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 arbitration 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.