Grace Speights is a partner in Morgan Lewis’ Labor & Employment Law Practice, Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. Office, Chair of the Firm’s Complex Employment Litigation Practice Group, co-chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee, a member of the Firm’s Legal Personnel Committee, and a member of the Firm’s Partner Compensation Committee. Her practice focuses on counseling and defending clients in connection with employment discrimination claims, primarily involving class action litigation, and on counseling clients regarding diversity best practices. She has litigated and mediated numerous employment discrimination class actions around the country. Ms. Speights joined Morgan Lewis in 1984, after having clerked for the late Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Ms. Speights has received many accolades as a practicing lawyer, including being named as or listed in: The National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Women Lawyers In Washington, D.C. (2010); Who’s Who in Black Washington, D.C., a 2010 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader; the Minority Corporate Counsel 2009 Rainmakers; the Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, D.C. (2009); The Best Lawyers in America 2007-2011; Washington Super Lawyers 2007-2010; Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, D.C. (2007); Human Resource Executive’s Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys (2009-2011); Human Resource Executive’s Top 50 Defense Employment Attorneys (2008); and The Legal Times leading Labor and Employment Lawyers (2004). Ms. Speights is also a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Ms. Speights received her B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her J.D. degree with Honors and as a member of the Order of the Coif from the George Washington University National Law Center.
Regine Zuber is senior vice president and associate general counsel for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) In that capacity, she leads the teams responsible for employment and brand management matters across the TBS, Inc. portfolio, including the CNN news division; the entertainment and animation networks, which include TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim; and the company's international networks. She also serves as the company's chief compliance officer. Zuber is based in Atlanta and reports to Louise Sams, executive vice president and general counsel of TBS, Inc.
Before joining Turner Broadcasting in 1999, Zuber was employment counsel for Federated Department Stores. Earlier she was in private practice, initially with Kilpatrick and Cody and then with Wimberly & Lawson, specializing in management-side employment discrimination and labor law.
She graduated cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Political Science and Comparative Area Studies, and earned her J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Zuber serves as the vice chair of the Law Pipeline Program, a non-profit established to support the students of South Atlanta School of Law & Social Justice. She serves as an executive mentor for the Turner Women Today Circle Mentoring Program, a resource and mentoring group within Turner Broadcasting. She is a graduate of Women in Cable Telecommunications' (WICT) Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and a member of WICT, the American Bar Association (ABA), the Georgia State Bar and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Lyle Zuckerman is the co-leader of the East Coast employment services practice in our New York office. For
over 19 years, he has represented management in all disciplines of labor and employment law. Mr. Zuckerman
defends employment discrimination, class action wage and hour, and breach of contract matters before state
and federal courts and administrative agencies, and in arbitrations before FINRA and the AAA. With respect to
traditional labor law, Mr. Zuckerman counsels employers in union avoidance and represents their interests in
collective bargaining, grievance arbitrations, NLRB proceedings and work stoppages. His experience includes
a broad range of companies and organizations, including employers in media & entertainment companies, the
financial services industry, schools and colleges, retail establishments, and non-profit organizations.
The Legal 500 United States guide recommends Mr. Zuckerman in the Labor and Employment-Labor-
Management Relations category, and Mr. Zuckerman was selected for inclusion in 2011 New York Rising
Stars, and in Super Lawyers in 2012-2014.
ADAM T. KLEIN is a partner of Outten & Golden LLP and is the chair of the firm's class action practice group. His practice is limited to the prosecution of class action and impact litigation of employment discrimination and wage and hour claims.
Mr. Klein presently serves as lead or co-lead plaintiffs' counsel in numerous major class-action lawsuits involving statutory-discrimination claims in the financial services industry and challenges to the use of credit and criminal history records for employment. At present, Mr. Klein is co-lead plaintiffs' counsel in lawsuits challenging employment practices at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and the federal Census Bureau. The Census Bureau litigation was filed in affiliation with a consortium of civil-rights organizations challenging the use of arrest and criminal history records as a screen for employment for over 700,000 applicants. Mr. Klein also prosecutes wage and hour class/collective actions against numerous major corporations and was counsel in major settlements involving IBM, Whirlpool, JP Morgan Chase, and other Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Mr. Klein serves as co-lead plaintiffs' counsel in nationwide discrimination class action lawsuits against Smith Barney (gender - Amochaev v. Smith Barney) and Morgan Stanley (race - Jaffe v. Morgan Stanley). Both the Amochaev and Jaffe cases are now settled - each settlement provides class members with substantial monetary relief and systematic changes to company practices.* Mr. Klein also served as co-lead plaintiffs' class counsel in "glass ceiling" gender discrimination class action against MetLife, based on discrimination in promotions and compensation. The term of the MetLife settlement agreement has expired.
Mr. Klein has testified before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Congress on issues relating to employment law. Mr. Klein is a frequent lecturer and has participated in programs relating to employment law sponsored by the American Constitutional Society, the Institute for Judicial Administration, the American Bar Association, Cornell University, Georgetown University Law School, New York University Law School, the Law and Education Institute, the Practicing Law Institute, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Bar Association of the City of New York, the Impact Fund, the American Conference Institute, and Strafford Publications.
Mr. Klein was selected by his peers in Best Lawyers in America and New York's Super Lawyers - Manhattan Edition 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition, he was selected as a finalist for Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America in 2010. Mr. Klein is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), served on the Executive Board of its New York Affiliate (NELA/NY) from 2000 to 2006, and is the former co-chair of the Class Action Committee of NELA. He served on the Executive Board of the Employee Rights Section of the American Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Klein is a member of the American Bar Association, where he served as the Plaintiffs' Co-Chair of the Committee on Technology and Federal Law Clerks Training Program, and is a member of the Committees on Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights and Responsibilities of the Section of Labor and Employment Law and the Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee of the Section of Litigation. Mr. Klein is the immediate past plaintiffs' co-chair of the largest Committee within the Labor and Employment Section - the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. Mr. Klein is a Member of the Executive Board of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and is also a member of the Federal Bar Council, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board of the Labor and Employment Law Program and Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Wage and Hour Clearinghouse.
Mr. Klein received his undergraduate degree from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in 1987 and his law degree from Hofstra University in 1990. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1991.
Mr. Klein is admitted in New York and in the federal Second, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits and the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York.
Ellen E. McLaughlin is a partner in the firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is former national chair of the Firm's 350 member Labor and Employment Practice Group. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame, cum laude. She is engaged in a broad based employment law practice, specializing in federal and state court and administrative agency employment litigation. Ms. McLaughlin also has an extensive advice and counseling practice that focuses on avoiding litigation. She regularly consults with employers to implement nationwide practices and systems which are both legally compliant and which meet an employer's business needs.
Ms. McLaughlin has been a Chambers USA rated attorney since 2005 and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She is rated as a Leading Lawyer in the State of Illinois and is one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in the State of Illinois. She is a National Employment Law Institute (NELI) Advisory Board Member and on the American Arbitration Association's Employment Law Advisory Board. She is the National Chair of her Firm's Women's Affinity Group, Seyfarth Women's Network, Board Member of the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms, and on the Anti-Defamation League's Women of Achievement Committee.
Ms. McLaughlin is a frequent lecturer on a wide variety of employment law topics. She has served as a guest lecturer for such organizations as the ABA, NELI, ALI-ABA, SHRM, Corporate Counsel Institute, American Arbitration Association, Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, and Illinois State Bar Association. In addition, she is on the Editorial Board, Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Guide, Thompson Publishing, Editorial Board, The Leave & Disability Coordination Handbook, Thompson Publishing. She has written extensively on employment issues and co-authored "A Client's Guide to the ADA, FMLA and Workers' Compensation," The Journal of the American Corporate Counsel Association as well as "Training Becomes Important Step to Avoid Liability," The National Law Journal. She also co authored the "Employee Selection Procedures," "The ADA" and "The FMLA" chapters in Federal Employment Laws and Regulations and Employment Discrimination - How to Comply, both R.A. Apland publications.
Ms. McLaughlin has been actively involved in the developments of the Americans With Disabilities Act since its passage in July, 1990. In early 1991, she co-authored comments to the EEOC's proposed regulations on behalf of a national employer coalition. Again in 2009, she drafted comments to the proposed regulations under the ADA Amendments Act on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and SHRM. Ms. McLaughlin also has been closely following the Family and Medical Leave Act since its passage in early 1993. On behalf of national employer groups, she edited and co authored comments to the Department of Labor's interim final rules and final rules, and assisted a national employer coalition group in drafting comments to the DOL's proposed regulations that became effective in 2009.
Ms. McLaughlin has been actively involved in following the developments of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") since its passage in July, 1990 and regularly advises employers on this law. In early 1991, she co-authored comments to the EEOC's proposed regulations on behalf of a national employer coalition. Ms. McLaughlin has been closely following the Family and Medical Leave Act since its passage in early 1993. On behalf of local and national employer groups, she edited and co-authored comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) prior to the issuance of both the interim final rules and final rules. Most recently in 2008, she assisted a national employer coalition group in drafting comments to the DOL's proposed regulations. Following the passage of the ADA and FMLA, she has provided training to organizations on how to comply with these laws and lectures extensively on these subjects.
In June 2011, she was one of two management attorneys in the country invited by the EEOC to testify at a public hearing on the issue of leave as a reasonable accommodation. She lectures extensively on the ADA and FMLA, and provides advice and training to organizations on how to comply with these laws. She is widely recognized as one of the nation's foremost ADA and FMLA experts.
ETHAN A. BRECHER is the founding and managing partner of the Law Office of Ethan A. Brecher, LLC.
Mr. Brecher has been practicing law for 21 years. His law practice is devoted primarily to three principal areas:
Mr. Brecher also negotiates employment and severance agreements between employees and employers.
Respect for the rule of law and justice, professionalism, civility and ethical conduct will guide Mr. Brecher as he represents each client, to whom he serves as both advocate and counselor. Mr. Brecher believes that his clients should have in him no better friend, and their adversary no worse opponent.
Whether a client's case is one to be tried to conclusion or settled through negotiation, Mr. Brecher will endeavor to provide each client with clear and unvarnished advice based on the particular facts and circumstances of each client's situation.
For employees who have been wronged or who are due compensation from their employer, Mr. Brecher will devote himself to recovering for those individuals what their former employers fairly and appropriately owe them.
For businesses that are due money, Mr. Brecher will work diligently to secure what they are entitled to receive.
Over his 21 years of practicing law, Mr. Brecher has tried and settled numerous cases that have resulted in tens of millions of dollars of recoveries for his clients.
Mr. Brecher generally charges hourly for his time, but offers a one time, 30-minute telephone consultation at no charge for individuals with employment disputes. In appropriate situations, Mr. Brecher will accept cases on a total or partial contingency-fee basis. All fee arrangements are tailored specifically to the particular facts and circumstances of each client's case.
Mr. Brecher was named a New York Super Lawyer in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Pro Bono Panel for a three year term ending August 27, 2015.
Mr. Brecher is a member of the New York and Connecticut Bars.
J.D., New York University School of Law, 1991
A.B., Cornell University, 1988
Karen P. Fernbach, is the Regional Director of Region 2, the Manhattan Region. As Regional Director, she is responsible for the enforcement of the nation's primary labor law covering private sector employees in the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, and Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties in New York.
She graduated from SUNY Albany in 1973 with a BA degree where she majored in American History. She then attended St. John's University School of Law where she served as a member of the St. John's Law Review. Upon graduation in 1977, Karen began her career as a field attorney in the Manhattan Region of the NLRB until her promotion to the position of Supervisory Attorney in 1985. In 1988, she was promoted to the Regional Attorney position in Manhattan and became the Regional Director in January, 2012.
Karen is an active member of the Labor & Employment Section of the New York State Bar Association, a liaison member of the Labor & Employment Section of the NYC Bar Association, a faculty member of PLI, on the Executive Board of the Labor & Employment Center at St. John's, and also on the Executive Boards of Cornell ILR, Labor & Employment Law Program, & the Labor & Employment Center of NYU School of Law. As Regional Director, she has been a speaker and panelist at many labor law conferences and programs. Throughout her career, she has also served on many National Committees of the NLRB including the Quality Committee and Best Practices Committee. She is a member of the Federal Executive Board and has served as a volunteer mediator for federal employee EEO work place disputes. She has also taught at the Cornell ILR Institute and is currently an Adjunct Professor at St. John's University School of Law where she teaches Labor Law, Advanced Labor Law, and Labor & Employment Arbitration.
Ronald Meisburg is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Labor-Management Relations Group, resident in the Washington, D.C. office.
Before joining Proskauer, Ronald served as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board for four and one half years and as a Board Member for one year. He is one of only four people to have served as both a Board Member and as the General Counsel, and the only person to have received Presidential nominations for both offices.
Prior to serving at the NLRB, Ronald was a management labor lawyer from 1980 through 2003. In private practice, he has advised management clients with respect to issues arising under federal labor and employment law and collective bargaining agreements; served as labor counsel in complex business transactions; assisted clients in collective bargaining and in grievance and arbitration cases; and represented clients in matters pending before federal labor and employment agencies, and in federal trial and appellate court litigation.
Prior to entering private practice, Ronald spent six years as a litigator in the Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, in Washington, D.C., in the Division of Employee Benefits and the Division of Mine Safety and Health. At the Department he received a number of recognitions and awards, including being a member of the litigation team that won the Secretary of Labor's Distinguished Achievement Award in 1978.
Ronald has served in various leadership roles, including President of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, and has taught business law as an award winning Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business. Ronald resides in Arlington, VA.
Stacey Chervin Sigda is a Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Sotheby's responsible for employment and labor law matters, employee benefit plans and executive compensation issues. She has been working at Sotheby's in this capacity for over thirteen years. She focuses on litigation avoidance and human resources/manager training on employment/labor law compliance. She has extensive experience with various regulatory actions, including, but not limited to, labor arbitrations at the American Arbitration Association and unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board. She prepares and educates employees on company policies, including, but not limited to, those involving the use/abuse of e-mail and social media and helps to establish guidelines for the proper use of social media in hiring practices and employee investigations. She also handles art law litigation concerning title and authenticity claims and other commercial litigation in both state and federal court.
Prior to working at Sotheby's, she was an associate at Rogers & Wells (currently Clifford Chance LLP) for five years and prior to that was an associate at Proskauer Rose LLP.PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Stuart B. Kleinman, M.D. is a psychiatrist specializing in Forensic Psychiatry and Traumatic Stress. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, in Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry, and serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and as an Adjunct Professor of Law, at Brooklyn Law School.
Dr. Kleinman has extensive experience assessing and treating the consequences of a wide array of trauma, including Asian piracy, Middle Eastern terrorism, urban sexual assault, and workplace harassment. He helped found the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Asylum Program, was the first Medical Director of the Crime Victims Center, a mental health clinic which treats solely the psychological consequences of (violent) crime, and consulted for the New York State Crime Victims Compensation Board. After the 911 terrorist attacks, he assisted employees of companies perceived as particularly likely targets of additional attacks, including via anthrax and other biological agents.
Dr. Kleinman has written widely about posttraumatic stress, especially its intersection with civil and criminal legal issues, and vigorously worked to better mental health professionals’ understanding of such. He founded, and served as chairperson, of the Committee on Trauma and Stress, of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, and teaches about PTSD, and assessing emotional distress damages, to fellows training in Forensic Psychiatry in the Columbia-Weill Cornell Forensic Psychiatry fellowship program.
Dr. Kleinman’s experience working with those who have suffered serious assaults and threats provides him with a deep, nuanced appreciation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the use and misuse of this diagnosis.
As a board certified forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Kleinman consults in a broad spectrum of criminal and civil matters, including regarding workplace harassment/discrimination, the ‘mindset’ of perpetrators of violent and non-violent acts, e.g., ‘white collar crime’, and workplace violence. He worked for over ten years at the Bellevue Hospital Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, examining individuals for the Court regarding competency to stand trial, and pre- and post-sentencing issues, consulted to the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens District Attorney’s Office regarding child victims’ psychological ability to confront their alleged abusers in courtroom proceedings, and consults for prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal matters, and defense and plaintiff attorneys in civil matters.
Dr. Kleinman received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He subsequently trained in Psychiatry, at the Pennsylvania Hospital, Psychiatry and Law, at the Center for Social-Legal Studies, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Forensic Psychiatry at New York University/Bellevue Hospital.
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.
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.
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.
JOHN C. HENDRICKSON has been the Regional Attorney for the Chicago District of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 1990. Mr. Hendrickson is EEOC’s chief legal officer in the District which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He is responsible for the management of the District’s litigation and for the supervision of its attorneys.
Prior to joining EEOC in 1981, Mr. Hendrickson was engaged in the private practice of law, including corporate, securities and acquisitions in a major Chicago firm and, also, solo and small firm practice concentrating in complex civil litigation. Mr. Hendrickson received his B.A. degree from The University of Chicago and graduated cum laude from the Columbia University School of Law in New York. He was elected a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2005. He has received diplomas from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Federal Executive Institute and from OPM’s Eastern Management Development Center. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Hendrickson served as one of only two Senior Executive Service Regional Attorneys in EEOC history.
In 2007, Mr. Hendrickson received the Chicago Bar Association’s inaugural “Labor and Employment Law Benchmark Award” in recognition of his “continued commitment to bettering the Chicago Legal Community in the area of Labor and Employment Law.” The Journal of the American Bar Association designated him as one of the “Newsmakers of the Year 2007-2008.” In 2005, the editors of HR Magazine, the journal of the Society for Human Resource Management, in observance of its 50th anniversary, identified Mr. Hendrickson as one of its “50 for History”– “people who–intentionally or not–have changed HR.” He has been repeatedly designated an “Illinois Super Lawyer” and has served as field coordinator of EEOC’s National Trial Skills Workshops. In October 2009, a business columnist for the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The Chicago office of the EEOC is one of the most aggressive federal agencies around . . . Led by regional attorney John Hendrickson, the EEOC’s office at 500 W. Madison St. carries a big stick.”
In August 2014, LAW 360 wrote of Mr. Hendrickson’s office, “Some management-side attorneys regard the Chicago office as one of the most aggressive of EEOC’s regional offices, populated by some of the agency’s top litigators, [which has] been at the leading edge of some of the agency’s enforcement efforts.” In September 2014, LAW 360 wrote, “Multiple management-side attorneys singled out the EEOC’s Chicago district office, along with regional attorney John Hendrickson, as the outpost that tends to push the hardest . . . ‘At the top of the list, obviously, is Chicago. I don’t think there’s any question,’ said [an attorney].”
During his tenure as Regional Attorney, the EEOC Chicago District has been one of the agency’s leading districts nationwide. Mr. Hendrickson’s litigation program has secured over $250 million for victims of employment discrimination, forced major, long-term changes in personnel polices and practices, and been a leader in compelling outside monitoring of employers’ performance of consent decree reforms. A few examples of his noteworthy cases are EEOC v. Mitsubishi ($34 million), EEOC v. Sidley & Austin ($27.5 million), EEOC v. The Dial Corporation ($10 million), EEOC v. Roadway ($10 million), EEOC v. Yellow Freight/YRC ($11 million), EEOC v. Sears Roebuck ($6.2 million), EEOC v. Supervalu/Jewel ($3.2 million). Mr. Hendrickson’s office filed EEOC v. Dollar General, the first nationwide class case brought under EEOC’s April 2012 update of its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions. In EEOC v. Mach Mining, a sex discrimination in hiring case litigated by his office, the Seventh Circuit has held that the EEOC’s conduct of its administrative conciliation process is not subject to judicial review; the EEOC has acquiesced in the grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court in Mach. His pending noteworthy cases also include EEOC v. United Parcel Service and EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc.
Mr. Hendrickson speaks throughout the country to law school, bar association, continuing legal education, human resource, and other business, professional, and civil rights groups. He is a member of the bar of Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. He is a member of the Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar. His article “Why It Is They and Not We Who Sit on the Woolsack—A Motion to Dismiss in EEOC v. United Parcel Service in the Northern District of Illinois” was published in 2014 in the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality: Vol. 2, Iss. 1, Article 5; available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijlse/vol2/iss1/5.
Michael A. Curley is the Managing Partner of Curley, Hurtgen & Johnsrud LLP. Mr. Curley founded his firm in 2009, and his firm represents employers throughout the country. Mr. Curley has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the top labor and employment lawyers in New York (Band One in each of the last several years). He has also been awarded the Martindale Hubbell AV ranking, and has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and numerous other lawyer-recognition services.
Before founding Curley, Hurtgen & Johnsrud, Mr. Curley was a partner with O’Melveny & Myers (where he started his career and worked for nearly 19 years) and with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Mr. Curley splits his time between New York and Philadelphia, and works out of both cities in addition to traveling nationally to serve his clients’ needs.
Mr. Curley attended Drexel University, where he graduated with highest honors and played on the Drexel basketball team. After graduating from Drexel, Mr. Curley attended Villanova Law School, where he was on the Law Review and earned Order of the Coif honors.
Mr. Curley is a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Drexel University. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Mr. Fortney is a co-founder of Fortney & Scott, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm counseling and advising clients on the full spectrum of work-place related matters, including employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises. Mr. Fortney’s broad-based practice includes equal employment opportunity requirements, wage and hour matters, federal contractor’s affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining, and workplace health and safety. He brings experience from the public and private sectors, and he represents clients before federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor’s agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board.
Previously, Mr. Fortney served as the chief legal officer and other positions at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. during the term of President George H.W. Bush.
Mr. Fortney is on the Board of Directors of the American Employment Law Council, a co-founder of the Institute for Workplace Equality, and a Member of the ABA Council for the Labor & Employment Section. Mr. Fortney has been recognized as one of the leading employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by the CHAMBERS USA survey of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in all years from 2005 through present. He was selected for inclusion in the 2008 through present editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Washington D.C.’s, Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. Mr. Fortney received an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.
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.
Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law, Director, Center for Labor and Employment Law & o-Director, Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration, New York University; of counsel, Schulte Roth & Zabel, in the employment and employee benefits practice group.
Samuel Estreicher has published more than a dozen books, including a forthcoming Cambridge University Press book on access to civil justice and Oxford University Press book on global labor and employment law; leading casebooks on labor law and employment discrimination and employment law; and authored more than 150 articles in professional and academic journals. After clerking for Judge Harold Leventhal of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, practice in labor law firm, and clerking for Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. of the US Supreme Court, Estreicher joined the NYU School of Law faculty in 1978. He is the former secretary of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association, a former chair of the Committee on Labor and Employment Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and chief reporter of the Restatement Third of Employment Law, sponsored by the American Law Institute. In addition, he maintains an active appellate and arbitration-mediation practice. The Labor and Employment Research Association awarded him its 2010 Susan C. Eaton Award for Outstanding Scholar-Practitioner. In recent years, Estreicher has published work in public international law and authored several briefs in the Supreme Court and US courts of appeals on international issues. In 2013, he was appointed a member of the Administrative Review Board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, The Philippines. Estreicher received his BA from Columbia College, his MS in industrial relations from Cornell University, and his JD from Columbia Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.
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.
Judge Barrington D. Parker was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President Bush in November 2001. Prior to his elevation, he had been appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1994.
Judge Parker was born on August 21, 1944 in Washington, D.C. He was educated in the Washington, D.C. public schools and at Yale College (B.A. 1965) and Yale Law School (L.L.B. 1969). From August 1969 to August 1970 he was law clerk to the Honorable Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., United States District Judge, Washington, D.C.. His father, Barrington D. Parker, Sr., sat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 1969 to 1993.
Judge Parker practiced general commercial litigation in New York City for approximately 23 years. From 1987 until he assumed the bench he was a partner with Morrison & Foerster. From 1977 to 1987 he was a partner with Parker Auspitz Neesemann & Delehanty, P.C., and from 1970 to 1977 was associated with Sullivan & Cromwell.
During his years in practice Judge Parker was involved in a variety of professional and civic activities. For a number of years he was the President of the Board of The Harlem School of the Arts as well as Vice-President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He is a former member of the Yale Corporation and currently serves as a Trustee of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Board.
Thomas E. Spahn practices as a commercial litigator with McGuireWoods in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Tom was selected as the 2013 and the 2020 metro-Washington DC "Lawyer of the Year" for "Bet the Company Litigation" by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.). In 2018, Virginia Lawyers Weekly selected him for inclusion in the inaugural Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame. Tom 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. He has spoken at over 1,900 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 950 weekly email alerts about privilege and work product cases; materials for over 40 ethics programs on numerous topics, totaling about 10,000 pages of analysis. Tom graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Debra L. Raskin graduated from Radcliffe College magna cum laude in 1973 and received her law degree from Yale in 1977. She worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1977 to 1981, serving in 1981 as Supervisor of Employment Litigation for that organization. She served as law clerk to Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she served as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York in the Civil Rights Bureau. She joined the Vladeck firm in 1986, and became a partner of the firm in October 1988. From 2014 to 2016 Ms. Raskin served as the President of the New York City Bar Association. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has taught at Columbia and Fordham Law Schools and has lectured and written on employment law matters for the New York State Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute, among other groups.
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, a prominent AMLAW 100 firm, 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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Grossman is Disability Rights New York’s Director of its Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Programs. Prior to joining Disability Rights New York, Elizabeth served as Regional Attorney for the New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she managed the litigation program. Previously, she practiced plaintiff’s employment law at Schneyer & Shen, and worked as an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project and the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. Elizabeth is a certified volunteer community mediator in New York State. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan. Elizabeth received the Federal Executive Board Distinguished Government Service Award in 2002, was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” column in 2004, was named as one of 50 “Women to Watch” by the Wall Street Journal in 2005, received a Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service in 2005, and was given the Distinguished Alumna Award by Cranbrook School in 2015.
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.
Mr. Rogers, the managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Labor and Employment Law Group, is a graduate of Harvard College (magna cum laude, 1976) and Harvard Law School (cum laude, 1979). He joined Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in 1979, and has been a partner of the Firm since 1987. He has been named the New York City “Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 as well as for 2014 and the 2012 “New York City Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America, and is one of 33 lawyers in the United States named in “Best of the Best USA 2015” as leading labor and employment lawyers. In 2017 and for each of the prior nine years, he has been named one of the 100 leading management attorneys in the United States by the publication Human Resource Executive in conjunction with Lawdragon; he is also ranked in the top tier in New York among defendant-side employment lawyers in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (available at www.chambersandpartners.com/usa). He is a contributing author to BNA’s Workplace Harassment Law (2012), is a co-author of West Publishing Co.’s Employment Litigation in New York (1996) and Employment Law Deskbook for Human Resources Professionals (2001), and serves as a lecturer on employment law topics to many groups, including the Practising Law Institute's annual Employment Law Institute and the Federal Judicial Center’s annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a member of the American Law Institute and of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, and has served on the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.