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News

Jones Day welcomes Joseph Hammell and Amanda Sommerfeld to its Labor & Employment Practice

July 2017

The global firm Jones Day has announced that Joseph Hammell and Amanda Sommerfeld have joined as partners in the Firm’s global Labor & Employment (L&E) Practice in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, respectively.

"Joe and Amanda are not only leading practitioners in their respective markets, but they are recognized and practice nationally, enhancing the Firm’s #1 position in the United States as the L&E leader," said Michael J. Gray, co-chair of Jones Day's Global L&E Practice.

Joseph Hammell 

Mr. Hammell has a national employment litigation practice, having handled cases in more than 20 jurisdictions, from Hawaii to New York, and numerous state and federal courts in between. He has tried more than 30 cases, all successfully.  

Mr. Hammell's engagements have included several cases with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, and one with claims exceeding a billion dollars. His practice involves both litigation and client counseling—to avoid litigation—in all areas of employment law broadly defined, including individual and class/collective claims, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets, all types of federal and state discrimination and harassment claims, executive and employee agreements, tort claims, wage and hour issues, and employment issues related to mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Hammell also has appellate experience, arguing cases in the U.S. Second Circuit, U.S. Eighth Circuit, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Minnesota Supreme Court, California Court of Appeals, and Massachusetts Appeals Court. 

"Bringing a respected lawyer like Joe to our office in Minneapolis sends a very clear message that Jones Day is committed to giving our clients access to the finest legal counsel and representation in the region," said Brian Easley, Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Minneapolis Office. "Joe is an effective, dedicated advocate for his clients' interests. Additionally, with his 30-plus years of experience, he is well equipped to bring a pragmatic and practical approach to helping clients achieve their objectives in an effective and efficient way. I am very happy he's joining Jones Day and I look forward to his contributions." 

"I am thrilled to be joining such an exceptional law firm as Jones Day," Mr. Hammell said. "The fact that Chambers recognized the Labor and Employment group at Jones Day as the very best in the country in 2017 was very appealing, as was the Firm's well-recognized focus on client service. It was very impressive, for instance, that Jones Day earned a "Best of the Best" ranking in every one of the 17 client service performance categories surveyed by BTI Consulting Group, the first and only firm ever to achieve such distinction."  

Numerous clients sing Mr. Hammell's praises as one of the best lawyers with whom they have worked. Independent surveys echo such sentiments. He has been recognized as one of "America’s Leading Business Lawyers" by Chambers USA in the Labor and Employment area, listed in Best Lawyers in America, recommended as a "Top Tier Lawyer" by The Legal 500, selected as a "Leading Minnesota Attorney" in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Employment Law, and named a "Minnesota Super Lawyer."

Amanda Sommerfeld 

Ms. Sommerfeld practices all aspects of employment litigation and helps solve client problems, whether in litigation or in preventing litigation, across the country. Her recent litigation experience includes leading the trial team in Garvey v. Kmart, the first "suitable seating" class action to proceed to trial in California, which resulted in a judgment for the defendant retailer. Ms. Sommerfeld secured several victories on behalf of SkyWest Airlines in repetitive putative class actions brought by customer service agents alleging various wage and hour violations, and defeated class and collective action claims brought against a health care consortium on behalf of nearly 50,000 health care professionals. 

Regarding class action matters, she has an exceptional track record in defeating class claims at the certification stage, and successfully defending those decisions in the courts of appeal. The breadth of her practice includes the retail, manufacturing, airline, healthcare, and construction industries. 

"California employment laws are notoriously complicated, and Amanda excels at breaking down complexity and making sure the client's story remains the focus of the defense," said Matthew Lampe, who co-leads Jones Day's Labor & Employment Practice. "Bringing an attorney like Amanda to our practice in Los Angeles, with her successful litigation record, shows the deep extent of Jones Day’s commitment to California's employers and their challenges." 

"The addition of a talented Labor & Employment lawyer like Amanda adds great skill and depth to our team in California," said Christopher Lovrien, who leads Jones Day’s California Region. "Her presence sends a clear message that Jones Day is committed to providing our clients with access to some of the best labor and employment law talent in California and the country. We are extremely happy she is here." 

A frequent speaker on a variety of labor and employment topics, and the national chair of her prior firm's diversity committee, Ms. Sommerfeld was named a "Rising Star" by Law360 and a Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting. She was also recognized by the California Daily Journal as one of its "Top 20 Under 40" attorneys. "I am thrilled to be part of Jones Day and its world class L&E team," Amanda remarked. "I have known the leaders of Jones Day's practice for years and am honored to join." 

With its singular tradition and widely recognized record of client service, Jones Day provides formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions through the seamless collaboration of a true partnership that shares fundamental professional values. Spread across five continents, Jones Day has more than 2,500 lawyers in 44 offices located in major centers of business and finance around the world.