2021 Gala

NELA’s 2022 Gala will be a special celebration of our community as we come together for our first in-person Convention in three years. All NELA lawyers are heroes—standing up for the working people of our country even when the odds seem insurmountable. We hope you will join us in honoring your colleagues for their inspiring commitment to NELA and the cause of justice for workers.

Joseph D. Garrison

It is impossible to overstate the significance of the contributions Joe Garrison has made to NELA and the field of plaintiffs’ employment law throughout his career. Joe served on the NELA Board for 15 years, including three years as President (1994–1996). As a longstanding member of the Annual Convention Committee, he plays a leadership role in ensuring that NELA’s CLE programs fulfill the needs of workers’ rights attorneys, while meeting the highest standards of excellence. Joe is NELA’s representative to the Federal Rules Advisory Committee, and as an elected member of the American Law Institute, was substantially involved in drafting the Restatement (Third) of Employment Law, published in 2014. As the senior partner of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, PC, the firm he founded in New Haven in 1977, Joe has received nearly every award and honor available to a trial lawyer and increasingly focuses his current practice on mediation and arbitration.

Victoria W. Ni

We are proud to honor Vicky Ni for her distinguished leadership within the NELA community and in recognition of the contributions she has made to workplace justice as a public interest lawyer. During her 12-year tenure on the NELA Board, she took on key leadership roles, serving both as Treasurer (2012–2015) and Vice President (2015–2018). Vicky was the Co-Chair of the Amicus Advisory Council for nine years, guiding NELA in deciding which amicus briefs would best further NELA’s priorities and have the greatest impact in advancing the law. Since 2000, she has worked at Public Justice, a national public interest law firm, in senior roles, including Managing Attorney, Deputy Director, and her current role as Director of Finance & Administration. Vicky has litigated a wide range of cases focused on protecting and ensuring the rights of consumers, workers, victims, and individuals with disabilities; free speech; and equal opportunity for women in athletics and in the workplace.

Menaka N. Ferando

NELA is delighted to present our second annual Spotlight Award, which recognizes a NELA leader who represents our future, to Menaka N. Fernando, a partner in the San Francisco office of Outten & Golden LLP. Her dedication to justice and leadership in advancing workers’ rights in California have been and will continue to be essential to NELA’s mission. She is a member of the Executive Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) and Co-Chair of CELA’s Legislative Committee. A policy crusader, Menaka regularly lobbies and testifies before the California legislature to improve the state’s employment laws. She also serves on the boards of Open Door Legal, which strives to eradicate poverty through universal access to legal aid, and the Stand Up For Workers Political Action Committee, which seeks to elect Congressional candidates who prioritize workers’ rights.

Please join us in celebrating our outstanding honorees by sponsoring NELA’s 2022 Gala. We are pleased to offer a range of sponsorship opportunities beginning at $125, including recognition in NELA’s 2022 Annual Convention Program Guide, on NELA’s website, and on the Gala Sponsor Board at the Convention. Table sponsorships start at $2,500. Pre-event sponsors will be listed in the event invitation if your pledge is received by April 22, 2022.