Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has added Dane Steffenson as Special Counsel in its Atlanta office where he will focus on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), wage and hour and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) litigation. For more than 17 years, Steffenson was a Senior Trial Attorney at the US Department of Labor (DOL) representing its various enforcement agencies in the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office. In this role, he received the DOL’s top national award for litigation excellence.
“Dane has spent nearly two decades litigating some of the region’s most high-profile employment cases,” said Whitney Ferrer, Atlanta Office Managing Shareholder. “His inside knowledge of the unique ways regulators conduct investigations and develop trial strategy will greatly benefit Littler clients dealing with wage and hour, ERISA, OSHA or other DOL investigations or litigation.”
During his tenure with the DOL, Steffenson served as lead counsel on hundreds of employment law cases, including more than 25 trials and several mediations that involved complex matters under ERISA, Fair Labor Standards Act, OSHA, Service Contract Act, H1-B and various whistleblower statutes. He advised top officials and local managers at the Department’s enforcement agencies on local and national policies and procedures, investigation and pre-litigation issues, and enforcement, litigation and settlement strategies. Steffenson also has extensive experience in all aspects of case preparation, such as developing and executing litigation strategy; drafting effective discovery documents, motions, and briefs; and negotiating settlements.
“Dane has differentiated himself not only as a capable and respected litigator, but as a trusted advisor to senior officials, investigators, and attorneys on an array of policies, procedures, and enforcement strategies,” said Brad Hammock, Co-Chair of Littler’s Workplace Safety & Health Practice Group. “He understands how OSHA and other DOL agencies operate as well as anyone – and we’re excited for him to apply this knowledge to help our clients facing regulatory compliance matters.”
“Dane has extensive ERISA experience and has litigated significant employee stock ownership plans and other fiduciary breach matters,” said Wesley Stockard, Co-Chair of Littler’s ERISA and Employee Benefits Litigation Group. “His experience obtaining trial and summary judgment victories combined with having trained attorneys and investigators who enforce ERISA on behalf of the DOL will complement and enhance the extensive work our practice does with plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries seeking to avoid litigation over their benefit plan compliance and operation, and, if necessary, defend their practices in litigation.”
“I have always been impressed with Littler’s representation of clients facing government investigations and trials,” Steffenson said. “I am excited to use my unique experiences and skills in collaboration with the firm’s state-of-the-art technology and innovative, seasoned and exceptionally-skilled team of employment lawyers.”