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Kimberly L. Russell

Principal


E-Mail: krussell@kaplaw.com
Phone: 610-941-2541
Fax: 610-684-2026 vCard


Kimberly L. Russell is the Chairperson of the Employment Law Department. Kimberly’s practice focuses on representing employers in a variety of matters including best management practices, workforce management for multistate and “virtual office” employers, avoiding employment claims, employee counseling (including discipline and termination), workforce training (including for insurance/contract compliance), management and executive training, workplace investigations, and dispute resolution. Kimberly handles a vast array of claims for employers including harassment and discrimination claims of all types, wage and hour claims (including overtime), Family and Medical Leave Act claims, management of disability issues, issues under the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, unemployment compensation, employment contracts (including protection of confidential/trade secret information), and executive contracts. She handles claims for her clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Federal Courts, and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, municipal human relations commissions, the Department of Labor (including the Wage and Hour Division), various unemployment compensation bureaus, and private arbitration and mediation.

Kimberly is the founder of the Employers’ Legal Defense Institute (SM) at Kaplin Stewart. She founded the ELDI as part of her ongoing effort to educate and train employers on workforce management issues in order to help employers mitigate risks from employee claims and the resulting costs and disruption to the workplace. For more information on the ELDI, please visit www.ELDI.legal.

Kimberly frequently tells her clients that although discrimination does occur still and should not be tolerated, the “system” goes too far in allowing employees and their lawyers to bring baseless claims without consequence and allowing employees to manipulate that “system,” all at great cost to employers and the employees left behind. She believes strongly that “the best offense is a great defense” and works with her clients to comply with the law, treat all employees fairly, and be able to present a strong, aggressive defense when necessary. Employers often find themselves in emergencies (i.e. needing to terminate someone immediately, but not knowing whether it is “safe” to do so). Kimberly often describes much of her practice as an “Employment Law Hotline,” where she will help an employer navigate a specific urgent situation, plan a termination or discipline, and then help the employer avoid similar risks in the future. Employers never can prepare for everything, but strong workplace practices are the start of a more productive workplace.

Kimberly initially concentrated her practice on real estate and commercial litigation, representing developers, builders, and related companies in the defense of numerous real estate sale and development disputes, contract claims, construction defect claims, and commercial disputes. When one of those clients was sued for alleged sexual harassment by a perpetually unhappy and unproductive employee, she began her defense of employers and has worked for the last two decades to help employers navigate and mitigate risk in a system that is inherently biased against employers.

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1994
  • New Jersey, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of PA, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of NJ, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2003

Education

  • Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, PA, J.D., 1994
  • Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, B.A., summa cum laude, 1990

Memberships

  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Montgomery County Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Counsel for local religious organization
  • Created Child Safety Policy aimed at protecting children from abuse

Representative Experience

For more than twenty years, Kimberly has represented employers both in workforce management and counseling matters, as well as litigation. She concentrates her practice in virtually all areas of employment law, helping employers to mitigate risk through legal compliance and position themselves for a strong defense of claims which do arise.

Kimberly’s broad experience in the realm of employment law includes:

Workforce Management/Training/Counseling

Compliance training and counseling for employers regarding:

  • Antidiscrimination policies
  • Workplace disputes
  • Leave laws
  • Disability Accommodation
  • Religious Accommodation
  • Employee discipline issues
  • Hiring
  • Termination
  • Performance reviews
  • Overtime – management of overtime and classification of employees
  • Affordable Care Act
  • COBRA
  • HIPAA
  • Management/HR professional training on harassment, discrimination, accountability, communications and appropriate relationships with subordinates
  • Private executive management training for HR professionals and non-HR professional executives
  • Workplace investigations and dispute resolution (including investigation of harassment/discrimination)
  • Workforce training on harassment, discrimination, workplace privacy and communication (including training for insurance/contract compliance)
  • Employee handbooks and related workplace policies including drug testing, dress codes, social media
  • HR policy and procedure manuals
  • Employment contracts, including confidentiality, nonsolicitation, and trade secret protections
  • Executive contracts
  • Employee counseling and disciplinary reviews
  • High profile/difficult terminations – planning and implementation, conducting terminations
  • Layoff planning and implementation – including selection of employees for layoff
  • Consulting with employers regarding hiring of HR professionals – screening and interviewing candidates

Employment Litigation

  • Discrimination litigation (age, gender, disability, race, national origin, etc.)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) litigation – including interplay between FMLA and Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Wage and Hour litigation – Fair Labor Standards Act (including overtime), Wage Payment and Collection law
  • Employment contract and wage disputes – commission/bonus disputes, nonsolicitation, noncompetition, confidentiality agreements
  • Unemployment compensation litigation
  • Litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor
  • Litigation before state anti-discrimination agencies
  • Litigation before local/municipal anti-discrimination agencies
  • Private arbitration and mediation

Real Estate and Commercial Litigation

Kimberly counsels and defends commercial enterprises, builders, and developers of all sizes in numerous disputes and issues that arise in the daily operation and protection of their businesses. She has handled a wide array of real estate and commercial disputes in Federal Court, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, as well as in Federal and State agencies overseeing real estate and commercial disputes such as fair housing, accessibility standards, real estate licensing, and disputes over the conduct of licensed professionals.

Kimberly represents numerous companies in matters related to contract review and compliance, including review and compliance related to intellectual property, software development, and protection of trade secret and proprietary information.

Kimberly’s varied experience in real estate and commercial litigation also includes:

  • Disputes over land sale/real estate contracts, including lis pendens and specific performance
  • Disputes between contractors and subcontractors, including contract/confidentiality issues
  • Fair Housing issues, including disputes over sale and rental practices, accessibility of buildings
  • Business disputes, including contract disputes and issues regarding confidentiality and protection of trade secret information
  • Disputes between homebuilders and homebuyers
  • Landlord/Tenant litigation, including Fair Housing
  • Real Estate Seller’s Disclosure Law litigation
  • Commercial disputes related to fraud and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law
  • Complaints against licensed professionals filed with state agencies, including real estate salespersons/brokers
  • Defamation, including disputes over website/internet postings
  • Disputes between developers and municipal agencies/utilities

Assistant

Danielle M. Gosciniak
Phone: 610-941-2586
Fax: 610-684-2104
E-Mail: dgosciniak@kaplaw.com

Publications & News

Publications

Speaking Engagements/Seminars

  • Employment Law from the Employer’s Chair training series
  • Documentation for HR Professionals; The Key to Protecting Employers
  • Human Resource Management Department Accommodations in the Workplace
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association – Real Estate Update
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association: Failure to Disclosure Seminar (Update on Real Estate Seller’s Disclosure Law)

Honors & Accolades

  • Best Lawyer in America 2018
Life

Kimberly often describes herself as a “recovering soccer mom.” After over fifteen years of running to soccer, soccer, and then soccer (fall soccer, indoor soccer, spring soccer, showcase soccer tournaments), and making it all the way through high school and college soccer with her two sons, she has retired her fold up chair, hand and toe warmers, and soccer blankets (for now, anyway).

To fill the “void” left by the absence of soccer tournaments, Kimberly and her husband decided to take on the world of running. She started training for races when her husband, a builder and developer who is “growing” the city of Hernando, Mississippi, started running charity races supporting select charities in Mississippi and Kimberly decided to join in. She was able to convince her husband to run their first half marathon in November 2016 by enticing him to run the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon, merging the challenge of running with their enjoyment of wine. The thought of finishing a half marathon in the midst of a wine and food festival was enough to get Kimberly and her husband across the finish line, and they have continued to train for races ever since.

Kimberly also is a hopeless, long suffering, and never-to-recover Eagles fan. Kimberly is a proud graduate of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Women’s Training Camp. She learned offensive line skills from Jon Runyan and ran routes with Brent Celek. Kimberly “bleeds green” but has lost a lot of blood and tears over the past decade with the Birds. Watching the Eagles win Super Bowl LII was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and Kimberly will show anyone who asks the picture of her with the Lombardi trophy in her office. Calling Kimberly on a Monday morning after an Eagles loss is perilous, and if you are opposing counsel in a case on a bad Eagles Monday, look out. She also loves college football, and is one of the few people who watches the NFL combine and the draft. Kimberly’s dream job is to be a college recruiter and scout for the Eagles but because they have not called her yet, she will continue to do the “lawyer thing.”