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Stanley "Stan" E. Graham

Stan Graham is a trusted advisor and go-to litigator for major employers throughout the United States, including in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare sectors. An accomplished trial lawyer, Stan provides immediate access, risk mitigation advice, and strategic planning that serve clients' specific goals in litigation. Clients also rely on Stan for daily advice and counsel on a wide range of issues.  In client surveys conducted by third parties, he has been described as "immensely knowledgeable" and "always accessible."  

Stan has been defending clients’ interests in state and federal trial courts, appellate courts, arbitration proceedings, and before government regulators since 1996.   His extensive jury trial experience includes leading the trial team in such cases as:

Gonzalez v. Ford Motor Company, U.S. District Court, S.D. of Indiana (2015) - defense verdict on claims of failure to accommodate under the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act, with jury finding plaintiff was not disabled under the ADAAA after less than one hour of deliberations.  

Peaden v. Dollar General, Circuit Court for Covington County, Alabama (2013) - defense verdict on claim of retaliatory discharge based on prior workers compensation claim. 

Andazola v. Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurants, U.S. District Court, N.D. of Alabama (2013) - defense verdict on claims of sexual harassment and failure to promote, with jury reaching verdict after less than 10 minutes of deliberations.

Boutwell v. Federal-Mogul Corporation, U.S. District Court, N.D. of Alabama (2010) - defense verdict on claim of retaliatory discharge brought by plaintiff discharged while serving on jury duty.  

Other representative cases at the trial court and appellate levels include published decisions in:

Roeben v. BG Excelsior Limited Partnership, 545 F.3d 639 (8th Cir. 2008) - affirming district court’s summary judgment decision for defense on claims of wrongful discharge brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Weary v. Cochran, 377 F.3d 522 (6th Cir. 2004) - affirming district court’s summary judgment decision for defense on claims brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, finding that plaintiff was an independent contractor notwithstanding long-time relationship with putative employer. 

Thomas v. Dolgencorp, LLC, 30 F. Supp. 3d 1340 (M.D. Ala. 2014) - granting summary judgment for defense on claims of wrongful discharge under the Americans With Disabilities Act based on “honest belief” doctrine.

Andazola v. Logan’s Roadhouse, 871 F. Supp. 2d 1186 (N.D. Ala. 2012) - granting partial summary judgment for defense on claims of retaliatory discharge and gender discrimination under the Equal Pay Act.

Broadway v. United Parcel Service, 499 F. Supp. 2d 992 (M.D. Tenn. 2007) - granting summary judgment for defense on claims of failure to promote under the Americans With Disabilities Act, finding that plaintiff was not disabled under the ADA.  

Steele v. United Parcel Service, 499 F. Supp. 2d 1035 (E.D. Tenn. 2007) - granting defense motion for judgment on the pleadings based on ERISA preemption of state law tort claims.

Ex parte Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences, 709 So. 2d 455 (Ala. 1997) - granting petition for writ of mandamus filed with the Alabama Supreme Court and ordering tort claims against State Medical Examiner dismissed based on constitutional immunity.

Stan also has broad experience defending such claims as:

  • Collective action claims brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for alleged misclassification and “off the clock” work 
  • Enforcement actions brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • “Denial of Access” claims brought under the Public Accommodation provisions of the ADA
  • Benefits disputes brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Interference and retaliation claims brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Traditional labor matters, including labor arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB, and lawsuits arising under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)
  • Business and trade secret disputes, including noncompete litigation and claims alleging breach of an employment agreement 
  • State civil rights disputes, including matters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia

When a matter arises, Stan first asks, "What do you want to accomplish?" Establishing that critical objective allows Stan to provide practical, strategic advice. In part because he does not lose sight of his primary concern—addressing each client's particular objective—clients repeatedly return for Stan's advice. Whether answering a question about an accommodation request, or leading the defense in a complex jury trial, Stan adopts a relatable, respectful style that resonates with all walks of life. CEOs, general counsel, HR managers, and tradesmen alike can appreciate Stan's counsel and character.

For over ten years, Stan has served on the Steering Committee for the Labor and Employment Section of DRI, an international organization of attorneys defending the interests of business in civil litigation.  He currently serves as Vice Chair of that Committee, which includes nearly 1,500 management-side attorneys nationwide.  He also served as Chapter Editor for Age Discrimination in Employment Law by Barbara T. Lindemann and David D. Kadue (second edition, 2015).  

Stan is a former Chair of the Tennessee Bar Labor and Employment Law Section.  He also previously served as Chair of Waller’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Honors and Recognitions  

Chambers USA lists Stan Graham as a leading Labor and Employment Attorney, and he is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell.  Stan is also recognized by Best Lawyers in the categories of:

  • Labor Law-Management – 2017 Nashville Lawyer of the Year
  • Employment Law-Management
  • Litigation-Labor & Employment

In client surveys conducted by third parties, Stan has been described as "immensely knowledgeable" and "always accessible." And has recently been listed as a "2017 Mid-South Super Lawyer"

Professional

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), Employment and Labor Law Section
    • Vice Chair, 2016 to present
    • Program Chair, 2015 Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar
    • Steering Committee, 2003 to present
  • Chair, Tennessee Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, 2006-2007
  • Executive Council, TBA Labor and Employment Law Section, 2005 to present
  • Past Director, Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association, Board of Directors
  • Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Tennessee Bar Association/YLD
  • Past Chair, Tennessee High School Mock Trial Competition
  • Chapter Editor, Lindemann and Kadue, Age Discrimination in Employment Law (American Bar Association)
  • Graduate, Inaugural Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Program
  • Past Associate Barrister, Harry Phillips American Inns of Court
  • Past Faculty, Alabama Judicial College
  • Frequent speaker and author on workplace issues

Prior Affiliations

  • Assistant Attorney General, Complex Civil Litigation Division, Alabama Office of the Attorney General, 1996-1998
    • Mentored by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (now U.S. Senator for State of Alabama) and Attorney General William H. Pryor (now Circuit Judge, U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals)

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, 1996
    • Executive Editor - Cumberland Law Review
    • Presidential Scholar - Curia Honoris and Phi Kappa Phi Honors
  • B.S., University of Florida, 1991

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, All Districts of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, All Districts of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, All Districts of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court, All District Courts in Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas

Up Close

Stan is an avid long-distance runner, having run several marathons and 200-mile relay races with his colleagues from Waller. In 2016, he ran the 39.3 mile (and aptly named) Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World in Orlando.  Stan and his wife also keep busy with their two young sons.  Between sports, church activities, and Boy Scout campouts, the family is an active one.