Kathleen B. Dodd Barton
Counsel

1100 Peachtree Street NE Suite 2800, Atlanta, GA USA 30309

Overview

Katie Barton focuses her practice on labor and employment litigation and counseling. Ms. Barton's experience includes successfully representing management in employment litigation under Title VII, the FLSA, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, and the California Labor Code, and before the EEOC and state civil rights agencies. Ms. Barton also has experience litigating and counseling clients on restrictive covenants, non-compete agreements, and non-solicitation agreements. Ms. Barton conducts FLSA audits for management and regularly performs labor and employment due diligence on sales, acquisitions, and mergers. She also regularly counsels management on employment issues, such as wage and hour compliance, performance management, employment policies, and employee handbooks.

Ms. Barton’s traditional labor experience includes regularly representing management first-chair in labor arbitrations and counseling.

Ms. Barton has experience on wage and hour class actions, managing electronic document review, researching legal issues, drafting motions, briefs and memorandums, and in preparing for trial and arbitration.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Barton clerked for the office of the General Counsel at the University of Tennessee, where she worked primarily on labor and employment matters. During law school, she was the Best Preliminary Round Oral Advocate in the 2007 Robert F. Wagner Labor & Employment Moot Court Competition.

Ms. Barton’s pro bono work includes representing victims of domestic violence and stalking in obtaining temporary protective orders.

Ms. Barton was recognized as a Georgia "Rising Star" in 2017 and the four years immediately preceding for Employment & Labor Law by Super Lawyers magazine.

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Experience

Represented a large building supply company in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Represent more than 400 nonprofit organizations in the communities in which we practice. A substantial portion of this work includes employment and employee benefits advice.

Represented a provider of technology solutions to the financial world against employment discrimination lawsuits and charges of employment discrimination; counseled employer regarding federal and state employment laws.

Represented R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) in complex business litigation action. In 2009, Lorillard and RJR signed a settlement agreement to resolve a trademark dispute between them regarding RJR’s use of the word “pleasure” in advertising and marketing. After a dispute arose with respect to the meaning of the settlement agreement, Lorillard sued RJR in the North Carolina Business Court, alleging breach of contract, unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. RJR counterclaimed for a declaratory judgment, breach of contract, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The matter was resolved by Lorillard taking dismissal with no changes in defendant RJR’s advertising or marketing. Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 2010 cvs 11471 Guilford County Superior Court / North Carolina Business Court.

Represented Office Depot Inc. in breach of contract claim regarding the award of stock options and grants.

Successfully represented Chippendales USA LLC in employment and trademark litigation. A former dancer was discharged in February 2012 and signed a release of claims in exchange for severance payments. Notwithstanding having executed a model release, the plaintiff objected to the continued use of his image in company advertisements, including large posters at the Las Vegas airport. The plaintiff initially filed suit against our client in Nevada federal court focusing on right of publicity and trademark infringement claims. We wrote a strong Rule 11 letter on the intellectual property claims, prompting the withdrawal of the federal lawsuit.

The plaintiff then re-filed in Nevada state court for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The dancer claimed his female boss’s behavior toward him were outrageous and rose to the level of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff made many public statements on Facebook and to TMZ about his lawsuit, which was also a violation of the non-disparagement provision in his severance agreement. The firm filed a motion for summary judgment in the state court lawsuit, arguing that the release of claims barred the claims asserted in the lawsuit. The judge ruled that the release of claims was valid and barred the dancer’s claims and dismissed the lawsuit. Walter v. Chippendales USA, LLC, et al., No. 12-1121 (D. Nev. filed June 27, 2012).

Co-counsel for nationally recognized bedding manufacturer in successfully defending and resolving through mediation a class action filed in California state court (San Francisco area) on behalf of all nonexempt workers at its manufacturing locations in California. The complaint asserted a long list of alleged labor code violations, including unpaid minimum wage and overtime due to improper rounding of clock times, off the clock work, missed meal breaks, improper wage statements, and failure to pay all wages at termination.

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Education

University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D. (2007) summa cum laude, Order of the Coif

University of Georgia, B.A., Public and International Affairs (2003) magna cum laude

Admissions

Georgia (2007)

Court Admissions

Georgia State Court (2007)

Georgia Superior Court (2007)

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (2007)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2009)

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Professional & Community Activities

Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV), Board of Directors, Member

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