Nonnie Shivers

Shareholder Phoenix

Nonnie partners with employers and managers in three primary ways: litigation avoidance through counseling and training; investigations and resolutions when issues arise; and litigating complex and challenging cases to defend employer’s actions.  

Nonnie advises and counsels private and public employers in all aspects of employment law. Nonnie regularly partners with clients to plan and implement reductions in force, severance plans and agreements, and pre-litigation disciplinary matters. Nonnie regularly conducts complex and high-level internal investigations for clients, including at the executive level and within key departments, and assists in identifying and resolving potential areas of liability and exposure in a proactive but practical way. Nonnie’s unique practice also includes providing employment advice for employers doing business on the Navajo Nation and other tribal lands, including cultural and employment law training on unique tribal code requirements.  

Nonnie has successfully defending employers against allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination in state and federal court, as well as administrative forums. Nonnie has handled hundreds of charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division, as well as claims filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Nonnie has also litigated whistleblower claims against air carriers under AIR 21 and handled investigations with numerous other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nonnie regularly speaks and trains on current and emerging employment law topics, including recent presentations to industry and trade groups on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workplace issues, joint employment challenges, avoidance of retaliation claims, etc. Nonnie’s advanced degree in education and years of experience as an instructor and student affairs professional at Arizona State University help make her training sessions and presentations one-of-a-kind. Nonnie has also published several scholarly articles focused on employment law, including a book chapter on the impact of reasonable workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities on employers and employees’ expectations of privacy outside the workplace.

Nonnie has received numerous accolades recognizing her skills. Nonnie was named a Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This distinction is awarded to attorneys under the age of 40 based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Nonnie also obtained the recognition of the legal community by receiving an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell beginning in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Shivers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals.


Nonnie’s clients run the gamut from large, international companies to flourishing local businesses. Her personal clients include a Fortune 150 air carrier, several regional and local law firms, title agencies, in-home care providers, physician practice groups, and surgical centers. 

While Nonnie’s clients seek her out to resolve problems before litigation ensues and to prevent litigation by acting proactively, Nonnie’s robust litigation successes include: 

  • Successfully defended one of the largest insurance companies in the world against breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference and myriad other claims in a two-week jury trial, including obtaining and recovering nearly $1 million dollars in sanctions, attorneys’ fees and costs after prevailing at trial.  
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment for international air carrier in disability discrimination case, in part based on the rare ruling by the court that the employee did not have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment and award of costs for a national trucking company in a gender discrimination case involving a long-term female employee in a male-dominated industry.
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment in a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case involving a reduction-in-force due to changing business for an international technology and manufacturing company.
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment for a retail company in a wrongful termination case in which the company allegedly blackballed and defamed a former employee.
  • Winning a total defense judgment and an award of all attorneys’ fees incurred after a multi-day arbitration for a national bank in a wrongful termination case.
  • Successfully obtaining dismissal of a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case filed in federal court for a large brokerage company, and prevailing after appeal taken to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Business Law Section)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Arizona State Bar, Labor & Employment Section Member
  • Member and Past Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee (2009-present)
  • Member,  Board of Legal Specialization (2014-present)
  • Member, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Task Force (2011)
  • Instructor, Arizona State Bar Professionalism Course (2009-present)
  • Member, City of Avondale Judicial Advisory Board (2014)
  • Member, Board of Legal Specialization (June 2014-present)


  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''Hot Topics in Federal and State Wage and Hour Litigation'' - Santa Fe - July, 2015
  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''LGBT Issues in the Workplace'' - Santa Fe - July, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege-I'm Covered, Right?'' - Phoenix - June, 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Television Legal Ethics'' - Phoenix - May, 2015
  • Private client presentation for franchise owners - ''Hot Employment Law Topics'' - Phoenix - April, 2015
  • Day of Focus with Talent Wise - ''Workplace Crises & Scandal'' - Phoenix - April, 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Arizona: Now What? Part Three: Labor and Employment'' - Phoenix - January, 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter - ''Legal Compliance Issues for Managing Complex Leaves Under the FMLA, ADA and Local Laws'' - Phoenix - January, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Out at Work, Equal at Work: What Employers Should Know about LGBT Issues and the Law'' - October, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Whose Employees are they Anyway? Perils, Pitfalls, and Pointers on Contingent and Temporary Workers'' - Scottsdale - October, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Devil’s In The Details: Everything You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Employment Law'' - Scottsdale - October, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Impact of Windsor and Hobby Lobby on Employers'' - Denver - September, 2014
  • Human Rights Campaign and One Community - ''LGBT Workplace Inclusion Conference Panelist'' - Tempe - September, 2014
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (Arizona Chapter) CLE Program - ''Out and Equal at Work: LGBT Workplace Issues'' - Phoenix - September, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Program - ''Expanding Protections for LGBT Employees: The Impact of Executive Order 13672'' - Phoenix - August, 2014
  • Arizona Fire District Association Annual Conference - ''Ripped from the Headlines! Crisis Avoidance and Management'' - Tucson - June, 2014
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Employment Law Concerns When Lawyers or Staff Have Substance, Alcohol, or Mental Health Concerns'' - Phoenix - June, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona 2014 Convention - ''Top 5 Lessons for Employment Attorneys on LGBT Workplace Issues'' - Tucson - June, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Crisis & Scandal - What Companies Can Learn From Today's Headlines'' - Las Vegas - May, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know About LGBT Issues'' - Tucson - April, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination - Are You One Sick Child Away from Losing Your Job?'' - Las Vegas - February, 2014
  • AZSHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference - ''The Devil's In the Details: Everything You Didn't Know About Unemployment Compensation Changes, Garnishments, Subpoenas for Information and Other Necessary Nitty Gritty Details'' - Phoenix - February, 2014
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association 2013 Conference - ''LGBT Employment Issues in Education'' - Prescott - November, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes New Paperwork and Insurance Carriers: Post-DOMA Changes in the Workplace'' - November, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce 2014 - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know'' - Scottsdale - October, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''How to Conduct an Effective Workplace Investigation'' - Phoenix - September, 2013
  • Arizona Industry Liaison Group - ''Managing Leaves of Absence to Comply with the FMLA, ADA and Other Legal Requirements'' - Glendale - September, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Annual State Conference - ''Top 10 Lessons for Employers from the Rutgers/Mike Rice Scandal'' - Phoenix - August, 2013
  • Strafford Webinar - ''Litigating Damages in Discrimination and Retaliation Cases: Employer Strategies for Mitigating and Defending Damage Awards'' - June, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Road to Stonewall: LGBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - New Orleans - May, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''The Road Through Selma and Stonewall: GLBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - Phoenix - March, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Regulating Public Employees’ Conduct On (And Off?) The Job'' - Phoenix - September, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2012 Annual State Conference - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August, 2012
  • Arizona Industrial Compensation Association - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August, 2012
  • AZSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''When LameBook Backfires: Protecting Yourself from the Social Media 'Police''' - Phoenix - March, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2011 Annual State Conference - ''You're Not the Boss of Me - Regulating Employee Conduct On and Off the Job'' - Phoenix - September, 2011
  • AZSHRM 2011 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''All Atwitter About Social 'Notworking''' - Phoenix - March, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''You’ve Got “Friends” In Low Places: Cautionary Tales From The Digital Age'' - Scottsdale - September, 2010
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association - ''All ‘Atwitter’ About Social Networking: Employment Law Pitfalls'' - Phoenix - April, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Blogs, Social Networking & Virtual Worlds – A Brave New Workplace Indeed'' - Paradise Valley - October, 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Retaliation – Employers’ Greatest Liability Risk'' - Paradise Valley - November, 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Sexual Harassment – The Bare Essentials'' - Phoenix - October, 2007
  • Private Client Training - ''Workplace (Mis)Conduct Training'' - Phoenix - April, 2007
  • Lorman Seminar - ''Human Resources Fundamentals Course'' - Phoenix - December, 2006
  • Arizona Healthcare Human Resources Association - ''Law and Order At Work'' - Phoenix - December, 2005
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Clarification or Confusion? Lessons From Employee Leave Litigation'' - Phoenix - September, 2005

Our Insights


Media Quotes

June, 2015 - Phoenix Business Journal - "Marriage ruling could end domestic partner benefits, launch new workplace discrimination fights"
June, 2015 - Employment Law Daily - "U.S.: Fundamental right to marry cannot be denied to same-sex couples"
June, 2015 - SHRM Online - "Limited Employer Impact Likely from Gay Marriage Ruling"

Published Works