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Successfully Mediating Employment Disputes Online During COVID-19: Leveraging Unforeseen Advantages and Addressing New Challenges

Speaker(s): Chris M. Kwok, Deborah Crandall Saxe, Michael J. Loeb, Robin H. Gise
Recorded on: Jun. 5, 2020
PLI Program #: 301970

Before becoming a full-time neutral, Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq. was a litigator and appellate lawyer at Jones Day, Heller Ehrman, and Seyfarth Shaw for more than 30 years. When she was practicing law, she was lead counsel in litigation matters resulting in more than 30 reported court decisions. She litigated cases before state and federal trial courts, the California Court of Appeal, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Chambers USA called her “an aggressive and highly capable litigator” with “substantial experience in the courtroom as a trial lawyer.” More recently, Chambers USA called her a “talented mediator.”

Ms. Saxe is highly regarded and well-respected. She is a quick study, prepared, personable, approachable, creative, and flexible. As an arbitrator, she is known to be fair, practical, unflappable, and not afraid to make tough decisions. As a mediator, she is strong, good at listening and reading people, and a tenacious closer. She is known for her ability to quickly establish rapport with parties and counsel and enable them to recognize their legal risks. The perspective gained from her extensive trial and appellate court experience allows her to offer valuable insights as to how a case is likely to proceed in the courts and how it is likely to appear to a judge and jury.

Chris M. Kwok, Esq. comes to JAMS as a well-known and highly sought after mediator of complex labor and employment disputes.

Mr. Kwok’s stellar reputation stems from a 15-year career at the New York District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where he mediated hundreds of employment disputes. During his tenure at the EEOC, Mr. Kwok also served for four years as supervisory ADR coordinator, where in addition to his own mediation work, he oversaw employment law mediations across all EEOC offices within the New York District Office region. Mr. Kwok is known for his ability to formulate creative and unique solutions to seemingly intractable employment disputes.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

At the EEOC, Mr. Kwok convened and mediated more than 1,000 employment law disputes involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Representative matters include disputes involving breach of employment contracts; discrimination (age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, mental or physical disability); employment benefits and executive compensation; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); harassment; labor-management relations and labor disputes, non-competition; trade secrets; OFCCP/affirmative action; retaliation; sexual harassment; wage and hour claims; and wrongful termination.

At the EEOC, Mr. Kwok served with the White House Initiative Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and was also the founding chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Network, the nationwide organization of the EEOC’s Asian American employees. He is an active presence in the labor and employment field as a trainer, lecturer and writer. With leading academics and practitioners, he has studied and written about diversity and inclusion in the mediation field. He has been invited to speak by the American Bar Association, Practising Law Institute, New York City Bar, New York County Lawyers Association, Brooklyn Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association of New York, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, The Association for Conflict Resolution – New York chapter, New York University School of Law, Cardozo School of Law, Columbia Law School, Brooklyn Law School and many others. He has also visited law firms and insurance companies to help
educate and promote the use of mediation in employment litigation.

In addition to his mediation work at the EEOC, Mr. Kwok served two years as a federal investigator in the EEOC’s Enforcement unit, where he investigated employment discrimination charges.
Mr. Kwok was born in China and raised in Queens. He was the founding co-chair of both the Labor &
Employment Committee at the Asian American Bar Association of New York and the Dispute Resolution Committee at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Robin H. Gise, Esq. is a skilled mediator and arbitrator with deep experience resolving complex disputes including business/commercial, construction defect, employment, insurance and public accessibility matters. She is a member of the JAMS Title IX panel. Ms. Gise is known for her preparation, tenacity, patience and well-honed communication skills.

Ms. Gise is particularly renowned for her extensive experience resolving complex employment and labor
disputes including discrimination claims (age, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), hostile work environment, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation, non-compete agreements, executive compensation and FLSA/wage and hour claims, including class and collective actions.

Ms. Gise is a sought after writer and speaker in the ADR field. Her writings have been published in the New York Law Journal, Bloomberg BNA, the ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine, and many other publications. Recent speaking engagements include presentations at the ABA Section of Litigation, the New York City Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association. Ms. Gise is a member of the Eastern District of New York Mediation Panel, the New York Supreme Court Commercial Division ADR Roster, and the FINRA Dispute Resolution Panel.

Michael J. Loeb was a labor and employment lawyer for more than 30 years before joining JAMS in March.

2006. He has been mediating cases since 1991. Mr. Loeb began his career as a staff attorney for the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board trying unfair labor practice cases. For three decades, he was a “full service” labor and employment lawyer first at Crosby Heafey Roach & May, Oakland (later merged with Reed Smith), and then with McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, whose labor and employment law department he led before its merger with Bingham Dana forming Bingham McCutchen in 2002.