Patricia A. Smith

Senior Counsel
Tel 856.873.5521
Fax 856.761.1020
New Jersey

Patricia A. Smith represents management in all areas of employment and labor law and litigation. She has experience in a variety of industries, including health care, transportation, refining, manufacturing, construction, and commercial lending. Pat regularly provides advice and counseling to employers concerning the implementation of reductions in force and other difficult employment decisions. She also practices traditional labor law and regularly handles labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, and unfair labor practice charges.

Pat is a veteran litigator with significant jury trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts. Pat also conducts workplace investigations and represents clients during government audits and investigations. She has an active ERISA litigation practice and counsels employers on avoiding and resolving employment-related problems.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended a nationally recognized construction company before a jury in two age-discrimination employment suits
  • Successfully defended numerous claims of employment discrimination and retaliation claims on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, national origin, and whistleblower status in numerous state and federal courts throughout the country
  • Successfully defended ERISA individual and class action matters
  • Develops and implements strategies to preserve confidential corporate information and to avoid the loss of valuable employees to competitors
  • Successfully obtains and enforces temporary restraining orders and injunctions in connection with protecting trade secret and proprietary business information

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, labor and employment litigation (New Jersey), 2007-2019

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell


Frequent author on numerous employment law topics, including sexual harassment, defamation, employee piracy, and union avoidance

Co-author, "New Jersey Prohibits Particular Waiver and Non-Disclosure Provisions in Employee Contracts and Settlement Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, March 19, 2019

Co-author, "New Jersey Expands Leave Benefits for Employees," Ballard Spahr alert, February 21, 2019

Co-author, "A Look at Critical New Labor and Employment Laws for 2019," Ballard Spahr alert, February 5, 2019

Co-author, "New Jersey Passes Laws on Sick Leave and Pay Equity; Will Tackle Worker Misclassification," Ballard Spahr alert, May 9, 2018

Co-author, "A New Governor Takes Office: What NJ Employers Can Expect," Ballard Spahr alert, January 18, 2018 

Speaking Engagements

Pat is a regular speaker and lecturer before business, bar, and community groups on labor and employment law topics, including the American Bar Association, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, American Petroleum Labor Lawyers Association, and Council on Management. Recent engagements include:

"The Impact of an Aging Workforce and How Employers Can Prepare," Ballard Spahr CLE, January 10, 2019

"Statutory Waivers: Jury Waivers, Statutes of Limitation and Arbitration," National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, April 2017 

"Sex, Pregnancy, and Sexual Orientation," 2015 HR Legal Summit: Labor and Employment Law Compliance for Today's HR Professional, Ballard Spahr and SEPA SHRM conference, Langhorne, Pa., September 11, 2015

"Social Media in Litigation and the Workplace: Legal and Ethical Issues," Ballard CLE Webinar, May 2015

"Social Media in the Workplace," Southeastern Pennsylvania Health Alliance, April 2015

"Before You Hit Send – The Perils of Email," Human Resources Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, March 2015

"The NLRB's New Focus on the Non-Union Workplace: What In-House Counsel and HR Directors Need to Know," Ballard CLE Webinar, March 2015

"HR Roundtable: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – Accommodations and More," Health System Presentation, May 2, 2014

"Watch Your Back (Ground)," American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Conference, October 2013

"In Search of the Truth: Conducting Internal Investigations," New Jersey Business and Industry Association Seminar, October 2013

"Internships: The College and University Perspective," Ballard Spahr Webinar, August 2013

"Wage and Benefit Issues: What Employers Need to Know," National Business Institute Seminar, August 2013

"Unpaid Interns," Ballard Spahr Webinar, July 2013

"The FMLA: Recent Developments (Or Why Employees Still Aren't Coming to Work)," Ballard Spahr Webinar, June 2013

"Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training," Health System Presentation, May 2013

"New Media, New Liability: Navigating the Use of Social Media in the Workplace," Petroleum Industry Presentation, September 2012

"Using Handbooks to Address Social Media and Social Networking in the Workplace," New Jersey Business and Industry Association Seminar, September 2012

"HR 201 Seminar, Recent Court Cases and Rules You Need to Know," New Jersey Business and Industry Association Seminar, July 2012

"New Hazards in Hiring: Criminal Background Checks & Beyond," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, July 2012

"Workplace Law Today," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, May 2012

"The FMLA: Year in Review," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, May 2012

"Employment Issues in DE, NJ and PA," Pennsylvania Bar Employment Law Institute, April 2012

"Labor Relations Roundtable: Ask the Arbitrators," Ballard Spahr Seminar Presentation, October 2011

"Wage and Hour Compliance: Learn From Others' Mistakes," Ballard Spahr CLE Program, October 2011

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law-Camden (J.D. 1981, cum laude )

Rowan University (B.A. 1973, magna cum laude )

New Jersey