H. Rhett Pinsky

H. Rhett Pinsky has focused his practice on representing employees with emphasis on discrimination and wrongful discharge claims.  He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1959 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1962.  He served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, 1963-1966. 

Mr. Pinsky is a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association (serving as president, 1993-94), and the State Bar of Michigan.  He was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission serving, 1978-1985.  He was on the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education from 1978 to 1984.  Mr. Pinsky has been a certified facilitative mediator since 1995 for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. 

He received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is currently a trustee of the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

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Edward M. ("Ned") Smith

Ned Smith graduated from Wayne State University Law School and is an alumnus of Aquinas College.   His practice is concentrated in representing unions in contract negotiations and grievance arbitrations, and general labor law, as well as social security disability cases.  Mr. Smith also serves as a mediator and court evaluator for both Federal and State courts.

Over his career, Mr. Smith has served as a Trustee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association; Chairperson of Grand Rapids Bar Foundation; President of the Labor & Employment Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association; Past Chairman of the Kent County Democratic Party; and was appointed to the Workers' Compensation Qualification Advisory Committee by the Governor of Michigan. 

Ned Smith is a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of American.  He is also a member of the Labor & Employment Section of the Michigan Bar Association.  He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in American Law, Best Lawyers in America and listed in Michigan's Super Lawyers. He is AV Rated by the nation's largest lawyer rating organization.  Mr. Smith has also authored The Law and the Worker for various union magazines.

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Michael L. Fayette

Mike brings more than 38 years of labor law experience to his work at Pinsky, Smith, Fayette & Kennedy, LLP.  He has extensive experience in representing unions and their members before the National Labor Relations Board, the Public Employment Relations Board, in labor arbitration and in the federal court.  He has also represented labor organizations and their members and retirees in numerous class actions involving a total of over a quarter of a billion dollars in fringe benefits, particularly retiree benefits. 
He has represented labor organizations his entire legal career.  He locally represents some of the largest labor organizations in the Country and their local unions.  Among his clients are the International Union, United Automotive, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, and many of its locals, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and several of its locals, including Locals 7, 214 and 406, the Communications Workers of America, including its IUE Division and its Local 4034 in Grand Rapids, the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Western Michigan University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.  He graduated with a BA in Business from Michigan State University in 1972 and with a Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit, School of Law in 1975.  Mike is a long time member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee in Washington, DC and has spent his entire career representing labor organizations. 

Mike has won numerous awards for his good work.  He has been listed in Best Lawyers of America since 1989 and was inducted into the College of Labor Employment Lawyers, headquartered in Washington, DC in 2005.  In 2006, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers.  In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of Americain the category of Grand Rapids – Labor Law – Union and has received the top rating, “AV,” by Martindale-Hubbell since 1980s. 

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Katherine Smith Kennedy

Kathy Smith Kennedy's practice is concentrated in Employment Law and Labor Relations.  Her litigation specialties are FLSA/Wage and Hour claims (unpaid overtime wages), wrongful discharge discrimination and retaliation claims.  She also counsels employees regarding their employment and termination situations.  In addition, she represents labor unions in arbitration and collective bargaining.  Ms. Kennedy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and received her J.D. degree from Southern Illinois University.  Ms. Kennedy is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, and Michigan Super Lawyers.

Ms. Kennedy is a member of several labor and employment organizations and was Chair to the Labor and Employment Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.  Ms. Kennedy was elected President of the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Michigan for the 2010-2011 term, and as the Immediate Past President, remains on the Executive Board of the Federal Bar Association, as well as several subcommittees serving the members of the FBA.

Ms. Kennedy also serves on the Steering Committee for the prestigious Hillman Trial Advocacy Program, and is a member of the program's faculty.  She has served two three-year terms on the State Bar of Michigan's District Character and Fitness Committee, is a member of Cooley Law School's Professionalism Advisory Committee, and serves on several other community boards and committees as well.

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Pamela K. Bratt, Of Counsel

Pam Bratt is Of Counsel for Pinsky, Smith, Fayette & Kennedy, LLP. Pam Bratt’s practice is concentrated in employment, labor relations and complex ERISA litigation. She has extensive experience in the areas of discrimination, general labor litigation, and class action retiree benefits disputes. She has participated in some of the largest ERISA class actions filed in the Western District of Michigan, and has been successful as lead counsel before the Michigan Supreme Court. Ms. Bratt graduated from Calvin College with a B.A. in Economics-Psychology, received a Master’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University, School of Law in 1991.

Ms. Bratt is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is an essential part of the firm’s complex litigation and appellate practice team.

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