Dan Polster was appointed a federal judge by President Clinton on August 3, 1998. Judge Polster assumed the vacancy created by the assumption of senior status by United States District Judge David D. Dowd, Jr. Judge Polster is stationed in Cleveland, OH. Prior to his appointment, he served as a federal prosecutor in Cleveland for 22 years, first as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and then for 16 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, handling a wide variety of fraud and corruption cases. Judge Polster is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. cum laude, 1972) and Harvard Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1976). He and his wife, attorney Deborah Coleman, have three children.
Born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Vera M. Scanlon graduated from the Marymount School of New York; Columbia College, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa; and the Yale Law School, where she was managing editor and co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. Before law school, she served for a year as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Lafayette, Louisiana. She began her legal career with Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, then clerked for the Honorable Daniel R. Dominguez, District of Puerto Rico; the Honorable Frederic Block, Eastern District of New York; and the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann, Second Circuit Court of Appeals. From 2001-2012, she was a litigator with Beldock Levine & Hoffman, handling primarily civil rights and commercial cases. She served as a board member of the Catholic Migration Services and of the New York Civil Liberties Union, and volunteered with the Marymount School Alumnae Association and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps alumni efforts. She was appointed as a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of New York in August 2012. She now serves on the Board of Trustees of the Marymount School, the Board of Directors of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, and the advisory committee of Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA). She is also a member of the City Bar Association's Federal Courts Committee and the Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service.
Ms. Yang was named Chair by President Barack Obama on September 1, 2014. She was first nominated to serve on the Commission by President Obama on August 2, 2012, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2013, to serve a term expiring July 1, 2017. Ms. Yang had served as Vice Chair of the EEOC since April 28, 2014.
As a member of the Commission and Vice Chair, Yang has led a comprehensive review of the agency's systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area. She also represents the agency on the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and on the White House Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force.
Throughout her career in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors, Ms. Yang has worked to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace. Ms. Yang was a partner of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. She joined the firm in 2003, and represented employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. As chair of the firm's hiring and diversity committee, Ms. Yang gained experience with the myriad issues employers confront in making hiring and other personnel decisions.
Prior to that, Ms. Yang served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003. Before that, she worked at the National Employment Law Project to enforce the workplace rights of garment workers. Ms. Yang clerked for the Honorable Edmund Ludwig on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in Government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Note and Comment Editor of the Law Review and a Root-Tilden Public Interest Scholar.
Ruth D. Raisfeld is private mediator and arbitrator with more than 40 years of experience exclusively in the field of labor and employment law. She is a member of the AAA Labor & Employment Arbitration and Mediation Panels, the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals, and a fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.
Ruth has mediated hundreds of discrimination cases and wage and hour actions. She has handled cases involving restaurants, apparel manufacturing, luxury brands, mortgage brokerages, financial services companies, insurance agencies, banks, retail chains, car washes, airlines, advertising agencies, health care agencies, hospitals, commercial gardening, cable and dish installation companies, electrical repair, construction, roofing, telecommunications, nursing homes and home health care agencies, etc.
Ruth graduated Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations and Fordham Law School, where she was Commentary Editor of the Law Review. Ruth clerked for Judge William Hughes Mulligan, Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, was in-house Labor Attorney at New York Telephone, and was an associate and Of Counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, and had her own plaintiff’s side practice. Ruth attended Harvard Program of Instruction for Lawyers where she trained as a mediator.
Since the commencement of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ruth has received a Certificate in On-Line Dispute Resolution from Mediate.com and participated in training programs sponsored by National Association of Distinguished Neutrals, Association of Conflict Resolution, New York State Bar Association and Westchester County Bar Association. Ruth has conducted 2-3 mediations via zoom a week during 2020-2021.
Prior to her appointment at the EEOC, Burrows served as associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ), where she worked on a broad range of legal and policy issues, including employment litigation, tribal justice, voting rights, and implementation of the Violence Against Women Act, among others.
Burrows previously served as general counsel for Civil and Constitutional Rights to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 2009, and on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2007 to 2008, after having served as legal counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2003 to 2007. She worked on a variety of matters for Senator Kennedy, including efforts to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would ensure federal employment protections for LGBT workers.
Before working on Capitol Hill, Burrows served in the Civil Rights Division's Employment Litigation Section at DOJ first as a trial attorney, and later as special litigation counsel and then as deputy chief. She served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Timothy K. Lewis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton.
Burrows received an A.B. from Princeton University and a 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, Forbes, 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 including 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 25 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.
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.
Debra Katz is a founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, where she concentrates her practice on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, and Title IX matters. She has developed extensive litigation experience in federal and local courts and has achieved significant courtroom successes in a number of high-profile cases. She has been recognized as "Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year" for Washington, D.C. by The Best Lawyers© In America for 2018, and as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” by Law360. Ms. Katz has also been called “The feared attorney of the #MeToo moment” by the Washington Post, and a “Leading #MeToo Lawyer” by Washingtonian magazine.
Jamie Kohen is an in-house employment lawyer serving as Managing Director, Associate General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase Bank. Jamie manages a team of lawyers and other professionals who provide strategic advice, handle employment litigation, and support the firm’s human resources, immigration, employee benefits and executive compensation functions.
Jamie previously worked at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and the firm f/k/a Cooley Godward LLP. Jamie also was part-time adjunct faculty member of Villanova University, where she taught an employment law seminar for Graduate Studies in Human Resources Development. She clerked for the Honorable William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Jamie graduated from Harvard Law School and Cornell University with Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies.
Jamie has been a Regional Board Member of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) for almost fifteen years, and is also a member of AWARE (Assisting Women through Action, Resources & Education), a nonprofit accelerator that partners with organizations supporting women. She lives in Manhattan with her husband two daughters.
Jeffrey Burstein is Regional Attorney of the New York District of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Since coming to EEOC in November 2007, he has also served as a Trial Attorney, Supervisory Trial Attorney, and Acting Director of EEOC’s Newark Area Office. He has litigated employment discrimination cases for EEOC in federal district courts in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, often involving class claims. Before joining EEOC, he held various legal and administrative positions with the State of New Jersey. He was an Assistant Attorney General supervising attorneys in the areas of civil rights, consumer fraud, securities fraud, and professional regulation. He also served as Acting Director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, and Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. He is a contributor to Employment Litigation in New Jersey (Matthew Bender 2006), writing the chapter on practice and procedure before the Division on Civil Rights. He is a graduate of Rutgers-Newark Law School and Columbia College.
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.
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 (2013-14). He has also held numerous leadership positions in the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, in which he is a member of the Section's governing Council. He has been Chair of the Section's CLE / Meetings and Institutes Committee; Employee Chair of the Section’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee; 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, the Workshop on Employment Law for Federal Judges of the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law, and the Practising Law Institute. He has been quoted on employment law issues in the New York Times, the National Law Journal and the American Lawyer.
He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law (1980) and his B.A. from Columbia University (1974).
Louis has practiced labor and employment law for more than 35 years and is managing member of the firm's New York City office.
Louis represents employers and management in all aspects of labor and employment law. His areas of experience include collective bargaining, workplace investigations, NLRB proceedings, labor audits, supervisory training, wage and hour issues, arbitration, jury trials in both state and federal courts, wage incentive plans, OFCCP audits and proceedings, employment litigation before the EEOC and the Human Rights Division and alternative dispute resolution techniques. Louis also serves several insurance companies as panel counsel (e.g., AIG and Chubb) with respect to employment litigation matters. From 2002-2004, he served as General Counsel and Secretary to Agway, Inc., a Fortune 500 Company.
Louis co-authored the FDCC Quarterly article entitled Employers' Settlement Agreements with Departing Employees Under Attack, Vol. 57, No. 3, Spring 2007. He also co-authored a complete guide for business managers and HR professionals written in plain English entitled, What Every Business Manager and HR Professional Should Know About ... Federal Labor and Employment Laws and a two volume treatise entitled Corporate Counseling (1988) and was a contributing author to Public Sector Labor Law (1988). Louis is also on the editorial board of the two volume treatise entitled New York Civil Practice Before Trial (2001). He has authored and co-authored numerous articles on various labor and employment law topics. Louis' published articles include: "Enforcing Employer-Employee Arbitration Agreements After Circuit City", 18 Fordham University Law Journal 27 (2001); "Forging a Strategy to Combat Sympathy Strikes", 29 Syracuse Law Review 847 (1978); "Mid Term Bargaining Over Unit Work Transfers", 45 CCH Labor Law Journal No. 7 (1994); "The Growing Menace: Violence in the Workplace", 67 New York State Bar Journal 1 (Jan. 1995); "Civility and Professionalism", 68 New York State Bar Journal No. 1 (Jan. 1996); "Workers' Compensation Discrimination in New York: Is It Really LoDolce Vita?", 32 New York State Bar Journal 220 (June 1982); "Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment After Ellerth and Faragher", 6 Duke University of Gender Law & Policy No. 1 (1999); two articles on Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics, 6 Journal of College and University Law 61 (1980); "Screening Applicants for a Safer Workplace", HR Magazine, p. 55 (March 1995); "After-Acquired Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases", 19 New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Newsletter No. 2 (1994); and "Employer's Responsibilities Under 1986 Immigration Act and COBRA", The CPA Journal p. 32 (May 1988). In May of 1996 Louis was interviewed extensively in a Forbes Magazine cover story on Sexual Harassment. In their January 2003 issue, the Corporate Legal Times described him as the "Great Negotiator". He was also featured in the United Educator's video entitled "Sexual Harassment in Academia, No Real Winners", and has been quoted in several publications including Business Week.
Louis has been a key speaker at numerous seminars throughout the United States and other countries on a wide variety of Labor and Employment Law topics. In addition, he has lectured to: various university groups, including the College and University Personnel Association; local, state and national SHRM Conferences; and a number of national and regional business association.
MARLA HASSNER is a Human Resources professional with expertise in employee relations, employment law, diversity and inclusion, and workplace training. She is currently Americas Head of Employee Relations at Macquarie.
Marla graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell Law School, and began her career as an employment lawyer at Chadbourne & Parke in New York. Following her tenure at Chadbourne, she became Managing Attorney, Litigation at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the world’s first HIV/AIDS services organization. At GMHC, she represented people living with HIV/AIDS in employment and insurance-related matters, and in matters involving the right to privacy.
Marla began her human resources career when she joined the Employee Relations team at Lehman Brothers in 1999. After several years at Lehman, she worked at UBS in a similar capacity. She joined Macquarie in late 2014.
Marla has been active in the LGBT community since graduating from law school. Marla is currently on the Board of the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York State’s leading LGBT advocacy and educational organization, where she served as Board Co-Chair for two years. Prior to her tenure as a Board member, she served as Co-Chair of the Pride Agenda’s Pride in My Workplace Committee, and as part of that initiative, helped draft (and, in 2009 and 2012, revise) a “Best Practices” manual that has been distributed to employers throughout New York State. In conjunction with her Pride Agenda work, Marla has designed and facilitated numerous training programs on LGBT workplace issues, and has provided technical assistance to HR professionals and business leaders across industries to drive implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies.
Within the financial services industry, in 2011 Marla chaired the Best Practices Committee of the Interbank Roundtable Committee (now OPEN Finance), a forum for LGBT representatives to promote best practices and inclusion in the industry. At Lehman, Marla was a founding Steering Committee member of the Firm’s LGBT Network, and was Chair of the Events, Volunteerism and Education subcommittee. In that capacity, she helped develop and lead affinity month programming and other educational forums. She also identified opportunities for strategic partnerships with community based organizations, helping to develop and maintain relationships to drive philanthropic and volunteer opportunities.
Melissa R. Gold is a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at BNY Mellon. She is the Americas Head of Employment law for BNY Mellon. Her practice includes a wide variety of employment law issues involving employment litigation/charges/demand letters and counseling. She also has extensive experience with issues arising from the enforcement of post-employment restrictions and in counseling on merger, sale and acquisition related issues through company mergers and acquisitions.
Before joining BNY Mellon, Melissa was part of the JP Morgan Chase Legal Department for over 25 years and was a member of the HR Law Group with responsibility for various businesses and the Latin America region. She was also actively involved in JPMorgan’s Legal Diversity and Pro Bono Fellowship committees, co-chairing a number of initiatives.
Melissa received a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City and received a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she majored in Economics. She has been admitted to practice before the New York and New Jersey State Bars, the Federal District Courts for New Jersey and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Melissa is a member of the Executive Committee, Federal Bar Council Inns of Court, and also a member of the Federal Bar Foundation Board of Directors. She further serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services), which provides free legal assistance to residents of New York City on a wide range of civil legal issues, prioritizing services to vulnerable and under-served populations. She is a member of the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers and a recipient of President Bush’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of her 100 hours of community service.
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.
Michele Fisher is a managing partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and the Chair of the Firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm. She has dedicated her career to litigating wage and hour cases in an aggressive, creative, and strategic manner. She is one of the leaders of a practice group that has been described as a "powerhouse" for mass wage and hour litigation and arbitration. Michele has the experience, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size. She has handled several jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee rights and prides herself on the firm's reputation as a leader in national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. Michele has litigated hundreds of class and collective actions involving positions such as home health aides, delivery drivers, loan officers, retail salespersons, oil and gas workers, assistant managers, branch managers, field service engineers, call center representatives, exotic dancers, inside sales representatives, restaurant workers, insurance adjusters, property specialists, property managers, installers, service technicians, and road construction laborers.
Michele is active in several organizations. She is a Co-Chair and faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Vice Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Annual Conference Plaining Committee, the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's Revenue and Partnership Development Committee, and a wage and hour track coordinator for the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual conference. She has also served as the Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee FLSA Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. She has been named to the Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, is a member of the Top 10 Wage and Hour Lawyers, Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, and LawDragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers, and has been named a Lawyer of Distinction. Michele volunteers as an attorney for a foster child through the Children's Law Center.
Neil Rosolinsky is Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Employment for Citizens Financial Group. He leads the litigation and employment functions overseeing all litigation, including employment litigation and contentious regulatory matters. Neil regularly manages outside counsel on CFG’s larger litigation matters and routinely counsels executives across various business lines regarding litigation strategy and employment law matters.
Immediately prior to joining CFG, following its spinoff from RBS via IPO, Neil served as Head of Employment Law for RBS Americas, managing both RBS and CFG employment law teams.
Neil has been named in-house employment counsel of the year, and separately to the Top 100 In-House counsel list, by Legal 500.
Before going in-house in 2008, Neil was with Reed Smith LLP in the firm’s New York office focusing on both employment litigation and counseling as well as commercial litigation.
Neil earned his undergraduate degree from NYU and his law degree from GW.
OSSAI MIAZAD, is Partner and Co-Chair of the Discrimination and Retaliation Practice Group, and an active member of the Class & Collective Action Practice Group at Outten & Golden LLP. She represents employees in class action discrimination and wage and hour cases, as well as individual litigation and negotiation in all areas of employment law, including cases involving background checks. She has experience litigating before federal and state courts and FINRA arbitration panels.
Ms. Miazad co-chairs the ABA’s Subcommittee on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA"). She is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association ("NELA") and serves on the board of NELA’s New York affiliate -- "NELA/NY".
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.
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.
Terri M. Solomon has 40 years of experience practicing employment and labor law and regularly handles compliance with federal and state employment laws; discrimination and other employment-related litigation and administrative proceedings; complex reductions-in-force and business restructurings; employment contracts and separation agreements; workplace violence prevention; Family and Medical Leave Act and other leaves of absence; disability accommodation; collective bargaining; labor arbitration; compliance with the National Labor Relations Act; mediation and other alternative dispute resolution; training in a wide variety of topics including workplace violence prevention, harassment avoidance, FMLA and ADA compliance, conducting investigations, performance management and supervisory skills, and social media; employment policies and employee handbooks; and labor and employment issues arising in corporate mergers, acquisitions and other transactions.
Terri is the co-founder of Littler Mendelson's New York office. She is Co-Chair of the Workplace Violence Prevention Practice Group and is a core member of four of the firm’s other practice groups: Business Restructuring; Leaves of Absence and Disability Accommodation; Alternative Dispute Resolution; and Corporate Compliance and Ethics. She is also a member of the firm's Women's Leadership Initiative and the Associates Committee. She serves as a Volunteer Mediator for the Southern District of New York and Mediator, Eastern District of New York Mediation Panel. Terri is a member of the Law Alumni Society Board of Managers, University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, summa cum laude.
Named, The Best Lawyers in America©, 2012-2020; Named, Who's Who in American Law, 2008-2020; Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers - Who's Who Legal, 2013-2020; Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; Named, Super Lawyers - Metro, New York, 2006-2020; Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating.
Thomas G. Hancuch is a Shareholder in the Chicago office of Vedder Price P.C. He joined the firm in 1988, following a judicial clerkship, and has been advising employers on Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) compliance issues since the ADA’s enactment in 1990.
Mr. Hancuch’s practice focuses on representing employers in all aspects of employment and employee benefits law, including EEO compliance, workplace accommodations, leave of absence administration, employee benefit plan design and administration, and other human resources matters.
Mr. Hancuch has been recognized for his expertise in Chambers USA Client’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business, The Legal 500, and Super Lawyers. In 2015 he was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. He has served as co-chair of several subcommittees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, including the Subcommittee on Employee Benefits and Employment Discrimination. Mr. Hancuch is a contributor to and editor of Employee Benefits Law (3d edition), a leading legal treatise published by Bloomberg BNA, and is a regular speaker on employment law and employee benefits topics.
Mr. Hancuch received his undergraduate degree, with high honors, from the University of Notre Dame, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Zach Fasman is a nationally recognized labor and employment lawyer who has shifted roles—from advocate to neutral. Zach participated in hundreds of mediations as an advocate and has trained as a mediator at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School, at the New York City Bar Association, the New York Peace Institute and the National Employment Law Institute. He mediates disputes in this field as well as commercial and community disputes.
Zach brings to the neutral role extensive experience and knowledge of labor and employment law gained through a lengthy career in this field. He began his career as a traditional labor lawyer at Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, negotiating labor contracts and trying arbitration cases. He has extensive experience in labor arbitration, having tried hundreds of arbitrations and handled scores of arbitration related cases in the courts, including the issue of class action procedures in labor arbitration. He also has extensive experience before the National Labor Relations Board and has litigated many complex labor cases in the courts on issues including federal preemption, successorship, civil RICO and labor-antitrust law. His career included two successful arguments before the United States Supreme Court, Golden State Transit Corp. v City of Los Angeles, 475 U.S. 608 (1986) and Golden State Transit Corp. v City of Los Angeles, 493 U.S. 103 (1989). He also has written numerous amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court on labor and employment law issues.
Zach has extensive experience in employment discrimination law, having served as national Co-Chair of the employment discrimination law practice while at Paul Hastings, where he was a partner for many years. Zach has litigated hundreds of employment law cases ranging from nationwide class actions to jury trials of individual discrimination claims. He has testified on many occasions before the U.S. Congress and the EEOC on labor and employment law issues and worked extensively with Congress and the White House on the Americans with Disabilities and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Zach devoted his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner for many years. He has repeatedly earned a "Band One" ranking in Chambers USA and Chambers Global (recently became a “Senior Statesman”) and is a long-time Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He continues to teach employment law to members of the federal judiciary through the Federal Judicial Center and New York University Law School and has been a guest lecturer at various law schools on topics including appellate advocacy, employment discrimination, labor law, and legal ethics. He has published many articles in the New York Law Journal and has written three books on labor and employment law.
A leader at TIAA since 2006, Corie Pauling became the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer in July 2018. Corie was instrumental in the launch of the D&I function at TIAA over ten years ago and served as a primary legal and business advisor and thought leader in this area since that time. In her prior role, Corie held the position of Senior Director, Associate General Counsel in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Group, in which she provided counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA’s executives, its prior CDIOs and other Human Resources leaders and also business managers on a broad range of workforce issues, and she also managed employment litigation nationally. In the D&I space, she has extensive experience in strategy development, board interface, equal employment opportunity best practices, policy development, training/learning, metrics, data analysis and reporting, external partnerships and sourcing, pay equity, global workforce compliance, talent acquisition, workforce development, employee resource groups, culture surveys, federal contractor compliance and workplace investigations. She also now leads the enterprise’s nationwide and award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility function, which last year led over 650 community service projects through 15,000 employee volunteers. Having partnered with nearly every area in the TIAA organization over her tenure, Corie also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area from 2016 through 2018.
A former shareholder with the international employment law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. and also Ferguson Stein Chambers in Charlotte, Corie’s experience includes counseling financial services institutions and other Fortune 500 companies as well as representing individual employees in employment and civil rights litigation. She has significant trial and appellate experience on civil rights matters. Having presented before the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the Practicing Law Institute, the Society of Human Resources Management and other organizations, Corie frequently speaks at programs on emerging employment law, diversity and inclusion developments.
An engaged civic leader and also a competitive 11-time marathoner, Corie was incredibly honored to be named on the list of 2019 Black Enterprise Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity and also to be recognized as a TIAA Working Mother of the Year in conjunction with the national magazine Working Mother and recipient of the Young Civic Leader Award by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She is a graduate of Charlotte’s groundbreaking Leadership Development Institute. Corie has also served on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and as chairperson of the NCBA’s 500-attorney Labor and Employment Law Section. Among other leadership posts, she also served as a committee chair of the Board of Directors for the Levine Museum of the New South, a member of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council Advisory Committee and a co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As also an avid “late bloomer” runner, she is thrilled to have run the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2018 and is training now to qualify for the 2020 running.
For three decades, employers of all sizes have looked to Rob to handle their toughest and most sensitive employment law matters. He has helped companies defend these cases successfully, as well as avoid claims before they are filed. These include wage-and-hour lawsuits, discrimination claims, post-employment restrictive covenant disputes, and day-to-day compliance issues.
Rob understands that there is no "one size fits all" approach to the defense and avoidance of employment claims. Some clients need to defend cases to the end, while others desire an early or creative resolution. Some want a conservative approach to avoid litigation, while others draw clear lines and send strong messages—even if that raises the stakes for future litigation. Most employers fall into some or all of these camps at one time or another, depending on the particular matter. Rob's strength is that he listens to his clients, always taking time to understand their legal goals and business challenges. The result is a client-focused approach designed to achieve the company's objectives in each matter efficiently and effectively.
Rob has a diverse legal background. He spent the first part of his career working in all three branches of the federal government—as a federal appellate law clerk, a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice, and in-house employment counsel for the US Senate. He has spent the remainder working with private sector clients, large and small across a wide variety of industries, in a host of employment law matters.
Rob is national Co-Chair of Seyfarth’s Financial Services Practice Group and has particular experience in arbitrations before FINRA and AAA, defending broker-dealers and industry employers against claims alleging discrimination, forfeiture of deferred compensation, wrongful termination, and other theories of liability.
He has also represented companies in scores of wage-and-hour class/collective actions in courts around the country in matters with enormous potential exposure in unpaid wages, statutory damages, civil penalties, prejudgment interest, and attorneys' fees. He serves as co-chair of the Wage and Hour Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section.
Rob has also served as employment law counsel to numerous not-for-profit organizations in the New York metro area. He oversees the pro bono efforts in Seyfarth’s New York office and serves on the firm’s national Pro Bono Committee.
President Obama named Wilma Liebman to be Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board in January 2009. She served as Chairman until August 27, 2011, when her third term expired. Since then, she has been engaged in various advisory roles and consulting projects and has taught at several universities, most recently New York University Law School. She has served as a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) and has taught at Cornell University’s Law School and Industrial and Labor Relations School, the University of Illinois’ College of Law and its School of Labor and Employment Relations, and George Washington University Law School. Appointed in March 2020, she serves as chief external ethics officer for the United Automobile Workers Union.
Ms. Liebman was first appointed to be a Member of the NLRB by President Clinton and was twice reappointed by President Bush. She was the third longest serving Member of the NLRB in its 85 year history. Earlier, she served as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Prior to joining FMCS in January 1994, she held positions as Labor Counsel for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, and Legal Counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
As of June 2020, Ms. Liebman serves as President-Elect of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and a senior fellow of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations. She is the Co-Chair of the Council of Advisors at the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at the New School. For the last seven years, she has served as Chair of the Dunlop Commission on Agricultural Labor, a private dispute resolution body.
She is the author of several publications on a variety of labor law and policy issues. She holds an A.B. degree from Barnard College, and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
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.
The Honorable James C. Francis IV (Ret.) is a Mediator, Arbitrator, and Special Master affiliated with JAMS. From 1985-2017, he served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York, including a two-year term as chief magistrate judge. During his tenure, Judge Francis was responsible for conducting pretrial proceedings, mediating settlements, and presiding over trial in thousands of cases. The matters he handled include financial markets claims, employment discrimination class actions, wage and hour collective actions, multidistrict product liability litigation, civil rights class actions, mass torts, securities class actions, admiralty cases, copyright and trademark claims, patent infringement cases, and a wide array of complex commercial litigation. Judge Francis is nationally recognized as an expert in electronic discovery.
After stepping down from the bench in 2017, Judge Francis served as distinguished lecturer at the CUNY School of Law, where he taught Civil Procedure, Evidence, Electronic Discovery, Constitutional Torts, and Federal Courts. Judge Francis has been an active member of several bar groups and currently serves on the Labor and Employment Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
Judge Francis graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his juris doctor degree from the Yale Law School and a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Following graduation from law school, Judge Francis clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York. After his clerkship, Judge Francis served an attorney with the impact litigation unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York. There, he litigated class actions and test cases in the areas of housing and education. He also established the Disability Rights Unit to provide legal services for persons with physical and mental disabilities.
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.
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.
Christine E. Webber is a partner in the Civil Rights & Employment group of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. She has represented employees in discrimination class actions and workers in wage and hour cases for over twenty years. She was counsel in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and is currently counsel in multiple regional class action sex discrimination cases that have followed from that action. Ms. Webber was lead counsel in the Tyson Foods FLSA MDL, which included nearly 17,000 opt-in plaintiffs who sought compensation for donning, doffing, and sanitizing work required in connection with chicken processing. Ms. Webber is Chair of the Class Action Committee of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association. She speaks regularly on employment class actions and FLSA issues. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein in 1997, she received a Women's Law and Public Policy fellowship which funded the first of her four years at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in their Equal Employment Opportunity Project. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Hubert L. Will, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1991-93. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School after graduating from Harvard University.
Cynthia Estlund is the Catherine A. Rein Professor at NYU School of Law, and a leading scholar of labor and employment law. She has written extensively on workplace regulation and governance; freedom of expression and procedural fairness at work; diversity, integration, and affirmative action; and many aspects of collective labor law – mainly in the U.S. but also from a comparative perspective. Her first book Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy (Oxford Univ. Press, 2003), argues that workplace diversity, coupled with the cooperation and sociability that work entails, has important implications for democratic theory and for labor and employment law. Her book, Regoverning the Workplace: From Self-Regulation to Co-Regulation (Yale Univ. Press, 2010), chronicles the decline of collective bargaining, the rise of employment law, and current trends in regulatory practice that suggest a potential path toward better and more participatory workplace governance. Her next book, A New Deal for China’s Workers? (under contract; Harvard Univ. Press), is about reform and its limits in the wake of rising labor unrest in China.
Estlund got her B.A. (summa cum laude) from Lawrence University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. After clerking for Judge Patricia M. Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Estlund practiced law for several years, primarily at the labor law firm of Bredhoff & Kaiser in D.C. She taught at the University of Texas School of Law and Columbia Law School before moving to New York University School of Law in 2006.
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.
Michael Katzke is a founding partner of Katzke & Morgenbesser LLP. He counsels chief executive officers and other senior executives, as well as public and private companies and their boards of directors and compensation committees, on a wide range of executive compensation related matters. In over 25 years of practice, Michael has had broad experience in connection with complex compensation negotiations related to mergers and acquisitions and other private and public business combinations, including numerous representations of both private equity funds and senior management in going private transactions.
Prior to founding Katzke & Morgenbesser, Michael was a partner in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and of counsel to the Bachelder Law Firm, an executive compensation boutique. He has written frequently on executive compensation issues for various publications.
Michael has been featured in Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, and New York Super Lawyers. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Make-A-Wish of Metro New York. Michael and his wife Susan reside in New York City and Sagaponack with their 10-year old twins, Ethan and Hannah.
New York University School of Law (J.D., 1984; LL.M Tax, 1988)
State University of New York at Stony Brook (B.A., 1980, Phi Beta Kappa)
New York State, 1985
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.
Vanessa D. Gilbreth received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2001 from the University of Michigan with University Honors. After a short period working for a National Institute for Mental Health funded study through Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (2002-2004), Vanessa went on Boston University School of Law where she was a member of the Law Review and president of the Shelter Legal Services Organization. Vanessa received her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in 2007. After law school, she was a labor and employment associate at McDermott, Will and Emery LLP (2007 – 2010) and Proskauer Rose LLP (2010 – 2015).
Vanessa is currently Senior Legal Counsel for Partners HealthCare, Inc. (“Partners”). Partners is a not-for-profit health care system located in Massachusetts. Partners was founded in 1994 by two of the premier hospitals in the nation, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Currently the Partners owns and operates numerous community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home care and other health-related entities. Several of Partners’ hospitals are teaching affiliates of Harvard Medical School, and Partners is a national leader in biomedical research. Partners employs over 65,000 employees.
As Senior Legal Counsel for Partners, Vanessa’s focus is on labor and employment law. She counsels executives and managers on the numerous and diverse legal issues related to the employment of employees, including discrimination, harassment, performance improvement, discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour issues, workplace privacy, and drug testing. In particular, Vanessa advises Partners’ hospitals with respect to their relationship with unions representing employees in 18 separate bargaining units across eight hospitals in the Partners system, including in collective bargaining negotiations, grievance and arbitration, contract management, and unfair labor practice charges.