Rick provides a full range of services related to the traditional labor and employment law practice. He has negotiated initial collective bargaining agreements and renewal agreements with various unions including the Teamsters, UAW, UFCW, USW, IBEW, URW, PACE, IAM, ACTWU, ILGW, UNITEHERE, and RWDSU. He provides advice in grievance proceedings and represents management in arbitration cases. His services related to the avoidance of unionization range from advice concerning all aspects of employee relations and the formulation of policies and practices to legal advice during and after union organizational efforts, union decertification drives and union deauthorization proceedings. Rick's involvement with union organizing includes clients located throughout the country in manufacturing, automotive, transportation, healthcare, food processing, financial services, warehousing, and numerous other sectors of the economy. As part of his representation of both private and public sector employers, he has represented management in administrative proceedings involving the NLRB, EEOC, OSHA, MSHA, DOL, as well as numerous state and local agencies. He is also a registered mediator and arbitrator who has acted as a neutral in the resolution of disputes concerning labor and employment matters.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, and Litigation - Labor & Employment (2013-2024)
  • Chambers USA Guide® (2010-2013, 2015-2023)
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® (2009, 2014-2021)
  • Top 100 Labor Attorneys in the United States, Labor Relations Institute, Inc.
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence   

Professional & Civic Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama Bar Association
  • Alabama Law Institute
  • Georgia Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resources Management
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association

About Me

Richard has been married to the former Joy Sawyer since 1973. They have four children and two grandchildren.

News & Analysis

Client Presentations & Firm Publications

Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications

Rick is a frequent seminar speaker and has presented programs for employer associations on Employee Relations, Labor Relations, Union Avoidance, Harassment, Immigration, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments and Wage & Hour:

  • “The Potential Impact of Proposed Obama Administration Employment Law Changes,” SHRM issues.
  • “Immigration Update: Union Trends and Developments,” Alabama Construction News
  • “I-9 Traps and Mistakes”
  • “Alabama, Immigration Law – Advantages and Disadvantages”
  • “Drafting Employee Handbooks – What To Do and What To Avoid”
  • “The NLRB and Nonunion Employers”
  • “The NLRB Crusade Against Employer Policies”
  • “The Future of Union / Employer Relations”
  • “The FLSA and the Motor Carrier Exemption”
  • “Avoiding FLSA Exemption Violations”
  • “Living With FMLA Rules and Practices”
  • “Working With WARN Act Notices”
  • “The Present Condition and Future Prospects For Unions in the United States”
  • “How To Present A Case In Arbitration”
  • "We prepare our clients to be judged by others."
  • Rick Brown, Labor Lawyer

Practice Emphasis

  • Union Avoidance Counseling and Campaigns
  • Defense of NLRB and EEOC Charges
  • Employment Policy Formulation and Advice
  • Wage and Hour, FMLA and ADA
  • Union Contract Negotiations
  • Defense of Grievances in Arbitrations
  • Management Training
  • Mediation Services
  • Arbitration Services


University of Alabama

  • J.D., 1978
  • MBA, 1978
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (National Economics Honorary)

Auburn University

  • B.S., Business Administration / Industrial Relations, with honors, 1973

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Alabama, 1978
  • Georgia, 1979
  • Supreme Court of Alabama
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama
  • Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • Registered Mediator
  • Registered Arbitrator
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