Leading Employment Litigators Join Ballard Spahr


Jay Zweig and Melissa Costello – two attorneys with a combined five decades of experience representing businesses as employment law and commercial litigators – have joined Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group, Firm Chair Mark Stewart announced today. They will be based in Phoenix.

Jay and Melissa have been active in advising clients on federal and local laws relating to COVID-19. Individually, Jay represents businesses in avoiding and resolving employment law disputes. He assists employers with human resources policies, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, wage-and-hour, FMLA, and leave law issues, whistleblower cases, sexual harassment and employment discrimination administrative charges and litigation, internal investigations, ADA matters, and OSHA citations. He has been lead counsel in federal and state court trials for clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. For her part, Melissa advises clients regarding disciplinary issues, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, separation agreements, harassment, ADA, and discrimination matters.

“Jay and Melissa are, like their new colleagues in the Labor and Employment Group at Ballard, essential partners to the clients they serve,” Mark says. “That is especially true now as employers turn to us for help in addressing the impact of the global pandemic on their workplaces and the many complex issues that arise. We welcome the depth and experience that Jay and Melissa bring.”

Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group is home to almost 40 attorneys across the firm’s 15 offices. In addition to providing around-the-clock support to clients, the group is keeping them informed of pending legislation and legal developments via the firm’s COVID-19 Resource Center. In Phoenix, Jay and Melissa will work alongside noted labor and employment attorney Ronald J. Stolkin.

“We are delighted to welcome Jay and Melissa to our national practice, particularly at this very busy, critically important time for our clients,” says Brian D. Pedrow, leader of Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group. “They have excellent reputations in the Phoenix business community and beyond. Their depth, range, and creativity will help clients navigate the unprecedented challenges they are facing right now.”

Jay, the Arizona Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2017, is a contributing author to the Arizona Employment Law Handbook. Jay and Melissa joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

“Ballard Spahr’s national platform, client mix, and core values are an excellent fit for our practices,” Jay says. “The attorneys have developed strong reputations and excellent track records providing indispensable counsel throughout the business community. Melissa and I are privileged to work with Ron, and we look forward to a team approach to serving clients.”

Jay and Melissa are both also members of Temple Solel, and offer pro bono services to the Martin Pear Jewish Community Center as well as other Jewish organizations across Greater Phoenix.

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