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Henderson Franklin's Employment Law practice group offers clients a full range of employment law services. We represent clients in all aspects of employment-related litigation matters, including claims involving gender, race, national origin, age, and disability discrimination; sexual harassment; wage and hour; and retaliation claims. Attorneys in this practice group prepare and/or revise employee handbooks; non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements; and other employment contracts. We also provide employment-related counseling and other training services, including seminars for management and staff.

  • Representation and services include:
  • EEOC investigations
  • ADA accessibility compliance
  • FMLA compliance
  • Title VII and civil rights litigation
  • Safe hiring/firing counseling
  • FLSA wage and hour compliance
  • Collective bargaining, including union negotiations/disputes
  • Whistleblower claims

In addition to the full range of employment law services we provide, our clients also benefit from the extensive resources available at Henderson Franklin. For example, attorneys in the employment law practice group draw on the experience of other attorneys within the firm who regularly practice in civil rights litigation, workers' compensation litigation, and business/corporate-related matters that may overlap with employment law issues.
The Employment Law division also hosts an annual seminar, HR Law & Solutions, tailored for Southwest Florida business owners and human resources professionals. The seminar brings attendees up to date on employment law issues and provides practical advice and application.

For further assistance in this practice area, contact Scott Atwood by phone at 239-344-1287 or by email at scott.atwood@henlaw.com

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. logo

1715 Monroe Street
Post Office Box 280

Fort Myers, FL 33902 Phone: 239-344-1100

Scott is Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law group. From complex labor and employment counseling and litigation to general business matters, he has been representing the interests of entrepreneurs, public entities, and businesses of all sizes throughout the United States, including Florida and Georgia, for more than 25 years.

More specifically, Scott has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and Section 1983 discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters, FMLA leaves issues, and FLSA and state law wage situations. He also assists his clients in whistleblower claims and non-compete, non-solicitation, trade secret, and contract disputes. With regard to general corporate matters, he prepares employment agreements, operating and shareholder agreements, restrictive covenant (non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality) agreements, and business contracts.

Scott also brings his expertise as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator to facilitate a resolution as an alternative to lengthy and expensive litigation. As Chair of the Florida Bar’s Labor and Employment Section, Scott is extremely active in helping formulate and implement legal policy on both the state and local level. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida, Georgia, and the District of Columbia, including U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.

Scott has repeatedly been recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer in labor and employment law. In 2020, Naples Illustrated named Scott a “Top Lawyer”. Previously, he was recognized by Atlanta Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in labor and employment law. While attending law school, Scott was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Journal of International Law and was awarded the President’s Award for outstanding service to the University. He now serves on the College of Law’s Alumni Council.

Scott also contributes to the Southwest Florida Business and IP Blog. His posts include:

When not working, Scott enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and watching New England sports.

Professional and Civic Affiliations

Scott devotes countless hours to the community. Currently, he is on the Executive Council (and past President) of the Lee County Bar Association Foundation, is Chair of the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center Board of Directors, and is a member of the UF Law Alumni Council. He is also a member of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class (2017). 

Scott previously served on the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, including its Executive Council and Disciplinary Committee; was President of the Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division and its Out-of-State Division; was Vice-Chair of the Florida Bar’s Continuing Legal Education Committee; was President of the Lee County Bar Association; and, was Chair of the Small Firm Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. He is a former member of the 20th Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee, Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and the Florida Bar’s inaugural Diversity Committee. Scott also served on the Allocations Committee for Lee County United Way, on the Executive Committee of the Dartmouth Club of Georgia, and was a Barrister in the Calusa Inns of Court.

Henderson Franklin Elects Kyle Dudek Stockholder

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., is pleased to announce that litigation attorney Kyle Dudek has been elected a stockholder. He joined the firm in October 2016 and is a member of the Tort & Insurance Litigation department. Dudek also serves on the firm’s Marketing Committee. “I am excited at the opportunity to spend my career with such a great group of attorneys and colleagues. I look forward to continue to serve clients throughout Southwest Florida with such a talented group,” shares Dudek.

Robert Shearman, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the Tort & Insurance Litigation department shares, “Kyle has an extraordinary ability to analyze complex and often conflicting materials, identify the key factual items and dispositive legal principles, and pull them together in an insightful and easy to understand manner. He brings enthusiasm and honest effort to his personal and professional efforts, making him a great partner and an uncommonly effective attorney. He is truly a rising star with a bright future ahead of him.”

Dudek’s mentor, stockholder William (“Bill”) Boltrek, shares:

“Kyle has a great understanding of the law and looks at cases from a different perspective. He provides assistance and guidance to our clients on what to expect and how to move their causes forward. Kyle’s skill as a lawyer in unparalleled when it comes to writing motions and briefs and offers suggestions to young lawyers on ways to improve their work product. By devoting countless hours mentoring and developing the firm’s young lawyers, he is helping shape the future of our firm.”

A large part of Dudek’s practice is dedicated to serving as counsel for state and municipal entities involved in civil rights litigation. He defends government actors against claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and retaliation under the First Amendment. In the private sector, Dudek defends individuals and entities in cases involving employment law matters, premises liability, professional malpractice, subrogation rights, automobile liability, and wrongful death. He also is a frequent blogger on these topics on the Southwest Florida Business and IP Blog. Dudek is a member of the Florida, Virginia, and New York Bars.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his professional achievements and was named a “Rising Star” by Florida Super Lawyers magazine in 2018-2020. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches a class focusing on civil rights litigation.

Dudek received his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law (magna cum laude) and his B.S. from Cornell University (magna cum laude). He may be reached at kyle.dudek@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1237.

Founded in 1924, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. is one of the largest and most experienced full-service law firms between Tampa and Miami. With over 55 attorneys who live, work and have deep roots in Southwest Florida, Henderson Franklin provides high quality, personalized legal services to a roster of corporate and individual clients.

Founded on a culture of adhering to the highest ethical standards, integrity, and good citizenship, Henderson Franklin upholds these principles while remaining deeply invested in the Southwest Florida community. We act as trusted advisors and partners to our clients throughout every stage of their business.

Katherine “Kati” Cook is an associate in the firm’s Business Litigation department based out of the Fort Myers office. She handles a variety of litigation matters, including employment law matters (FLSA, Title VII, ADA), contract and landlord/tenant disputes, trust and probate litigation, and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Kati also provides litigation assistance to the Condominium and Homeowner's Association Group. She is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts.

While in law school, Kati served as publications editor of Ave Maria Law Review and was a legal intern for United States Middle District of Florida. She graduated first in her class from Ave Maria School of Law, was honored as a Lee County Association for Women Lawyer’s scholarship recipient, and was published in Volume 17 of the Ave Maria Law Review. Kati served as a summer associate with Henderson Franklin during the summer of 2018.

Kati was born and raised in Pine Island, Florida, graduating from Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, going out on the boat, and traveling.

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Professional and Civic Affiliations

Over the years, Kati has volunteered for the YMCA and Salvation Army. She currently serves on the board of Lee County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and is a member of the Lee County Association for Women Lawyers.

Kyle Dudek is a stockholder in the Tort & Insurance Litigation division. A large part of his practice is dedicated to serving as counsel for state and municipal entities involved in civil rights litigation. Kyle defends government actors against claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and retaliation under the First Amendment. In the private sector, he defends individuals and entities in cases involving employment law matters, premises liability, professional malpractice, subrogation rights, automobile liability, and wrongful death.

Kyle’s practice before joining Henderson Franklin also afforded him extensive time in the courtroom. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable G. Steve Agee in the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Honorable James C. Cacheris in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Honorable Andrew Baxter in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Kyle also previously worked as an associate for a law firm in Northern Virginia.

Kyle is a member of the Florida, Virginia, and New York Bars. He is admitted to practice before all state courts in Florida, Virginia and New York, as well as the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit.

Kyle graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University School of Law, where he served on the Articles Committee for the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy. While attending Cornell University, Kyle was a teaching assistant and a nationally certified peer tutor. He now serves as an adjunct professor at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches a class focusing on civil rights litigation.

Florida Super Lawyers magazine has named Kyle a "Rising Star" every year since 2018, noting his work in civil rights and appellate law. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Kyle now resides in Fort Myers with his wife, Casey. When not working, he enjoys golfing and walking his dog.

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Professional and Civic Affiliations

While living in Washington D.C., Kyle was an active member of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. He is committed to his community and primarily focuses his volunteer efforts on supporting animals in need.

Robert C. Shearman serves as chair of the Tort and Insurance Litigation Department, is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Mediator. He concentrates his practice in the defense of tort, civil rights, employment, and real estate claims.  

Bob represents public and private entities with respect to constitutional claims, wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment matters. He also represents law enforcement agencies and officers and serves as attorney for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Civil Service Board. Additionally, Bob handles civil litigation and administrative actions defending errors and omissions claims for real estate professionals. In addition to litigating in state and federal court, he practices extensively before federal, state and administrative agencies.

Bob provides preventative harassment and discrimination training for employers frequently lectures on law enforcement liability, employment law, real estate, and tort litigation, and has been published in employment law journals. He also is a regular speaker at Henderson Franklin’s HR Law & Solutions educational seminar. Prior to working with Henderson Franklin, Bob practiced maritime law in Miami, Florida, representing vessel insurers, manufacturers, and shipyards.

Throughout his career, Bob has been honored by Florida Super Lawyers® magazine every year since 2012, Best Lawyers in America® (2017-2021), and Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite (2013, 2016-2018). He is married with three children. When not working, he enjoys cycling, golfing, boating and watching Florida State University sports.

Professional and Civic Affiliations

In the community, Bob is a member of the cabinet and Board of Directors of the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee, Inc. and served as the 2019 Campaign Co-Chair. He was elected to several terms as president of his homeowners’ association and of the Southwest Florida Seminole Club, where he currently serves on the Board of Directors. Bob is an alumnus of Leadership Lee County, a former Big Brother, and served as a trustee of the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. He has organized numerous golf and fishing tournaments to benefit local charities.

Bob is a past president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and a former member of the Inns of Court, Calusa Chapter.

Scott is Chair of the firm's Labor and Employment Law group. From complex labor and employment counseling and litigation to general business matters, he has been representing the interests of entrepreneurs, public entities, and businesses of all sizes throughout the United States, including Florida and Georgia, for more than 25 years.

More specifically, Scott has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and Section 1983 discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters, FMLA leaves issues, and FLSA and state law wage situations. He also assists his clients in whistleblower claims and non-compete, non-solicitation, trade secret, and contract disputes. With regard to general corporate matters, he prepares employment agreements, operating and shareholder agreements, restrictive covenant (non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality) agreements, and business contracts.

Scott also brings his expertise as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator to facilitate a resolution as an alternative to lengthy and expensive litigation. As Chair-elect of the Florida Bar's Labor and Employment Section, Scott is extremely active in helping formulate and implement legal policy on both the state and local level. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida, Georgia, and the District of Columbia, including U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida.

Scott has repeatedly been recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer in labor and employment law. In 2020, Naples Illustrated named Scott a "Top Lawyer". Previously, he was recognized by Atlanta Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in labor and employment law. While attending law school, Scott was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Journal of International Law and was awarded the President's Award for outstanding service to the University. He now serves on the College of Law's Alumni Council.

Scott also contributes to the Southwest Florida Business and IP Blog. His posts include:

When not working, Scott enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and watching New England sports.

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Professional and Civic Affiliations

Scott devotes countless hours to the community. Currently, he is on the Executive Council (and past President) of the Lee County Bar Association Foundation, is Chair of the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center Board of Directors, and is a member of the UF Law Alumni Council. He is also a member of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class (2017). 

Scott previously served on the Florida Bar's Board of Governors, including its Executive Council and Disciplinary Committee; was President of the Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division and its Out-of-State Division; was Vice-Chair of the Florida Bar's Continuing Legal Education Committee; was President of the Lee County Bar Association; and, was Chair of the Small Firm Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. He is a former member of the 20th Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee, Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and the Florida Bar’s inaugural Diversity Committee. Scott also served on the Allocations Committee for Lee County United Way, on the Executive Committee of the Dartmouth Club of Georgia, and was a Barrister in the Calusa Inns of Court.