Skip to main content

Employment Law Institute 2015


Speaker(s): Allan S. Bloom, Amy L. Bess, Christine E. Webber, Corie Pauling, Cynthia Estlund, Debra S. Katz, Eric Eichenholtz, Hon. Charlotte Burrows, Hon. Dan Aaron Polster, Hon. James C. Francis IV (Ret.), Hon. Vera M. Scanlon, Jamie Kohen, Jeffrey C. Burstein, Jenny R. Yang, Jessica Golden Cortes, Jill L. Rosenberg, Jonathan Ben-Asher, Laura S. Schnell, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Marla Hassner, Melissa R. Gold, Michael A. Curley, Michael S. Katzke, Michele R. Fisher, Neil S. Rosolinsky, Ossai Miazad, Pearl Zuchlewski, Robert S. Whitman, Ruth D. Raisfeld, Sara E. Elder, Tamika L. Tremaglio, Teri Wilford Wood, Terri M. Solomon, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr., Thomas E. Spahn, Thomas G. Hancuch, Vanessa D. Gilbreth, Wilma B. Liebman, Zachary D. Fasman
Recorded on: Oct. 22, 2015
PLI Program #: 58974

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.


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).


Terri M. Solomon has more than 30 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 harassment avoidance, FMLA and ADA compliance, workplace violence prevention, 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, and is a core member of four of the firm’s practice groups: Leaves of Absence and Disability Accommodation; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Corporate Compliance and Ethics; and Business Restructuring. 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 is an Officer of the Law Alumni Society Board of Managers, University of Pennsylvania. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1979) and her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, summa cum laude (1976).

Recognition

Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers - Who's Who Legal, 2013, 2014 and 2015; Named, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers - Who's Who Legal, 2014 and 2015; Named, The Best Lawyers in America©, 2012-2015; Named, Who's Who in American Law, 2008-2015; Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; Named, Super Lawyers - Metro, New York, 2006-2015; Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating.


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.


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 the Chairperson 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.


Charlotte A. Burrows
Commissioner

Charlotte A. Burrows was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the EEOC by President Obama on Sept. 12, 2014, and was confirmed on Dec. 3, 2014 by a Senate vote of 93-2 to serve as Commissioner, for a term expiring July 1, 2019.

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.


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.

 

 


James C. Francis IV is a Distinguished Lecturer at CUNY Law School, where he teaches Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Constitutional Torts, and Electronic Discovery.  Previously, he was a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 2017 and served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 1998 to 2000.  Judge Francis graduated summa cum laude from Yale College in 1974, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his juris doctor degree from the Yale Law School in 1978 and a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the same year.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Francis clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter in the Southern District of New York.  He then joined the Civil Appeals and Law Reform Unit of the Legal Aid Society where he conducted impact litigation in the areas of housing and education and served as director of the Disability Rights Unit until his appointment to the bench.  From 2003 until 2017, Judge Francis was an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law.    He has served on the Legal Assistance, Federal Courts, Disability Rights, and Professional Responsibility Committees of the New York City Bar Association and the Federal Judiciary Committee of the New York State Bar Association.  Judge Francis lectures frequently on electronic discovery, employment litigation, constitutional torts, legal ethics, and pretrial practice.  


Jamie Kohen is an in-house employment lawyer, currently Executive Director, Assistant 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 U.S. 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 and 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.


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.


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


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.


Rob Whitman is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department with extensive experience representing management in the full range of employment law matters.  He has particular expertise in wage-hour litigation, employment arbitration, discrimination and non-compete matters, and preventive employment counseling.

Mr. Whitman is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Labor & Employment Law at NYU Law School.  He has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top employment lawyers in Manhattan in polls conducted by New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Whitman has authored articles on employment law issues for a number of publications, including Corporate Counsel, New York Employment Law & Practice, The New York Law Journal, The Corporate Board and Employment Law Strategist.  He has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg TV and NPR as a commentator on employment law issues and has been quoted frequently in the print media.  Mr. Whitman lectures regularly and leads panel discussions before professional audiences on a variety of labor and employment topics.  He also served as an Editor and Advisory Committee member for Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (CPR, 2014).

Mr. Whitman serves as the Pro Bono Chair in Seyfarth Shaw’s New York office and as a member of the firm’s National Pro Bono Committee.  In 2008, he received the Award for Pro Bono Leadership from Lawyers Alliance for New York in recognition of his pro bono representation of not-for-profit organizations throughout New York City.

After law school, Mr. Whitman was a Law Clerk to the Honorable J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He has also served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as in-house employment counsel for the U.S. Senate.

Education

J.D., University of Michigan, magna cum laude (1989)

Order of the Coif

Book Review Editor, Michigan Law Review

B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (1986)


Ruth D. Raisfeld is an attorney who serves as a mediator, employment & labor arbitrator, trainer, and workplace investigator. She has had a private dispute resolution practice since 2002 and is a member of the AAA Labor & Employment Arbitration and Mediation Panels, a member of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals, and a fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. Ruth has mediated all forms of employment discrimination claims, breach of employment agreement, all employment-related tort and contract claims, wage-and-hour individual and collective and class claims, including misclassification, independent contractor and alleged labor law violations.

Ruth is a graduate of the 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. Ruth has been a Super Lawyer since 2009 and has been included in the Top 25 Westchester Lawyers, in Best Lawyers in America, and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Ruth’s website includes many of the articles she has published on mediation and related topics and a video, “Best Practices for Settling Class Action Disputes,” which is the basis of an article recently published on mediation of class action disputes by the New York Law Journal (April 2015). 


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.


Thomas G. Hancuch is a Shareholder at Vedder Price, where he represents employers in all aspects of employee benefits, labor and employment law. His practice focuses on employee benefit plan design and administration, including ERISA and Affordable Care Act compliance; benefit claims and litigation; employee relations and benefits aspects of mergers, acquisitions, workforce reductions and outsourcing; leaves of absence and accommodation of employees with disabilities; employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; employee leasing and worker classification; executive compensation; wage and hour laws; employee discipline and discharge; and other human resources matters.

Mr. Hancuch represents a wide variety of public- and private-sector employers, including hospitals, life sciences companies, schools and universities, museums, financial services institutions, manufacturers, retailers, contractors and service providers. His clients range in size from small professional corporations with a handful of employees to large multinational corporations. He works closely with management, human resources professionals and corporate counsel to develop practical, cost-effective solutions for clients.

Mr. Hancuch is recognized in publications such as Chambers USA and The Legal 500 for his work in employee benefits and workplace and employment counseling. He writes and speaks frequently on human resources topics, including the Affordable Care Act. He is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Committee and has served as Co-Chair of the Subcommittees on ERISA Preemption and on Employment Discrimination and Employee Benefits. Mr. Hancuch is a contributor to and editor of the leading legal treatise Employee Benefits Law, published by Bloomberg BNA.

Mr. Hancuch earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a bachelor’s degree, with high honors, from the University of Notre Dame.


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.


A leader at TIAA for 12 years, Corie Pauling now serves as the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.  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. Having partnered with nearly every area in the TIAA organization over her tenure, she has also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area since 2016. 

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 Practising Law Institute, the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Society of Human Resources Management and other organizations, Corie frequently speaks at legal education programs on emerging employment law topics and D&I strategies.

A competitive marathoner and civic leader, Corie was incredibly honored to be named TIAA’s 2012 Working Mother of the Year in conjunction with the national magazine Working Mother.  She is currently serving a second appointment by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to the Arts and Science Council, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Young Civic Leader Award by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and a graduate of Charlotte’s groundbreaking Leadership Development Institute.   Corie has 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 has also served as a committee chair of the Board of Directors for the Levine Museum of the New South and co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

 


President Obama designated Wilma B. Liebman to be Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on January 20, 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 she has served as a Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations and as adjunct professor at New York University Law School.  She has also taught at Cornell University’s Law School and Industrial and Labor Relations School, the University of Illinois’ College of Law and the School of Labor and Employment Relations, and George Washington University Law School.

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 history.   Prior to joining the NLRB, Ms. Liebman served for two years as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and for two years as Special Assistant to the Director.   Prior to joining FMCS in January 1994, Ms. Liebman held positions as Labor Counsel for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, and Legal Counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

She holds an A.B. degree from Barnard College, and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute, a fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American Law Institute, a Senior Research Associate of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, and a member of the Council of Advisors of the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy.  She serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations.  She also serves as Chair of the Dunlop Commission on Agricultural Labor, a private dispute resolution body.


Recognized as "Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year" for Washington, D.C. by Best Lawyers in America for 2013, as one of the “toughest” employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian magazine, and as an expert in sexual harassment, employment, and whistleblower law by The New York TimesThe Washington PostTIME magazine and others, Debra S. Katz has been successfully litigating employment discrimination, civil rights, and whistleblower protection cases for over 30 years.

Ms. Katz is a founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, where she concentrates her practice on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Sarbanes-Oxley, corporate, environmental and other whistleblower retaliation claims, SEC whistleblower tips, and contractual employment disputes. She has developed extensive litigation experience in federal and local courts and has successfully represented dozens of whistleblowers in the nuclear, financial, pharmaceutical and medical-device industries throughout her career.

Ms. Katz serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a nonpartisan independent government watchdog.  POGO's mission is to strengthen laws and regulations to protect whistleblowers from intimidation and retaliation and to create a more accountable and effective federal government by investigating allegations of government corruption and misconduct. She is a contributing writer for Ms. Magazine, where she writes about legal issues of importance to women.

Ms. Katz received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is a member of the District of Columbia and New York Bar Associations, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the bars of several federal courts of appeals.


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.


Teri Wilford Wood is an Associate General Counsel of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in Armonk, New York.  In this position and previously at American Express Company in New York, New York, she has acted as Chief Legal Counsel with responsibility for employment, labor, benefits and executive compensation law globally.  Ms. Wood holds additional positions at IBM, including as a member of the Investment Committee, legal counsel to the Retirement Plans Committee and Co-Chair of the Law Department Education Committee.    While at American Express, Ms. Wood served on the Supervisory Committee of the American Express Federal Credit Union and acted as its General Counsel.  Ms. Wood has served on the Advisory Board of Crozier Fine Arts and on the Board of Directors of the SLE (Lupus) Foundation, in New York, New York, where she was a member of the Executive Committee and was the Foundation’s Secretary.  She currently is a member of the Leadership Council of the Lupus Research Alliance. Previously, Ms. Wood was an Administrative Judge for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, earlier was an associate at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, both in New York.  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. Ms. Wood received her J.D. degree from Washburn University School of Law and has done graduate work in labor and tax law at New York University Law School. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri. In addition to membership in the Association of Corporate Counsel, Ms. Wood is a Co-chair of the ACC Westchester-Fairfield Employment Law Committee. Ms. Wood is a member of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in both New York and Kansas.


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.


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.

Education:

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)

Bar Admissions:

New York State, 1985


Michele R. Fisher is a partner at Nichols Kaster whose practice is primarily dedicated to national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. She has represented over a hundred thousand employees seeking to recover overtime pay, minimum wages and commission payments. She has successfully handled numerous jury trials and arbitrations. She is a member of the firm’s management committee and the chair of its Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm. Michele is a regular speaker at local and national conferences, routinely acts as an author and editor for wage and hour publications, and is active in several organizations. 

Michele is the co-chair and a faculty member of the Practising Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, the Co-Chair of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee. She has also served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee’s Midwinter Report, an editorial board member for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey. 

Michele has been named to the Super Lawyers, Top Women Attorneys, and Rising Star lists repeatedly, and is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, the Top 10 Wage and Hour Trial Lawyers, and a Lawyer of Distinction. Michele provides pro bono representation for the Children’s Law Center.


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.


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.