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Employment Discrimination Law & Litigation 2021

Speaker(s): Candace J. Gomez, Cara E. Greene, Deborah Martin Owens, James E. McGrath, III, Jamillah Bowman Williams, J.D., Ph.D., Jeanne Goldberg, Jill L. Rosenberg, Joel S. Barras, Karla Gilbride, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Melissa S. Woods, Miriam F. Clark, Rosevelie Marquez Morales, Shannon Liss-Riordan, Stephen J. Hirschfeld, Stephen P. Sonnenberg, Susan Ritz, Temitope K. Yusuf, Theodora R. Lee
Recorded on: Jun. 14, 2021
PLI Program #: 306749

Candace is co-chair of the firm's school law practice. She represents school districts, private schools, colleges, universities, corporations and individuals. She has successfully represented clients in the courts of New York State, federal court, New York State Education Department impartial hearings, New York State Commissioner of Education appeals, and U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigations.

Candace has provided general counsel services and litigation services to some of the largest school districts and universities in New York State. Her experience includes policy development, contracts, school board elections, employee disciplinary proceedings, student residency requirements, special education and student disciplinary hearings. She also has extensive experience defending clients in a variety of civil litigation matters.

Candace routinely serves as an impartial investigator regarding employee complaints involving discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Her investigation experience includes matters involving claims of racial discrimination, ethnic discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination and sexual harassment. In addition, Candace assists employers with preventing discrimination and harassment complaints by conducting anti-harassment training sessions for employees. Furthermore, Candace advises employers regarding the proper handling of situations before they become official complaints.

Candace has been recognized as a Rising Star on the 2018 list of New York Metro Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers lists New York's top lawyers who have been chosen by their peers and through independent research. Candace has conducted numerous seminars and workshops on various education law topics, including presentations for the Nassau County Bar Association, the Annual School Law Conference hosted by the Nassau and Suffolk Academies of Law, and the Annual School Attorney Law Conference hosted by the New York State Association of School Attorneys.

Candace is the Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Education Law Committee, and she is also a member of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association (LIHBA) Board of Directors.

Candace’s early legal training includes a prestigious internship at Rolls-Royce, North America while attending law school. As an undergraduate student, she was selected as the commencement speaker of her university’s graduating class.

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 former 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.

Deborah Martin Owens is the East Coast Diversity Director at Sidley Austin LLP, where she develops and implements programs, policies, and initiatives that support Sidley’s strategic diversity and inclusion goals for its Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the New York City Bar Association, where she guided the Association’s inclusion initiatives for the legal profession through engagement with law firms, corporate legal departments, nonprofits, government agencies and academia. She advised leadership on best practices for pipeline initiatives, diverse membership engagement, policies and procedures, and managed 200 volunteers to establish standards for equity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession, among other responsibilities.

Prior to that, she was a Staff Attorney at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, for nearly 12 years and earlier, a Junior Court Attorney for the New York State Unified Court System. While in law school, Deborah interned for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor when she served as jurist on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Throughout her career, Deborah has volunteered at a number of organizations to support women and issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has held membership and leadership roles in Corporate Counsel Women or Color, Association of Black Women Attorneys, National Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. She previously served on the board at Friends of the Island Academy. Deborah is currently a member of the National Association of Legal Professionals and the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals.

Among her many awards, she most recently was among Crain’s New York Business’ 2021 Notable Women in Law.  She also received the National Bar Association’s Presidential Awards (2019, 2012), and the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch’s Shirley Stewart Farmer Women of Excellence Award (2018), as well as awards from the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the National Association of Women Judges.

Given her vast experience addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, Deborah is frequently invited by universities, associations, nonprofits and the media to speak about gender and pay equity, the challenges women face in the practice of law, and on workforce diversification. Amid heightened social justice movements across the country, she regularly writes about issues regarding institutional racism and inequity.

Deborah is a graduate of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and the State University of New York at Albany.

Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University.  She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, her Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford, and her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. She is a legal scholar broadly interested in the nature of bias and the capacity of law to reduce inequality and promote social change. More specifically, Dr. Williams uses quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the effectiveness of legal interventions and various organizational "debiasing" strategies designed to enhance equity and inclusion. While her core scholarly interests focus on employment law and antidiscrimination law, her research is also relevant to the broader field of law and society.

Dr. Williams has published or has forthcoming articles in the Georgetown Law Journal, California Law Review, Boston College Law Review, University of Chicago Legal Forum, Washington Law Review, Iowa Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, and the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law. She has also authored several white papers and reports and her work has been featured by a range of media outlets. Dr. Williams has served as the keynote speaker for several national and international conferences and frequently consults leaders in business, government, and higher education regarding their workplace practices. 

At Georgetown Law, Professor Williams teaches courses in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, and Contemporary Bias and Law.  She also serves as Faculty Director of the Georgetown Workers’ Rights Institute and she has an affiliate appointment in the Georgetown University Department of Sociology. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown, Dr. Williams worked as an Associate in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings, LLP in Chicago, IL where she specialized in conducting privileged diagnostics of employment processes and advising employers on diversity/inclusion programs. Williams was also a National Science Foundation Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL.

Jeanne Goldberg is a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) headquarters in Washington, D.C., and served as Acting Assistant Legal Counsel from November 2019 to July 2020.  She advises the Commission on the interpretation of Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act, and assists in drafting regulations and policy guidance.  She has delivered hundreds of training presentations throughout the country for private and public sector attorneys, managers, employees, and human resources staff on a wide range of EEO issues and is a frequent speaker at national conferences.  She is also a past Public Co-Chair of the National Programs Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, and a past government fellow on the Section’s Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.

Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Goldberg was in private law practice from 1990-99, specializing in civil rights litigation, and argued EEO cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and D.C. Circuits.  She also served as an adjunct law professor at the College of William and Mary from 1996-98.  Before entering private practice, she worked for two years as a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  She received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D. from George Washington University. 

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 and Global as a Band 1 leading employment lawyer. Ms. Rosenberg is the firm-wide Partner in Charge of Pro Bono Programs and serves on the firm’s Personnel Development and Risk Management Committees.   She is the Chair 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.

Jim devotes his practice to the representation of management in all aspects of labor relations, employment law and related litigation. He regularly represents management in state and federal court, before arbitration tribunals and before administrative agencies including the National Labor Relations Board, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights.

In addition to litigating all aspects of labor and employment law, Jim provides frequent counseling to clients on the full range of federal, state and local labor and employment laws. He also has considerable experience in defending class and collective actions.

Prior to joining Bond, Jim was a partner at Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP.

Joel is Senior Vice President & Managing Counsel, Employment Law for Citizens Bank, N.A. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the enterprise’s employment law litigation and provides counseling and support to human resources leaders and business line executives on employment law and immigration policies, practices and procedures.

Prior to joining Citizens, Joel was a partner in the Labor and Employment Group at Reed Smith, LLP. Joel represented a variety of public and private employers in employment and traditional labor matters. Before Reed Smith, Joel spent two years as Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, the state analog to the National Labor Relations Board.

Joel is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and holds a Master’s in Mass Communications from Boston University College of Communication. Joel is a frequent speaker on a variety of issues related to employment and labor matters.

Karla Gilbride is the Cartwright-Baron Senior Attorney at Public Justice, working out of its Washington, DC office, where she specializes in litigating challenges to the use of pre-dispute, mandatory arbitration provisions in contracts with employees and consumers. Karla has successfully briefed and/or argued such cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and eleventh Circuits, as well as before state appellate courts in New Jersey and Maryland. She has also testified on the topic of pre-dispute arbitration clauses before the state legislatures of California and New York.

In addition to her work on mandatory arbitration, Karla litigates cases on behalf of low-wage workers and against predatory lending schemes. Before coming to Public Justice in 2014, she pursued employment discrimination and wage and hour cases at Mehri & Skalet PLLC in Washington, DC and class actions on behalf of people with disabilities at Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, CA. She graduated from Georgetown Law School in 2007 and clerked for Judge Ronald Gould on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Louis P. DiLorenzo has practiced labor and employment law for more than 40 years and is managing member of the firm's New York City office.

Louis represents employers and management in all aspects of labor and employment law. His areas of experience include collective bargaining, workplace investigations, NLRB proceedings, labor audits, supervisory training, wage and hour issues, arbitration, jury trials in both state and federal courts, wage incentive plans, OFCCP audits and proceedings, employment litigation before the EEOC and the Human Rights Division and alternative dispute resolution techniques. Louis also serves several insurance companies as panel counsel (e.g., AIG and Chubb) with respect to employment litigation matters. From 2002-2004, he served as General Counsel and Secretary to Agway, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company.

Louis co-authored the FDCC Quarterly article entitled Employers' Settlement Agreements with Departing Employees Under Attack, Vol. 57, No. 3, Spring 2007. He also co-authored a complete guide for business managers and HR professionals written in plain English entitled, What Every Business Manager and HR Professional Should Know About ... Federal Labor and Employment Laws and a two volume treatise entitled Corporate Counseling (1988) and was a contributing author to Public Sector Labor Law (1988). Louis is also on the editorial board of the two volume treatise entitled New York Civil Practice Before Trial (2001). He has authored and co-authored numerous articles on various labor and employment law topics. Louis' published articles include: "Enforcing Employer-Employee Arbitration Agreements After Circuit City", 18 Fordham University Law Journal 27 (2001); "Forging a Strategy to Combat Sympathy Strikes", 29 Syracuse Law Review 847 (1978); "Mid Term Bargaining Over Unit Work Transfers", 45 CCH Labor Law Journal No. 7 (1994); "The Growing Menace: Violence in the Workplace", 67 New York State Bar Journal 1 (Jan. 1995); "Civility and Professionalism", 68 New York State Bar Journal No. 1 (Jan. 1996); "Workers' Compensation Discrimination in New York: Is It Really LoDolce Vita?", 32 New York State Bar Journal 220 (June 1982); "Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment After Ellerth and Faragher", 6 Duke University of Gender Law & Policy No. 1 (1999); two articles on Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics, 6 Journal of College and University Law 61 (1980); "Screening Applicants for a Safer Workplace", HR Magazine, p. 55 (March 1995); "After-Acquired Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases", 19 New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Newsletter No. 2 (1994); and "Employer's Responsibilities Under 1986 Immigration Act and COBRA", The CPA Journal p. 32 (May 1988). In May of 1996 Louis was interviewed extensively in a Forbes Magazine cover story on Sexual Harassment. In their January 2003 issue, the Corporate Legal Times described him as the "Great Negotiator". He was also featured in the United Educator's video entitled "Sexual Harassment in Academia, No Real Winners", and has been quoted in several publications including Business Week.

Louis has been a key speaker at numerous seminars throughout the United States and other countries on a wide variety of Labor and Employment Law topics. In addition, he has lectured to: various university groups, including the College and University Personnel Association; local, state and national SHRM Conferences; and a number of national and regional business associations.

Melissa S. Woods joined the firm in 2018 and became a partner in 2020.

Ms. Woods specializes in litigating labor and employment law matters before governmental agencies, and state and federal courts, on behalf of unions and individual employees. She also represents unions in employer bankruptcy proceedings.

Ms. Woods leads the Firm’s sexual harassment prevention practice, where she shares her extensive experience investigating allegations of discrimination and harassment, providing legal and strategic advice on policy matters, and creating and conducting discrimination and harassment prevention training.

In 2019, Ms. Woods was inducted as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, an organization that recognizes those who have distinguished themselves in the field.

Prior to joining Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, Ms. Woods provided advice and counsel on various labor and employment related issues at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Civil Rights Bureau of the NYS Attorney General’s Office, and Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein. Most recently, Ms. Woods was the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Ms. Woods is a member and former Co-Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, former Board Member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and a former Trustee of Wesleyan University.

Ms. Woods graduated with honors from Wesleyan University, and received her law degree from George Washington University School of Law.

Rosevelie Márquez Morales is the Diversity & Inclusion Director – Americas at Hogan Lovells.  She is also an Adjunct Professor at Fordham School of Law where she teaches Diversity & Inclusion in Law Practice and Fundamental Lawyering.  Prior to becoming a full time diversity and inclusion professional Rosevelie was a litigation partner at a firm in NYC where she also served as Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  Rosevelie serves on the Fordham Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, as chair of ASPIRA of NY, a non-profit youth leadership organization, and as Vice President of Programs – Su Futuro, Hispanic National Bar Association.  She has previously served as Chair of the NYSBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Chair of DRI’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, President of the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program, board member of the New York Women’s Foundation and as a member of the ABA Coalition of Racial and Ethnic Justice and ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity.

Shannon Liss-Riordan is a nationally recognized plaintiff-side employment attorney based in Boston who specializes in wage and hour law.  Over the last twenty years, Ms. Liss-Riordan has achieved pioneering successes developing the law protecting tipped employees and employees misclassified as independent contractors, including cleaning workers, truck drivers, adult entertainers, call center workers, and many others.  She has gained widespread national attention for her work representing workers in the “gig economy” (including Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates, and Amazon).  Her successes have garnered significant national acclaim, including San Francisco Magazine which wrote in a profile that “Liss-Riordan has achieved a kind of celebrity unseen in the legal world since Ralph Nader sued General Motors.”  Politico named her to its guide to the “Top 50 thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016.”  Each year since 2008, she has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America (Chambers).  Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has included Ms. Liss-Riordan on its "roster of the state's most influential attorneys", describing her as a “Tenacious class-action plaintiffs’ lawyer [who] strikes fear in big-firm employment attorneys throughout Boston with her multi-million-dollar victories on behalf of strippers, waiters, skycaps and other non-exempt employees.”  Ms. Liss-Riordan is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.  She co-founded Lichten & Liss-Riordan, PC, in 2009, after ten years at another plaintiff-side employment and labor firm in Boston.

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

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

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

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

Steve is the co-managing partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP. The firm has offices in San Francisco and Santa Monica. He is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Employment Law Alliance, the world’s largest provider of employment law solutions.

Steve’s practice involves labor, employment, and higher education law on behalf of management in both the private and public sectors. He advises clients throughout the country on day-to-day legal issues affecting the workplace, including employee discipline and terminations, union organizing, workforce reductions and reorganizations, harassment, discrimination and bullying claims, proprietary information and trade secrets disputes, substance abuse, workplace privacy, disability accommodations, employment contracts, faculty tenure, and other human resources issues. He has also overseen and conducted hundreds of misconduct investigations involving allegations of harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, retaliation, ethics violations, misappropriation of trade secrets, and theft.

Steve regularly defends employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies on disputes involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, trade secrets/unfair competition, wage and hour law, and union-related matters. He has vast experience providing assistance to unionized employers on matters including collective bargaining, strikes and picketing, contract interpretation disputes, and labor arbitrations.

Steve represents a wide range of clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.  He takes a proactive approach when advising clients, emphasizing creative solutions to employee-relations problems. Steve routinely counsels and trains management about ways to make sound human resource decisions while minimizing   costly and protracted litigation. He regularly conducts and oversees multi-state and multi-national legal compliance audits. Steve is consistently ranked as a leading employment lawyer by numerous publications including Chambers, Lawdragon, and BTI. According to Chambers: “He is everything you would hope and expect of an experienced attorney in employment-related matters”.

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

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

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

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

Temitope K. Yusuf is a Vice President, Employment Law at NBCUniversal in New York City.  Tope partners with human resources and business leaders for several NBCU business units including NBC Sports, Ad Sales, Universal Studio Group and Entertainment. Tope provides day-to-day advice and counsel as well as insights on strategic goals of the business.  She is also responsible for supervising investigations into workplace misconduct and allegations of discriminatory treatment. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Tope was a partner at Arent Fox LLP in the Labor and Employment and Government Enforcement and White Collar groups. Tope is an instructor on legal writing at Columbia Law School, her alma mater.

Theodora R. Lee, a senior shareholder/partner and trial lawyer in the San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices of Littler Mendelson, defends employers in complex wage and hour class actions, discrimination class action lawsuits and general employment litigation. Ms. Lee has extensive courtroom experience, and specializes in all aspects of employment and labor relations law, including wrongful termination litigation; National  Labor Relations Board matters, including representation cases, unfair labor practice proceedings,  grievance arbitrations; Title VII and FEHA proceedings, including race, sex, religious and age harassment and discrimination; and unfair competition proceedings. She also counsels employers on day to day employment issues such as covenants not to compete, hiring and termination of employees, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the California Business and Professions Code, the Family and Medical Leave Act, federal and state wage and hour issues, pre-employment screening, litigation avoidance, reductions in force, the development of personnel policies and procedures, workplace violence, employee terminations, employment agreements, drug and alcohol testing, and risk management protocols. Ms. Lee’s energy and enthusiasm for labor and employment law translates into an intense focus on providing value to clients through innovative and superior quality work with exceptional client service.

Ms. Lee is a settlement commissioner, Early Neutral Evaluator, AAA certified arbitrator and mediator, and has concluded more than 5,000 matters through use of private arbitration or mediation, including large, complex, class actions, multi-party litigation actions, and individuals suing their employers. She has been a contributing writer to numerous employment law publications and presents seminars on a wide variety of employment issues and regularly conducts in-house employment law training programs, including Pay Equity, Implicit Bias, Managing the Whistleblower, among other topics.

Ms. Lee regularly appears on TV and Radio, including NPR and PBS, speaking on various employment topics. She is an Advisor to the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and serves as a Board Member of various community organizations, including YMCA - San Francisco. She is Co-Board Chairman of the Dallas Post Tribune Newspaper. She is Past President of Bay Area Black United Fund and the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and Past Vice President of the United Negro College Fund San Francisco Advisory Board. She has been recognized as one of the Leading Law Firm Rainmakers by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, named to the Best Lawyers in America© and named as a Super Lawyer - Northern California. She is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  Apart from the practice of law, Ms. Lee is an award-winning vintner, and owner of Theopolis Vineyards. In the wine world, Ms. Lee is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Wine Critics, including Robert Parker, Antonio Galloni Presents Vinous and Wine Enthusiast Magazine, have consistently bestowed on wines from Theopolis Vineyards 90 Plus Points. She is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Texas School Of Law. Prior to entering the practice of law, Ms. Lee worked as a Senate intern in Washington D.C. for Senator Sam Nunn.

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.