Benjamin E. Widener is a Shareholder in the Employment and Litigation practice groups at Stark & Stark and Chair of the firm’s Employment Law Group, responsible for managing all aspects of employment-related work handled by the firm. Mr. Widener concentrates his practice in employment litigation and counseling, as well as general commercial and civil litigation. He represents clients in all phases of federal and state court litigation at the trial and appellate levels, in administrative proceedings before the EEOC and state administrative agencies, and has handled matters resolved through alternative dispute resolution before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) and American Arbitration Association (AAA).
Mr. Widener has significant experience representing clients in complex litigation arising from the interpretation and enforcement of employment agreements, restrictive covenants, non-competes, non-disclosure agreements and severance agreements, as well as claims involving the protection/misappropriation of trade secrets. He also regularly litigates claims of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, harassment in the workplace, retaliation and other business torts.
In addition, Mr. Widener counsels clients on workplace issues and employment policies to minimize risk and exposure to liability and to maintain compliance with federal and state employment laws, such as the FMLA, FLSA, ADA, ADEA, Title XII and applicable state analogs. His practice is designed to help clients proactively and preventively resolve personnel, wage and hour, leave of absence, disability accommodation, equal employment opportunity and other employment issues through, among other things, drafting and negotiating of employment agreements, drafting and updating employee handbooks, performing workplace discrimination and prevention training, and conducting internal investigations into allegations of harassment and discrimination. His vision: to help clients minimize legal issues in the workplace so they can focus on and achieve their own business goals.
While Mr. Widener focuses in matters arising from business, employment and contract disputes, he has developed an incredibly versatile practice representing clients in a wide range of litigation matters, including: securities litigation; shareholder disputes; construction litigation; consumer fraud claims; intellectual property litigation; product liability defense; and commercial property disputes. He approaches all matters with an unwavering pragmatism and a keen understanding of the needs and goals of his clients, providing creative – yet practical and cost effective – solutions to difficult litigation situations. Through the effective use of both litigation and alternative dispute resolution, Mr. Widener has established an impressive track record resolving disputes for his clients.
Mr. Widener is admitted to the State Bars of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as the United States District Courts for New Jersey, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Texas. He has been specially admitted to handle matters in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Massachusetts and the District of Delaware.
Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Mr. Widener served as a law clerk to the Honorable Howell Cobb, Senior District Judge for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. While attending law school at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, he served as a legal intern with the Franklin County Public Defender’s Office, where he successfully defended clients in criminal matters before the Franklin County Municipal Court. Mr. Widener also served as an intern for the Honorable R. Guy Cole, Jr., Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States.
When he’s not practicing law, Mr. Widener is an avid runner and triathlete, having completed several marathons and triathlons.
Ben is a contributor to Stark & Stark’s New Jersey Law Blog. You can read his most recent post here.