Thomas D. Rees
Montgomery County Labor & Employment Attorney

Labor & Employment Attorney Thomas D. Rees handles litigation and dispute resolution for businesses and schools in and around Pennsylvania.

High Swartz LLP
Norristown Law Office

Montgomery County, PA

A veteran attorney, Thomas D. Rees heads the firm's Litigation, Employment Law, and Education Law Practices. He focuses primarily on employment and labor law and private education law.

As an employment attorney, Tom represents employers in litigation over a host of concerns:

  • Employment terminations
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Trade secrets
  • Employee mobility issues
  • Employment discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Employment contract disputes
  • Defamation
  • 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 avoid and resolve disputes without resorting to the courtroom.

Tom represents several independent schools in the Philadelphia area, handling employment, student discipline, contract, and governance matters in the education area. Tom also handles complex litigation and dispute resolution in land use and zoning law and government regulation.

Some of his noteworthy accomplishments include:

  • Successfully defended a nonprofit, independent school against a taxing entity's attempt to revoke the school's tax exemption on the ground of single-gender status.
  • Successfully defended an independent school against two injunction actions by students' parents' arising from the 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 the grounds of arbitral immunity.
  • Won a summary judgment for a magazine publisher, dismissing an action violating a post-employment restrictive covenant.
  • Served as an expert for a former executive in an action to forfeit executive's deferred compensation for alleged violation of restrictive covenant.
  • Testified as an expert witness for the plaintiff in an action for wrongful use of civil proceedings (Dragonetti Act) after the plaintiff successfully defended against an action for breach of restrictive covenant.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing post-employment restrictive covenant for a computer distributor against a former salesperson.
  • Obtained a summary judgment for a former employee dismissing Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim by a former employer.
  • Successfully opposed an injunction attempt by a police union against the appointment and tenure of a municipal police chief.
  • Obtained dismissal for a private nonprofit agency of civil rights act claim for wrongful discharge by a 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
  • 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 Montgomery County 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

Honors

  • 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

Activities

  • 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)

Practice Areas

Background

Bar Admissions

  • 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

Education

  • 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

Watch out for Non-Hire and Anti-Poaching Agreements!

You are the CEO of Company A, a cutting-edge developer of new software.  Over golf (or sushi), you agree with the CEO of equally advanced Company B that each of you will not hire or try to hire away the other’s top talent through an anti-poaching agreement. Is anything wrong with this?  Yes!  The Sherman […]

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The 7 Types of Restrictive Covenants to Know

Post-employment restrictive covenants in PA come in multiple varieties. But the non-compete covenant is the most burdensome of all. Most people have heard, and are likely familiar with, the term non-compete, which is one type of restrictive covenant. It's not uncommon for an employer to ask an employee to sign a non-compete clause, which limits […]

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Client Testimonials

Anna S.

"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."