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Katherine Dudley Helms • Shareholder

Ogletree Deakins • Columbia, South Carolina

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Contact Information

Ogletree Deakins
1320 Main Street
Suite 600
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
phone 803.252.1300
fax  803.254.6517


Ms. Helms was selected for inclusion in the 2001- present editions of The Best Lawyers in America. She has extensive experience working with clients on a wide range of employment issues and enjoys working with individuals who range from team leaders to company presidents and representing management in a widely varied group of entities. Ms. Helms represents these clients not only in litigation but in active preventative maintenance, interaction, and intervention designed to create a workplace in which litigation is the exception, rather than the rule.  Ms. Helms is also a frequent speaker and provides training on a wide range of employment related issues including FMLA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, retaliation, discipline, and hiring and firing.Ms. Helms has practiced at all levels from administrative agencies to the United States Supreme Court and also is skilled in both mediation and arbitration of cases.Ms. Helms has successfully represented clients in employment matters including: A complex claim of religious discrimination in which a professor claimed that he was not hired into a tenure track position at a university because he was a Christian. The plaintiff appealed this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Defendant was awarded fees and costs.A claim against a major retailer in which the plaintiff alleged gender and age bias.Defended allegation of discrimination in physician residency programs with a large teaching hospital.Helped structure a major reduction in force in a multi-facility hospital group.Handled a claim of discrimination complicated by a contractual relationship between a university and a healthcare facility.Claims of gender discrimination and assault and battery against a manufacturing entity.Mediating cases to settlement to obtain the optimal resolution for the client.Actively partnering with clients in counseling in employment matters and advising clients in administrative disputes in order to minimize the likelihood of litigation.A claim of disability discrimination in which the manufacturing entity had an excellent legal position of facts that could have resulted in very bad public relations. Ms. Helms frequently works healthcare and industrial entities regarding complex employment issues involving individuals from the physician and professional levels to the unskilled worker. Ms. Helms served as an intern to the late Judge Charles L. Weltner of the Supreme Court of Georgia and earned valuable business experience as a branch manager of a Georgia financial institution. Ms. Helms actively seeks to work with clients to enable them to balance the sometimes conflicting demands of the law and business and to better enable her clients to make their workplace one that is desirable to today’s employees.


  • College: B.A., University of Arkansas, 1979
  • Law School: J.D., cum laude, Georgia State University College of Law, 1985 (Notes & Comments Editor, Georgia Sta

Bar Admissions

Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court
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Last Login: December 31, 1969

Practice Areas

• Employment Law