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Employment Law Institute 2014


Speaker(s): Allan S. Bloom, Amy L. Bess, Donna M. Malin, Eric Eichenholtz, George W. Woods, Jr., M.D.,, Hon. Chai R. Feldblum, Hon. P. Kevin Castel, Hunter R. Hughes, III, Jeffrey G. Stein, Jeffrey S. Klein, Jessica Golden Cortes, Jill L. Rosenberg, Jonathan Ben-Asher, Joseph M. Sellers, Kendra M. Duckworth, Laura S. Schnell, Lisa Reeves, Mark E. Brossman, Martin L. Schmelkin, Milton L. Williams Jr., Pearl Zuchlewski, Rachel M. Bien, Samuel Estreicher, Sandi F. Dubin, Sara E. Elder, Stephen P. Sonnenberg, Tamika L. Tremaglio, Tanya L. Menton, Thomas E. Spahn, Willis J. Goldsmith, Yolanda Seals-Coffield, Zachary D. Fasman
Recorded on: Oct. 20, 2014
PLI Program #: 51042

Jonathan Ben-Asher is a partner in Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP in New York.  He represents executives, professionals and other employees in employment disputes, including those involving employment contracts, executive compensation, whistleblowing, retaliation and employment discrimination.  He also has particular expertise in disputes concerning executive compensation in the financial services sector, Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowing cases, and cases under the False Claims (Qui Tam) Act and Dodd-Frank Act.

Jonathan is former Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section (2013 - 2014).  He has also held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law. He is a member of the Section’s governing Council, and has been Chair of the Section’s CLE / Meetings and Institutes Committee.  From 2007 - 2010, he was Employee Chair of the Section’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee.  He was also Employee Chair of the Section’s Sixth Annual CLE Conference (2012), and Employee Chair of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee’s Contracts and Executive Compensation Subcommittee.

Jonathan was formerly Vice President of the National Employment Lawyers Association / New York, and a member of its Executive Board.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of the New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law. 

Jonathan is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and has repeatedly been named as a New York Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America and in the New York Area. He is a frequent speaker on employment law issues for professional groups, including the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges of the New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, and the Practising Law Institute.

He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law (1980) and his B.A. from Columbia University (1974).


Tanya L. Menton is Principal Counsel in the Legal Department for The Walt Disney Company. She regularly counsels the Company and its various broadcasting divisions and stations on various employment and commercial matters.  She regularly conducts training and internal investigations and negotiates talent and executive employment agreements.  She also oversees the Company’s compliance with EEO laws, including development of Affirmative Action plans.  Ms. Menton represents the Company before various federal and state administrative agencies and courts and oversees outside litigation.

Previously, Ms. Menton was associated with the law firms of Townley & Updike (New York) and O’Melveny & Myers (Los Angeles) where she represented employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies.  She is a member of the State Bar of California.  She is also a member of the Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections and Committees of the California, New York State and American Bar Associations.

Ms. Menton is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law (cum laude) and received her Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University (magna cum laude).

Contact:         
Tanya L. Menton, Esq.
Principal Counsel
ABC, Inc.
77 West 66th Street
New York, New York 10023
(212) 456-6178 (phone)
(212) 456-6565 (fax)
tanya.l.menton@abc.com 


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.

 

 


Chai Feldblum began her service as a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opprorunity Commission in April 2010.  She was confirmed by the Senate for a second term, which will end on July 1, 2018.

During Commissioner Feldbum’s service on the Commission, she has focused on all the employment civil rights issues within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.  She has focused in particular on the employment of people with disabilities, pregnancy accommodation, sexual orientation and transgender discrimination, harassment prevention, the structure and process of the federal sector complaint system and strategic planning for the Commission.

Prior to her appointment to the EEOC, Commissioner Feldblum was a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.  She founded the Law Center’s Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, which represented a range of organizational clients focused on social justice.  She also founded Workplace Flexibility 2010, a policy enterprise focused on finding common ground between employers and employees on workplace flexibility issues.

Commissioner Feldblum played a leading role in helping to draft and negotiate the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. She has also worked to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and was one of the drafters of the original Employment Nondiscrimination Act

Commissioner Feldblum is the first openly lesbian Commissioner of the EEOC and is the fourth person with a disability to serve on the Commission.

Commissioner Feldblum clerked for Judge Frank Coffin of the First Circuit Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun after receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard College.


Donna Malin is Vice President-Law, Worldwide Vision Care Franchise and a member of the Vision Care Global Management Board with global responsibility for the legal matters of the Vision Care Franchise.

Prior to assuming her current position, Donna served as the Litigation Lead for the Consumer & Personal Care Group with global responsibility for all litigation within that sector. She previously served as the Practice Group Leader for the Employment Litigation Group and a member of the Human Resources Leadership Team (HRLT).  Donna is one of the creators of the COMMON GROUND Alternate Dispute Resolution Program for employment disputes, which is utilized throughout Johnson & Johnson.

Donna was previously on the Management Boards of Neutrogena Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and Advanced Sterilization Products, Inc.  She is a founding member of the Johnson & Johnson Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and a member of the WLI Executive Steering Committee

Donna is an active volunteer in the community.  She is a member of the Corporate Contributions Committee as well as a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Community Volunteer Award.     Donna is a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson EEO/Affirmative Action Award for individual excellence and the TWIN Award (Tribute to Women in Industry).

Donna graduated with highest honors from Wellesley College and the National Law Center at George Washington University.


Dr. Woods is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Medical Center. He is Immediate Past President of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. He has been asked to serve as Secretary General to the International Academy of Law and Mental Health during its amalgamation with the Institute of Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health at the Sorbonne, Paris, France. He was Deputy Chairperson of the Challenging Behaviors Special Interest Research Group of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disorders (IASSIDD) from 2015 through 2018. George has worked with legal teams dealing with complex criminal and civil litigation. He has also worked with Vulcan Industries, Microsoft, and Walmart on psychometrically and culturally competent employment testing procedures. He is Director of Clinical/Forensic Services at Forefront Behavioral Telecare, delivering telepsychiatric care to rural nursing facilities. He is also Senior Consultant to Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., a major provider of Behavioral Health services

A faculty member of New York City’s Practising Law Institute (PLI), he teaches accommodation issues of the American Disability Act and the assessment of workplace violence, George is also a Lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and was Adjunct Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry from 2002-2018. George is a Principal in JohnsonFreedmanWoods Education. JohnsonFreedmanWoods conducts a cutting edge webinar series, Where Mental Health Meets the Law, for Thomson Reuters Publishing Company. He also maintains an active neuropsychiatric practice in Oakland, California.

His current passion, beside his grand daughters, Jordyn and Harlem, is bringing his deep understanding of body/brain functioning and its impact on behavior to technological solutions in medicine, neuropsychiatry, business, and social policy.


Jeffrey G. Stein is General Counsel to 22 Taft-Hartley funds and related organizations serving the members of 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East.  The 1199SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund is one of the largest Taft-Hartley funds, with over $9 billion in assets.  The 1199SEIU National Benefit Fund provides more than $1.5 billion dollars annually in hospital, medical and other welfare benefits and is at the forefront of many innovative managed care and wellness utilization programs.

Twelve of the 1199 funds are administered under an umbrella known as the 1199 Training and Employment Funds (“TEF”) consisting of training funds, job security funds and Labor Management Cooperation Act organizations, established under 302(c)(9) of Taft-Hartley, to provide research, planning and facilitation to the Union and employers.  One purpose of  TEF is to address economic changes in the health care industry by creating innovative educational programs for participants at risk of layoff, facilitating job restructuring to avoid layoffs to the extent possible, and assisting participants who are laid off to obtain additional education, access to available vacancies, supplemental financial benefits and continuation of health coverage during layoff.

In addition, two funds provide child care benefits to participants, and a subsidiary corporation provides child care programs.

Prior to his employment as General Counsel to these funds, Mr. Stein was an associate at a union-side law firm in New York City, Levy Ratner (formerly Levy Pollack Ratner & Behroozi and before that Eisner Levy Pollack & Ratner), responsible both for union side labor representation and employee benefits work.  Before that, he was on the faculty at New York University School of Law and spent six years at the Legal Aid Society of New York.

Jeffrey G. Stein received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1972 and a Masters Degree in Education also from Cornell in 1977, a J.D. at NYU School of Law in 1982, and an LL.M. in Taxation at NYU in 1997.

He has spoken frequently concerning employee benefits at programs sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the Legal Education Institute, the New York State Bar, Cornell University, the Labor and Employment Relations Association, the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Employee Benefits Committee, on which he is serving a second 3-year term.  He was a Co-chair of the Civil Practice Subcommittee of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Labor Section of the American Bar Association until Fall 2011. In 2013, he was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. 


Jeffrey S. Klein is Head of Weil’s Employment Litigation Practice Group and Co-Head of the Firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, which encompasses 160 attorneys worldwide. Mr. Klein is distinguished as both a first-chair trial lawyer and as a trusted advisor to senior management, General Counsels, and Boards of Directors of global companies on sophisticated human resources issues and employment-related crises.

For nearly four decades, Mr. Klein has exceled in and shaped novel areas of employment law as the workplace has undergone significant changes, including in relation to gender pay gap concerns, reverse discrimination claims, class arbitration issues, sexual harassment/#MeToo, non-competes, and anti-discrimination policies protecting transgender employees. As a result of his mastery of these issues, Mr. Klein has served as counsel to many top global companies such as Andeavor, Belmond Hotels, Godiva Chocolatier, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, Perella Weinberg Partners, Sterling Jewelers, Tiffany and Co., Union Pacific, and other Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Klein also offers unparalleled expertise as a sports attorney, and is regularly sought after by some of the most recognizable coaches and players. His most prominent recent matters include: representing former Maryland football head coach DJ Durkin in a highly publicized investigation into the culture of the football program; guiding Jim Harbaugh through his exit from the San Francisco 49ers and contract with the University of Michigan – one of the most high profile college football coaching signings of all time; and advising a number of professional athletes and college football coaches who have been the subject of front-page news articles over the past few years. 

Mr. Klein is a regular speaker at leading industry conferences, including the annual Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges, and has authored a bi-monthly column for more than 20 years for the New York Law Journal. He also serves as pro bono outside general counsel to the Public Art Fund and Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation.

Mr. Klein is recognized as one of the nation’s leading employment/management attorneys by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Legal 500, Human Resources Executive, and Lawdragon, which inducted him into its 2018 Lawdragon Legends class in recognition of his 10th appearance in the Lawdragon 500.


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

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


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

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

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

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


Kendra Duckworth assumed her position as the Disability Program Manager with the Equal Opportunity Policy Office, Department of the Air Force, in July 2012 and was named Deputy Director in January of 2014.  She comes to the Air Force from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) where she served as the Disability Program Manager since 2009.  While at the EEOC, Ms. Duckworth developed and implemented the EEOC Disability Program, including new reasonable accommodation procedures and a standard operating procedure for hiring employees with disabilities using the Schedule A hiring authority.  Ms. Duckworth oversaw the procurement of assistive technology and was directly responsible for increasing the number of employees hired using Schedule A. 

Since becoming the Disability Program Manager, the Department of the Air Force has been awarded The Secretary of Defense's Award for Achievement in Employment of Individuals with Disabilities for FY2012 and FY2013.  The award honors Department of Defense Components for outstanding achievement in the hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.  The award is presented based on Component performance across eight statistical criteria related to the hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.

Prior to coming to Washington D.C., Kendra was a Lead Consultant for the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy Job Accommodation Network.

She brings to the Department of the Air Force over 20 years of experience providing accommodation guidance to employers and individuals with disabilities and a specialization in accommodation solutions for workers with hidden disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries.

Ms. Duckworth is an experienced national speaker who specializes in:  the American with Disabilities Act, Title I and Rehabilitation Act compliance; the interactive accommodation process; and using assistive technology as a job accommodation.  Kendra is credited with a number of nationally cited technical assistance documents related to her field of expertise.


Lisa Reeves is Assistant General Counsel for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In that capacity, she provides legal advice on employment matters to a variety of clients, including Human Resources, managers and executives. She also serves as the negotiator of talent agreements and other employment and independent contractor agreements for the CNN US network. In addition, she provides oversight of and advice regarding labor matters across Turner divisions.

Lisa came to Turner from Ford & Harrison, LLP, a law firm that specializes in labor and employment law, where she represented clients in the telecommunications, airline, and television industries, among others. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Spanish from the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law, with honors. She is a member of Women in Cable Telecommunication (WICT), and the Georgia State Bar.

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. 


Mark E. Brossman is co-head of the Employment & Employee Benefits Group at Schulte Roth & Zabel. His areas of concentration include all aspects of ERISA, employment discrimination, labor relations, and related litigation. Mark is well known for his expertise in education law and representation of educational institutions including independent schools, colleges, universities, professional training programs and education-related associations, and has advised educational institutions since graduating from law school. Mark is a frequent public speaker and author. His practice also includes serving as counsel to many large multi-employer and single-employer employee benefit plans; health care institutions, including nursing homes and home care employers; and a wide variety of other clients in industries ranging from banks and financial institutions to textile and furniture to magazine publishing and transportation. He has served as an instructor in the Columbia University Teacher’s College and as a lecturer in the Cornell University ILR School’s Labor Relations Studies Program.

Mark is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers and was recognized by both Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon as one of the 100 most powerful employment attorneys in America and one of the top 10 in ERISA law. Mark received the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ prestigious Judge William B. Groat Alumni Award (for achievement in the field of industrial relations), the Emerald Isle Immigration Center’s Robert Briscoe Award, membership in the Academy of Employee Benefit Authors, and the Lawyers Alliance for New York’s Cornerstone Award (for outstanding pro bono service to New York nonprofit organizations), in addition to being the first recipient of LANY’s Pro Bono Leadership Award. He also is active in several not-for-profit organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of LiveOn NY, the Board of Directors of New York University School of Law’s Center for Labor & Employment Law, the Advisory Council of Cornell University ILR School, the Board of Trustees of Bard College and the Board of Trustees of Montefiore Health System Inc. Mark earned his B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in 1975, his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1978 and an LL.M. in Labor Law from the same institution in 1981.


Marty Schmelkin is a Managing Director, Associate General Counsel with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. Marty is a member of the firm’s Employment Law Group, and his practice focuses on employment law counseling, affirmative action & diversity issues, employment discrimination arbitration and litigation. Marty has spent time in the firm’s Hong Kong office, handling employment law matters arising in the firm’s offices throughout Asia (Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo). He also covers matters arising in the firm’s non-U.S. offices in the Americas (Bermuda, Buenos Aires, Calgary, Cayman Islands, Mexico City, Santiago, Sao Paolo, and Toronto). Marty is the Chairperson of the Pro Bono Steering Committee at Goldman Sachs, where he coordinates all of the firm’s pro bono initiatives and programming. He is also a member of the Knowledge Share Committee, which provides Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programming for members of the firm’s Legal Department. Marty is a member of the Board of the Women’s Enterprise Development Center, an organization which provides training programs and support services to women business owners in Westchester County.

Marty received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University in 1991, and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law in 1994. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 2000, Marty worked in the Employment Law Departments of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and O’Melveny & Myers.


Pearl Zuchlewski is a partner in Kraus & Zuchlewski LLP where she primarily represents individual employees.

She is a former Chair of the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) Labor and Employment Law Section and presently serves on the Section’s Executive Committee.  She also is a Section representative to the NYSBA House of Delegates.  In addition, Ms. Zuchlewski is a member of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Labor and Employment Law Section’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee, the National Employment Lawyers Association and the Association of the Bar in the City of New York (“ABCNY”). 

She has served on the FINRA task force which drafted the FINRA Code of Arbitration provisions for statutory discrimination claims and is former Chair of the FINR’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee.  Ms. Zuchlewski most recently served as Chair of a FINRA employment task force which reviewed and consolidated the former NASD and NYSE Codes of Arbitration Procedure.

Ms. Zuchlewski has been recognized for several years as among the Best Lawyers in New York and in Superlawyers.  She is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the College’s Board of Governors.  She also is a member of the advisory boards of the New York University Law School Center for Labor and Employment, the Hofstra Law School, CPR Employment Disputes Committee and the New York City Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association; her other professional activities include membership in the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.

Ms. Zuchlewski is a frequent speaker on alternative dispute resolution, sexual harassment and other employment related issues at various organizations including the ABA, NYSBA, ABCNY, Practicing Law Institute and New York University Judicial Conferences.  Her articles have appeared in the New York Law Journal, various proceedings of the New York University’s Annual Conferences on Labor, ABA, NYSBA and other publications.


Rachel Bien, a Partner at Outten & Golden LLP and a Co-Chair of its Class & Collective Action Practice Group, represents employees in class action wage and hour and discrimination cases.

Ms. Bien has represented thousands of workers in wage and hour class and collective actions, including unpaid interns, restaurant workers, and workers misclassified as “exempt” from overtime laws, including Entry-Level Auditors, Medicaid Marketing Representatives, Financial Advisors, Mortgage Brokers, and Exterminators.  In addition to wage and hour cases, Rachel has also represented workers in discrimination class actions, including pay and promotion claims on behalf of female grocery store workers and disparate impact claims on behalf of African American and Latino workers denied jobs because of their criminal histories.

She graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2005 and joined Outten & Golden LLP in October 2006 after serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas G. Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 


Sandi F. Dubin is Associate General Counsel and Deputy Director of Labor Relations for New York University, where she represents the University in and advises on labor and employment matters.  Prior to joining New York University in 2011, Sandi briefly served as Assistant General Counsel in the legal department of Jefferies & Company, focusing on employment matters. 

Previously, Sandi was in private practice as an associate at Paul Hastings LLP, in the Employment Law Department, where she represented employers in discrimination, harassment, wage and hour and other employment-related matters in federal and state courts, as well as before various administrative agencies.  Sandi also advised employers on all aspects of employment and labor law, and represented employers in traditional labor matters, including collective bargaining and in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.  Prior to joining Paul Hastings, Sandi was an associate in the Litigation Department, Labor and Employment Group at Herrick, Feinstein LLP.

Sandi received her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, magna cum laude, where she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, received the Jacob Burns Medal and Best Advocacy Writing Award, and graduated Order of the Coif.  She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, cum laude

Sandi is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars, and is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
 


Sara Elder was Divisional Vice President, Associate Relations and Compliance for Sears Holdings Management Corporation. In this role, Ms. Elder oversaw the associate relations, labor relations, HR policy, HR compliance, and discrimination charge management functions for Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. In addition, she was responsible for Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s and Innovel Solutions, Inc.’s affirmative action programs.  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 and was a contributing author to the inaugural issue of the West publication Successful Partnering Between Outside and Inside Counsel (Employment Law Section) (1999-2000 ed.). In 2012, Ms. Elder was named as 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.


Yolanda Seals-Coffield is a Principal and Leader of the Employment Law Group with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where she leads a team of lawyers responsible for advising the firm's Human Capital team, the Office of Partner Affairs, and the Office of Diversity.  Ms. Seals-Coffield also serves as the trusted advisor on global employment law and diversity matters.

Prior to joining PwC in October 2010, Ms. Seals-Coffield was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel with Diageo North America, Inc., where she led a team of lawyers responsible for labor and employment, compliance, supply, procurement, external affairs, and the Canadian business.    

Prior to joining Diageo in 2003, Ms. Seals-Coffield was an employment litigator with the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.  Her practice involved the defense of employers in discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, wage and hour, and other claims.  Ms. Seals-Coffield received her J.D. from the Boston University School of Law in 1996 where she was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow, and a staff editor of the Public Interest Law Journal.  She received her B.A., cum laude, from Howard University in 1993.  She served as a judicial law clerk to Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander, United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. 

Yolanda currently resides in Norwalk, Connecticut with her husband Eric and their two daughters, Sydney and Mackenzie.


Zachary D. Fasman is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department of Proskauer Rose LLP, resident in the New York office. Zach focuses his practice on representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including labor-management relations, employment litigation and counseling.

Zach has extensive trial and appellate experience in employment litigation, having handled hundreds of employment law cases ranging from nationwide class actions to jury trials of individual discrimination claims. He has argued numerous employment and labor cases in both state and federal appellate courts, including two successful arguments before the United States Supreme Court.

Zach’s labor-management relations practice encompasses advising employers during representation campaigns, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations and all forms of counseling regarding union and employee relations as well as employment at will and related employment issues.  He has negotiated collective bargaining agreements with most major U.S. labor unions and also has substantial experience appearing before the National Labor Relations Board, where he tried the second longest case in NLRB history.  In addition, Zach provides day-to-day counseling and advice to employers on a wide range of issues including complex labor and employment law issues in mergers and acquisitions, the intersection between labor and antitrust law, federal preemption, and the arbitration of statutory claims.

Having practiced in Washington for many years, Zach has testified before the U.S. Congress and the EEOC on multiple occasions and has worked extensively with Congress and the White House, on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, on numerous pieces of legislation.  He is a long time member of the U.S. Chamber’s Labor Relations Committee and has submitted many amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Chamber and other organizations to the U.S. Supreme Court on labor and employment law issues.

A noted author and sought-after speaker on labor and employment issues, Zach co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s Annual Employment Law Institute and has written numerous articles in the New York Law Journal and a wide variety of other publications.  He has repeatedly been ranked in Band One by Chambers USA and Chambers Global and is a long-time Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He also is a member of the Advisory Board of New York University Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law, teaches employment law to members of the federal judiciary through the Federal Judicial Center, and has been included in every edition of Best Lawyers in America. In 2015, he was selected as one of New York’s Top 100 lawyers and was selected to Lawdragon’s Hall of Fame in Labor Law for career accomplishments.


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.


Tamika is a Deloitte Advisory Principal and serves as Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP’s Greater Washington market leader and the local market liaison to the Regional Managing Partner.  Tamika’s litigation consulting experience, which spans 20 years, includes participating in matters such as breach of contract, franchise disputes, lost profits, business interruption, intellectual property disputes, professional malpractice, health care and government contract compliance matters, personal injury, wrongful death, wrongful termination and bankruptcies, including claims relating to fraudulent conveyances and insolvency.

In addition, Tamika has significant experience in forensic accounting investigations and corporate governance matters in a broad spectrum of industries including SEC investigations where issues surrounding executive conduct and whistleblower allegations have been called into question.  In addition, she has spent considerable time investigating executive conduct, vendor relationships and similar issues. Specifically, she has led internal and external investigations of suspected improper and fraudulent behavior by employees, vendors, contractors, executive directors and trustees of not-for-profit organizations, institutions, foundations and estates.

Having served as an expert witness and as a monitor, Tamika has also assisted clients in the development of trial strategy as it pertains to damage, lost profits and forensic matters. Tamika has been a frequent lecturer on corporate governance and Sarbanes Oxley matters. She is a recipient of the National Bar Association’s Cora T. Walker Legacy Award and the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law Black Law Student Association’s 2014 Alumna of the Year Award.  Tamika has also been recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 by both the National Bar Association and Business Forward. Most recently, Tamika was featured in Essence magazine’s Power List 2014 in which she was recognized as a “Game Changer” with the likes of Queen Latifah.

Tamika received a Juris Doctor from University of Maryland School of Law, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, from Mt. St. Mary’s College.  She is a licensed attorney in the State of Maryland.


Eric Eichenholtz is currently the Chief of the Labor and Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department. In this capacity, he oversees a Division of more than 50 attorneys and 15 support staff whose function it is to represent the City of New York and its agencies in a wide variety of litigation related to the City’s role as a municipal employer. Prior to becoming Division Chief, Eric has handled a wide variety of cases, including the representation of the former New York City Council Speaker in a highly publicized lawsuit that alleging improper termination of a City Council aide, a series of cases challenging the New York City Department of Education’s Teaching Fellows program (a program designed to attract teachers to schools), and several discrimination lawsuits against high ranking City officials. Eric has also served as the Co-Chairperson of the Law Department’s Electronic Evidence Committee since 2007. In addition to presenting at PLI, Eric has also presented CLE lectures on Professionalism, Brief Writing, Discovery and Electronic Discovery for the New York City Law Department. Eric has been a guest lecturer at Adelphi University, making presentations on legal research to graduate students taking classes on education and the law. Eric is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and volunteers as a judge for American Bar Association’s National Appellate Competition as well as various college moot court competitions. He also serves as a volunteer small claims arbitrator for the New York County Civil Court.


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.


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


Allan Bloom is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advisor who represents management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended a number of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters such as executive transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He also has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated and arbitrated cases, including at FINRA and its predecessors, for more than 20 years.

A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He is a member of the NYSBA's House of Delegates, sits on the Executive Committee of the NYSBA's Labor and Employment Law Section, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Allan has been recognized in Chambers USA since 2011 and in Best Lawyers in America since 2010.  He is a past recipient of a Cornerstone Award from Lawyers Alliance for New York, for providing outstanding pro bono legal services.


Hunter R. Hughes is a Partner in the Atlanta firm of Rogers & Hardin, LLP practicing primarily in the area of employment law. He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Virginia.

Mr. Hughes has successfully served as lead trial counsel in numerous employment and other cases, including nationwide class actions and mass employment litigation. He has been lead counsel in arbitrations as well as numerous proceedings before state and federal agencies. The "National Law Journal" has recognized him as "among the Nation's Best Litigators in Employment [law]." He has successfully served as the mediator in numerous employment class actions, including the Publix class action, which was the largest certified employment class action in the country, the Home Depot and Winn Dixie employment class actions as well as the Burlington Northern genetic testing litigation. He also served as the mediator in The Coca-Cola Company class action litigation and recent class actions involving Boeing Aircraft Company.

Mr. Hughes is the author of "Counseling the Whistleblower (Parts I and II)", The Practical Lawyer, Volume 38, Numbers 4-5, June-July, 1992. Co-Author: Chapter 21, "Special Litigation Issues: Complainant's Litigation Strategy", Sexual Harassment in Employment Law, Lindeman and Kadue, 1992; Chapter 29, "Election and Exhaustion of Remedies'', Employment Discrimination Law, 3rd Edition, Five Year Cumulative Supplement, Schlei and Grossman; Chapter 28, "Injunctive and Affirmative Relief', Sexual Harassment in Employment Law Supplement, Lindeman and Kadue, 1994; and co-author: "Employment Surveys in Employment Litigation," Employment Relations Law Journal 42, 1983. Mr. Hughes was Vice Chairman, EEO Committee of Administrative Section of the American Bar Association, 1981-83, Chairman, 1983-84; and was President, Corporate Council Section, Atlanta Bar Association, 1981-82. He has served as Management CoChairman of the Program and Membership Divisions of the EEO Committee of the ABA Labor and Employment Section. He was also the Program Chairman of The American Employment Law Council, 1999-2000, and is a Fellow in the American College of Employment Lawyers and on the Advisory Board of the National Employment Law Institute.

He also has been a speaker throughout the country at scores of employment seminars on numerous topics, including trial practice, alternate dispute resolution, settlement strategies, damages, and a wide range of substantive employment matters.

Mr. Hughes has handled litigation throughout the nation and is admitted to practice in the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia, the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court.


Joseph Sellers is a partner and head of the civil rights and employment practice in Washington, D.C. at the firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. Before coming to that firm in 1997, he was the head of the Employment Discrimination Group at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for 16 years. In more 30 years of legal practice, he has served as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 60 civil rights and employment class or collective actions where he has represented workers and others who claim to have been victims of discrimination or other forms of corporate or governmental misconduct. He has tried civil rights class actions to judgment before juries and courts and has argued more than 30 cases before appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court where he argued Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes. He has taught Professional Responsibility and Employment Discrimination.  He has served as a mediator in a variety of matters.


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.


Milt Williams joined the firm as a partner in January of 2009. Prior to joining the firm, Milt was a Deputy General Counsel and the Chief Compliance Officer at Time Inc. Milt had been at Time since 1997. Before working at Time, Milt was in private practice, and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. His last assigned unit in the United States Attorney's Office was the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Prior to becoming a Federal Prosecutor, Milt was an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. Milt has tried over fifty (50) cases (both civil and criminal) to verdict. He is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.


P. Kevin Castel entered service as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York (“S.D.N.Y.”) on November 4, 2003, following nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the Senate.

He received his B.S. and J.D. degrees from St. John’s University.  In law school, he was a St. Thomas More Scholar and Articles Editor of the Law Review.  Judge Castel served as law clerk to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, United States District Judge, S.D.N.Y.  Today, the two are colleagues on that court.

Following the clerkship, he began as an associate at the firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel and became a partner of that firm in 1983. He remained with the firm until taking the bench, serving for a time as the firm’s co-administrative partner.  He practiced in the field of commercial litigation, including securities, antitrust, employment and products liability law.

Judge Castel is former President of the Federal Bar Council. He also is a former Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association and a former member of that Association’s House of Delegates.  He served on the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics and its Council on Judicial Administration.

While in private practice, he served for twelve years as a Court-appointed member of the De-partmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department.  For nine years, he served as a volunteer mediator in the court-annexed program in the S.D.N.Y.  Presently, Judge Castel serves as Chair of the S.D.N.Y.’s Grievance Committee, its lawyer-disciplinary body.  He also teaches as an adjunct professor in the field of Professional Responsibility at NYU School of Law.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society. He is a Fellow of the American and New York Bar Foundations and serves on the Board of Managers of the Havens So-ciety Relief Fund. He is a member of the American Law Institute.   Prior to taking the bench, he was listed in Best Lawyers in America (2001-2002) and the Chambers Directories (Global 2003) and (U.S. 2003-04).  He served as President of the St. John’s Law Alumni Association (2006-07).  St. John’s University has conferred upon him the President’s Medal (2000) and an honorary Doctor of Laws (2004).   He received the Robert L. Haig Award from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association (2008) and the John E. Sprizzo Award from the Manhattan Chapter of the St. John’s Law Alumni.