PORTLAND -Â Fisher & Phillips LLP, a leading national labor and employment law firm, announced that it opened an office in Washington, D.C. effective July 1, 2010. The office is led by Dennis C. Cuneo, former senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) and most recently Counsel with Arent Fox LLP. Cuneo joined Fisher & Phillips as a partner.
During his tenure at Toyota his responsibilities included oversight of legal, government affairs, public affairs, industry relations, administration, human resources and strategic planning & research. Cuneo was a member of the management team that started New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) â€“ Toyotaâ€™s first assembly plant in North America. He also helped establish Toyotaâ€™s North American manufacturing headquarters.
Cuneo has extensive human resources and labor relations experience. For over a decade, he was a member of NUMMIâ€™s bargaining team with the UAW and has spoken widely on labor relations in the auto industry. While at NUMMI, he presented several case studies on cooperative labor relations, including a conference sponsored by the International Labor Organization in Turin, Italy, and conferences sponsored by MITâ€™s International Motor Vehicle Program in Beijing and Berlin.
Cuneo chaired the California Worksite Research Committee, a joint undertaking of the State of California, UCLA, the California Manufacturers Association and organized labor, which studied high and low performance workplaces and made policy recommendations to the California Legislature.
As a member of the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Cuneo chaired NAMâ€™s Human Resources Policy Group, which shaped NAMâ€™s legislative and regulatory strategies on issues such as labor relations, employment, OSHA, healthcare and employee benefits.
Cuneoâ€™s government relations experience will be important in the new Fisher & Phillips office. The firm plans to establish a government affairs group in Washington, D.C. Initially, in addition to Cuneo, Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. will split his time between Washington and Atlanta. Foulke is the former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA who now co-chairs the firmâ€™s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group.
Cuneo said: â€śThe experience and knowledge that the attorneys with Fisher & Phillips have in labor and employment law lend themselves to establishing a Washington presence. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to bring my expertise and extensive connections into play with one of the premier law firms in the nation. Our clients will soon have a new voice in Washington.â€ť
Fisher & Phillips Chairman and Managing Partner Roger K. Quillen said: â€śOur clients are top-of-mind when we make strategic moves such as this. We believe itâ€™s important for us to bring a voice to Washington on behalf of our clients, especially at a time of rapidly changing workplace laws and regulations. Dennis is the right person at the right time to lead this new effort.â€ť
In addition to his corporate, government and labor union relations experience, Cuneo serves on the boards of two publicly traded corporations and three universities and is a senior advisor to three Silicon Valley venture backed firms. He is also a senior advisor to the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce and has helped organize three conferences on inbound Chinese investment.
Cuneo, who led site selection for Toyota and other companies, has been instrumental in finding sites for new plants and facilities with a cumulative investment of over $9 billion. In that role, he has worked with governors and state economic development officials across the United States. Site Selection magazine described him as â€śone of the most sought after site selectors in the world.â€ť The New York Times DealBook commented that â€śâ€¦to officials of state development agencies around the country, heâ€™s the equivalent of Elvis.â€ť
Cuneo held gubernatorial appointments in California, Kentucky and Mississippi, and served as Board Chair of the Cincinnati Branch of the Federal Reserve. In 2008, he was appointed to the 22 member National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility, a bipartisan initiative sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, which developed consensus-based public policy recommendations for workplace flexibility.
Cuneo is a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar and plans to reactivate his Louisiana Bar membership as he will also establish an active presence in the firmâ€™s New Orleans office. He earned his law degree at Loyola University in New Orleans, his MBA at Kent State University and his BS at Gannon College in Erie, PA.
About Fisher & Phillips LLP (www.laborlawyers.com)
Fisher & Phillips LLP represents employers nationally in labor, employment, civil rights, employee benefits and immigration matters. The firm has more than 225 attorneys in 23 offices. Founded in 1943, it is one of the largest U.S. law firms to concentrate its practice exclusively upon representation of employers in labor and employment matters. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbia, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Irvine, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Louisville, New Jersey, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland ME, Portland OR, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington D.C.
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