John Stembridge has left national labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson, where he was a shareholder, to join his former colleague, G. Blaylock “Blake” Andrews Jr., at Andrews & Stembridge, a two-lawyer employment litigation shop representing plaintiffs and management.

Stembridge worked with Andrews at Littler before Andrews left for a federal judicial clerkship and then to start a solo practice in 2010.

“I saw a need for a smaller employment law firm, with the way the economy was,” said Andrews. “I can provide cost-effective service for the day-to-day problems that companies run into.”

Andrews said he and Stembridge had become friends at Littler and then worked together on a case for a common client after he started his solo practice. “I was constantly saying to John, come out and do this with me.”

In May, Stembridge decided to take him up on the offer. “I wanted to run my own firm and manage it the way I wanted it to be managed,” said Stembridge.

Stembridge spent seven years at Littler following a stint at another labor and employment firm, Ford & Harrison. He received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 2003. Before law school, he spent almost seven years working for Bank of America, managing bank branches and then a commercial loan portfolio.

Stembridge said he is still working with Littler on matters for three management-side clients, which he declined to name.

On the plaintiffs side, Andrews has been representing two Clayton County teachers in a breach of contract suit against the county school district over their salaries. The teachers allege that after they signed their annual contracts, starting with the 2010-2011 school year, the school district changed their salary schedules, effectively reducing their wages.

Andrews, Stembridge and the other lawyers on the suit, Jeffrey Shiver and Alan Hamilton of Shiver Hamilton and solo practitioner J. Tom Morgan III, hope to gain class action status for all teachers in the district.

The suit, filed in Clayton Superior Court, is still in the early stages, said Andrews. A hearing is scheduled on discovery for the class action, he said, pursuant to filing a motion for class certification.

Andrews received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 2001, then worked for Troutman Sanders in the litigation practice. He became interested in employment law while clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. of the Northern District of Georgia from 2006 to 2008. He subsequently joined Littler, then left the firm to clerk for U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Alan Baverman of the Northern District of Georgia before going solo in 2010.

Andrews and Stembridge opened an office at 1904 Monroe Drive N.E. at the beginning of June.

BRIEFLY

J. Chase Wilson has joined Davis, Matthews & Quigley‘s family law practice as an associate. He previously worked at Shaffer, Raymond & Dalton in Macon.

Matt Moore has joined Smith Moore Leatherwood‘s commercial real estate practice as of counsel from the Charleston firm Clawson and Staubes. He will work in Smith Moore’s Atlanta and Charleston offices.

Scott Marty has been named a partner at Ballard Spahr. Marty is an intellectual property attorney focused on clients in the biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Patty S. Veazey of Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission. Veazey, a health-care lawyer, works in the firm’s Tifton office.

Morris, Manning & Martin has started a new practice group called Mobile Law & Compliance to handle legal and regulatory issues arising from mobile devices. Legal areas include e-commerce and mobile payments, privacy issues, mobile positioning and employee monitoring. Sandra Gardiner and Alex Woollcott are co-chairing the new group.

Jones Day announced a $350,000 gift to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which broke ground on June 27. The new human rights center is located at Pemberton Place, next to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium and near Centennial Olympic Park, and is expected to open in 2014. The gift from Jones Day, which comes from staff and attorney donations to the firm’s nonprofit foundation, will be used to fund a “What Are Human Rights?” exhibit.