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Employment Discrimination Law & Litigation 2018


Speaker(s): Arthur J. Siegel, Brian Levine, PhD, Charles W. Fournier, Darnley D. Stewart, Darrell S. Gay, Debra L. Raskin, Hon. James C. Francis IV (Ret.), Hon. Lois Bloom, James Q. Walker, Jill L. Rosenberg, Laura S. Schnell, Mariann M. Wang, Miriam F. Clark, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr.
Recorded on: Jun. 18, 2018
PLI Program #: 221186

Charles Fournier’s practice focuses on internal investigations; workforce restructurings; policy development and implementation; design and delivery of training programs; the workforce aspects of acquisitions, dispositions, and integrations; the early identification and resolution of employment disputes; and, when necessary, litigation of those disputes in arbitration and at the trial and appellate level.   

Mr. Fournier joined Curley, Hurtgen & Johnsrud after 17 years as Senior Vice President of Employment Law for NBCUniversal, where he led a team of attorneys responsible for all employment law matters for NBC, Universal Studios, Telemundo, their owned cable networks and television stations, and related news, entertainment, and digital media businesses throughout the world.  Mr. Fournier and his team provided employment law support for the acquisitions and integrations of Universal Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Telemundo, Bravo, Oxygen, and a number of other cable networks and television stations, as well as NBCUniversal’s 2011 acquisition by Comcast.  Mr. Fournier and his team designed and implemented the first company-wide alternative dispute resolution program among the major studios and television networks, one that has been copied by other Fortune 100 companies.  Mr. Fournier also helped guide NBCUniversal’s development of one of the earliest and most successful workplace diversity programs in the entertainment industry. 

Before joining NBCUniversal, Mr. Fournier was in private practice in New York City, first with Webster & Sheffield and more recently as a partner in the New York office of O’Melveny & Myers.  Mr. Fournier is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of The Yale Law Journal.  He then clerked for Judge Robert Sprecher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.  Mr. Fournier also holds a Masters Degree in Anglo-American Legal History from Yale University and a Bachelors Degree in History and Music from Trinity University.  He has been a guest lecturer at the New York University School of Law and Baruch College of the City University of New York, and he is a frequent speaker and panelist for bar and industry groups.  


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”).


Darrell represents for-profit, not-for-profit, and government clients with respect to their employee-related issues. Key to his work is the objective of assisting his clients in enhancing the performance of their employees and averting negative employee relations.

On behalf of management, Darrell handles employee-related issues, including hiring/discharge, discrimination matters, traditional labor/management relations, diversity, internal investigations, workplace training, privacy, restrictive covenants, wage and hour, and issues related to international labor and employment concerns.

Darrell focuses his practice on assisting his clients with compliance with national and local labor/employment laws, and the institution of management best practices to proactively avoid operational problems. Darrell has developed and provided training to the management teams of his clients on issues ranging from “Management Techniques – Enhancing Employee Performance,” “Conducting Internal Investigations,” “Navigating Leave Laws,” and “Sexual Harassment Training.”

Darrell’s extensive work for clients with regard to traditional labor matters includes union negotiations, assistance with union organizing, including the development and management of neutrality agreements and elections, arbitrations, and unfair labor practice charges. In addition, he serves as chief negotiator for his clients during collective-bargaining sessions and has negotiated several agreements spanning a host of industries.

Darrell has also led several internal investigations of senior level executives, including several C-Suite level matters, on behalf of his corporate clients, frequently being retained by the entities' Corporate Board of Directors. Darrell uses his experience working with the City, State and Federal Governments and his role as a New York State Commissioner in helping his clients navigate claims before governmental agencies. 

With respect to non-traditional work, Darrell has handled and managed significant cases involving single and multiple plaintiffs, single and multiple defendants, cases with allegations of serious continuing violations and high profile media cases. He not only has experience before administrative agencies as well as Federal and State courts, but has also handled investigations conducted by the New York State Attorney General's office.


James Walker concentrates in government investigations and enforcement proceedings, complex commercial litigation, professional liability and legal ethics.  Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in investigations of potential violations of the securities laws, and law firms and lawyers in litigations and proceedings involving investigations of criminal, regulatory and/or professional misconduct claims.  Mr. Walker is the Chair of the New York County Lawyer’s Association Professional Ethics Committee.  He has served on the New York City Bar’s Professional Discipline, Professional and Judicial Ethics, Professional Responsibility, and Securities Regulation Committees, and on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, where he has been a member since 1996.  Mr. Walker frequently lecturers on legal ethics, internal investigations and corporate governance, and has published articles addressing on attorney-client privilege, professional ethics, and issues arising under the securities laws.  Mr. Walker also serves as General Counsel to Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP.


Jill L. Rosenberg, an employment partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in New York, is a nationally recognized employment litigator and counselor.  Ms. Rosenberg has significant experience defending and advising employers in discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, wrongful discharge, affirmative action, wage-and-hour and traditional labor matters.  She handles complex individual cases, as well as class actions and systemic government investigations.  She represents a broad range of companies, with a focus on employers in the securities industry, banks and financial institutions, accounting firms and law firms. 

Ms. Rosenberg also has particular expertise in the representation of nonprofit entities, including colleges, universities, hospitals, foundations and cultural institutions.  She frequently speaks on employment law issues for employer and bar association groups. 

Ms. Rosenberg has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading employment lawyer. Ms. Rosenberg is the firm-wide Partner in Charge of Pro Bono Programs and serves on the firm’s Personnel Development, Risk Management and Diversity Committees.  She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Leadership Committee of the New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of New York Legal Assistance Group, a legal services organization serving New Yorkers in need. 

Ms. Rosenberg graduated from Princeton University, and earned her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.


Lois Bloom was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York on May 18, 2001.  She was reappointed for her third term on the Brooklyn bench in May 2017.  Before her appointment in the Eastern District, Magistrate Judge Bloom served as Senior Staff Attorney in the Pro Se Office of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for 13 years.  Judge Bloom has spoken on Access to Justice, Federal Civil Practice, Employment Discrimination, Habeas Corpus and Civil Rights issues at numerous conferences.  She also trained new Magistrate Judges as part of the Federal Judicial Center’s annual orientation for newly appointed judges for over a decade.


Prior to serving as General Counsel, Art successfully represented Fortune 50 companies, school districts, private and public corporations and individuals in multi- million dollar product liability, environmental,  commercial, premises liability, construction, health, business, tax and other general litigation. He also had an active appellate practice, having successfully argued in the New York Court of Appeals, the New York Appellate Divisions and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Art has also recovered significant sums for his individual and corporate clients. One of these included a $34.4 million medical malpractice jury verdict, the largest ever recorded in Otsego County, and listed in the National Law Journal's Largest Verdicts of 2003 (51st). Art has lectured in the areas of civil litigation and has authored a chapter on forum selection for a multi-volume treatise published by the New York State Bar Association entitled Plaintiff's Personal Injury Action in New York.

Art is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship is extended only by invitation, after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province.


The Honorable James C. Francis IV (Ret.) is a Mediator, Arbitrator, and Special Master affiliated with JAMS. From 1985-2017, he served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York, including a two-year term as chief magistrate judge. During his tenure, Judge Francis was responsible for conducting pretrial proceedings, mediating settlements, and presiding over trial in thousands of cases. The matters he handled include financial markets claims, employment discrimination class actions, wage and hour collective actions, multidistrict product liability litigation, civil rights class actions, mass torts, securities class actions, admiralty cases, copyright and trademark claims, patent infringement cases, and a wide array of complex commercial litigation. Judge Francis is nationally recognized as an expert in electronic discovery.

After stepping down from the bench in 2017, Judge Francis served as distinguished lecturer at the CUNY School of Law, where he taught Civil Procedure, Evidence, Electronic Discovery, Constitutional Torts, and Federal Courts.  Judge Francis has been an active member of several bar groups and currently serves on the Labor and Employment Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Judge Francis graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his juris doctor degree from the Yale Law School and a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Francis clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York.  After his clerkship, Judge Francis served an attorney with the impact litigation unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York. There, he litigated class actions and test cases in the areas of housing and education. He also established the Disability Rights Unit to provide legal services for persons with physical and mental disabilities. 


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 Practicing Law Institute, among other groups. 


Miriam F. Clark has practiced labor and employment law for more than 25 years, and has handled dozens of employment-related cases in federal and state courts, arbitration agencies and before federal and state administrative agencies.  She negotiates severance agreements and employment contracts, and counsels employees on a variety of employment-related legal issues.  She also provides independent investigation and mediation services in connection with complaints of discrimination and/or harassment and serves as a voluntary, court-appointed mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  She advises non-profit organizations on employment-related issues.

Since 2005 she has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.  She has received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell, a “superb” (10 out of 10) rating from Avvo, and is a member of the Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers.  She is immediate Past President of the National Employment Lawyers Association- New York Chapter and Chair of the Legislative Committee.

Ms. Clark has lectured widely on employment law and related topics at ALI-CLE, Georgetown University Law Center, the American Bar Association Section on Labor and Employment Law, the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, Practising Law Institute and to classes at the New York University School of Law. She serves as a pro bono mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Since 2006, she has served as Chapter Editor for the Annual Supplement to Family and Medical Leave Act (ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law/BNA Books)

Ms. Clark is a 1984 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar.  From 1984-1985, she served as law clerk for Hon. Max Rosenn, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.   She is a 1980 cum laude graduate of Harvard College.


Brian Levine is a Partner and co-leader of Mercer’s Workforce Strategy and Analytics practice and also a fellow of Mercer’s research arm, the Workforce Sciences Institute. Brian helps organizations assess their internal labor markets, the processes by which employees are rewarded and move through organizations. Brian has 20 years of consulting experience in strategy and measurement – working with company data to identify the drivers of workforce outcomes as well as significant links between human capital practices and business performance. He has led engagements in various sectors, including recent assignments in financial services, professional services, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance, technology, transportation, retail, and higher education.

Brian has extensive consulting experience leading analytic assessments of diversity, pay equity, and compensation alignment. He led the team that developed Mercer’s proprietary pay equity software. Areas of expertise include labor economics and econometrics/statistics.

Brian frequently publishes in the professional press and is a popular speaker. He is a primary contributor of Mercer’s new “When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive” research, contributed to The Conference Board’s inaugural Human Capital Analytics @ Work volume, and has authored articles on both pay equity (Workspan, January 2015) and the business risks associated with pay-for-performance (WorldatWork Journal, Q1 2011). Brian presents often at WorldatWork and National Industry Liaison Group annual meetings, on optimizing human capital investments and leveraging compliance efforts to achieve diversity objectives. He has served as adjunct professor at New York University and Baruch College.

Brian received a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics, all from Cornell University.


Laura S. Schnell, a member of the firm of Eisenberg & Schnell LLP, has practiced employment law in New York City on behalf of employees for over thirty years.  She is a 1980 graduate of Dartmouth College and a 1983 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1983 to 1984.  Ms. Schnell represents employees in all aspects of employment law and has extensive employment discrimination, non-compete and employment contract litigation experience as well as financial industry arbitration experience.  She has served on numerous bar committees and is a frequent speaker on issues involving employment litigation, arbitration and mediation.  She has been a Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers recognized attorney since 2006 and was named the New York Best Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law-Individual for 2012 and again for 2017.


Mariann Meier Wang has been litigating civil and human rights cases for over twenty years, focused on combatting institutional injustice and systemic racism, sexism and abuse of the disadvantaged. She is a founding partner of Cuti Hecker Wang LLP, where her cases today include: an action for libel against President Trump based on his denigration of a woman who spoke out against his unwanted sexual touching of her, along with myriad other efforts to address sexual and racial assaults and harassment, retaliation, childhood sexual abuse, housing, lending and employment discrimination, labor law violations, police misconduct, First Amendment protections, prisoners’ rights, and LGBTQ discrimination. Her past experiences include working at the ACLU and an international human rights law group in London. She graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr. in the E.D.N.Y.


Mr. Rogers, the managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Labor and Employment Law Group, is a graduate of Harvard College (magna cum laude, 1976) and Harvard Law School (cum laude, 1979).  He joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in 1979, and has been a partner of the Firm since 1987.  He has been named the New York City “Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 as well as for 2014 and the 2012 “New York City Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America,  and is one of 33 lawyers in the United States named in “Best of the Best USA 2015” as leading labor and employment lawyers.  In 2017 and for each of the prior nine years, he has been named one of the 100 leading management attorneys in the United States by the publication Human Resource Executive in conjunction with Lawdragon; he is also ranked in the top tier in New York among defendant-side employment lawyers in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (available at www.chambersandpartners.com/usa). He is a contributing author to BNA’s Workplace Harassment Law (2012), is a co-author of West Publishing Co.’s Employment Litigation in New York (1996) and Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resources Professionals (2001), and serves as a lecturer on employment law topics to many groups, including the Practising Law Institute's annual Employment Law Institute and the Federal Judicial Center’s annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges.  He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute and of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and has served on the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.