Edwin S. Hopson

Senior Counsel

P 502-562-7360

F 502-589-0309


400 West Market Street

Suite 2000

Louisville, KY 40202

Ed Hopson is a member of the Firm's Labor & Employment Service Team.  He concentrates his practice in all areas of labor and employment law.  On a national and regional basis, he has handled a wide range of employment and labor law matters including employment discrimination cases, wrongful discharge and related tort cases, FMLA matters and litigation, union organizing campaigns, NLRB unfair labor practice cases, collective bargaining negotiations, strike preparation/planning, strike/injunction litigation, labor arbitrations, mediations, OSHA cases, and wage-hour matters.  Mr. Hopson also provides advice and counsel on preventing litigation and other disputes from arising in the employment context.

  • Representative Matters 

    Mr. Hopson has handled traditional labor law matters for both private and public sector employers.  On a national and regional basis, he has handled a wide range of employment and labor law matters including employment discrimination litigation, wrongful discharge and related tort cases, union organizing campaigns, NLRB unfair labor practice cases, collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, employment arbitrations, mediations, OSHA cases, employee benefits litigation and wage hour matters.  Some of his recent cases include:

    • Jana Christine Jones-Turner, et al. v. Yellow Enterprise Systems, Inc., Case No. 3:07CV-18-S (W.D. KY). On October 11, 2011, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson granted motion to decertify FLSA collective action previously conditionally certified, and denied plaintiffs' motion for Rule 23 class certification of claims for meal and other breaks. On March 31, 2014, Judge Simpson entered summary judgment dismissing all of plaintiffs’ individual claims which he found lacked merit.
    • Jarrett Hamilton v. General Electric Company, Case No. 3:06CV-659-R (W.D. KY).  On November 15, 2011, after a day and one half of trial on Plaintiff's retaliation claim, a jury returned a defense verdict, after which Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell entered a judgment dismissing the complaint, affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Civil No. 11-6521 on October 24, 2012.
    • Dale Zanchi v. United Defense, L.P., LTD, et al., Case No. 3:04-cv- 434-R (W.D. KY decided October 9, 2009). Chief U.S. District Thomas Russell entered summary judgment dismissing claims, inter alia, for breach of labor agreement and retaliation; appeal dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Civil No. 09-6505 on July 14, 2010
    • John Royse v. Corhart Refractories, et al., Civil No. 3:08-cv-21-C (W.D. KY decided November 13, 2008). U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman entered summary judgment dismissing claims brought to, among other things, set aside an arbitration award; affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Civil No. 08-6508 on September 1, 2009
    • Carlyle Isley v. Southern Graphic Systems, Inc., Civil No. 3:07-CV-174 (E.D. VA).Chief U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer entered summary judgment on January 11, 2008, dismissing claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a result of the company's alleged failure to return the plaintiff to work on light duty. Appeal dismissed by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Case No. 08-1252, May 30, 2008
    • City of Louisville, Division of Fire v. Fire Service Managers Association, Ky., 212 S.W.3d 89, No. 02-CI-4478, decided November 22, 2006 by the Kentucky Supreme Court, reversing the lower court ruling and dismissing claims for overtime compensation asserted by District Chief employees in the Fire Department
    • Rodgers et al. v. Lutron Electronics Co., Case No. 3:04-CV-381-S (W.D. KY), AAA Case No. 14 160 01697 05, Award issued by Arbitrator Joan Parker, October 20, 2006, summarily dismissing age discrimination claims
    • National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, Local 320, AFL-CIO v. Pernod Ricard USA LLC, No. 4:04-CV-0187 (S.D. IN), decided March 24, 2006, granting summary judgment dismissing claims filed by the union against Pernod seeking to arbitrate claims filed on behalf of retirees over changes in their medical plan
    • Bradley Miller v. United Defense, L.P., No. 3:04CV-393-S (W.D. KY), decided November 7, 2005, dismissing all claims including claims under the Americans with Disability Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act
    • Sonii v. General Electric Company, Civil No. 95-C-5370 (N.D. IL), decided June 10, 2003, and April 27, 2005, affirmed, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 05-2695, October 24, 2005, denying plaintiffs counsel's motion for more than $1 million in fees and costs after case settled
    • Dale Zanchi v. United Defense, L.P., Case No. 3:04CV-176-H (W. D. KY), decided June 29, 2005, summarily dismissing claims of discrimination on account of disability and veteran's status
    • Herman Stein v. Bellarmine University, Kentucky Court of Appeals, No. 2004-CA-001086-MR, decided June 3, 2005, affirming dismissal of breach of contract claims by circuit court after a bench trial, and earlier summary judgment dismissing age discrimination claim
    • Acree v. Tyson Bearing Co., No. 03-5870 (6th Cir. 2005), decided February 11, 2005, 95 FEP Cases 288, affirming the district court's judgment after jury trial dismissing 49 age discrimination claims, pet. for rehearing en banc denied, April 25, 2005, cert. den., 546 U.S. __, October 3, 2005
    • Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers, Local Union No. 5-998 v. LWD, Inc., Case No. 02-5892 (6th Cir. 2004), affirming district court's judgment setting aside an arbitration award in favor of the union
    • Verhonda Basham v. Vulcan Materials, et al., Hardin Circuit Court, No. 02-CI-01572, decided December 30, 2003, granting summary judgment dismissing wage and retaliatory discharge claims
    • L.W.D., Inc. et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 01-2273 and 01-2546 (6th Cir. 2003), decided September 19, 2003, reversing NLRB's decision which in part held that the layoff of some 32 employees following an NLRB election was a violation of the NLRA
  • Professional Experience 
    • Attorney in the Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, in Washington D.C.
    • Field Attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, Region Five, in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Honors 

    “Superb, a legend in the labor field."  Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

    • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers in Labor and Employment Law
    • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law -Management, Labor Law - Management, and Labor & Employment Litigation, 2005-2021
    • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Labor Law Management "Lawyer of the Year" 2020
    • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Employment Law Management "Lawyer of the Year" 2020
    • Recognized by his peers as one of the Kentucky Super Lawyers®, and from 2011-2015, 2018 included in the Top 50 lawyers in Kentucky, as well as in 2014 included in the Top 10 lawyers in Kentucky
    • Highest Professional AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
    • Recognized as one of the "Top Lawyers" in the area of Labor & Employment Law - Defense by Louisville Magazine, March 2014
    • The International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers 2009, 2010 and 2011
    • Ranked in the Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the U.S. for 2008, 2009 and 2010 by Labor Relations Institute, Inc. 
    • The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
    • Elected a Founding Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Education 

    LL.M., with Highest Honors, George Washington University School of Law

    J.D., University of Louisville School of Law

    B.S.L., University of Louisville

  • Blog 

    Mr. Hopson was a co-author of the Wyatt Employment Law Report and wrote blog articles for the "World" Blog of The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.

  • Publications 
    • Contributing Editor to the Following: Employment Law in Kentucky, (University of Kentucky), Fourth Edition, 2013, Third Edition, 2007, and Second Edition, 2000; The Developing Labor Law (BNA), Sixth Edition, and its 2014 and 2013 Cumulative Supplements, Fifth Edition, 2006, and its 2008 - 2011 Cumulative Supplements; Discipline and Discharge in Arbitration (BNA) Second Edition, 2008, First Edition, 1999; How Arbitration Works (BNA, Elkouri and Elkouri), Sixth Edition, 2003, Fifth Edition 1997, and its 2008 Supplement.
    • Regular contributor (monthly) to the KY OSHA Journal; author of Understanding Occupational Safety and Health Issues.  Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 1995; The Kentucky Employer's Guide to Preventing OSHA Fines and Citations, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 2000.

    • "Wrongful Discharge - Whatever Happened to the Employment-at-Will Doctrine?"  19 Kentucky Bench & Bar, No. 3, Summer, 1985

    • Co-author, "Impact of the Federal Arbitration Act on Litigation over Arbitration," 13 The Labor Lawyer 359 (1997) and reprinted in digest form in GP Solo & Small Firm Lawyer, American Bar Association, Vo. 15, No. 4, September, 1998

    • "Review of Recent Decisions of the National Labor Relations Board," Fifteenth Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute, (Univ. of Louisville School of Law, Dolson, Ed.; 1998)
  • Professional Activities and Memberships 
    • Editor of the Kentucky Bar Association's Bench & Bar Magazine and Chair of its Publications Committee - 2001-2008
    • Moderator at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Carl A. Warns, Jr. Labor & Employment Law Institute presented by the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law on programs entitled "EEOC Update," "Employment Law in a Slowing Economy," and "Ethical Issues in Interviewing and Preparing Witnesses," May 30, 2008
    • Moderator at the Twenty-Fourth Annual Carl A. Warns, Jr. Labor & Employment Law Institute presented by the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law on programs entitled "Kentucky Workers' Compensation Update" and "Federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act," June 22, 2007
    • Member of the Commercial (Employment) Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
    • Co-Chair, ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution Subcommittee of the Labor Arbitration Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section, 1988-94
    • Co-Chair, Future Directions of Labor Arbitration Subcommittee, 1994-2000
    • Co-Chair, Publication of Arbitration Decisions Subcommittee, 2000-2002, of the ADR in Labor & Employment Law Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Admissions 
    • Kentucky Bar Association, Kentucky Court of Appeals and Kentucky Supreme Court
    • United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky
    • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits
    • United States Supreme Court
  • Civic Involvement 
    • Past Member of the Board of Directors and past President of the Louisville Ballet Company
    • Past President, Board of Directors of and legal advisor to Bellewood Presbyterian Home for Children, Inc.