Brian is an employment lawyer and trial attorney who currently represents a wide variety of companies in work-related disputes. Although he has extensive experience trying cases as a “first-chair” lawyer before both judges and juries, Brian is a trained advocate who also represents clients at a broad range of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) proceedings, including both mediations and arbitrations.
Brian’s principal focus is the defense of employment-related lawsuits, including allegations of discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment. He has unique expertise overcoming both whistleblower protection and sexual harassment claims, and considerable proficiency attacking and defending both non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. Brian is adept at drafting handbooks and workplace policies intended to minimize litigation risk, and he remains one of the few attorneys in Chicago that has experience with both Illinois’ new Pregnancy Fairness Law and Cook County’s new paid sick-leave ordinance.
Prior to joining Taft, Brian was a trial attorney for a highly specialized commercial litigation boutique in downtown Washington, D.C. Before that, he spent six years on active military duty with the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). Eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander with the JAG Corps, Brian defended clients at more than thirty contested court-martials involving allegations of inchoate, pecuniary, and violent crimes. He also counseled more than 500 service personnel during various stages of internal investigations, boards of inquiry, and inspector general inquests.
Later in his military career, Brian became a prosecutor with the Office of Military Commissions – the litigating unit assigned to prosecute suspected al Qaeda and Taliban members detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As his final duty with the U.S. Navy, Brian served as a prosecutor in the landmark case of United States v. Hicks, the first domestic war-crime tribunal and conviction in nearly 60 years.
Now a partner with Taft, Brian continues to tackle cutting-edge legal issues in the field of employment law. Several of his most successful recent representations include:
- Persuading a former employee to dismiss her pregnancy discrimination claim without any settlement payment by the defendant employer
- Convincing a plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss his workplace defamation claim upon showing that the statement at issue was protected by the First Amendment
- Excluding a well-known industry expert whose testimony would not assist the trier-of-fact under Federal Rule of Evidence 702
- Proving that an employee must refuse to engage in conduct he or she knows to be illegal to assert a claim under the Illinois Whistleblower Act
- Confining an opposing party to its least desired forum as the result of briefing and oral argument before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
- Defeating a motion for preliminary injunction in the context of a fully-contested evidentiary hearing
- Invalidating a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement that a competitor sought to enforce against a defendant business on the basis of civil conspiracy
Over the years, Brian’s opponents have called him “thoughtful,” “strategic,” “disarming,” and “particularly polished in the courtroom.” A former commanding officer (a three-star admiral) described him as “a dynamic, forward-thinking officer and leader, [who] demonstrates unlimited legal, leadership potential.” In each of his cases, Brian strives to exhibit model professional conduct and an unwavering commitment to personal ethics and core values. Although aggressive when necessary, Brian prefers to save his clients time and money by finding creative or non-traditional solutions to problems other attorneys would handle by posturing or idle threats.
Brian is a strong proponent of personal relationships and mentoring, and a staunch advocate of greater diversity and equality in the workplace. He holds an advanced law degree (an LL.M.) in “Litigation and Dispute Resolution,” and maintains an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Brian encourages those in need of prompt, affordable, high-quality legal services to contact him directly at any time.
All Service Areas
- Northwestern University School of Law (2001)
- George Washington University (LLM) (2007)
- Johns Hopkins University (1998)
- Federal - Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- State - Illinois
- State - District of Columbia
- State - California
- Federal - District of Colorado
- Trusted Advisors Council ("TAC")
Group Leader, Downtown Chicago Group