PITTSBURGH– March 14, 2019 – Cozen O’Connor today welcomed two more accomplished litigators — Laura L. Reinhart, who defends Union Pacific, CSX Transportation Inc. and other major transportation companies in Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)-related litigation; and Gary Kelly, who served as general counsel at health products behemoth General Nutrition Corp. (GNC) — to its fast-growing Pittsburgh office. Reinhart, who comes to the firm from Burns White, joins Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department as counsel, while Kelly joins its Labor & Employment department as of counsel.
“As seasoned trial lawyers, Laura and Gary each bring to Cozen O’Connor incredibly diverse legal backgrounds,” says Jeremy Garvey, Cozen O’Connor’s Pittsburgh office managing partner. “Laura has successfully tried numerous cases in state and federal courts across the country, including notoriously difficult jurisdictions for corporate defendants. And while Gary is part of our Labor & Employment group, his corporate experience ranges from product-related litigation to multi-state franchising disputes. Both have deep Pennsylvania roots and I’m thrilled to welcome them to Cozen O'Connor.”
In addition to serving the heavily regulated rail industry, Reinhart’s litigation background includes overseeing product liability lawsuits, labor and employment disputes, healthcare litigation and regulatory compliance matters. She has represented clients in trials, hearings, arbitrations, mediations and state and federal administrative proceedings nationwide. She has also led corporate-level centralized discovery processes for 20 years.
“I chose Cozen O’Connor because it embraces a progressive and innovative approach to the practice of law, one that focuses heavily on excellence and diversity,” Reinhart says. “With more than 20 years of experience as a commercial litigator, I’m certain I can help the Pittsburgh office flourish by attracting an increasingly diverse client base.”
Prior to joining Burns White, Reinhart was a founding member of Reinhart Sanchez LLC. She earned her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and her B.A. from University of Pittsburgh.
As general counsel for Pittsburgh-based GNC for nearly 20 years, Kelly was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s legal policies and overseeing all litigation — from premises liability to bet the company cases involving multi-state franchising disputes, securities issues, and wage and hour class actions.
In 2015 he successfully negotiated a resolution involving GNC Herbal Plus products with the New York Attorney General (NYAG) and then, following the settlement, secured the dismissal of over 20 class action lawsuits filed in the wake of the NYAG’s enforcement action. He also provided daily advice to GNC’s U.S. and Canadian human resources staff on numerous employee relations matters — including policy development, discipline & discharge issues, sexual harassment, insurance & benefits, employment discrimination, and wage and hour litigation.
Prior to joining GNC, Kelly was arbitration counsel, labor relations attorney and senior employment counsel at U.S. Steel, representing the company in grievance arbitrations involving discipline and discharge, seniority, insurance, overtime, and contracting-out under the Basic Steel Labor Agreement.
“With more than 20 years of advising corporate executives on legal, business, and strategic issues, I can help our commercial clients avoid legal problems in the first place and resolve them quickly and efficiently if and when they arise,” Kelly says. “Cozen O’Connor gives me a terrific platform to develop my practice while also enhancing the services offered by the Pittsburgh office.”
Kelly earned his J.D. at Duquesne University School of Law; an M.A. in Labor Relations at St. Francis University; a B.S. in Business Administration at Robert Morris University; and mediator training at Pepperdine School of Law.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.
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