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Employment Law Institute 2018


Speaker(s): Amy L. Bess, Cara E. Greene, Charles W. Fournier, Christopher J. Kuczynski, Corie Pauling, Debra L. Raskin, Hanan B. Kolko, Hon. Barbara Moses, Hon. James C. Francis IV (Ret.), Hon. Katharine H. Parker, James D. Esseks, Jamie Kohen, Jason C. Schwartz, Jessica Golden Cortes, Jill L. Rosenberg, Joseph K. Mulherin, Keisha-Ann G. Gray, Lahaja Furaha, Laura S. Schnell, Matthew S. Stiff, Melissa R. Gold, Michele R. Fisher, Patricia B. Miller, Philip A. Miscimarra, Raechel L. Adams, Robert D. Kraus, Robert M. Hale, Robert S. Whitman, Sara E. Elder, Teri Wilford Wood, Thomas E. Spahn, Tracy Richelle High, Willis J. Goldsmith, Zachary D. Fasman
Recorded on: Oct. 17, 2018
PLI Program #: 221271

Amy L. Bess is the Chair of Vedder Price’s global Labor and Employment practice group and a Member of the Firm’s Board of Directors.  Her employment litigation experience includes the representation of employers before U.S. state and federal courts and administrative agencies, defending against claims of race, sex, disability and age discrimination; sexual harassment; whistleblower retaliation; restrictive-covenant disputes; wrongful termination; and wage and hour violations. She regularly counsels clients in all of these areas, drafts and negotiates employment and severance agreements, conducts on-site workplace investigations, presents training seminars and speaks to employer groups on avoiding workplace problems. Ms. Bess also has experience advising clients regarding their public accommodation obligations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and representing clients in litigation involving related claims.

Ms. Bess has extensive first-chair bench trial, jury trial and arbitration experience. She also is experienced in the defense of complex class action litigation, including wage and hour collective actions and pattern or practice litigation brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Recently, Ms. Bess has published and spoken extensively and conducted trainings and investigations for employers on sexual harassment issues in connection with the #MeToo movement.

 

 


Barbara Moses was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York on December 23, 2015.

Judge Moses graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978, magna cum laude, and from Harvard Law School in 1982, cum laude. Between college and law school she worked as a radio reporter in New England. After receiving her law degree, Judge Moses clerked for Chief Judge Vincent L. McKusick of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She then joined the San Francisco office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she became a litigation partner in 1990. In 1992, Judge Moses moved to Orrick’s New York office, and in 2002 she joined the New York firm now known as Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Anello, where she continued to practice in the field of securities and business litigation.

From 2009 through 2011, in addition to her private practice, Judge Moses taught a full-year, first-year course in Lawyering at NYU Law School. From 2011 through 2015 she directed the Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigation Clinic at Seton Hall Law School, where she also taught Professional Responsibility.

Judge Moses has been a director of the New York County Lawyers’ Association since 2007. From 2013 to 2014 she served as NYCLA’s 59th President, and from 2004 to 2006 she chaired the NYCLA Federal Courts Committee, which honored her with the David Y. Hinshaw Award in 2015. Judge Moses is also a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the American Law Institute.


Cara E. Greene is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York, where she represents employees and partners in litigation and negotiation in all areas of employment law, including executive and professional contracts and compensation; lawyers as clients; discrimination class actions; whistleblowing and retaliation; discrimination based on gender, race, disability, pregnancy, and family responsibilities; and restrictive covenants.

In addition to reviewing and negotiating employment contracts and compensation guarantees, as well as severance agreements and other exit arrangements, Ms. Greene has litigated both individual and class action cases – including cases involving sex harassment, pay inequality, discrimination, retaliation, and unpaid compensation – on behalf of a variety of employees including highly compensated professionals, low-wage hourly workers, and employees in the financial services industry.

She is a past Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section (Employment Rights and Ethics and Professional Responsibilities Committees); the National Employment Lawyers Association and its New York affiliate, and the New York City Bar Association. Ms. Greene is a frequent speaker on employment law issues.

Ms. Greene received her B.A. in political studies from Gordon College, where she was an A.J. Gordon Scholar. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.


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.  


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.


Hanan B. Kolko joined Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP in March 2019.

Mr. Kolko practices in the area of labor and employment law.  He represents labor unions in federal and state court litigation, arbitration proceedings, administrative proceedings before various regulatory agencies, and in collective bargaining.  Mr. Kolko also advises unions and their leaders on internal union governance, the investigation and handling of sexual harassment claims, and internal union elections.  He has represented unions in a wide variety of industries including publishing, media, education, health care, law enforcement, transportation, and manufacturing.

Prior to joining Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, Mr. Kolko was a partner at two major union-side firms in New York City, and began his career as a lawyer as an associate at union-side firms in Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.  While in law school, Mr. Kolko was a law clerk for the United Auto Workers.  His first experience working with unions was while he was in college, where he was an intern for the Rochester, New York PATCO local.  He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he received the Book Award for the highest grade in his labor law class.

Mr. Kolko is a former co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on Labor and Employment Law Committee on Technology in the Workplace, and is an Advisory Board Member of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  He has given continuing legal education presentations on a wide variety of labor law topics to groups including the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the American Bar Association’s Section on Labor and Employment Law Committee on Technology in the Workplace, and the Practicing Law Institute.  He has been named a Super Lawyer for Employment and Labor Law on the New York Metro Annual Lists of Super Lawyers from 2015-2018.

Mr. Kolko also represents clients in the cannabis industry.  He advises these clients in areas including licensing applications, regulatory compliance, internal investigations, and in litigations. He has lectured extensively on cannabis law issues, giving presentations on issues including legal ethics and the representation of cannabis clients, bankruptcy and the cannabis industry, the current state of legal affairs in the cannabis industry, RICO claims against cannabis industry participants, and the New York State Compassionate Care Act.


James C. Francis IV is a Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY Law School, where he teaches Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Constitutional Torts, and Electronic Discovery.  Previously, he was a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 2017 and served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 1998 to 2000.  Judge Francis graduated summa cum laude from Yale College in 1974, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his juris doctor degree from the Yale Law School in 1978 and a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the same year.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Francis clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York.  He then joined the Civil Appeals and Law Reform Unit of the Legal Aid Society where he conducted impact litigation in the areas of housing and education and served as director of the Disability Rights Unit until his appointment to the bench.  From 2003 until 2017, Judge Francis was an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law.    He has served on the Legal Assistance, Federal Courts, Disability Rights, and Professional Responsibility Committees of the New York City Bar Association and the Federal Judiciary Committee of the New York State Bar Association.  Judge Francis lectures frequently on electronic discovery, employment litigation, constitutional torts, legal ethics, and pretrial practice.  


James D. Esseks is Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. He oversees litigation, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education around the country that seeks to ensure equal treatment of LGBT people and people living with HIV. James is counsel in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens, and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, in which the United States Supreme Court is considering whether anti-LGBT discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII. 

Previously, James was counsel in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that won the freedom to marry nationwide; in United States v. Windsor, the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act; in Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, about whether a Virginia school board can bar a boy from the common restrooms because he is transgender; in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, about whether a business open to the public can turn away LGBT customers based on its religious or artistic objections; and in successful challenges to bans on adoption and foster parenting by lesbians and gay men in Arkansas, Florida, and Missouri. James and the ACLU have also worked extensively to fight the recent spate of anti-LGBT and specifically anti-transgender bills in the states and to fight the use of religion as an excuse to harm LGBT people.

Prior to joining the ACLU in 2001, James was a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, PC. He graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. James clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable James R. Browning, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.


Jamie Kohen is an in-house employment lawyer, currently Executive Director, Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase Bank. Jamie manages a team of lawyers and other professionals who provide strategic advice, handle employment litigation, and support the firm’s human resources, immigration, employee benefits and executive compensation functions.

Jamie previously worked at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the firm f/k/a Cooley Godward LLP.  Jamie also was part-time adjunct faculty member of Villanova University, where she taught an employment law seminar for Graduate Studies in Human Resources Development.  She clerked for the Honorable William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Jamie graduated from Harvard Law School and Cornell University with Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies. 

Jamie has been a Regional Board Member of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) for almost fifteen years, and is also a member of AWARE (Assisting Women through Action, Resources & Education), a nonprofit accelerator that partners with organizations supporting women.  She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.


Jason C. Schwartz is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, co-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, and General Counsel of the law firm.  He was named one of the top five “MVPs” in employment law for 2016 and 2012, awarded by Law360 to “attorneys whose achievements in major litigation or transactions have set a new standard for accomplishment in corporate law.”  Jason was recently profiled in The National Law Journal when it recognized our Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment Practice as L&E Litigation Department of the Year for three years in a row (2019, 2018 and 2017).  The Labor & Employment Practice Group he co-heads was also named a Labor & Employment Management Firm of the Year for 2019 by Benchmark Litigation and an Employment Practice Group of the Year for 2018 and 2011-16 by Law360.

Jason’s practice includes sensitive workplace investigations, high-profile trade secret and non-compete matters, wage-hour and discrimination class actions, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower protection claims, executive and other significant employment disputes, labor union controversies, and workplace safety litigation.  In 2017, Am Law Litigation Daily named him Litigator of the Week for his win in an independent contractor misclassification/wage-and-hour class action.  Jason is a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers and has been recognized as a Top Lawyer in Employment Defense by Washingtonian Magazine; a Labor & Employment Star by Benchmark Litigation; in the Best Lawyers in America in the Employment Law-Management category; on the Top 100 list of the Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys by Human Resource Executive magazine; as a Super Lawyer by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers; and as a Leading Lawyer in Labor & Employment Disputes by The Legal 500 US.  In addition, he has been recognized in Labor & Employment by Chambers USA.

 


Jessica Golden Cortes is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert.  Ms. Cortes regularly counsels and litigates in all areas and aspects of employment law. She investigates discrimination and retaliation complaints and advises clients on hiring, terminations, reductions in force, restrictive covenants, wage and hour issues, federal and state family and medical leave laws, employment policies specifically including the impact of social media in employment, handbooks, and employment and separation agreements. Ms. Cortes is known by clients for her ability to simultaneously analyze legal, practical and business-related factors inherent in each employee matter, and to devise creative solutions that also minimize client burden and cost. She regularly conducts “respect in the workplace,” “manager best practices” and “unconscious bias” trainings for clients all over the country, including for both for-profit and non-profit clients.

Ms. Cortes has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of labor and employment: workplace and employment counseling area for six consecutive years (2013-2018) and has also been recognized as a leading lawyer for labor & employment law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In addition, she has been selected as a Rising Star by New York Metro Super Lawyer (2013-2016) and as a winner in the Esquire Industry Practice category for SmartCEO’s 2015 CPA & ESQ Awards.


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.


Joseph K. Mulherin focuses his practice on employment class action litigation, with a focus on defending employers against wage-and-hour and employment discrimination lawsuits. Joseph has successfully defended clients from a wide variety of industries, including health services, banking, finance, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, staffing, technology, logistics and construction.

Joseph also has deep experience representing employers in federal and state governmental agency matters, including investigations by the US Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as their state counterpart agencies.

Leveraging his intricate knowledge of the law and extensive litigation experience, Joseph regularly counsels clients on best employment policies and practices and mitigation strategies. His advice takes into account not only the requirements of the law, but clients’ unique business needs and potential exposure.

Joseph frequently advises on wage-and-hour policies and practices relating to employee overtime classification, timekeeping, rounding, meal and rest periods, travel time, donning and doffing, on-call time and handheld devices. He also has considerable experience advising clients on discipline and termination decisions, leave laws, independent-contractor classification, wage payment and vacation laws, commissions and bonuses, and web accessibility for disabled individuals.

Joseph is a highly-regarded writer and speaker on a broad range of employment law topics.


Judge Parker was sworn into office on November 4, 2016. She received a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Duke University in 1989. In 1992, she received her J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She was a Notes & Articles Editor for the Fordham Law Review.

From November 2000 through October 2016 she was a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP where she practiced labor and employment law and chaired several practice groups including Employment and Law Counseling and Training and Government Regulatory Relations and Affirmative Action. She was associated with the Proskauer firm from October 1993 through October 2000 as an associate.  While at Proskauer, she had an active litigation career in cases involving the full gamut of federal, state and local employment laws. She also litigated cases involving fair housing, civil rights, non-compete, contract and employee benefits disputes.

While at Proskauer, Katharine was elected to be a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and consistently honored in various listings such as Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers.

Judge Parker clerked for the Honorable Warren W. Eginton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut prior to joining Proskauer.

Judge Parker has been actively involved with the NYC Bar Association during her career, and has chaired both the Disability Law and Employment Committees.  Judge Parker is also involved in pro bono and charitable causes, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Girl Be Heard.  She was a recipient of the Fairy Godmother Award from Girl Be Heard and the Jeremy Epstein Award for Pro Bono Service from the NYC Bar Association.


Keisha-Ann G. Gray is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department in the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP, specializing in employment litigation and arbitration. She serves as the co-head of the Policies, Handbooks & Training Practice Group at Proskauer. As a seasoned trial counsel and litigator, Keisha-Ann draws from her experiences in the courtroom before juries to help inform her clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, on issues pertinent to employment law and complaint prevention.

Keisha-Ann graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1998. Prior to joining Proskauer in 2007, Keisha-Ann was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and a former federal law clerk, having served two years in the Chambers of the Honorable Jaime Pieras Jr., Senior Judge in the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

Keisha-Ann has been recognized by The Legal 500 US, The Network Journal, The New York Law Journal’s Rising Stars and YWCA of New York’s Academy of Women Leaders as a leading labor and employment attorney. Additionally, Keisha-Ann frequently speaks and writes on trial practice and employment discrimination defense matters; she is the resident Legal Clinic Columnist for Human Resources Executive Online Magazine and a contributor to the SHRM Blog. Keisha-Ann is also a member of the Board of Directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students “Pals,” which enhances the careers of minority law students.


Melissa R. Gold is a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at BNY Mellon. She is the Americas Head of Employment law for BNY Mellon. Her practice includes a wide variety of employment law issues involving employment litigation/charges/demand letters and counseling. She also has extensive experience with issues arising from the enforcement of post-employment restrictions and in counseling on merger, sale and acquisition related issues through company mergers and acquisitions.

Before joining BNY Mellon, Melissa was part of the JP Morgan Chase Legal Department for over 25 years and was a member of the HR Law Group with responsibility for various businesses and the Latin America region. She was also actively involved in JPMorgan’s Legal Diversity and Pro Bono Fellowship committees, co-chairing a number of initiatives.

Melissa received a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City and received a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she majored in Economics. She has been admitted to practice before the New York and New Jersey State Bars, the Federal District Courts for New Jersey and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Melissa is a member of the Executive Committee, Federal Bar Council Inns of Court, and also a member of the Federal Bar Foundation Board of Directors. She further serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services), which provides free legal assistance to residents of New York City on a wide range of civil legal issues, prioritizing services to vulnerable and under-served populations. She is a member of the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers and a recipient of President Bush’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of her 100 hours of community service.


Michele Fisher is a managing partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and the Chair of the Firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm.  She has dedicated her career to litigating wage and hour cases in an aggressive, creative, and strategic manner. She is one of the leaders of a practice group that has been described as a "powerhouse" for mass wage and hour litigation and arbitration.  Michele has the experience, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size.  She has handled several jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee rights and prides herself on the firm's reputation as a leader in national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. Michele has litigated hundreds of class and collective actions involving positions such as home health aides, loan officers, retail salespersons, oil and gas workers, assistant managers, field service engineers, call center representatives, exotic dancers, inside sales representatives, restaurant workers, insurance adjusters, property specialists, property managers, installers, service technicians, and road construction laborers.  Michele is active in several organizations. She is the Co-Chair and a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's Revenue and Partnership Development Committee, and a wage and hour track coordinator for the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual conference.  She has also served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee FLSA Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. She has been named to the Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, and Top 10 Wage and Hour Lawyers, and has been named a Lawyer of Distinction.  Michele volunteers as an attorney for a foster child through the Children's Law Center.


Patricia Miller is the Chief of the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department.  Special Fed is responsible for the defense of NYC law enforcement in Federal Civil Rights actions, including members of the NYC Police Department.  Prior to her appointment as Chief, Ms. Miller served as the Deputy Chief of Trials for the Special Fed Division.  Ms. Miller was also a trial supervisor and senior trial attorney for the Labor and Employment Division of the Law Department.  She has tried to verdict more than 60 cases in federal court and supervised dozens more.  Ms. Miller was named Top Women in Law 2016 by the New York Law Journal and is a 2017 recipient of the New York State Bar Association Shira Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom.  

Before joining the Law Department, Ms. Miller clerked for William M. Acker, former U.S. District Judge for Northern District of Alabama, and was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel.  She is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law and has served on the faculty of Cardozo Law School’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program and the Law Department’s NITA program. 

Ms. Miller completed her undergraduate work at Fordham University and obtained her law degree from William and Mary in Virginia where she was a member of the Law Review Executive Staff.  She has served as chair of the Law Department's Committee on Diversity Recruitment and Retention and is the 2013 recipient of the Jane M. Bolin Diversity in Leadership Award.  Ms. Miller is also the co-Chair of the Federal Bar Council Diversity Committee and a member of the Federal Bar Council Second Circuit Committee.


Philip A. Miscimarra is a partner in the labor and employment law practice of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and is the former Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  He represents clients on a wide range of labor and employment issues, with a focus on labor-management relations and employment litigation. He leads Morgan Lewis’s NLRB special appeals practice and is co-leader of Morgan Lewis Workforce Change, which manages all employment, labor, benefits, and related issues arising from mergers, acquisitions, startups, workforce reductions, and other types of business restructuring. Mr. Miscimarra is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the Wharton Center for Human Resources.

Mr. Miscimarra was named Chairman of the NLRB by President Donald J. Trump on April 24, 2017, after previously serving as Acting Chairman (after January 23, 2017) and as a Board member (commencing August 7, 2013).  Mr. Miscimarra was appointed to the NLRB by President Barack Obama on April 9, 2013 and was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 22, 2013. He was confirmed by voice vote in the United States Senate on July 30, 2013 and served in a term that expired on December 16, 2017. 

Mr. Miscimarra is the author or co-author of several books involving labor law issues, including The NLRB and Managerial Discretion: Subcontracting, Relocations, Closings, Sales, Layoffs, and Technological Change (2d ed. 2010) (by Miscimarra, Turner, Friedman, Callahan, Conrad, Lignowski and Scroggins); The NLRB and Secondary Boycotts (3d ed. 2002) (by Miscimarra, Berkowitz, Wiener and Ditelberg); and Government Protection of Employees Involved in Mergers and Acquisitions (1989 and 1997 supp.) (by Northrup and Miscimarra); among other publications. He has also testified about labor and employment law issues in the United States Congress.

Chambers USA named Phil one of the leading lawyers for employment law in the United States from 2004 to 2012, based on the views of clients, peers, and other industry professionals. He has been described as a "fantastic lawyer" and "prolific writer," with clients admiring his "multilayered abilities and business savvy" and his "high level of integrity." Chambers quoted competitors as saying, "Most lawyers pale next to Philip Miscimarra."

Mr. Miscimarra received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School; and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Duquesne University.

 


Raechel L. Adams is a Supervisory Trial Attorney in the New York District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where she has worked in the Legal Unit since 1999. After working as a Trial Attorney for 11 years, Ms. Adams was appointed to serve as Acting Supervisory Trial Attorney in 2010, Supervisory Trial Attorney in 2012, and Acting Regional Attorney in 2015. In October 2017, Ms. Adams also joined EEOC’s Litigation Management Services, where she assists the Office of General Counsel (OGC) in field coordination matters. In this capacity, she is responsible for implementing and improving OGC information systems and guidance materials for the field. Raechel works with EEOC litigators nationwide to facilitate sharing of internal work product, litigation best practices, and institutional knowledge. 

Ms. Adams has litigated and supervised litigation of employment discrimination cases for the EEOC throughout New York State, New Jersey and New England, including enforcement actions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Ms. Adams has litigated several notable class and systemic cases during her tenure with the New York District Office, including EEOC v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a pattern-or-practice case involving sex discrimination in pay and promotions, EEOC and the United States v. New York State Department of Correctional Services, an Equal Pay Act case involving a discriminatory policy of switching female employees from paid workers’ compensation to unpaid maternity leave, EEOC v. Bloomberg LP., a global sex/pregnancy pay discrimination case, EEOC v. Carrols Corp., a nationwide sexual harassment case, EEOC v. FAPS, a race discrimination in hiring case, EEOC v. Princeton Healthcare Sys., a fixed-leave policy case filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and EEOC v. Day & Zimmermann NPS, an Americans with Disabilities Act retaliation and interference case. Raechel supervised a three-week jury trial in EEOC v. Texas Roadhouse, a nationwide age discrimination in hiring case, which, after the jury deadlocked, resulted in a $12M public settlement.

Ms. Adams also served as the New York District representative on the EEOC’s National Diversity and Inclusion Council. She also participates as a mentor in EEOC’s mentoring program. Before working in New York, Ms. Adams worked in EEOC’s Headquarters in Washington, DC, in the Systemic Litigation Services group.  Ms. Adams graduated from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and Washington University in St. Louis.


Rob Hale, a partner in and chair of Goodwin’s Labor & Employment Practice, represents employers across a broad spectrum of employment matters.

Mr. Hale’s practice involves representation of clients in employment litigation, including noncompetition, discrimination, wrongful discharge, FLSA and ERISA litigation. He has obtained successful results for employers at all stages of litigation, including in preliminary injunction proceedings, at summary judgment, at trial and on appeal. Mr. Hale is experienced in successfully representing employers before administrative agencies and in labor arbitrations. His practice also includes counseling in numerous areas of labor and employment law, including disability discrimination, sexual harassment and other discrimination matters; noncompetition agreement and other restrictive covenants; downsizing; employment agreements; wage and hour compliance; collective bargaining; and personnel policy development and administration. In addition, Mr. Hale is experienced in providing training for managers, supervisors and human resources professionals.

Mr. Hale is a former employer co-chair of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association. He is a former chair of the ABA's subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act, the ABA's subcommittee on the WARN Act and the Boston Bar Association's Employee Benefits/ERISA Committee. He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).

Mr. Hale was elected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2007. He has also been repeatedly selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers magazine.

Mr. Hale has spoken at a number of seminars, including those presented by the American, Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations, Practising Law Institute and various professional and trade groups.


Rob Whitman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department with extensive experience representing management in the full range of employment law matters.  He has particular expertise in wage-hour litigation, employment arbitration, discrimination and non-compete matters, and preventive employment counseling.

Mr. Whitman is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Labor & Employment Law at NYU Law School.  He has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top employment lawyers in Manhattan in polls conducted by New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Whitman has authored articles on employment law issues for a number of publications, including Corporate Counsel, New York Employment Law & Practice, The New York Law Journal, The Corporate Board and Employment Law Strategist.  He has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg TV and NPR as a commentator on employment law issues and has been quoted frequently in the print media.  Mr. Whitman lectures regularly and leads panel discussions before professional audiences on a variety of labor and employment topics.  He also served as an Editor and Advisory Committee member for Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (CPR, 2014).

Mr. Whitman serves as the Pro Bono Chair in Seyfarth Shaw’s New York office and as a member of the firm’s National Pro Bono Committee.  In 2008, he received the Award for Pro Bono Leadership from Lawyers Alliance for New York in recognition of his pro bono representation of not-for-profit organizations throughout New York City.

After law school, Mr. Whitman was a Law Clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He has also served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as in-house employment counsel for the U.S. Senate.

Education

J.D., University of Michigan, magna cum laude (1989)

Order of the Coif

Book Review Editor, Michigan Law Review

B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (1986)


Robert Kraus is a founding and managing partner of Kraus & Zuchlewski LLP. He has broad and extensive experience in all areas of employment law. Mr. Kraus regularly counsels the most senior executive and other top management from scores of major U.S. and multinational corporations, as well as other highly compensated individuals in a wide range of industries.

Mr. Kraus regularly litigates, arbitrates and mediates a wide variety of executive employment disputes, including whistleblower, bonus, non-compete/non-solicit, ERISA, Title VII, Section 1981 and ADEA and claw back claims. Recent notable victories include seven and eight figure awards and settlements on behalf of:  a senior executive and minority shareholder who was forced out of a successful private manufacturing and distribution company; an executive in a financial services firm with a disputed equity stake; a former insurance company executive who asserted a whistleblower claim under Sarbanes-Oxley; the president of a multi-billion dollar radio station owner/operator who had been constructively terminated following a change-in-control; the former CFO of a large diversified multi-national company who had his lump sum retirement benefits improperly valued after his resignation; and, a trader at a major financial services firm who was denied performance based bonus compensation following a year-end termination.

Mr. Kraus regularly lectures before various bar association and trade groups. Topics that Mr. Kraus has lectured on include executive pay, whistleblower protections, the Dodd-Frank Act, claw back policies, non-compete and other restrictive covenants, executive employment contracts, arbitration, FINRA procedures, privacy issues, and damages in employment law disputes.

Mr. Kraus is active in several major bar associations, including the American Bar Association, where he had been a co-chair of the ADR Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section, the New York State Bar Association, where he is active in the Section on Labor and Employment Law, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he is an active member of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee. Mr. Kraus earned his undergraduate degree with Honors from the University of Michigan, and received his law degree from Georgetown University School of Law.


Sara Elder is Assistant Vice President, Operations for Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. In this role, she oversees disability, leave, and accommodation claims management for designated client companies. Ms. Elder is also a lecturer on Employment Law at North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management.

Previously, Ms. Elder was Divisional Vice President, Associate Relations and Compliance for Sears Holdings Management Corporation. While there, she oversaw the leave and accommodations management, employee relations, labor relations, HR policy, HR compliance, and discrimination charge management functions for Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation.

Prior to joining human resources, Ms. Elder was Assistant General Counsel, Complex Litigation for Sears, Roebuck and Co., with a focus on class action and commercial litigation, and employment practices. She joined Sears following eight years of private practice, concentrating in the areas of commercial litigation, employment practices, and creditors’ rights.

Ms. Elder has frequently presented and trained on the issues of leave and accommodations management. In 2012, Ms. Elder was named one of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive & Emerging Leaders” by Diversity MBA Magazine.

Ms. Elder graduated from DePaul University College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the DePaul Business Law Journal, and received her undergraduate degree in history and sociology from Washington University in St. Louis summa cum laude.


Teri Wilford Wood is Of Counsel in the New York, New York office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in global workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counseling.

At Jackson Lewis, Ms. Wood focuses primarily on international employment issues, corporate governance and investigations, workplace training and restrictive covenants worldwide. She is a member of the Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations Practice Group and the Non-Competes and Protection Against Unfair Competition Practice Group.

Previously, Ms. Wood was chief global labor and employment counsel advising Fortune 100 technology and financial services corporations worldwide. In this role, Ms. Wood served as Associate General Counsel of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for most of her two-plus decade IBM career. In this position and previously as Managing Counsel of American Express Company, she had responsibility for employment, labor, immigration, pension, benefits and executive compensation law.

Ms. Wood has also served as a member of IBM’s retirement plans Investment Committee, served as legal counsel to the plans fiduciary committee and was Co-Chair of the Law Department Education Committee. While at American Express Company, Ms. Wood served on the Supervisory Committee of the Federal Credit Union and acted as its General Counsel.

Prior to her time as in-house counsel, Ms. Wood was an Administrative Judge for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, earlier was an associate at a national law firm, both based in New York City.

Ms. Wood has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater New York Chapter, and is a past President of the Association’s New York Chapter and Chair of its Employment Law Committee. She has also served as a member of the Board of Governors of Washburn University School of Law and is currently a member of the law school’s Transactional Law Center. In addition to membership in the Association of Corporate Counsel, Ms. Wood co-founded the Westchester-Fairfield Counsel Roundtable and has served as Co-Chair of the ACC Westchester-Fairfield Employment Law Committee. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Ms. Wood volunteers with the Lupus Research Alliance on its Executive Leadership Council. She also serves as a pro bono attorney through the firm’s Pro Bono Partnership. She holds an “AV Preeminent” rating with Martindale-Hubbell, and is a previous recipient of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. Wood is a frequent speaker for both domestic and international programs including Practicing Law Institute, Chief Litigation Officers Summit, Center for International Studies (Salzburg, Austria), NYU, Fordham Law School, ALI-ABA Wage and Hour Seminars, HR Conference Board, Association of Corporate Counsel.

Ms. Wood earned her B.A. in 1972 from the University of Missouri, and her J.D. in 1978 from Washburn University School of Law. In 2019, Washburn University named Ms. Wood an honorary Doctor of Law for her contributions to Washburn University School of Law and the legal profession.


Zach Fasman is a nationally recognized labor and employment lawyer who has shifted roles—from advocate to neutral. Zach participated in hundreds of mediations as an advocate and has trained as a mediator at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School, at the New York City Bar Association, the New York Peace Institute and the National Employment Law Institute. He mediates disputes in this field as well as commercial and community disputes.

Zach brings to the neutral role extensive experience and knowledge of labor and employment law gained through a lengthy career in this field. He began his career as a traditional labor lawyer at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, negotiating labor contracts and trying arbitration cases. He has extensive experience in labor arbitration, having tried hundreds of arbitrations and handled scores of arbitration related cases in the courts, including the issue of class action procedures in labor arbitration. He also has extensive experience before the National Labor Relations Board and has litigated many complex labor cases in the courts on issues including federal preemption, successorship, civil RICO and labor-antitrust law. His career included two successful arguments before the United States Supreme Court, Golden State Transit Corp. v City of Los Angeles, 475 U.S. 608 (1986) and Golden State Transit Corp. v City of Los Angeles, 493 U.S. 103 (1989). He also has written numerous amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court on labor and employment law issues.

Zach has extensive experience in employment discrimination law, having served as national Co-Chair of the employment discrimination law practice while at Paul Hastings, where he was a partner for many years. Zach has litigated hundreds of employment law cases ranging from nationwide class actions to jury trials of individual discrimination claims. He has testified on many occasions before the U.S. Congress and the EEOC on labor and employment law issues and worked extensively with Congress and the White House on the Americans with Disabilities and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

Zach devoted his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner for many years. He has repeatedly earned a "Band One" ranking in Chambers USA and Chambers Global (recently became a “Senior Statesman”) and is a long-time Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He continues to teach employment law to members of the federal judiciary through the Federal Judicial Center and New York University Law School and has been a guest lecturer at various law schools on topics including appellate advocacy, employment discrimination, labor law, and legal ethics. He has published many articles in the New York Law Journal and has written three books on labor and employment law.


A leader at TIAA since 2006, Corie Pauling became the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer in July 2018.  Corie was instrumental in the launch of the D&I function at TIAA over ten years ago and served as a primary legal and business advisor and thought leader in this area since that time.  In her prior role, Corie held the position of Senior Director, Associate General Counsel in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Group, in which she provided counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA’s executives, its prior CDIOs and other Human Resources leaders and also business managers on a broad range of workforce issues, and she also managed employment litigation nationally.  In the D&I space, she has extensive experience in strategy development, board interface, equal employment opportunity best practices, policy development, training/learning, metrics, data analysis and reporting, external partnerships and sourcing, pay equity, global workforce compliance, talent acquisition, workforce development, employee resource groups, culture surveys, federal contractor compliance and workplace investigations.  She also now leads the enterprise’s nationwide and award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility function, which last year led over 650 community service projects through 15,000 employee volunteers.  Having partnered with nearly every area in the TIAA organization over her tenure, Corie also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area from 2016 through 2018. 

A former shareholder with the international employment law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. and also Ferguson Stein Chambers in Charlotte, Corie’s experience includes counseling financial services institutions and other Fortune 500 companies as well as representing individual employees in employment and civil rights litigation.  She has significant trial and appellate experience on civil rights matters.  Having presented before the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the Practicing Law Institute, the Society of Human Resources Management and other organizations, Corie frequently speaks at programs on emerging employment law, diversity and inclusion developments.

An engaged civic leader and also a competitive 11-time marathoner, Corie was incredibly honored to be named on the list of 2019 Black Enterprise Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity and also to be recognized as a TIAA Working Mother of the Year in conjunction with the national magazine Working Mother and recipient of the Young Civic Leader Award by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She is a graduate of Charlotte’s groundbreaking Leadership Development Institute. Corie has also served on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and as chairperson of the NCBA’s 500-attorney Labor and Employment Law Section.  Among other leadership posts, she also served as a committee chair of the Board of Directors for the Levine Museum of the New South, a member of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council Advisory Committee and a co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  As also an avid “late bloomer” runner, she is thrilled to have run the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2018 and is training now to qualify for the 2020 running.


For more than 40 years, Willis Goldsmith has represented management before state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters arising under the NLRA, Section 301 of Taft-Hartley, ERISA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and OSHA, as well as in injunction, breach of contract, and employment cases. He also regularly represents management in collective bargaining and in labor contract administration.

Among his noteworthy matters is Chamber of Commerce v. Brown, which Willis argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court, reversing an en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit, held that a California statute that prevented employers from using state funds to lawfully deter union organizing was preempted by the NLRA, noting federal labor policy favoring employer speech regarding union organizing.

Willis was Partner-in-Charge in New York from 2008 through 2012, when he was required to step down from that position pursuant to the terms of the Partnership Agreement; from 1991 to 2006, he chaired the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; a Member of the Labor Law Advisory Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; an Advisor, American Law Institute Restatement of the Law Third Employment Law; a Member of the Advisory Board of the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Labor and Employment Law sections of the New York State Bar Association (Section Secretary, 2013-2014) and of the ABA. He is a Director of the Corporation of Yaddo, the upstate New York artists' retreat, and a Member of the Board of New York Appleseed.


Lahaja serves as Organizational Culture Lead and Senior Human Capital Advisor for Management Concepts. In this role, she is responsible for the design and implementation of methodologies to improve organizational performance.

Lahaja is a Prosci™ Certified Change Management Practitioner and ACC designated Leadership Coach with over 18 years of experience providing culture assessments to strengthen business performance and build organizational capability; strategy alignment; leadership program design, assessment, and facilitation; talent and comprehensive change initiatives; and succession planning.

Prior to joining Management Concepts, Lahaja worked as a Senior Project Manager leading the development, programming, and execution of in-person, digital, and blended leadership training, products, and services – driving revenue and managing an annual programmatic budget of $500K to $1M in expenses.

In addition to her advocacy experience, she worked as a Senior Organizational Development Consultant at an award-winning media company spearheading the implementation of an organization-wide process that drives and translates strategy into an executable plan. In this role she led the design and development of two multi-year strategic leadership programs to improve performance and operational effectiveness.

Throughout her career, Lahaja has created and implemented competency-based leadership programs that focus on personal assessment and experiential learning with real-world applications; and assisting companies in strengthening their talent capacity in media, technology, non-profit, and transportation industries to decrease attrition rates and increased organizational alignment. She provides coaching and team building for executives, managers, and teams to strengthen leadership behaviors and increase understanding of interpersonal and team dynamics.

Lahaja holds a BA from Howard University and a graduate degree from the University of Michigan.

 

 


Tracy’s practice focuses on representing financial institutions and other corporations in complex civil litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings, corporate internal investigations, and labor and employment matters.

She has also represented clients before a wide variety of regulatory and prosecutorial agencies, both at the state
and federal levels, as well as congressional committees and independent examiners appointed by court order.

Tracy is co-chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee, co-chair of the Women’s Initiative Committee and a hiring partner. She also oversees the Firm’s active networks for minority associates: the Asian Associates Network, the Network of Black and Latino Lawyers and the LGBT Network. She is co-chairwoman of the YWCA-NYC, a vice-chairwoman of the Legal Aid Society, and a member of the board of directors of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, New York City Bar Justice Center and Partnership for After School Education. She is a member of the Association of Black Women Attorneys and Metropolitan Black Bar Association.


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. 


Matthew Stiff is a partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, a D.C.-based boutique litigation firm which exclusively represent plaintiffs in whistleblower and employment discrimination cases.  Mr. Stiff has represented dozens of whistleblowers and other employees in the financial, nuclear, aviation, healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical-device, and other industries.  He primarily focuses his practice on corporate whistleblower matters, which includes representing individuals in the whistleblower-reward programs administered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  In addition to these reward programs, the representation of whistleblowers in employment retaliation cases is a central facet of Mr. Stiff’s legal practice.  He regularly represents employees in claims arising under the whistleblower-protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Energy Reorganization Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and numerous other federal and state laws.  He also represents relators in qui tam lawsuits filed pursuant to the federal False Claims Act. 

In addition to his work as a whistleblower lawyer, Mr. Stiff has represented plaintiffs in sexual harassment, disability discrimination, Title IX, and other workplace discrimination cases.  He also has extensive experience in the negotiation of complex executive employment and separation contracts.  His recent speaking engagements have included presentations for the Practicing Law Institute, the Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, Society for Human Resource Management, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the D.C Bar Continuing Legal Education Program, and the LGBT Bar’s Lavender Law conference.  Mr. Stiff attended the New York University School of Law and began his legal career with the Human Rights Campaign as a McCleary Law Fellow.


Thomas E. Spahn practices as a commercial litigator with McGuireWoods in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  Tom was selected as the 2013 metro-Washington DC "Lawyer of the Year" for "Bet the Company Litigation" by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.).  He has served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and is a Member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  Tom has written extensively on attorney-client privilege, ethics and other topics, and has spoken at over 1,700 CLE programs throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries.  Through links on his website bio, Tom has made available to the public:  his summaries of over 1,600 Virginia and ABA legal ethics opinions, organized by topic; a 300 page summary of his two-volume 1,500 page book on the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine; over 900 weekly email alerts about privilege and work product cases; materials for 40 ethics programs on numerous topics, totaling over 9,000 pages of analysis.  Tom graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received his J.D. from Yale Law School. 


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.