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Understanding Employment Law 2013


Speaker(s): Debra L. Raskin, Donald L. Sapir, Hanan B. Kolko, Jill L. Rosenberg, John Gaal, Karen M. Mitchell, Katharine H. Parker, Laura S. Schnell, Lawrence J. Baer, Martin L. Schmelkin, Matthew W. Lampe, Michele R. Fisher, Peter D. DeChiara, Robert M. Hale, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr., Willis J. Goldsmith, Zachary D. Fasman
Recorded on: Apr. 5, 2013
PLI Program #: 41719

Donald L. Sapir is a partner in the White Plains, N.Y. labor and employment law boutique, Sapir Schragin LLP.  Widely respected for the breadth and depth of his knowledge and 36 years of experience representing employees and area businesses in employment and labor disputes involving termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, family medical and military leave, employment contracts, wage and hour claims, whistleblowers, severance agreements, pensions, and class actions, Don is an effective litigator with many landmark court victories, but tries to keep clients out of court through alternative dispute resolution. He is a past President of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, past Employee Co-Chair of the ABA LEL Section=s ADR Committee, past Chair of NYS Bar Ass'n  Lab. & Emp. Law Section, past chair of the Westchester County Bar Ass'n Labor & Emp. Law Comm., is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in New York Metropolitan Area, SuperLawyers, New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers, is A/V rated, was named one of Westchester County=s Best 25 Lawyers, and has appeared many times on Court TV.


John Gaal is a Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, practicing in its Syracuse and New York City offices. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (cum laude, 1974) and the Notre Dame Law School (magna cum laude, 1977), where he served as an editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. Following law school he clerked with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. His practice focuses on the representation of management in the full range of Labor and Employment Law matters.  Although Mr. Gaal's practice cuts across all industry lines, he has particular experience in the Higher Education, Construction and Health Care sectors. He has co-chaired BS&K's Higher Education Practice Group (for more than 10 years). He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for both Labor and Employment Law and Education Law, is a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, is Chair-Elect of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, is a frequent contributor to professional publications, and frequently speaks on Labor and Employment Law and Ethics topics.


Karen M. Mitchell is the Global Head of HR for the Legal and Compliance Division of Credit Suisse.  She is responsible for the Human Capital strategy and HR processes for over 1,500 employees worldwide. Prior to her current role at Credit Suisse, she was head of Employment Law for the Americas where she was responsible for coordinating the Credit Suisse employment law efforts in the Americas including the management of affirmative and defensive litigations, mediations and arbitrations and daily advice and counsel.  

Ms. Mitchell joined Credit Suisse in 2001. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Ms. Mitchell was an employment litigator with Epstein Becker & Green, and a Vice President of Human Resources at Citibank.

Ms. Mitchell received her law degree from Fordham Law School, and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Ms. Mitchell is a member of the New York State Bar and is the President of the Board of Directors of the New York Women's Bar Association Foundation, Inc.
 


Hanan B. Kolko, a skilled and experienced litigator in labor and employee benefits law, joined Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. in 1999 and became a Member of the firm in 2003. In 2012 and 2013, Mr. Kolko was recognized by New York Super Lawyers. Examples of the wide variety of Mr. Kolko's litigation practice include the successful defense of no-cost, lifetime post-retirement medical benefits for hundreds of retirees and their dependents, the successful collection of monies due to pension funds under the “control group” theory, successful defense of unions against claimed flaws in their election procedures and contract ratification procedures, the successful defense of unions against claimed violations of state and federal age discrimination claims in connection with collectively bargained retirement incentive programs, and the representation of unions and retirees in high profile bankruptcies including the GM, Chrysler, Hostess, New York Post and New York Daily News Chapter 11 cases. In addition, Mr. Kolko has experience litigating cases relating to living wage laws and prevailing wage laws.

In addition to representing union clients before federal and state courts, the National Labor Relations Board and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board, Mr. Kolko has handled hundreds of arbitration cases. Mr. Kolko has helped union clients navigate Department of Labor investigations and has successfully represented union members unfairly accused of breaching union by-laws. Mr. Kolko counsels unions about their rights and obligations on a daily basis.

Mr. Kolko is a past co-chair of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Section’s Committee on Technology and the Workplace. He has spoken on topics relating to the intersection of technology and the workplace at the ABA Annual Meeting and at the Annual Meeting of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Section. He has also spoken on NLRB-related issues in programs sponsored by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and Cornell University. Mr. Kolko has taught as an Adjunct Professor for the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, in the areas of labor law, public sector labor law, employment discrimination, the law of workplace privacy, arbitration practice, and building trades labor law.

Prior to joining Meyer, Suozzi, from 1994 until 1999, Mr. Kolko was a partner of the law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard.  

Practice Areas

Labor Law

Employee Benefits/ERISA Law

Education

University of Michigan, J.D. cum laude, 1985 Book Award in Labor Law

Cornell University, B. S., 1982 Industrial and Labor Relations

Memberships

Freelancers Union, Board Chairman

Freelancers Insurance Company, Board Co-Chair

Labor and Employment Law Advisory Council at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations

AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee

American Bar Association

Bar Association of the City of New York

Admissions

New York State

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York


Katharine Parker is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Law Counseling & Training and Government Contractor Compliance & Relations Groups.

Katharine has extensive experience litigating employment disputes of all types, including claims alleging race, age, disability, and sex discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, violations of wage and hour laws, and breach of contract. She has represented employers in the financial services, media/entertainment, and retail industries in single plaintiff and class and collective actions, in administrative proceedings, and in various arbitration forums.

Complementing her employment practice, Katharine represents employee benefit plans and their fiduciaries and/or service providers in connection with lawsuits arising from single participant benefit claims and class actions. She has litigated the full range of employee benefit-related matters, including claims for medical, long-term disability, and pension benefits, as well as breach of fiduciary duty, in connection with the administration of 401(k) and other benefit plans and investments of plan assets.

Representative litigations include the defense of:

  • A Title VII class action involving claims of race discrimination in promotion and discipline and implementation and defense of claims in complex settlement claims process for a large public transportation provider
  • A Title VII and EPA class action involving claims of gender discrimination involving a large financial institution
  • The Board of Trustees of a public pension fund and a municipality in a 45,000+ person class action litigation involving challenges to actuarial calculations of pensions
  • The trustees and alleged fiduciaries of 401(k) plans, ESOPS and multiemployer welfare plans in a complex ERISA class actions involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty 
  • A multi-plaintiff ERISA action involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and benefit claims arising out of change in severance policy 
  • Various companies in single and multi-plaintiff age, religious, disability, race, pregnancy, harassment and gender discrimination matters especially in financial and media industries 
  • An interest arbitration for producers of Broadway theatrical productions 
  • A breach of employment agreement and asset purchase agreement claim against publisher in arbitration 
  • Numerous arbitrations involving claims of wrongful termination, breach of contract, breach of non-competition agreement, discrimination, negligent hiring, and other tort claims 

In addition to litigation, Katharine’s clients regularly call on her to provide advice on compliance with various laws affecting the workplace, including the FMLA, ADEA, Title VII, ADA, FLSA, and state wage and hour laws. She has extensive experience in assisting companies in the planning and execution of reductions in force, mergers, and other organizational changes affecting employees. Katharine assists clients in all aspects of planning and implementing Affirmative Action Plans and Diversity Programs, in conducting self-audits of employment practices and policies and compensation, and defending OFCCP audits. She also is frequently called upon to conduct internal investigations of discrimination and harassment issues.

Katharine is co-editor of Proskauer’s Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update blog, which tracks the developments in the compliance arena for government contractors and sub-contractors, with a particular focus on developments involving the OFCCP and related agencies and departments. She speaks and writes on a multitude of topics, including social media and the workplace, background checks and hiring procedures, federal contractor compliance, glass ceiling and other class litigation, employee privacy issues, reductions in force, mediation of employment disputes, ethics in employment law, ADA, FLSA, whistleblowing laws, and the FMLA. Katharine also conducts management training with regard to EEO and anti-harassment laws, as well as hiring, evaluating, and terminating employees. In addition, she has taught classes on glass ceiling issues for Cornell University's extension program and as an adjunct professor of employment law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She has appeared on Fox News and WCBS News.

Related Practices

Class/Collective Action

Employment Litigation & Arbitration

Employment Law Counseling & Training

Government Contractor Compliance & Relations

Law Firm Practice Group

Accessibility & Accommodations

Reductions in Force / Managing Change

Financial Services

Non-Compete & Trade Secrets

Private Investment Funds Disputes

Education

Fordham University School of Law, J.D.
cum laude
Order of the Coif

Notes and Articles Editor, Fordham Law Review

Duke University, B.A.
cum laude

Bar Admissions

New York

Connecticut


Lawrence J. Baer represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters. He is an experienced litigator, labor negotiator and advisor.

Mr. Baer’s practice has most recently focused on the myriad of labor and employment issues facing debtor-employers while operating under the protection of United States bankruptcy laws. Those issues include restructuring obligations under collective bargaining agreements, pension plans and retiree medical benefit plans. In addition, Mr. Baer assists debtor-employers facing complex issues related to restructuring their workforces including key employee retention, obligations under plant closing laws, severance plans, employment contracts and other compensation and benefits plans. Representative debtor clients include Lehman Brothers, General Motors, Enron Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Republic Technologies International LLC, Aleris International, Magna Entertainment, Pilgrim’s Pride and Parmalat Dairies.

Lawrence J. Baer represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters. He is an experienced litigator, labor negotiator and advisor.

Mr. Baer’s practice has most recently focused on the myriad of labor and employment issues facing debtor-employers while operating under the protection of United States bankruptcy laws. Those issues include restructuring obligations under collective bargaining agreements, pension plans and retiree medical benefit plans. In addition, Mr. Baer assists debtor-employers facing complex issues related to restructuring their workforces including key employee retention, obligations under plant closing laws, severance plans, employment contracts and other compensation and benefits plans. Representative debtor clients include Lehman Brothers, General Motors, Enron Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Republic Technologies International LLC, Aleris International, Magna Entertainment, Pilgrim’s Pride and Parmalat Dairies.

Mr. Baer also represents employers in unfair labor practice and union representation proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, collective bargaining, labor arbitration and union-related litigation. Mr. Baer regularly represents employers in other employment-related litigation, including judicial actions and administrative proceedings brought under federal, state and local employment discrimination laws, laws covering wages and hours, employee benefits, including ERISA and other workplace-related statutes and regulations. In addition, Mr. Baer advises employers how to prevent and avoid such disputes.

Mr. Baer works with employers to develop and administer personnel policies. In addition, Mr. Baer counsels executives and employers in connection with matters relating to individual employment agreements.

Mr. Baer regularly counsels participants in corporate transactions regarding labor and employment issues that arise in such matters.

Mr. Baer also has extensive experience in the unique labor issues pertaining to professional sports.

Mr. Baer has lectured and written on labor and employment law issues.

Mr. Baer received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the State University of New York at Albany, and his J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, where he was selected as a member of its Moot Court Board and taught legal research and writing, appellate advocacy and professional ethics. Mr. Baer served as a student judicial law clerk to former Chief US District Court Judge John T. Curtin.


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

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


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 tens of thousands of employees seeking to recover overtime pay, minimum wages, and commission payments.  She also represents employees in individual employment matters, such as employment discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment. Moreover, Michele has represented consumers in cases involving negligent and fraudulent financial advice. She has been instrumental in obtaining millions of dollars for her clients.

Michele is an experienced trial attorney who enjoys being in the courtroom. She has successfully handled numerous jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee and consumer rights. She has the expertise, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size. 

Michele is the Chair of the firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm.  She is also a member of the Management Committee charged with the running of the day-to-day operations of the firm.

Michele is active in several organizations.  She is the co-chair and a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee’s Midwinter Report, a board member and editor for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise Supplement, a board member and editor for BNA’s Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey (2d ed.).  She has been named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Star lists repeatedly.

Admissions

State Bar of Georgia

Minnesota Supreme Court

New York Supreme Court

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court – District of Colorado

U.S. District Court -- Northern District of Florida

U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court – Western District of Oklahoma

U.S. District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – Western District of Texas

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin

Practice Areas

Plaintiffs’ Employment Litigation

Class & Collective Actions


Rob Hale, a partner in and chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice, represents employers across a broad spectrum of employment matters.

Work for Clients

Mr. Hale's practice involves representation of clients in employment litigation, including noncompetition, discrimination, wrongful discharge, FLSA and ERISA litigation. He has obtained successful results for employers at all stages of litigation, including in preliminary injunction proceedings, at summary judgment, at trial and on appeal. Mr. Hale is experienced in successfully representing employers before administrative agencies and in labor arbitrations. His practice also includes counseling in numerous areas of labor and employment law, including disability discrimination, sexual harassment and other discrimination matters; noncompetition agreement and other restrictive covenants; downsizing; employment agreements; wage and hour compliance; collective bargaining; and personnel policy development and administration. In addition, Mr. Hale is experienced in providing training for managers, supervisors and human resources professionals.

Professional Activities

Mr. Hale is a former employer co-chair of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the American Bar Association. He is a former chair of the ABA's subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act, the ABA's subcommittee on the WARN Act and the Boston Bar Association's Employee Benefits/ERISA Committee. He is also a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).

Thought Leadership

Mr. Hale has spoken at a number of seminars, including those presented by the American, Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations and various professional and trade groups.

Mr. Hale is co-editor-in-chief of the comprehensive and leading treatise entitled The Family and Medical Leave Act, and was a chapter editor of the first edition of The Fair Labor Standards Act - both published jointly by the American Bar Association and the Bureau of National Affairs.

Recognition

Mr. Hale was elected as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He has also been repeatedly selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America  and Super Lawyers magazine.

Education

  • J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1983 (magna cum laude)
  • B.S., Cornell University, 1980

Bar and Court Admissions

Mr. Hale is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Clerkships

  • 1983 to 1984 Massachusetts Appeals Court, Honorable Christopher J. Armstrong


Willis Goldsmith represents management in labor and employment law matters including practice before state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters arising under the NLRA, Section 301 of Taft-Hartley, ERISA, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and OSHA; in injunction, breach of contract, and employment cases; and in collective bargaining and labor contract administration.

Among his noteworthy matters is Chamber of Commerce v. Brown, which Willis argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court, reversing an en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit, held that a California statute that prevented employers from using state funds to lawfully deter union organizing was preempted by the NLRA, noting federal labor policy favoring employer speech regarding union organizing efforts.

Willis was Partner-in-Charge in New York from 2008 through 2012, when he stepped down from that position under the terms of the Partnership Agreement; from 1991 to 2006, he chaired the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He has authored numerous articles and participated in many conferences focusing on labor and employment law issues. Willis is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; member of the Labor Law Advisory Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; advisor, American Law Institute Restatement of the Law Third Employment Law; the advisory board of the NYU School of Law Center for Labor and Employment Law; the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; the Labor and Employment Law sections of the New York State Bar Association (Section Secretary 2013-2014); and of the ABA. He is a member of the board of directors of the Legal Aid Society of New York City and of Appleseed's New York Advisory Council.

EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

New York Philharmonic (Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York, Inc.) collective bargaining negotiations with Local 802, American Federation of Musicians

Verizon Wireless obtains injunctive relief in action seeking to enforce non-disclosure, no-hire, and non-solicitation provisions against future competitor

IBM wins affirmance of dismissal of disability discrimination claims

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

The Best Lawyers in America — Labor and Employment Law

Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (Band 1)

Legal 500 US — Leading Lawyer

Human Resource Executive Magazine: "The 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in America"

Education

New York University (J.D. 1972); Brown University (A.B. 1969)

Bar Admissions

New York; District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and D.C. Circuits; and U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York and District of Columbia


Labor & Employment
Class Action Employment Litigation
Wage-Hour Litigation & Counseling
Single & Multiple Plaintiff Employment Litigation


EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

IBM wins preemptive motion to deny class certification of California wage claims

AstraZeneca defeats pharmaceutical representative misclassification claims and class certification in Pennsylvania, New York, and California

Scotts Company secures Second Circuit affirmance of sanctions award and dismissal of discrimination action

HONORS & DISTINCTIONS

Consistently named as one of the top employment litigators in "America's Leading Lawyers" by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, and New York Super Lawyers

EDUCATION

Cornell University (J.D. magna cum laude 1989; Order of the Coif); Kenyon College (B.A. magna cum laude 1986; Phi Beta Kappa)

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York and Ohio; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of New York and the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio; and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits

Matt Lampe represents employers throughout the country in class action and other complex litigation, including cases under the FLSA, ERISA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and numerous state discrimination, wrongful discharge, and other tort laws. He has extensive experience leading the defense of clients facing employment class actions across multiple jurisdictions. Matt also defends companies in EEOC, DOL, and other agency investigations alleging systemic discrimination or pay practice violations. In addition, he counsels clients across a broad spectrum of employment law and litigation avoidance topics.

Matt is co-chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment Practice. He speaks frequently throughout the country on employment-related topics, including class action defense and wage and hour compliance and audit strategies. He is a contributing author to Labor & Employment N.Y. (LENY), the official blog of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, and a contributor to The Fair Labor Standards Act, Second Edition, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law.

Matt was named one of the "Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" by HR Executive magazine and Lawdragon. In 2012, Matt was recognized as a "Client Service All-Star" by BTI Consulting Group, which commended him for "extraordinary dedication to client service during a time of increased pressure and client demands." He is a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a life member of the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and a member of the New York City Bar Association and the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.


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 Practising 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 is one of nine lawyers in New York City to earn a “Band One” ranking in Labor and Employment in Chambers USA and Chambers Global and was recently named one of the Top 100 lawyers in New York by Superlawyers.  He 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, and teaches employment law to members of the federal judiciary through the Federal Judicial Center.


Debra L. Raskin graduated from Radcliffe College magna cum laude in 1973 and received her law degree from Yale in 1977. She worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1977 to 1981, serving in 1981 as Supervisor of Employment Litigation for that organization. She served as law clerk to Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York from 1982 to 1984. From 1984 to 1986, she served as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of New York in the Civil Rights Bureau. She joined the Vladeck firm in 1986, and became a partner of the firm in October 1988. Ms. Raskin has been Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is currently a Vice President of that organization. Ms. Raskin is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has taught at Columbia and Fordham Law Schools and has lectured and written on employment law matters for the New York State Bar Association and the Practicing Law Institute, among other groups.


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.


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 twenty-five 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, mediation and social media privacy issues in the workplace.  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-Individuals 2012.


Peter D. DeChiara joined the firm in 1989, and became a partner in 1999.

Mr. DeChiara works primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, and has litigated extensively on behalf of unions, employee benefit funds, and individual employees.

Prior to joining Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, Mr. DeChiara was a clerk for Judge Lawrence Pierce of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. DeChiara has taught labor law at New York Law School and the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, and legal writing at University of Chicago Law School. He has published articles on labor law subjects in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, American University Law Review and the Rutgers Law Record.

Mr. DeChiara graduated from Columbia Law School in 1988, where he was Editor-In-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1984, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


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 2014 New York City “Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year” and the 2012 “New York City Labor Law – Management Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America,  and in March 2014 was named one of the leading 10 lawyers nationally for employment law, in the 2014 Legal Who’s Who published by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.  For each of the past seven 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.