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Psychological Issues in the Workplace 2017

Speaker(s): Christopher J. Kuczynski, Darnley D. Stewart, Debra L. Raskin, Edward Hernstadt, George Woods, Jr., M.D., L.F.A.P.A., Gregory Mitchell, Jill E. Huntley Taylor, Ph.D., Neal D. Mollen, S. Jeanine Conley, Stephen P. Sonnenberg, Susan Ritz
Recorded on: May. 10, 2017
PLI Program #: 185721

Chris Kuczynski is Assistant Legal Counsel at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  During his career with EEOC, Chris has supervised the development of regulations, policy guidance, and technical assistance publications on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  Chris regularly advises EEOC field and headquarters offices, including the offices of the Chair and Commissioners, on complex ADA and GINA issues.  Chris has worked on numerous EEO issues in addition to the ADA and GINA, including supervising the development of Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (rev. June 25, 2015), issues affecting the rights of LGBT persons in the workplace, and religious discrimination and accommodation issues. 

Chris has made hundreds of presentations on the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, GINA, and other EEO issues  to diverse audiences, including human resources and EEO professionals, supervisors and managers in the public and private sectors, medical professionals, and plaintiff and defense counsel.  He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CBS News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.

From January to October 2003, Chris was a Special Assistant to former EEOC Chair Cari Dominguez, and from October 2003 through April 2004, he was Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  Chris was a trial attorney in the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from July 1993 until February 1997, and was a litigation associate for three years with a major Philadelphia law firm. 

He has a B.A. in English from Villanova University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and from which he received the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences 2007 Alumni Medallion, a J.D. from Temple Law School, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School.  In November 2016, he became a member of the ABA College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Darnley D. Stewart is Of Counsel to Outten & Golden LLP in New York, Co-chair of the Discrimination & Retaliation Practice Group, and Co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Workplace Rights Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Ms. Stewart was a partner at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP between 1999 and 2007, and a named partner at Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP between 2008 and 2015.

Ms. Stewart received her B.A. from Princeton University in 1984, and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1990. After law school, Ms. Stewart clerked for the Hon. R. Ammi Cutter and the Hon. Mel L. Greenberg on the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. Ms. Stewart was named Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law-Individuals in 2013, and was a finalist for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in 2004.

Ms. Stewart is admitted to practice in New York and is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and its New York affiliate (“NELA/NY”).

Dr. George Woods is a licensed physician specializing in neuropsychiatry. His private practice focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders, acquired neurocognitive disorders, cognitive impairments secondary to neuropsychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injury, ethnopsychopharmacology and workplace safety. In addition to his clinical practice, George consults with legal teams dealing with complex criminal and civil litigation.

He has worked with Vulcan Industries, Microsoft, Walmart and other companies to develop employment practices, ADA compliance, Artificial Intelligence, and security measures. Dr. Woods is Chief Scientific Officer for Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., a major provider of Behavioral Health services. Dr. Woods was appointed to the Governing Board of the Stanford University Medicare Shared Services Program (MSSP) University Health Alliance Accountable Care Organization, LLC.

Dr. Woods is President of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH).  This is his second term in 6 years.  He is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Medical Center, the first psychiatrist to receive this honor. George also received the Historical Prixe from the University of Milan in July 2019.

Dr. Woods is a lecturer at Berkeley Law at University of California, and has taught at the University of Washington-Bothell, the University of California-Davis, and Morehouse School of Medicine. George has taught at PLI for 8 years.

Dr. Jill Huntley Taylor is a Director with Dispute Dynamics, Inc. and heads the firm's Philadelphia office. She joined Dispute Dynamics in 1998.

Dr. Huntley Taylor has worked on behalf of her clients in courtrooms throughout the country, alongside some of the best lawyers and law firms. Her experiences include case theme and strategy development, jury research, assistance with jury selection and voir dire, witness preparation, assistance with opening statements and closing arguments, development of juror profiles, shadow juries, and juror interviews.

She has had key involvement in over 700 cases around the country and in Puerto Rico. That experience is in a wide variety of case types, including: antitrust, contract, employment, fraud, intellectual property, product liability, professional malpractice, and securities.

Dr. Huntley Taylor is the author of several published articles on the topics of civil jury decision-making, punitive damages, the story model, sexual harassment, the use of trial themes, opening statements, jury selection, wage and hour litigation, and fairness in employment litigation. Her articles have appeared in Law and Human Behavior, the Daily Journal, Employment Discrimination Report, Workplace Law Report, the California Labor and Employment Bulletin, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report.

Dr. Huntley Taylor is a regular presenter at law firm and corporate seminars. She is also an invited speaker at national, state, and local conferences on the topics of jury selection, gender in the courtroom, punitive damages, catastrophic injuries, generation X and Y jurors, opening statements, cross examination, and trial graphics. Some of the select conferences and organizations for these invited speeches include the ABA, ABA Employee Rights and Responsibilities, ABA Labor and Employment Law, American Psychological Association-Law Society, ASTC, DRI, Federal Bar Association, NAMWOLF, NELC, the State Bar Associations for NY, CO, WI, MO, and the NY City Bar.

Dr. Huntley Taylor attended Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California where she earned a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Social Psychology. She conducted her dissertation research on the application of the story model to civil juror decision-making.

Edward Hernstadt is an experienced employment attorney with a significant litigation and counseling practice. Ed has successfully tried age, sex and racial discrimination cases before federal and state courts and arbitration panels. His representation also includes negotiating agreements for senior executives in the banking, brokerage, retail, media and advertising industries, and providing advice to employers on how to avoid discrimination claims and how to investigate claims that have arisen. Ed has been honored as both a New York’s "Best Lawyer" in Labor and Employment Law and a New York "Super Lawyer" in Employment Litigation annually since 2007. Ed also has litigated a number of high-profile and complex intellectual property and First Amendment cases, as well as many commercial disputes.

Ed is a Columbia University (B.A.) graduate and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (cum laude, Order of the Coif), where he was an Articles Editor of the Law Review. He is a member of the Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court, and was co-Chairman of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and a former member of the Labor and Employment Law and Trademark Committees of the Bar Association of the City of New York. He has appeared as a legal commentator on MSNBC, CNBC, CNNfn, and National Public Radio.

Prior to launching Hernstadt Atlas PLLC with his late partner David Atlas in early 2008, Ed was a partner with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC, an associate with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, PC, and a law clerk for the Honorable Whitman Knapp in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Gregory Mitchell, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, is the Joseph Weintraub-Bank of America Distinguished Professor of Law and the Thomas F. Bergin Teaching Professor of Law at the University of Virginia.  Mitchell teaches courses on civil procedure, class actions, dispute resolution, evidence, and psychological issues in the law.  Mitchell’s current research focuses on the application of social science to the law, expert evidence, human judgment and decision-making in legal contexts, the behavioral consequences of implicit and explicit bias, and the effectiveness of organizational accountability systems at preventing discrimination and other misconduct.

Mitchell has published several articles on implicit bias in peer-reviewed psychology journals and law reviews.  Mitchell has served as an expert witness on the topic of implicit bias and consults with organizations on steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of discrimination.

Neal Mollen is a partner in the Employment Law Department of Paul Hastings and a co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Neal represents employers in a full range of labor and employment law matters with particular emphasis on complex and appellate litigation and traditional labor law matters, including matters under the Railway Labor Act. He has served as special labor counsel in a number of bankruptcy proceedings, including the pending American Airlines’ Chapter 11 matter. He regularly represents employers and employer associations as parties and amici curiae in labor and employment law matters before the Supreme Court of the United States, the federal courts of appeals and state appellate courts throughout the country. In the trial courts, Neal’s practice is primarily devoted to complex, class and collective action litigation, and has particular expertise in the use of expert testimony in labor and employment cases. He also gives advice to clients on the labor, employment, and benefits law implications of corporate transactions and reductions in force, conducts internal corporate investigations, and provides guidance on collective bargaining and labor relations issues.


  • In re American Airlines: Trial and appellate counsel for American in its Chapter 11 proceeding seeking rejection of the company’s nine collective bargaining agreements
  • Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham: Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in the Supreme Court's first significant examination of Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions in decades
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Counsel for the Chamber as amicus in many cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and the federal courts of appeals including Smith v. City of Jackson, Brady v. National Football League and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Testified before Congressional committee on Ledbetter legislation
  • Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs: Trial and appellate counsel in gender discrimination class action
  • Dukes v. Wal-Mart - Trial counsel responsible, among other things, for social science experts and class briefing 
  • Grosz v. Boeing - Trial and appellate counsel in gender discrimination class action

Accolades and Recognitions

  • One of five attorneys nationwide designated in 2013 as "Employment Law MVP" by Law360.
  • Named American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” for his work in in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham
  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of the preeminent employment lawyers in the nation each year since 2005
  • Listed among the Best Lawyers in America and Who's Who Legal
  • The Washington Post recently called him one of Washington’s “SuperLawyers”

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Editor, Employment Discrimination Law (often known as “Lindemann and Grossman)”
  • Contributing Author, Employee Benefits Law (ABA/BNA)
  • Lectures extensively on a wide variety of labor and employment law issues

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bar Associations


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, B.S., 1981

S. Jeanine Conley, an experienced trial lawyer and shareholder at Littler Mendelson, represents a wide array of companies, both global and domestic, in employment-related disputes and workplace investigations.  Conley regularly advises and counsels clients in a variety of industries, particularly the manufacturing, retail, financial services and media and entertainment industries on a wide-range of employment issues, including whistleblower and retaliation claims, trade secrets, Title VII anti-discrimination and harassment matters, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Through her experience as a trial lawyer, Conley is able to efficiently and effectively strategize with her clients to resolve employment disputes through the best possible means for the client by obtaining favorable settlements, dismissal of actions through summary judgment or full defense verdicts at trial. 

Along with her successful employment practice, Conley is extremely active in her community and is Chair of the Board of the New York Urban League and is former-chair and current member of the Advisory Board of the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice, an all girls school in Borough Park, Brooklyn.  Conley is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, past president of the Association of Black Women Attorneys and past chair of the New York City Bar's Committee on Minorities in the Profession.  She has also been recognized by numerous organizations for her work, and is the recipient of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s 2016 Private Practitioner of the Year Award, the inaugural Chambers Women in Law: “Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Minority Lawyers” Award, an award created for her work, the Network  Journal's "40 Under Forty" Award for 2013, and the NY City Bar Diversity Award in 2011 along with others.  She was part of the inaugural class of CUP Fellows and now serves on the Alumni Board.

Stephen P. Sonnenberg, Esq. has deep experience in understanding and resolving complex labor and employment disputes. Mr. Sonnenberg’s unique background, which allows him to understand both plaintiff and defendant concerns, comes from the practice of law, experience as a mediator, and prior experience as a psychotherapist. Mr. Sonnenberg is known for his attention to detail, thoughtful approach to emotion-laden disputes, and demeanor conducive to settlement.

Mr. Sonnenberg practiced labor and employment law at the highest levels for 25 years at Paul Hastings, and achieved a prestigious ranking from Chambers USA, within the Labor & Employment band. Leadership roles at the firm included a term as Chair of the New York Employment Law Practice (2014-2017), Vice Chair of the Employment Law Department (International) (2003-2014) and Co-Chair of the Employment Law Department’s national wage and hour law practice (2005-2014). Resident for an equal amount of time in the firm’s Los Angeles and New York offices, Mr. Sonnenberg represented and advised clients in a wide range of employment disputes, including wage and hour class and collective actions, retaliation, wrongful discharge, restrictive covenant, discrimination and harassment lawsuits. He has also overseen and conducted privileged internal investigations in response to complaints of misconduct.

Before practicing law, Mr. Sonnenberg devoted himself to a 15-year career as a clinical social worker in Michigan and California. Mr. Sonnenberg worked in diverse psychiatric settings and community organizations, assisting individuals with a wide range of emotional, vocational and financial challenges, including facilitating the resolution of disputes with family members, employers and other third parties.  Settings included psychiatric hospitals, a community mental health center, and the private practice of psychotherapy working with individuals, couples and families.

Mr. Sonnenberg has mediated numerous matters not only at JAMS but as a member of the Mediation Panels of the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He has taught employment law to members of the federal judiciary through the Federal Judicial Center, has provided employment law training and advice in a variety of settings, and is an adjunct faculty member at Cardozo Law School.

Susan Ritz is a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP.  Ms. Ritz handles all forms of employment-related matters, including advising employees and partners regarding their rights, duties and entitlement to benefits; handling contract, severance agreement and partnership dispute negotiations; and representing employees and partners in negotiations, mediations, administrative proceedings, arbitrations and lawsuits encompassing a full panoply of employment-related issues, with special emphasis on claims of unlawful harassment, retaliation and employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, religion, marital status, sexual orientation and other protected classes.  

Ms. Ritz provides neutral mediation services, and conducts impartial internal investigations on behalf of employers into alleged discriminatory conduct.  She also advises non-profits and employers on employment-related issues, reviews and revises Staff Manuals for employers, and represents employers in contract and severance negotiations.  She offers harassment and discrimination prevention training to management and employees, as well.

Ms. Ritz has received many accolades, including The Best Lawyers in America (every year beginning 1995), Super Lawyers (every year beginning 2006) and Lawdragon 500. She is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell and was selected for its 2011 Inaugural Edition of the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. gives her a rating of ten out of ten.  She is also a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Ritz has published articles and lectured widely, including for the National Employment Lawyers Association/NY, Practising Law Institute, ALI-CLE, American Bar Association, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association and at CUNY School of Law.  She serves as a pro bono mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Before beginning her law practice, Ms. Ritz served as the law clerk to New York Supreme Court Justice Kristin Booth Glen.  Ms. Ritz graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar and a member of the Order of the Coif.  She graduated from Brown University with an Honors B.A. in Ethics and Political Philosophy.  Ms. Ritz is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of the state of New York, the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. 

Debra L. Raskin graduated from Radcliffe College magna cum laude in 1973 and received her law degree from Yale in 1977.  She worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1977 to 1981, serving in 1981 as Supervisor of Employment Litigation for that organization.  She served as law clerk to Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1984.  From 1984 to 1986, she served as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York in the Civil Rights Bureau.  She joined the Vladeck firm in 1986, and became a partner of the firm in October 1988.  From 2014 to 2016 Ms. Raskin served as the President of the New York City Bar Association.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has taught at Columbia and Fordham Law Schools and has lectured and written on employment law matters for the New York State Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute, among other groups.