Sally Griffith Cimini is a Partner in Leech Tishman’s Litigation Practice Group, where she leads the Alternative Dispute Resolution Group. She is also a member of the Employment & Labor Practice Group, where she leads the Workplace Investigation and Discipline Group. Sally is based in the Pittsburgh office, and is highly regarded for her experience in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and employment and labor law.
Sally is a former Management Committee member and former Chair of the Employment & Labor Group, where she demonstrated her strong leadership skills as a well-respected consensus builder and collaborator.
Sally is well-known in the field of alternative dispute resolution, particularly as a mediator, arbitrator and early neutral evaluator, and has been lauded by members of the bar for her work in the field of alternative dispute resolution. She was named Pittsburgh Mediator of the Year in 2021, 2018 and 2016. In May 2014, the Pennsylvania Bar Association awarded her its annual Sir Francis Bacon Dispute Resolution Award in recognition and appreciation for her pioneering efforts to develop and enhance mediation throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is a Board member and the past president of the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania (MCWP), and for many years chaired the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s state-wide Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Sally initiated MCWP’s bi-monthly mediation education roundtable program and pioneered its annual Conflict Resolution Day program. For many years, she has served as a planner of the Allegheny Bar Association’s annual Kaplan Lecture on Conflict Resolution.
Sally was trained in mediation at the Harvard School of Law, and she has mediated hundreds, if not thousands, of cases over the past 21 years. She regularly serves as a mediator, arbitrator and early neutral evaluator for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She is also a panel mediator on the UPMC Intermediation Panel. Sally has served as a contract mediator for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, American Arbitration Association (AAA) and as a member of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. Private parties regularly request that Sally privately mediate disputes outside of formal administrative or court processes.
Sally is often asked by organizations to conduct private internal conflict resolution involving internal disputes between employees, managers, executives and/or departments. The Association for Conflict Resolution conferred Advanced Workplace Practitioner Status on Sally based upon the depth and breadth of her experience resolving employee/employer disputes. As a former human resource professional, she has the unique ability to balance practical business considerations with legal considerations while addressing workplace conflict.
A Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Sally has over 34 years of experience devoted exclusively to counseling and litigating on behalf of private and public sector employers in all aspects of the employment relationship, from hiring through termination. She regularly advises clients on employment discrimination issues workplace and sexual harassment, disability accommodation, Family & Medical Leave Act compliance, employee handbooks, human resource policies and practices, wage and hour issues, use of temporary/leased/contract employees and independent contractors, performance appraisals, workplace investigations, drug and alcohol testing, workplace privacy issues, disciplinary action and termination, reductions in force, employment at-will/wrongful discharge, alternative dispute resolution, union avoidance, employment agreements, restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements, severance agreements, waivers and releases, and unemployment compensation claims.
Sally routinely represents employers in employment discrimination litigation before the federal and state courts, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and City of Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations. She also represents employers in all aspects of labor relations, including collective bargaining, grievances, arbitration and National Labor Relations Board and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board proceedings. Sally has extensive experience with wage and hour practice before the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division.
Prior to joining Leech Tishman, Sally was a shareholder and associate at various prominent law firms in Pittsburgh. During the course of her career, she has practiced employment and labor law in both private practice and as in-house employment counsel for a major electric utility in Pittsburgh. Her work has always focused on employment and labor matters, prior to, while attending and since graduating from law school. While attending law school, Sally worked as a personnel specialist at Union Switch and Signal and also spent time as a law clerk for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. She has held numerous leadership and board positions in professional human resource organizations and was a co-founder of Tri-State Society for Human Resources Management.
Sally has published numerous articles on alternative dispute resolution, employment law and is a regular speaker on mediation, employment, labor law and human resources issues for bar association and human resource groups. She been a speaker and moderator with panels of mediators and judges for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Academy of Trial Lawyers, Federal Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Institute and MCWP’s Conflict Resolution Day programs. She is a Course Planner for and, for over 20 years, has served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Employment Law Institute and other PBI employment and alternative dispute resolution programs.
J.D., Duquesne University School of Law
Certificate in Personnel & Industrial Relations, University of Pittsburgh
B.A. in Speech Communication & Theatre and Journalism/Public Relations, Duquesne University
Ohio (Inactive Status)
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, West Virginia
U.S. District Court, Indiana
U.S. District Court, New York
Babst, Calland, Clements & Zomnir, P.C.
Polito & Smock, PC
Buchanan Ingersoll, PC (now Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Duquesne Light Company (In-House Employment and Labor Counsel)
Baskin, Flaherty, Elliott & Mannino, P.C.
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (Law Clerk)
American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section; Section of Dispute Resolution)
Pennsylvania Bar Association (Former Chair and Vice Chair, ADR Committee; Member, Labor and Employment Section; Member, Women in the Profession Commission)
Allegheny County Bar Association (Council Member, Labor and Employment Law Section; Member, ADR Committee; Member, Women in the Law Division Model Policy Committee)
Allegheny County Personnel Board (Member)
Association for Conflict Resolution
College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (Fellow)
Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania (Board Member, Past President; Former Program Chair)
Pennsylvania Council of Mediators
Pittsburgh Human Resources Association (Former Board Member; Former Newsletter Editor; Former Membership Chairperson)
Society for Human Resource Management
Tri-State Society for Human Resources Management (Founding Member; Board Member; Former President)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Attorney
Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
The Best Lawyers in America, Mediation (2011-2022), Alternative Dispute Resolution (2015-2017), Litigation- Labor and Employment (2011-2022), Employment Law- Management (2011-2022)
The Best Lawyers in America: Women in the Law Edition: Mediation (2016-2021)
Best Lawyers Pennsylvania, Mediation (2011-2022), Alternative Dispute Resolution (2015-2017), Litigation- Labor and Employment (2011-2022), Employment Law- Management (2011-2022)
Best Lawyers Pittsburgh Mediator of the Year (2021; 2018; 2016)
Best Lawyers Pittsburgh, Mediation (2011-2022), Alternative Dispute Resolution (2015-2017), Litigation- Labor and Employment (2011-2022), Employment Law- Management (2011-2022)
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, Top 50 Women Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2009-2011)
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, Pennsylvania Super Lawyer (2005, 2007-2021)
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine, Top 50 Pittsburgh Super Lawyers (2009-2011)
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association Sir Francis Bacon Alternative Dispute Resolution Award (2014)
Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania Training
Advanced Mediation Training, Center for Dispute Resolution (2000, 2004, 2015)
Mediation Workshop, Harvard Law School (1999)
Conflict Resolution and Mediation Training, Pittsburgh Mediation Center (1998)
AAA Employment Arbitration I & II Training Programs
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Mediation Training
Certifications & Designations
Certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Human Resources Certification Institute
Advanced Workplace Practitioner Status, Association for Conflict Resolution
List of speaking engagements/published articles available upon request.