Thomas D. Rees heads the firm’s Litigation, Employment Law and Education Law Practices. He focuses his practice primarily on employment and labor law and private education law. In the employment area, Tom represents employers in litigations over employment terminations; restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and other employee mobility issues; employment discrimination and sexual harassment matters; employment contract disputes; and defamation and privacy related matters. Tom also serves employers in a wide variety of non-litigation matters, including contract negotiation, preparation of policies and procedures, and hiring and termination. These services help employers to avoid and resolve disputes without resorting to the courtroom.
In the education area, Tom represents a number of independent schools in the Philadelphia area, handling employment, student discipline, contract, and governance matters. Tom also handles complex litigation and dispute resolution in the areas of land use and zoning law and government regulation.
Some of Tom’s noteworthy accomplishments include:
- Successfully defended nonprofit independent school against taxing entity’s attempt to revoke school’s tax exemption on the ground of single gender status.
- Successfully defended independent school against two injunction actions by students’ parents’ arising from school’s discipline of students.
- Obtained dismissal of arbitration parties’ suits against an association and successfully blocked subpoena attempts against them and the association on grounds of arbitral immunity.
- Won summary judgment for magazine publisher dismissing action for violation of a post-employment restrictive covenant.
- Served as expert for former executive in action to forfeit executive’s deferred compensation for alleged violation of restrictive covenant.
- Testified as expert witness for plaintiff in action for wrongful use of civil proceedings (Dragonetti Act) after plaintiff successfully defended against action for breach of restrictive covenant.
- Obtained preliminary injunction enforcing post-employment restrictive covenant for computer distributor against former salesperson.
- Obtained summary judgment for former employee dismissing Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim by former employer.
- Successfully opposed injunction attempt by police union against appointment and tenure of municipal police chief.
- Obtained dismissal for private nonprofit agency of civil rights act claim for wrongful discharge by terminated employee.
- Has written articles and presented on the following topics:
- employment contracts
- at will employment
- social media in the workplace
- private school student discipline
- employee mobility including non competition agreements and trade secrets
- intentional interference with employment contracts
- employee duty of loyalty
- employment disputes involving shareholders
- legal ethics including ethical issues facing high profile attorneys
- sexual harassment
- family and medical leave (FMLA)
- employee privacy
- wage payment and collection law
- Has served as a Board member and Board president of three major civic institutions in his community- a regional art center, the free library, and the civic association.
Tom serves as an employment arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He often speaks on employment and education law topics before Bar Association and private industry groups.
Get to Know Labor & Employment Attorney Thomas D. Rees
Affiliations & Honors
- Montgomery Bar Association – Co-Chair of the Education Law Committee; Past Chair and Co-Chair of the Employment Law Committee; Employment Law course planner and lecturer; Past Chair of the Real Estate and Land Use Planning Committee
- Pennsylvania Bar Association – Past Chair of the Municipal Law Section
- Pennsylvania Bar Institute – Employment Law course planner and lecturer
- American Arbitration Association – National Panel of Employment Arbitrators member
- Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (and predecessor Chambers), VP/General Counsel, 1998-2011
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Selected to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Employment Law, 2004, 2007-present
- “Corporate Counsel” Business Edition Magazine, Super Lawyer – Employment Law, 2008-2016
- Best Lawyers in America, Employment Litigation, 2018-2019
- “Main Line Today” Top Lawyer, 2019
- Recipient of the Kenneth R. Taylor Award for Excellence in Chamber Service, 2001
- Main Line Art Center, Director (2012-2018), Board President (2013-2015), Board Secretary (2015-2018)
- King of Prussia Rotary, 2004-2017 (Speaker Chair, 2014-2015)
- Gladwyne Free Library, Board of Trustees Member (2000-2005 and 2007-2012) and President (2004-2005)
- Gladwyne Civic Association, President (1995-1997)
- Education Law
- Independent School Law
- Public School Law
- School District Law
- Employment Law
- Contract & Business Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Employment Litigation
- Non-Solicitation Agreements
- Local Counsel & Expert Testimony
- Pennsylvania Expert Witness Services
- Real Estate Litigation
- Municipal & Government Law
- Solicitor Services
- Real Estate Law
- Commercial Lease
- Eminent Domain Law
- Real Estate Tax Law
- Zoning and Land Development
- Employment Issues
- New York, 1976
- Pennsylvania, 1977
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1977
- U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1978
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1975
- Stanford University, A.B., 1971 Honors: Dean’s List; Major: Political Science
Thomas D. Rees Legal Insights
US Supreme Court Rejects School District’s Sanctions Against Cheerleader Despite Outburst
By an 8-1 majority, the United States Supreme Court blocked a Pennsylvania school district from punishing a cheerleader for a profane off-campus, off-hours outburst on social media. Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., _ S. Ct. __, 2021 WL 2557069, 2012 U.S. Lexis 3395 (June 23, 2021). The Court’s decision sets limits on how far […]
Offensive Social Media Posts by Pennsylvania Employees Justify Termination
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” our parents told us. Two recent Pennsylvania employment termination cases give this same advice to adult social media users. In both cases, courts upheld terminations for employees’ mean-spirited off-duty social media comments. In Carr v. Commonwealth, 230 A.3d 1075 (Pa. 2020), a PennDOT employee […]
- Ethical Issues for Lawyers in High Profile Cases
- Non-Solicitation Agreements- The Third Rail of Employee Mobility Law
- Employers Can Now Use After-Acquired Evidence in Court to Show Employee Wasn’t Qualified For the Job
- How does the Relief For Workers Act Affect Unemployment Compensation Claims?
- Employers: Does a Force Majeure Clause in Your Contract Cover You During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Stolen Employee Data: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision Breaks New Ground
- What is garden leave?
- You Must be a Current Employee to Review your Personnel File!
“High Swartz have been our attorneys for 20 years. We are just an average family who needs help once in awhile with legal matters like creating wills & healthcare directives, real estate transactions, tax & estate planning and employment contracts. We have worked with Tom Rees and he is top notch — thorough, knowledgeable and extremely professional.”