Frank Shuler went to law school with the express purpose of becoming a labor and employment lawyer.
He became fascinated with the law of the workplace as a student at Georgia Tech. Those classes in “personnel” and “collective bargaining,” among others, stimulated an interest that has led to a long and successful legal career. He has handled literally thousands of different employment related issues over his 35-year career.
Frank started as an insurance defense attorney in a day that cases where routinely tried. It was during this first year that he tried numerous non-jury cases (under $5000), successfully tried his first jury case and was fortunate enough to “second chair” three federal court jury trials. After his wife decided to attend law school, he returned to Birmingham, where Frank began his career in labor and employment law. It was at a boutique firm devoted to labor and employment law that Frank learned the intricacies of many of the laws he works with on a daily basis now. He was thrust into the roll of lead counsel for a firm that routinely practiced in 11 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico when the firm split during the two weeks between him accepting the job and starting. He was blessed to be able to learn at the feet of some very experienced employment lawyers who had been the in the 1930s and 1940s when employment and labor law was in its infancy.
In 1993, Turner Padget hired Frank to develop its employment practice. Today, he has a statewide practice and the firm’s practice includes two certified specialists and seven other attorneys who routinely handle employment law matters. Over the years, he has served the firm as employment counsel, employment law team leader and as a member of the management committee.
Frank has been practicing employment law for almost 35 years. He has practiced in virtually all aspects of labor and employment law, including matters arising under federal employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). He has also addressed actions based on state law claims such as retaliatory discharge, breach of a handbook and breach of a covenant not to compete. Over the years, Frank has developed a substantial counseling practice in which he spends as much time trying to protect his clients before a situation ever arises as he does defending them in court. His clients range from service providers, such as financial institutions, healthcare providers and hospitality providers, to employers in manufacturing.
Before attending law school Frank served in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a student naval aviator, he landed a jet on a carrier and he keeps that qualification on the wall of his office today. He later spent time in Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he served as a rifle platoon commander. What Frank learned about discipline, focus, hard work, striving for excellence, people and leadership during his time in the Corps has served him well throughout his legal career.
Frank has the unique perspective of having represented employees, employers, union and benefit plans over the course of his long legal career. Additionally, he has mediated over 500 employment cases. Thus, when confronted with a legal problem, he has the ability to understand the problem from both sides of the equation and craft solutions to fit the problem.
Frank has served his firm, church, his presbytery and the bar in various leadership positions.
Frank received the 2014 Distinguished Lawyer Award by the Employment and Labor Law Section of the South Carolina Bar.
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