When Greg Grisham joined the Memphis office of workplace law firm Jackson Lewis LLP as a partner a few weeks ago, it marked the fourth new attorney arrival in the firm’s Memphis office since December.
Grisham, who joined the firm from Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC, has long concentrated his practice around labor and employment law. And he’d for a while been aware of Jackson Lewis, which has grown at a steady clip since setting up shop in the Memphis area a few years ago.
Jackson Lewis is a national firm that was founded in 1958 and is dedicated to representing management in workplace law. Today it has more than 700 attorneys around the country.
The firm opened in Memphis in 2008 with three attorneys and today has nine.
“I’d worked with them in the past on cases and had a lot of respect for them,” said Grisham, who has more than 20 years of experience in the field. “I knew they’d been around a long time and were really respected across the country.
“The opportunity just presented itself, and I felt like they offered a bigger platform to handle cases really all over the U.S., as well as in Tennessee and the Mid-South. And they focused on labor and employment law, which is what I’ve primarily always done.”
Grisham, who also along with Memphis attorney John Ryder has been a driving force in promoting the local chapter of the Federalist Society, started out with a boutique labor and employment law firm that used to be Weintraub Stock & Grisham PC.
“And that’s what we did, we just represented companies and labor and employment law,” Grisham said. “I wanted to go to a bigger law firm, so I went with Leitner Williams and did primarily employment law there, along with some other things. I really enjoyed working there, learned a lot and really liked the people, but then this opportunity came along.”
Grisham regularly defends employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims, among advising and defending employers in several other kinds. He also has experience in alternative dispute resolution.
He’s admitted to practice in Tennessee and before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits; United States District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee; and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.
Outside of his day job, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey recently appointed Grisham to the Tennessee Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission for a six-year term that ends in 2017. Grisham also co-chairs the local chapter of the Federalist Society.
“I really enjoy practicing law, and I equally like dealing with cutting-edge public policy issues and getting issues out in front of the public and hearing them debated,” Grisham said.
The society does that by bringing national speakers to the city to make presentations. A recent such presenter was Gregory Katsas, one of the attorneys who argued against President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Speaking broadly about his career philosophy, Grisham said one thing he believes in is that it’s important for young attorneys when they start out to try and find a more senior attorney to get close to and learn from.
“Also, my philosophy is pretty simple: put your client first,” he said. “If a lawyer can do a good job for his client, then he’s done his job as a lawyer.”