jury verdict for client in the history of the court.
- Obtained Summary Judgment for multiple clients in large insurance coverage dispute.
- Succeeded with Summary Judgment in favor of client in commercial contract dispute.
- Successful defense of numerous charges and complaints before many state and federal agencies relating to discrimination, retaliation, wage violation and unfair labor practices.
- Prevailed for clients in many arbitration hearings involving union contract disputes, discipline and termination of employees and other labor and employment issues.