Kevin W. Sturm
Mr. Sturm has been practicing law for over 25 years and has experience representing local, regional and national employers, as well as public employers, in all aspects of labor and employment law. In his practice, he deals with both federal and state laws affecting the employer-employee relationship including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, and workplace safety. He also represents public and private entities in environmental law matters and in tort litigation.
In order to assist employers in avoiding expensive litigation, Mr. Sturm emphasizes preventive counseling to ensure every effort has been made to comply with applicable laws and avoid conflict. However, knowing that litigation often cannot be avoided, he assists employers in putting themselves in the best possible position to defend claims by employees. Mr. Sturm’s practice also emphasizes preventive maintenance for employers. In that regard, he has conducted numerous audits of company employment practices and policies, as well as compliance with applicable environmental and workplace safety and health laws. In addition, his practice includes the presentation of training classes, seminars and workshops on employment, environmental and workplace safety and health issues.
Mr. Sturm is an honors graduate of the University of Akron (B.A., summa cum laude, 1981) and the University of Akron School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1984). While in law school, he was a member of the Honor Court and the Case and Comment Editor for the Akron Law Review. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in South Carolina as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is the former Chairman of the Western Carolinas Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association and a former member of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Occupational Safety Council. Mr. Sturm has been the lead attorney for the South Carolina Municipal Insurance Risk Financing Fund's (SMIRF) Employment and Labor Hotline since 2008. Finally Mr. Strum is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association (Employment and Labor Laws Section; Environment and Natural Resources Section), the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorney's Association and the Spartanburg County Bar Association.
Mr. Sturm holds an AV rating, the highest designation offered by Martindale-Hubbell®, a professional legal organization.
Patrick L. Cont
Mr. Cont has been practicing law for 20 years and has extensive experience representing local, regional and national employers in business immigration law matters as well as employment and labor law. Mr. Cont has worked with numerous domestic and multinational corporations to secure U.S. work visas and permanent residency for their employees. His representation of clients in the area of immigration law includes developing corporate immigration strategies to meet staffing needs. Mr. Cont also frequently advises clients on employment verification issues and conducts I-9 audits. In addition to his immigration practice, he routinely represents employers in the area of labor and employment law and has represented numerous employers in the Southeast during union campaigns and with other labor relations issues.
Mr. Cont is a frequent lecturer on labor, employment and immigration law topics. On numerous occasions he has been a presenter at the Society of Human Resource Management's National Conference. He has also been a speaker at numerous national conferences for a variety of trade associations. Additionally, he frequently speaks at statewide SHRM conferences and at other trade organization meetings. Mr. Cont has been selected by his peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers In America" continuously since 2006, for Immigration Law and Labor and Employment Law. ” Earlier in his career, Mr. Cont served as the first Law Clerk to the Honorable Paul M. Burch, Circuit Court Judge. Of Swiss descent, Mr. Cont is fluent in the Swiss-German language.
Mr. Cont is a graduate of Wofford College (B.A., 1988) and the University of South Carolina (J.D., 1991). He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in South Carolina. He is past President of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of The Upstate and a former member of the Spartanburg West Rotary Club where he served as a board member. Mr. Cont is a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg. Finally, Mr. Cont is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, the Spartanburg County Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
James F. Edwards, Jr., Esq. - Of Counsel
Mr. Edwards has been practicing labor and employment law for over 30 years and has represented a broad spectrum of employers – large and small, private and public, local and national, in a wide variety of industries.
Mr. Edwards is a strong advocate of preventative labor relations and enjoys working with clients on a day-to-day basis in a preventative capacity. Through his work with the National Labor Relations Board and a multitude of years representing clients in the labor law arena, Mr. Edwards has extensive knowledge and practical experience regarding the NLRB election process, what it takes and how to win NLRB elections, how to avoid and cope with work stoppages, the collective bargaining process itself as well as many related topics.
Mr. Edwards attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia and received his B.A. in Government in 1965, his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1968 and his Masters in Labor Law from George Washington University in 1970.
Mr. Edwards has been a partner in four (4) labor and employment law firms:
- Erwin, Bradley and Edwards
- Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, Stewart & Edwards, P.C.
- Haynsworth, Baldwin, Miles, Johnson, Greaves & Edwards, P.A.
- Edwards Ballard, Bishop, Sturm,, Clark & Keim, P.A. (where he was founder and managing partner and also instrumental in merging the firm with the national law firm of Ford & Harrison, LLP)
Mr. Edwards is married with two adult children. He is a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church, past president of the Spartanburg County Bar Association, currently a Board Member of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of the Upstate (also a 4-term Chairman) and a former Rotarian.
Professionally, Mr. Edwards has been recognized by his peers with an AV rating from Martindale-Hubble®. He was also elected as a Fellow of the highly selective College of Labor and Employment Lawyers of which there are only nine (9) in the State of South Carolina.
Contact us to find out how we can help you.