Semmes, Bowen & Semmes has lured a labor law associate at a major Washington firm to join Semmes as a partner, shoring up an employment law practice that was hurt by the defection of nine attorneys in September.
David J. Shaffer, a 1983 Stanford Law School graduate and senior associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, will join Semmes' Washington office in mid-December, Geoffrey S. Mitchell, Semmes' managing partner, said this week.
"We're very excited about having this guy join us," Mr. Mitchell said, saying the firm has received unsolicited calls from lawyers from Richmond to Philadelphia since the gap in its labor law practice became known. "David was head and shoulders above all of the others."
Mr. Shaffer, like the rest of Semmes' labor law department, would typically represent management and not the unions in disputes. Mr. Mitchell said his new partner will represent employers facing equal employment opportunity claims.
Mr. Mitchell said Semmes will be looking to hire more employment lawyers.
"We're looking to expand in Washington and here," he said. "We have clients who need our help in this area."