Deborah A.Sudbury (Deb)

Of Counsel

Atlanta + 1.404.581.8443

Deb Sudbury has represented employers for more than 30 years in a wide range of labor and employment-related matters, including more than 30 high-stakes class actions and more than 40 sensitive executive or Board-level investigations.

Deb is currently representing a large transportation company in a class gender discrimination matter and a food product company in nationwide wage-hour litigation. She also recently represented a national retailer in wage-hour litigation and defended an international manufacturer against high-stakes class race charges. She also defended several large defense contractors in defeating class certification in a race case and helped a Fortune 50 company craft a statistical strategy to defeat an age discrimination class. Deb has worked with labor economists and other experts to develop legal strategies that have led to the defeat of class certifications. She has extensive jury and bench trial experience in both federal and state courts.

Deb is regularly recognized as a leading labor and employment lawyer. She is a frequent speaker on employment law and class action topics and authored a book on plant closing laws and articles on employment law issues.

Deb has been and continues to be active in a wide variety of local civic and charitable organizations, including National Black Arts Festival, Leadership Atlanta, Communities in Schools, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta College of Art, the Hambidge Center, and the Atlanta International School.


  • Major university undergoes internal investigation involving graduate business school student selectivity dataAs publicly reported, Jones Day conducted an independent investigation into the external misreporting of certain graduate business school student selectivity data by a major University.
  • Major university undergoes internal investigation involving undergraduate student selectivity dataAs publicly reported, Jones Day conducted an independent investigation into the external misreporting of certain undergraduate student selectivity data by a major university.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods prevails on preemptive motion to deny class certification in nationwide off-the-clock caseJones Day successfully defended Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. in this nationwide case seeking class action status under the laws of more than 30 states and under the FLSA.
  • Atlanta office hosts program on behalf of Pro Bono Partnership, Inc.Pro Bono Partnership provides pro bono opportunities to transactional lawyers at corporations and law firms by matching them with nonprofits in need of free legal services within their area of expertise.
  • IBM defends against putative nationwide age discrimination class action arising out of reductions-in-forceJones Day represented International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") in a putative collective action brought by 12 former IBM employees alleging discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act on behalf of upwards of 15,000 former employees over the age of 40 who were terminated in conjunction with reductions in force between 2001-2005.
  • JUSTGeorgia: Jones Day Atlanta Making the Case for a New Georgia Juvenile CodeBetween June 2007 and April 2008, Jones Day Atlanta attorneys conducted more than three dozen interviews of "stakeholders" and other interested persons involved in the Seventh Judicial District juvenile justice system.
  • Large retailer resolves sensitive racial discrimination matter with confidential investigationJones Day represented a large retailer in conducting a confidential investigation and resolving a sensitive racial discrimination matter.
  • Insurance company defends against class action claims of race discriminationJones Day represented a large U.S. insurance company on class charges of race discrimination in promotions and pay.
  • Private corporation defends against EEOC investigation of discrimination allegationsJones Day represented large privately-held corporation in an EEOC investigation of charges alleging both class and individual claims of race, age, and sex discrimination arising from the purchase of a mill.
  • FleetPride defends against putative nationwide FLSA collective actionJones Day represented FleetPride in a putative nationwide FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of sales workforce.
  • Defense contractor undergoes internal investigation of upper managementJones Day represented a large defense contractor by conducting two internal investigations into alleged misconduct by senior corporate officials.
  • Health insurance company conducts internal investigation of upper managementJones Day represented a health insurance company in conducting an internal investigation relating to the allegations of wrongdoing by senior corporate officer.
  • Private corporation restructures 100,000 employeesJones Day represented a privately-held corporation in a large-scale restructuring of 100,000 employee workforce.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • January 28, 2019
      Workplace Investigations: Strategies and Pitfalls, JD CLE Academy
    • January 28, 2019
      Professionalism Topic: When the Press Comes Knocking, Jones Day CLE Academy
    • February 29, 2012
      Employment Law Update - New Employment Risks and Obligations in 2012, Jones Day CLE Academy
    • April 27, 2007
      Significant Recent EEO Decisions and Trends
    • March 23, 2007
      Strategies for Litigation Avoidance in the Employment Area, Annual Meeting of the American Financial Services Association
    • November 2000
      Settlement and ADR Considerations in Big Case Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute
    • September 2000
      Labor Law Update -- Keeping Your Firm Out of Trouble, Association of Legal Administrators
    • May 2000
      Psychiatric Disabilities and the ADA, Defense Research Institute Employment Law Conference
    • March 2000
      Lawsuit Avoidance/Class Actions, Wholesale/Retail Annual Conference, New Orleans
    • February 1999
      ADA and Psychiatric Disabilities -- Avoiding Liability for the Most Frequent ADA Claim, Personnel Management Legal Alert presented by the International Quality and Productivity Center and the Personnel Management Advisory Counsel
    • April 1998
      ADA and its Implications for Physically or Mentally Challenged Artists and Art Lovers, Georgia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
    • November 1998
      ADA/EEOC Update, Annual Meeting of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators
    • June 1997
      Discipline and Discharge: Prevent Lawsuits and Exert Management Rights, Annual Meeting of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators
    • May 1997
      Legal Issues in the Staffing Business, Georgia Association of Personnel Services
    • May 1996
      Checklist of Key Employment Law Issues Regarding Mergers & Acquisitions/Critical People Issues In an Acquisition Setting, Southern Conference on Mergers & Acquisitions
    • December 1996
      Reductions in Force, NELI Conference, New Orleans
    • July 1995
      Americans With Disabilities Act: Recent Developments, Georgia Association of Temporary Services Annual Meeting
    • July 1995
      Diversity in the Workplace, Annual Meeting of American Women in Radio and Television
    • 1994
      Alternative Dispute Resolution, NELI Conference, Chicago
    • 1994-1998
      Key speaker on employment law issues at numerous seminars, sponsored by the Institute for Applied Management and the Law (IAML) held in Boston, Chicago and Atlanta (1994-1998) and by the Council for Education in Management (CEM) in Atlanta (1994-1998)