Mr. Spear, head of litigation at Minto Law Group, has a multi-faceted civil litigation practice, focusing on employment and civil rights cases. He represents mainly employees in Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state area, including, among others, doctors, professors, executives, coal miners and small businesses in employment disputes in Federal and State Courts and has conducted proceedings before numerous administrative agencies.
He has successfully pursued claims involving race, age, sex and disability discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation, as well as violations of the FMLA, LMRA, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act and Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law. Mr. Spear also represents clients in employment contract disputes, Title IX cases and other common law matters.
Mr. Spear is an elected member of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, an invitation-only group of the Bar’s most experienced and proficient litigators. He also is an elected Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is a distinguished honor and the highest recognition by one’s colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the legal profession, and exemplifying integrity, dedication, excellence and leadership in the field.
He has extensive courtroom experience, including jury and non-jury trials and arbitrations, and has represented clients in numerous mediations and early neutral evaluations. In 2018, on the eve of trial, Mr. Spear negotiated a 1.1 million-dollar settlement in a single plaintiff disability discrimination case against the Pa. Department of Corrections. Mr. Spear previously prevailed in a 7-day jury trial in Federal Court in a case brought under the associational clause of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and his client was awarded a substantial verdict. During the trial, Mr. Spear was able to prove through different types of circumstantial evidence that the Defendant’s stated reason for firing his client was pretextual and that the real reason her employer terminated her was because of her association with her son, who had cancer. He also obtained a substantial fee award for successfully pursing his client’s claim.
Mr. Spear regularly serves on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s annual Employment Law seminar in Pittsburgh. He has appeared as a guest lecturer on the topic of employment law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Mr. Spear is a member of the local chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and serves on the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Committee on Law and Disability.
Mr. Spear received his B.A. in Economics from Emory University in 1988, where he was a member of the Economics Honors Society, and his J.D. in 1991 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned honors in Legal Research and Writing and Moot Court. He interned with the Honorable Carol Los Mansmann of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1990, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patrick R. Tamilia of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania from 1991-1993, before entering private practice.