Richard D. Fries Partner
Labor and Employment Experience
Rick is a partner in the Kalamazoo office. Since 1981, he has represented employers exclusively in solving labor and employment law problems in the workplace. He devotes most of his time to advising employers about how to avoid workplace crises, comply with state and federal labor and employment laws and regulations, and prevent litigation. He has significant experience counseling employers on how to stay union-free, and routinely works with clients in the application and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements. Rick has first-chaired over 100 labor arbitrations on behalf of management, and for 30 years has successfully bargained both initial and successor labor contracts on behalf of employers against unions in both the private and public sectors. He has successfully represented clients in formal administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC). He also represents school districts in labor and education law matters. Rick routinely speaks to industry groups and authors articles regarding labor and employment law. He is an active member of the ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Labor Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He is also a member and past-president of the Michigan Counsel of School Attorneys. He has been recognized on multiple occasions in Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising Stars.
- American Bar Association; Labor and Employment Section
- State Bar of Michigan: Labor and Employment Section; Public Corporations Section; Labor Relations Section
- State Bar of Texas: Labor and Employment Section; School Law Section
- State Bar of Wisconsin: Labor and Employment Law Section
- Kalamazoo County Bar Association
- MASB Council of School Attorneys (past President, 2002)
- NASB Council of School Attorneys
- Michigan Negotiators Association
Rick is an active speaker on labor law topics. Recently, he has presented seminars for the American Bar Association in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and to the Carl Warns Labor Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Past member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, where he served Chair of the Personnel / Human Resources Committee and also as Board Secretary.
- Past member of the Board of Directors of the Safety Council of West Michigan
- Member of the Kalamazoo Area Labor/Management Committee
- Has served in a number of leadership roles for his church
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
University of Dayton
Ranking & Recognitions
- Listed in Best Lawyers of America 2013