Daniel J. Guttman

Partner

Columbus
T +1.614.462.4740
F +1.614.462.2616

"Thorough, very professional and very timely in his response" "...one of the most driven people I know - he is committed to positive outcomes."

— Chambers USA 2014

Overview

Dan Guttman represents private and public entities in a variety of litigation, internal investigation, risk management, organization governance, and traditional labor matters. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs to sophisticated political subdivisions. He currently serves as retained general or special counsel for several clients, advising on both transactional and day-to-day issues, and as the Chief Labor Negotiator for the State of Ohio. Dan’s engagements include protecting important business interests involving noncompetes and trade secrets; handling sensitive internal investigations involving discrimination, harassment, whistleblower and retaliation allegations; and high-stakes litigated matters such as class action defense. Dan also has extensive traditional labor experience. He serves as lead spokesperson at the collective bargaining table and represents management in arbitrations, hearings and organizational campaigns. He regularly assists in-house counsel and human resources professionals on a wide variety of issues, including compliance assessments before problems arise.

Dan is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor and Employment, and is also named in The Best Lawyers in America for Litigation – Labor and Employment. Within the firm, Dan serves as the Business Development Leader of the Columbus office.

Select Experience

Business and Employment Counsel
  • Serves as counsel to municipalities, airport and regional transit authorities, counties, county sheriffs’ offices, townships, school districts, councils of government, personnel appeals boards of review, civil service commissions, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and other public and quasi-public bodies. Serves as the Chief Labor Negotiator for the State of Ohio. Is regularly retained as general counsel, special counsel, or dedicated project counsel for many of these entities.
Litigation
  • Serving as trial lawyer, led a cross-office team in a corporate raiding case on behalf of a Fortune 500 client against a chief international competitor. Obtained a permanent injunction in federal court protecting the client’s trade secrets and personnel, client and confidential information. Used an aggressive strategy, obtaining discovery of thousands of critical documents from Canada and Europe that were stored internationally, and deposing the rival company’s CEO along with its European sales director.
Traditional Labor
  • Served as chief negotiator for approximately 100 collective bargaining negotiations, including high-stakes first contracts or successor negotiations involving a restructuring of the labor-management relationship.
Internal Investigation, Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Defense
  • Conducts internal investigations, advises management and defends against claims of discrimination (including sex, race, age, national origin, whistleblower, FMLA, pregnancy and disability), sexual and racial harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Has also litigated claims of individual government employee and government entity liability.
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Experience

Business and Employment Counsel
  • Serves as counsel to municipalities, airport and regional transit authorities, counties, county sheriffs’ offices, townships, school districts, councils of government, personnel appeals boards of review, civil service commissions, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and other public and quasi-public bodies. Serves as the Chief Labor Negotiator for the State of Ohio. Is regularly retained as general counsel, special counsel, or dedicated project counsel for many of these entities.
  • Guided clients through workforce reorganization and reduction, including mass layoffs, from the initial planning phase to developing severance programs and securing releases and waivers.
  • Negotiated and drafted employment agreements, incentive and executive compensation arrangements, and separation packages covering a range of employees.
  • Served as designated counsel for litigation and workplace matters for one of the largest creditor’s rights service companies and for a national consortium of creditor’s rights service companies.
  • Delivered training on human resources and labor relations issues specific to the public sector, retail, financial service, healthcare, distribution, transit and transportation, construction, customer service, safety, and medical emergency industries.
  • Provides guidance to successfully prevent and/or resolve legal violations. This includes advising employers and/or training on federal and state employment laws, including hiring and termination practices, employee discipline, whistleblower concerns, the development of policies and employee handbooks, FMLA, wage and hour, drug testing, FCRA/FACTA and background checks, and workplace safety.
  • Advised a Fortune 1000 retailer on post-merger electronic communication, email retention and BYOD policy integration. 
  • As a member of BakerHostetler’s Privacy & Data Protection Team, is experienced in emerging workplace issues such as data privacy, social media, BYOD, electronic surveillance and related issues of discipline. Contributor to BakerHostetler's Data Privacy Monitor blog.
Litigation
  • Serving as trial lawyer, led a cross-office team in a corporate raiding case on behalf of a Fortune 500 client against a chief international competitor. Obtained a permanent injunction in federal court protecting the client’s trade secrets and personnel, client and confidential information. Used an aggressive strategy, obtaining discovery of thousands of critical documents from Canada and Europe that were stored internationally, and deposing the rival company’s CEO along with its European sales director.
  • Represented a national specialty hospital business and regional physician group in a five-year, multistate litigation with millions of dollars in potential damages. As lead counsel, secured a summary judgment victory.
  • Defended the deposition of the general counsel, protected attorney-client privilege, and dismissed wrongful termination, breach of contract and indemnification claims.
  • Serving as lead counsel in the defense of a putative class action seeking injunctive relief and damages under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on behalf of classes of more than 400 union and nonunion employees.
  • Serving as trial lawyer, successfully protected a client’s business model by preventing an injunction and declaratory judgment seeking to invalidate the client’s restrictive covenants. The case was dismissed with prejudice.
  • While representing a Fortune 500 client in the capacity of trial lawyer, won a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction preventing a former top executive from working for a main competitor. The injunction focused on the protection of trade secrets and confidential information. Successfully settled all claims post-injunction.
Traditional Labor
  • Served as chief negotiator for approximately 100 collective bargaining negotiations, including high-stakes first contracts or successor negotiations involving a restructuring of the labor-management relationship.
  • Served as first chair trial lawyer in more than 50 cases before the American Arbitration Association and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, winning 90 percent of these decisions.
  • Represented management in organizational campaigns and petitions for a wide variety of private companies and public employers. Represented management in unfair labor practice situations, grievance hearings and day-to-day contract administration.
Internal Investigation, Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Defense
  • Conducts internal investigations, advises management and defends against claims of discrimination (including sex, race, age, national origin, whistleblower, FMLA, pregnancy and disability), sexual and racial harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Has also litigated claims of individual government employee and government entity liability.
  • As lead counsel, obtained summary judgment in an FMLA interference and retaliation lawsuit involving complex legal questions that had not previously been addressed by federal courts. Argued that the employer had the right to approve FMLA leave provisionally and seek recertification after the employee, who was approved for intermittent FMLA leave for several years, incurred a disproportionate number of Monday and Friday absences.
  • Is comfortable resolving all types of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims and their related issues by using negotiation and mediation when early resolution makes business sense.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Labor & Employment in Ohio (2014 to 2020)
    • Band 4 (2014 to 2020)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2017 to 2020)
    • Recommended in Labor and employment - Labor-management relations
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2014 to Present)
    • Ohio: Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2006 to 2007, 2009 to 2010)
  • Columbus Business First: "Forty Under 40" Emerging Business Leader 
  • The Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution: Outstanding Managing Editor Award

Memberships

  • National Council of Advisors to The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • Statewide Legislative Committee for the Ohio Public Employer Labor Relations Association
  • Member of the State of Ohio Thoroughbred Racing Advisory Council
  • Guest Lecturer at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
  • Managing Editor for The Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution

Community

  • University of Toledo Board of Trustees

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 1997
  • B.A., Indiana University, 1994

Blog

In The Blogs

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