Bernard J. Bobber - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Bernard J. Bobber

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 414-239-6411

Bernard J. (“Bud”) Bobber is a shareholder in the Milwaukee office of Ogletree Deakins. Mr. Bobber represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country in all areas of employment law, with particular focus on wage and hour, trade secrets/noncompete, employee benefits and employment discrimination matters. Mr. Bobber has extensive experience in the defense of class action cases. He also routinely represents clients in labor arbitrations and in unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Bobber also provides both organized and union-free employers with employment and labor law advice, and provides assistance with problem prevention. For example, Mr. Bobber drafts employment agreements and company policies with confidentiality, non-competition and other restrictive covenants for employers to use with key employees. He also counsels employers on reductions and reorganizations, harassment issues, disability accommodation, problematic terminations, collective bargaining strategy, and a host of other work place issues that require thoughtful analysis and practical application of the legal rights and obligations of employers.

Mr. Bobber is an experienced trial lawyer, having tried cases before juries and judges in federal courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, New York and Missouri, as well as in state courts in Wisconsin and Illinois. Additionally, he has tried well over 150 arbitration cases. He also has argued appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits.

In addition to his litigation and counseling work for clients, Mr. Bobber rounds out his practice by frequently speaking and teaching on employment and labor law topics. For example, for over 12 consecutive years, Mr. Bobber has been invited by the largest employer organization in Wisconsin and Illinois to give the keynote address on overall employment law developments at its annual employment law update seminar conducted for its member organizations.

Mr. Bobber’s abilities and professionalism have been observed and acknowledged by others as he has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. The publisher that conducts the review process explains that the rating awarded to Mr. Bobber confirms "preeminent legal ability," and reflects his "very high professional ethics." Similarly, Chambers USA, a company based in London that reviews and rates American lawyers and publishes its ratings for European and American businesses, rated Mr. Bobber to be one of the top labor and employment attorneys in the state of Wisconsin. Chambers confirmed that top rating in each of its 2003-2015 publications. Mr. Bobber has also been listed in The Best Lawyers In America® for over 10 years.  He was also selected for inclusion in the 2005-2015 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® lists.

Mr. Bobber lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with his wife, Joyce.

Additional Information

Other Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignBA 1984Northwestern University School of LawJ.D. 1987
Milwaukee Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association

Client Comments

"I have worked with Bud Bobber for more than 10 years on Labor and Employee Relations issues. I can always count on him to be responsive to my needs. He is quick to understand the issues and to provide us with solid advice."

"I have worked with Bud for many years. I have found Bud to be extremely capable, and very responsive. My clients like Bud because he is able to break down complex legal concepts in a way that makes sense to them. He is a creative lawyer who looks at each legal problem as a new challenge. Moreover, Bud has a great sense of humor and is fun to work with."

-Michelle Lloyd
Kimberly-Clark Corporation

"A great lawyer brings not only knowledge to an issue, but the ability to convey that knowledge in a practical, powerful way. Bud Bobber does just that. He can galvanize effective decision making in a small group or large with energy and finesse. He has the ability to really engage an audience with his likeable, confident communication style. Bud excels in motivating, inspiring, and coordinating the work of others, both within and outside his firm - no easy task! To turn a phrase, Bud speaks with conviction instead of equivocation; therefore, he's seen as a true leader and a trusted, valuable adviser by his peers, his clients, and a wide range of constituents. "

"Bud has handled several grievance/arbitration cases for us and we have been pleased with the outcome every time. Sure, he's a great lawyer, but it's his insightful style and sense of humor that make an inherently unpleasant process seem smooth and painless."

"Bud was a real pleasure to work with. Bud had the ability to simplify complex issues, recall important facts from a mountain of information, and keep everyone focused (including myself) on what was important. Bud was responsive, thorough, and he looked out for our best interests throughout the litigation process. Bud will be the first person I will call if we are in need of a lawyer."

-Roger Borchardt
Senior Vice President, Operations
Jones Dairy Farm

"Mr. Bud Bobber is a pleasure to work with. He provides thorough follow-up and direction and puts complicated legal concepts in easy-to-understand terms. He's down-to-earth yet professional, very knowledgeable and experienced, and, all-in-all, exceeds our expectations!"

-Kristy Martin
Human Resource Manager

"Bud has mastered the role of "superior outside counsel." Bud has taken the time to understand the unique needs and personality of our company as a client and has taken time to ensure that the services he offers are truly custom-tailored to our business. Bud is extremely efficient and responsive, and ensures without fail that the company understands and recognizes both the legal and practical implications of any situation that might arise - a skill that is, in my opinion, particularly significant in the area of labor law. Perhaps most significantly, Bud has, on his own, taken the time to get to know each of the senior individuals in our company and has volunteered to participate in employee orientations and other meetings/seminars, to the benefit of the entire organization. Bud is truly one of the best."

Office Location

Pabst Boiler House, Suite 210
1243 North 10th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53205
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law - Management of the Milwaukee Metro Area2015 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law - Management of the Milwaukee Metro Area
Bernard J. Bobber has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!Bernard J. Bobber has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management
Litigation - Labor and Employment