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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

9:00–9:45 a.m.2024 Affiliate Leadership Workshop Registration & Networking Breakfast
9:45 a.m.–5:00 p.m.2024 Affiliate Leadership Workshop & Forum
2:00–8:00 p.m.2024 Annual Convention Registration
4:00-6:00 p.m.NELA Law Students & New Lawyers Program
Law students, recent law graduates, and those new to plaintiffs’ employment law are invited to join NELA and the National Institute for Workers’ Rights for an engaging and interactive discussion on how a career in plaintiff-side employment law offers a unique and meaningful way for new lawyers to use their skills to drive progressive social change. Experienced employment law practitioners will discuss their work as advocates for workers’ rights and how it intersects with and advances other social justice issues including civil rights, immigration, environmental justice, LGBTQIA rights, and gender equality. The panelists also will address how to enter the plaintiffs’ employment law field and what skills and experience can help law students be successful advocates as they begin their legal careers.
6:00—6:30 p.m.NELA Law Students & New Lawyers Reception
6:30–8:00 p.m.President’s Welcome Reception

Thursday, June 27, 2024

7:00–9:00 a.m.2024 Annual Convention Registration
8:30–9:15 a.m.Paul H. Tobias Roll Call Of The States & Opening Remarks
9:15–10:30 a.m.Forging the Future of Workers’ Rights: Honoring Courageous Plaintiffs
10:30–11:30 a.m.Exhibitor Open House
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.Concurrent Sessions
Fundamentals of Employment LawDemystifying the Class or Collective Action Case
Moderator/Speaker: Sarah Schalman-Bergen
Speakers: Deirdre Aaron & Chauniqua Young

If taking on a class or collective action seems daunting, this is the panel for you. Our experts will discuss how to select the right cases, handle certification and provide strategies that will prepare you to take on class and collective actions with confidence.
Practical Skills Trauma Informed Lawyering
Moderator/Speaker: Heather Collins
Speakers: Sarah Nesbitt & Virginia Villegas

Plaintiffs experiencing discrimination, harassment, assault, retaliation, or any other unlawful action in their workplace are experiencing immense trauma. Learning how to effectively communicate with traumatized clients and minimize the impact of secondary trauma on your mental health is critical in effective advocacy. This session will provide strategies for trauma informed advocacy from client intake to trial.
Discovery/Pre-Trial Advocacy Taking Effective 30(b)(6) & Data Depositions
Moderator/Speaker: Robert Schug
Speakers: Sarah Arendt, Walt Auvil & Pooja Shethji
This panel will provide a detailed roadmap for getting the most out of Rule 30(b)(6) depositions in all types of employment cases. Our experienced practitioners will explore strategies for taking effective 30(b)(6) depositions in individual lawsuits and class actions, using Rule 30(b)(6) to explore issues relating to ESI and data discovery, and dealing with common obstacles used by defendants to prevent these depositions from serving their intended purpose.
Ongoing Developments in Private-Sector Whistleblower Litigation
Moderator/Speaker: Jason Zuckerman
Speakers: Lynne Bernabei, Nicolas Mendoza & Austin Kaplan

The panel will discuss new developments in private sector whistleblower cases, including the impact of the decision in Murray v. UBS. The panel will also discuss recent developments in Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and False Claims Act litigation, including the whistleblower reward programs of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Internal Revenue Service, the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, and new state legislation.
State of the ADAAA
Moderator/Speaker: Michal Shinnar*
Speakers: Meaghan L. Kuelbs, Heather E. Nodler & Carolyn Wheeler
In this session, NELA members and attorneys from EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel will examine how courts have applied the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADAAA made important changes to the definition of the term “disability” under the ADA, by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and directing the EEOC to modify its earlier ADA regulations. The purpose of these changes was to make it easier for individuals seeking protection under the ADA to establish the existence of their disabilities within the meaning of the ADA. Speakers will discuss 3-4 cases and their outcomes, paying special attention to the extent of reliance on the ADAAA or pre-ADAAA case law, how the cases were plead, and other issues that may be of interest to employment attorneys.
12:30–2:00 p.m.Annual Luncheon & Keynote Address
2:15–3:15 p.m.Concurrent Sessions
Advanced Class & Collective Action Practice
Moderator: Michael Scimone
Speakers: Sally Abrahamson, Christina Le & Christine Webber
Practical Skills/ Fundamentals of Employment LawHow to Conduct an Arbitration Successfully
Moderator/Speaker: Rachhana Srey
Speakers: Rachel Bien & Doris Dabrowski

This practical skills session will contain strategies and tips to make your case successful in arbitration. Our experts will share their tips, provide demonstrations and engage with the attendees to hear their experiences for succeeding in arbitration.
Effective Law Practice Management
Speakers: Patricia V. Pierce & Qusair Mohamedbhai
While law school may teach you about res judicata, it often fails to teach you the intricacies of timekeeping and case management software. Our speakers will provide you with invaluable lessons on how to effectively run your law practice. From case selection to the importance of technology in improving efficiency in your practice, this session will improve your ability to successfully manage a plaintiff’s side law practice.
Diversity, Equity & InclusionDiscrimination in the Age of AI
Moderator/Speaker: Max P. Barack
Speakers: Sam Gerleman & Anthony May

As workplace technology advances, so must legal strategies for protecting workers. From algorithmic discrimination to company communications monitoring, this session will address emerging issues facing workers and how to handle these innovative cases.
Workplace Defamation Claims
Moderator/Speaker: Joyce Collier
Speakers: Liz Chako, Maria Diaz & Julie Uebler

This session will provide an overview of recent caselaw relating to defamation claims against individuals who have made workplace harassment, discrimination or retaliation claims. Experts will also discuss the components of a typical defamation action, address the key steps to avoid allegations of defamation and outline strategies for responding to retaliatory defamation claims.
4:00–5:15 p.m.DEIA and Employment Law in the Wake of Students for Fair Admissions
Moderator/Speaker: Carla Brown
Speaker: EEOC Commissioner Kalpana Kotagal, Amalea Smirniotopoulos & Katy Youker

Last June’s Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions dealt a clear blow to affirmative action policies in higher education. But did its reach extend to workplace diversity, equity & inclusion programs? What is the current legal status of those efforts? This session will address the recent challenges to workplace DEI initiatives and how plaintiffs’ employment lawyers can be part of the fight to protect diversity in the workplace.
5:30–6:30 p.m.Forging the Future of Workers' Rights: 2024 Gala Awards Ceremony
6:30–7:45 p.m.Annual Reception

Friday, June 28, 2024

7:00 a.m. Tobias 5K Run
7:30–9:00 a.m. 2024 Annual Convention Registration
10:45–12:00 a.m. Summary Judgment Jiujitsu
Moderator/Speaker: Vishal Shah
Speakers: David L. Lee & Rahul Munshi

The core philosophy of the martial art of jiujitsu is to manipulate your opponent's force against them. This panel will teach you how to use your opponent’s tactics against them and succeed during summary judgment. Discover how to put the defense on the horns of a dilemma by either helping you prove your case or acknowledging the existence of material, disputed facts, and how to grapple with emerging defense strategies.
12:30–1:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Fundamentals of Employment LawEffectively Using Expert Witnesses
Moderator/Speaker: Victoria T. Kepes
Speakers: Susan Huhta, Toni Jaramilla & Robert Schmidt

Using expert witnesses can be an invaluable part of your case, but pitfalls abound. Our experienced practitioners will teach you when to use them, when to avoid them, and how to identify which expert witness is the best fit for your case.
Practical SkillsDeveloping a Successful Client Relationship
Moderator/Speaker: Megan O'Malley
Speakers: Obinna Abara, Mike Filoromo & Rebecca Salawdeh

This practical session will help attendees develop strategies to engage with their clients in a meaningful way. Our panelists will address how to avoid common mistakes in client communication, create a relationship of trust and open communication and set boundaries. This session will include demonstrations and the chance for attendees to share their dos & don’ts.
Concerted Activity Under the NLRA
In the Wake of Morgan v Sundance: Forced Arbitration 2023-2024 Update
Moderator/Speaker: Shelby Leighton
Speakers: Jennifer Bennett & Rebecca Peterson-Fisher

In 2022 in Morgan v Sundance, the Supreme Court held unanimously that arbitration agreements are on the same footing as other contracts. This created a "sea of change" in the world of forced arbitration, in the words of Justice Samuel Alito. A number of forced arbitration cases have been moving through the courts since the decision, addressing important issues like severability and what classes of workers are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act. Our experts will address the most recent developments and case law in the word of arbitration.
Considerations in Representing Executives
Moderator: Avi Kumin
Speakers: Ed Buckley & Kerry Zaroogian

This session will address the issues that arise when representing c-suite and other executive employees. From contract negotiations to benefits agreements and severance packages, our experts will ensure you leave this session with the ability to effectively represent executives.
1:45–2:45 p.m.NELA Committee & Practice Group Meetings
3:00–4:00 p.m.Concurrent Sessions
Fundamentals of Employment Law Cross Examination Skills for Deposition & Trial
Moderator/Speaker: David Albrecht
Speakers: Bernard Alexander & Jill Hernandez

Perfecting the art of cross examination is crucial to the success of any case. Our experienced faculty will share their tips and tricks for making the most of witness testimony and what pitfalls to avoid.
Practical Skills/Diversity, Equity & InclusionNeurodiversity in the Legal Profession
Moderator/Speaker: Deborah Marcuse
Speakers: Ting Cheung & Rebecca Rodgers

As law firms continue to pursue creating inclusive and accessible workplaces, it is vital to include neurodiversity in the conversation. This practical session will offer valuable insight for how to create a workplace that not only accommodates neurodiverse attorneys but encourages success,
Discovery/Pre-Trial Advocacy Organizing Your Discovery for Success
Moderator/Speaker: Summer Murshid
Speakers: Alex Piazza & Adria Lynn Silva

Join our panel of litigation experts as they walk through their best tips and tricks to organize your discovery and set yourself up for success in summary judgment and at trial. From drafting the initial complaint, through depositions and discovery, experts and admissibility issues, you will walk away knowing exactly how to approach discovery in your next individual or class action case.
Helping Caregivers Get the Care They Deserve: Wage & Hour Claims for Homecare Workers
Moderator/Speaker: Benjamin Davis
Speakers: Pete Winebrake

Panelists will offer insights and tips to address significant wage & hour litigation issues (under the FLSA and State law) by focusing on cases in this specific realm. Attendees also will explore unique challenges and opportunities in this area of wage & hour practice. A portion of the session will engage with problems of misclassification/independent contractors reflecting developments under DOL's final independent contractor rule.
The Ethical Modern Attorney
Moderator: Deborah Karpatkin
Speakers: Casey Denson, Shoshee Hui & Kerry Murphy

While some ethics rules never go out style, new ethical dilemmas arise as technology & societal work norms change. How can you ethically advertise using social media? Are you allowed to respond to a bad yelp review? What is your duty to your clients when you take parental leave or a vacation? Do you need cybersecurity insurance? Join our experts as they address the ways in which you can practice ethically in the era of advanced technology and work-life balance.
4:30–5:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions
Representing Federal Sector Employees 101
Cutting Edge Voir Dire
Speakers: Dennis Egan, Alicia K. Haynes & R. Scott Oswald
Choosing the right jury for an employment trial is one of the most vital decisions a plaintiffs’ attorney can make. Our expert trial lawyers will demonstrate how to use practical tools to prepare for and conduct voir dire, ultimately selecting the right jury for your case.
Recurring Challenges in Representing Plaintiffs in Sexual Harassment & Assault Cases
Moderator/Speaker: Scott Pollins
Speakers: Judie Saunders & Megan Goddard

Sexual harassment and assault cases present a series of challenges for both the client and attorney. This panel addresses some of the more complex legal questions that arise in sexual harassment claims, including harassment or assault outside of the office and the challenges of reporting these claims.
Creating Inclusive Workplaces for New Attorneys
Moderator/Speaker: Chiquita Hall-Jackson
Speakers: Camille Fundora Rodriguez
Labor Trafficking–What You Need to Know
Moderator/Speaker: Anna Prakash
Speakers: Caitlin Boehn, Rachel Dempsey & Meredith Stewart

Many wage theft cases have aspects of labor trafficking like training repayment agreements, financial penalties for quitting and immigration threats. As wage and hour practitioners know, adding a Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) claim to a wage theft case can supersize damages, but there are other considerations to consider. Join this expert panel to discuss liability issues of general contractors, pre-filing dispute resolution of trafficking cases, connecting with government agencies including prosecutors as well as interaction with immigration law.
8:00–11:00 p.m.Forging the Future of Workers' Rights: 2024 Gala Dance Party

Saturday, June 29, 2024

7:30–9:00 a.m.2023 Annual Convention Registration
9:15–10:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
Fundamentals of Employment LawGuide to Using AI in Your Law Practice
Moderator/Speaker: Joe Gibson
Speakers: Jeff Chivers & Phil Kitzer

Using AI in your practice can increase productivity and efficiency. But, how do you get started? This panel will discuss what AI tools exist for law practice management, how to utilize them for maximum effect and how to do so ethically.
Practical SkillsWellness Skills for the Plaintiffs' Employment Lawyer
Speaker: Maureen T. Holland
Join our panelists for a practical take on how you can manage your stress, vicarious trauma and burnout in a lasting and meaningful way.
Discovery/Pre-trial AdvocacyCreative & Effective Storytelling for Workers’ Rights Advocates
Moderator/Speaker: Mariyam Hussein
Speakers: Brian Foley & Laura Mattiaci

Presenting an effective case to an arbitrator, judge or jury is not just about causation standards and statutory interpretations. In order to truly move decisionmakers, lawyers must share their clients’ stories. This session will provide you with tips to channel your inner storyteller, to ensure that you are creating the most vivid picture you can of the harm your client endured.
Available Claims at the Hiring Stage
Speaker: Christopher McNearney
This session will include a discussion of pre-employment claims, including discrimination on the basis of prior criminal history.
Legislative Efforts, Deferred Action for Labor Enforcement (DALE), and Other Potential Relief for Exploited Immigrant Workers
Speakers: LeRae Kroon & Julia Solorzano
This panel will discuss legal protections for immigrant workers who are suffering labor abuses at work. Workplaces with numerous labor and employment law violations often hire easily exploited undocumented workers. While labor and employment law generally apply equally to all workers, regardless of immigration status, the remedies are not equal. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hoffman Plastics Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB in 2002, undocumented workers have generally not had the right to back pay or reinstatement when they are retaliated against for raising wage and hour or discrimination claims or engaging in protected concerted activity, greatly chilling enforcement of workplace rights by the most exploitative workplaces. In the following decades, through years of advocacy and legal strategies, advocates have successfully developed strategies to provide protections for undocumented workers, including local policy initiatives to protect workers from abusive use of employment eligibility verification systems (such as E-Verify), alternative remedies for victims of unlawful termination, and the expansive use of the new Deferred Action for Labor-based Enforcement.
10:50 a.m.–12:40 p.m.The Year In Review: Significant Developments In Employment Law
Moderator: Ashley Westby
Speakers: Heather Newsom Leonard, Professor Eric Schnapper & Professor Suja Thomas

The 2024 Annual Convention will close with a robust discussion of the employment cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court during its 2022–2024 term, significant appellate court, legislative, and state law developments, as well as emerging issues in plaintiffs’ employment law.