William E. O'Gara is a Principal with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O'Gara LLC, whose practice focuses on employment and labor law and mediating disputes. With over 25 years of experience, Attorney O'Gara has handled a wide range of cases including employment discrimination, wage and hour claims and sexual harassment claims. Attorney O'Gara also assists clients with traditional labor law matters, ranging from contract negotiations to arbitration. As a trusted advisor, Attorney O'Gara works with clients on a daily basis regarding a wide array of employment issues that arise without warning and that employers confront. As an experienced practitioner, Attorney O'Gara has successfully mediated a wide range of disputes both at the pre-litigation stage and before trial. He also conducts workplace investigations and provides training for managers and supervisors on employment-related issues.
Among the industries he represents include:
- Health Care
- Social Service Providers
- Warehousing and Distribution
Attorney O'Gara earned his J.D. from Northeastern University and his Master's in Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. Attorney O'Gara leads the firm's Employment and Litigation Teams, and is a member of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island bars, representing clients before administrative agencies and state and federal courts.
Areas of Practice
- Workplace Investigations
- Massachusetts, 1989
- Rhode Island, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. - 1989
- University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
- M.A. - 1984
- Frequent Lecturer, Human Resources Management Topics
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Rhode Island Bar Association, Member
- Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
- New York Bar Association, Member, Fourth District Bar Association Ethics Committee
- Society of Human Resources Management, Member
- RI Society for Human Resource Management State Chapter, Member
Pro Bono Activities
- Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island
- Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce
- Nickerson Community Center
- East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
- Northern RI Chamber of Commerce
- Successfully tried numerous employment discrimination cases arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act, state and federal civil rights laws, wage and overtime laws, whistleblower protection acts, and state and federal labor laws.
- Handled various matters involving complex directors and officers (D&O) coverage issues, including a current case arising in the context of an insolvency proceeding; wrongful termination and retaliation cases; and a major product liability case arising out of a tragic nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
- Successfully represented clients in federal court on breach of contract claims arising out of multimillion-dollar property damage claims.
- Successfully defended a manufacturer of machinery in connection with a multimillion-dollar fire loss claim.
- Represented the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island, a legal entity subordinate to the Rhode Island General Treasurer's Office, on numerous matters that have been litigated before the Rhode Island Supreme Court and Rhode Island Superior Court.