Michael D. Ray

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC

$ $$$

North Upper Wacker Drive 155
Chicago 60606 IL US

Michael (“Mike”) Ray represents and counsels employers on the full spectrum of labor and employment matters. Mike regularly litigates class and collective actions under federal and state law, and has successfully tried multiple cases to a complete defense verdict in forums across the country.

Mike has particular experience in high-stakes litigation and strives to help employers reach practical and creative solutions to their problems. Mike understands that there is no “one size fits all” approach to labor and employment matters, and he regularly partners with companies to achieve strategies and solutions that meet both their legal and business objectives.

Mike has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer “Rising Star” every year since 2013. The Rising Star distinction is awarded to attorneys under the age of 40 based on various indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. This recognition is awarded to no more than 2.5% of practicing Illinois attorneys.

In addition to his practice, Mike is a regular speaker and author on the labor and employment issues facing employers. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins back in 2005, Mike served as a law clerk for current Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thomas Saylor.


  • J.D., cum laude, Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, 2004
  • B.A., cum laude, College of Wooster, 2001

Admitted to Practice:

  • North Carolina
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


  • Served as trial counsel for a manufacturer in a multi-plaintiff action under the Fair Labor Standards Act. After Mike and his Ogletree colleagues obtained decertification of the 400+-member class, Mike and his trial team obtained a full defense verdict at trial on the remaining plaintiffs’ claims.
  • Served as court-appointed trial counsel for an incarcerated inmate alleging violation of his Constitutional rights. In that case, Mike won a directed verdict on his client’s claims at the close of the evidence.
  • Served as trial counsel for a large chemical company in state court injunction proceedings involving more than 1,000 picketers and demonstrators outside the company’s facility, and resulting in the judge issuing a restraining order in his client’s favor.
  • Mike has often served as lead counsel for companies of all sizes in labor arbitration matters with successful results.

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association
  • College of Wooster “W” Association (Association of Former Wooster Intercollegiate Varsity Athletes)


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North Upper Wacker Drive 155
Chicago 60606 IL US
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Lina Stillman

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New York 10006 NY US