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Employment Discrimination Law & Litigation 2013


Speaker(s): Alan M. Koral, Anne C. Vladeck, Charles W. Fournier, Darnley D. Stewart, Debra L. Raskin, Edward Hernstadt, Elizabeth Grossman, Gerald T. Hathaway, Hon. Denny Chin, Hon. James C. Francis IV, Hon. Katharine H. Parker, Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Louis Pechman, Mary Schuette, Michael Delikat, Ned H. Bassen, Pearl Zuchlewski, Susan Ritz, Theodore O. Rogers, Jr.
Recorded on: Jun. 20, 2013
PLI Program #: 41776

Alan M. Koral is a Vedder Price P.C. shareholder and heads the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Area in the New York offi ce. He represents and counsels domestic and international corporations with respect to litigation matters, administrative hearings and investigations, as well as general employment and labor law.

Mr. Koral has written and lectured extensively on labor and employment law matters. He has written numerous articles and is the author of two books, Conducting the Lawful Employment Interview (4th ed. 1992) and Employee Privacy Rights (1988), and has edited Chapter 7 (on religious discrimination) of the second edition of Schlei & Grossman’s Employment Discrimination Law (1983).
 
In 1985, Mr. Koral was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to the New York State Human Rights Advisory Council, and was later appointed by Governor Pataki to the New York Human Rights 50th Anniversary Advisory Committee. He serves on the Advisory Committee for labor and employment programs of the Practising Law Institute and the National Advisory Board of the Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal.

Mr. Koral was Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section, 2008–2009, and has been a member of the Section’s Executive Committee for many years. He is currently co-chair of the International Employment Law Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and is also a member of the EEO Committee of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section.

Mr. Koral is a Fellow of the American College of Labor and Employment Law and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the CUNY School of Law and St. John’s University
Law School Labor and Employment Law Board of Advisors. He has been named in New York Super Lawyers in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is listed in Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who.

Emphasis
Labor and Employment

Education
J.D., University of Chicago, Associate Editor, The University of Chicago Law Review


Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992.  From June 1, 2009 to the present, she serves as Chief Judge of that Court.  Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978.

Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.  Judge Preska was nominated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2008.  She received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Alumni Award from Fordham University School of Law in 1992 and served several terms as a Vice President on the Board of Directors of the Fordham Law Alumni Association.  The Fordham Law Alumni Association awarded her its Medal of Achievement in 1998.  She received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from the College of St. Rose, Albany, New York, in 1998, the Edward J. Weinfeld Award from the New York County Lawyers Association Federal Courts Committee for Excellence in the Administration of Justice in 2001, the Charles Carroll Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild in 2004, the Stanley H. Fuld Award for outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York State from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association in 2009, the President’s Special Award from the New York Women’s Bar Association in 2011, the Barbara Jordan Outstanding Public Service Award from Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International in 2012, the Women in Business Law Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal from the New York County Lawyers Association in 2014, the James Madison Award from the New York City Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society in 2014, and the Honorable John E. Sprizzo Award for commitment to the Rule of Law from St. John’s Law School in 2015.  She has lectured at Securities Industry Association Legal & Compliance Division, the International Bar Association, and numerous other venues, and was a contributing author to Federal Civil Practice published by the New York State Bar Association in 1989.

Judge Preska is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the New York State Bar Association.  She has served as a member of the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, as chair of the Benchbook Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center, and currently serves on the New York Federal-State Judicial Council.  Judge Preska has also served on the Advisory Board of the New York Chapter of the Federalist Society and, from 2001-2009, on the New York Regional Panel for the Selection of White House Fellows.  Judge Preska has also served as a Trustee of Fordham University.


Charles W. Fournier is Senior Vice President, Employment Law, for NBCUniversal, where he is in charge of all employment law matters for NBC, Telemundo, Universal Studios, Universal Parks and Resorts, related cable networks and owned and operated television stations, and other media businesses throughout the world.  Prior to his present position at NBCUniversal, Mr. Fournier was in private practice in New York City for 18 years, most recently as a partner in the New York office of O'Melveny & Myers, where he specialized in labor and employment law and litigation. In addition to clients in the media and entertainment industries, Mr. Fournier has represented financial institutions, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers, and a variety of not-for-profit organizations. 

Mr. Fournier is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He also holds a Masters Degree in Anglo-American Legal History from Yale University and a Bachelors Degree from Trinity University. Mr. Fournier has been a guest lecturer at the New York University School of Law and the City University of New York, and he is a frequent speaker and panelist for bar and industry groups.


Anne C. Vladeck, a partner at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C., concentrates on representation of individuals in employment matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, and litigation.  She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., magna cum laude, 1975) and Columbia Law School (J.D., 1978).  She is an Adjunct Faculty member at Columbia Law School and previously taught at Fordham and Cardozo Law Schools.  She is a trustee of the Federal Bar Foundation (Secretary), on the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court (President-Emeritus); Member of Disciplinary Committee, Supreme Court Appellate Division, 1st Department, New York, January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2017, and was formerly a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Professional Discipline Committee.  Anne is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

Anne has been a speaker for, among others, Practising Law Institute, ALI/ABA, ABA, NYSBA, NYCLA and N.Y.U. Conference on Labor, on employment law and litigation issues.  She received a Woman of Power and Influence Award by NOW-NYC in 2005; Women of Distinction Award by the Labor and Employment Relations Association – New York City Chapter in 2006, and the Equal Opportunity Award by Legal Momentum in 2010.  Named one of top 100 Lawyers in New York and one of top 50 Women Lawyers in New York by New York Super Lawyers 2008, 2009 and 2010; and one of New York Magazine's "Best Lawyers."  Anne has tried several employment cases, including most recently a sexual harassment and retaliation case, Anucha Browne Sanders v. Madison Square Garden, et al.


Darnley D. Stewart is a partner at the New York law firm of Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP. Ms. Stewart has prosecuted class action cases against a number of large companies, including Ford Motor Company, Gerber, Coastal Corporation, First Union Bank, National Car Rental, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, and Bank of America.  In connection with her work on Coleman, et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corporation, Ms. Stewart was named as a finalist for "Trial Lawyer of the Year" in 2004 by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.  She is a member of the Class and Collective Action Committee of the National Employment Lawyers Association and serves as President of the Executive Board of the New York affiliate (NELA/NY) of that organization. She is also a member of the Technology in the Law and Workplace Committee of the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section and serves on the Board of Workplace Fairness. Ms. Stewart lectures regularly on employment class action issues, and has frequently commented in the media, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, National Public Radio and the Today show, regarding issues raised in a variety of employment discrimination cases. 

 


Edward Hernstadt is an experienced employment attorney with a significant litigation and counseling practice. Ed has successfully tried age, sex and racial discrimination cases before federal and state courts and arbitration panels. His representation also includes negotiating agreements for senior executives in the banking, brokerage, retail, media and advertising industries, and providing advice to employers on how to avoid discrimination claims and how to investigate claims that have arisen. Ed has been honored as both a New York’s "Best Lawyer" in Labor and Employment Law and a New York "Super Lawyer" in Employment Litigation annually since 2007. Ed also has litigated a number of high-profile and complex intellectual property and First Amendment cases, as well as many commercial disputes.

Ed is a Columbia University (B.A.) graduate and received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (cum laude, Order of the Coif), where he was an Articles Editor of the Law Review. He is a member of the Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court, and was co-Chairman of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and a former member of the Labor and Employment Law and Trademark Committees of the Bar Association of the City of New York. He has appeared as a legal commentator on MSNBC, CNBC, CNNfn, and National Public Radio.

Prior to launching Hernstadt Atlas PLLC with his late partner David Atlas in early 2008, Ed was a partner with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC, an associate with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, PC, and a law clerk for the Honorable Whitman Knapp in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Gerald T. Hathaway is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, resident in the Firm's New York office where he represents domestic and international corporations of all sizes, including Fortune 500 and Global Fortune 500 companies, in major labor and employment matters. Mr. Hathaway regularly advises multinational corporations regarding labor and employment issues that apply to local, national and international corporate transactions and financial restructuring, as well as massive reductions in workforce, including the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and Older Workers Benefit Protection Act compliance. He also represents management in collective bargaining, arbitrations and contentious litigation, and counsels management on avoiding employment litigation and grievances. Mr. Hathaway defends employers facing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and National Labor Relations Board charges and private lawsuits, including discrimination class actions, Fair Labor Standards Act collective actions, and claims related to The Americans with Disabilities Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The National Labor Relations Act, The Labor Management Relations Act, Section 1981 and Title VII.

Mr. Hathaway has particular experience representing employers in the entertainment - film, television and theatre, banking and finance, healthcare, hospitality, advertising, fashion and luxury goods, newspaper, private equity, and transportation industries. 

A Contributing Editor to The Developing Labor Law, 6th Ed., Chapter 16, "Subjects of Bargaining," ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, (BNA Books, 2012), Mr. Hathaway obtained his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and his B.A. from La Salle University. He has been named one of the "100 Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers" by Human Resources Executive, included in the "International Who's Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers" by Who's Who Legal, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.  


Judge Katharine H. Parker was sworn into office as United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York on November 4, 2016.  She received a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Duke University in 1989.  In 1992, she received her J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. She was a Notes & Articles Editor for the Fordham Law Review.

From November 2000 through October 2016 she was an equity partner at Proskauer Rose LLP where she practiced labor and employment law and chaired several practice groups including Employment Law Counseling and Training and Government Regulatory Relations and Affirmative Action.  She was associated with the Proskauer firm from October 1993 through October 2000 as an associate. While at Proskauer, she had an active litigation career in cases involving the full gamut of federal, state and local employment laws. She also litigated cases involving fair housing, civil rights, non-compete, contract and employee benefits disputes.

While at Proskauer, Katharine was elected to be a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and consistently honored in various listings such as Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers.

Judge Parker clerked for the Honorable Warren W. Eginton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut prior to joining Proskauer.

Judge Parker has been actively involved with the NYC Bar Association during her career, and has chaired both the Disability Law and Employment Committees. Judge Parker is also involved in pro bono and charitable causes, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Girl Be Heard.

She was a recipient of the Fairy Godmother Award from Girl Be Heard and the Jeremy Epstein Award for Pro Bono Service from the NYC Bar Association.


Louis Pechman practices before federal and state courts and government agencies in all areas of workplace law, including employment discrimination, sex harassment litigation, union-management relations, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, independent contractor issues, and overtime and pay disputes. As a practitioner for over thirty years in the labor and employment field, Mr. Pechman offers both individual employees and employers practical guidance on improving the employment relationship and, where appropriate, terminating that relationship.

Mr. Pechman has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and as a New York Super Lawyer in the area of Labor and Employment Law since 2006.  Mr. Pechman is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has received a ”Superb” rating from Avvo.  He has also been selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Association, an honorary organization limited to 1% of attorneys who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession.  Mr. Pechman moderates annual programs at the New York County Lawyers’ Association on “How to Handle an Employment Discrimination Case” and “How to Handle a Wage and Hour Case.” 

Mr. Pechman is one of the most experienced practitioners in New York in the fast emerging area of wage and hour law. Over the past decade, he has litigated over 100 federal and state court cases involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law. Mr. Pechman is also the founder of waiterpay.com, a site that focuses on the complex wage and hour issues in the New York restaurant industry.  He currently serves as Chair of the Restaurant and Hospitality Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Email: pechman@pechmanlaw.com


Mike Delikat, a partner in the New York office, serves as Chair of Orrick’s Global Employment Law Practice. He also is the founder of the firm’s Whistleblower Task Force.

Chambers Global 2017 guide lists Mike as one of only nine Band 1 ranked Labor and Employment attorneys in the United States.

Under Mike's leadership, Orrick’s Employment Law & Litigation group was named Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California by The Recorder for the last three years, the premier source for legal news, in recognition of their significant wins on behalf of leading multinational companies.             

He represents a broad range of major corporations in all facets of labor and employment law. Mike has an active trial, arbitration and appellate practice and handles a number of high-visibility class action and impact cases. He is a leading lawyer representing companies in whistleblower matters and frequently is called on to conduct high level and sensitive internal investigations by boards of directors. He is the co-author of PLI's Corporate Whistleblowing in the Dodd-Frank/Sarbanes Oxley Era, the leading treatise on that subject.


Ned Bassen is Chair of the Employment & Unfair Competition department of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.  His work is recognized by such publications as Chambers USA, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Labour and Employment, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.  He is named Best Lawyers’ 2016 New York City Labor Law-Management “Lawyer of the Year.”  He also is included in Human Resource Executive’s The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys Top 100 and in Lawdragon’s The Guide to World-Class Employment Lawyers.  Mr. Bassen has been awarded the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, Distinguished Writing Award In Law.  He has co-authored the U.S. chapter of Global Legal Insights-Employment and Labour Law 4th Edition (2015).

The most recent edition of Chambers USA states that “[h]e is noted for his handling of such matters as employment discrimination and trade secret cases.  Observers describe Bassen as ‘litigation savvy’ and note that he possesses ‘very strong negotiation skills’”.  Past editions have made the following comments:  “Sources say that he is ‘very smart, very tenacious, very loyal to his clients and very protective of them.’”  “Interviewees observe that he is an ‘eloquent and logical speaker – it’s almost impossible to disagree with his conclusions.’”   “Clients praise [Mr. Bassen’s] ‘encyclopedic knowledge’ of employment law and his ‘finely tuned instincts and well-balanced judgment.’  His skill in the courtroom does not go unnoted, with sources reporting: ‘He is able to distill facts to their essence and forcefully and effectively argue his client’s position.’”

Mr. Bassen has had an expansive practice for over 40 years.  It ranges from litigating on behalf of and counseling defense contractors, financial institutions, universities and other nonprofit institutions to individuals accused of wrongdoing in connection with employment, including, for example, representation of the principal targets in the well-publicized collapse of the Dewey & LeBoeuf law firm.

Mr. Bassen graduated from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1970 and Cornell Law School in 1973, where he was Note and Comment Editor of the Law Review.


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.


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.

Practice

Labor and Employment

Education

State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law (J.D., 1976)

Syracuse University (B.A., 1973)

Bar/Court Admissions New York

U.S. Supreme Court


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.  From 2014 to 2016 Ms. Raskin served as the President of the New York City Bar Association.  She 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.


Denny Chin is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He was sworn in on April 26, 2010.  Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude and received his law degree from Fordham Law School.  After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.  He then served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and thereafter he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney=s Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin.  In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.  From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan’s Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken’s use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books project, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program.  He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.  Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong.  He was the first Asian American appointed a United States District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit.


Elizabeth Grossman is Disability Rights New York’s Director of its Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Programs.  Prior to joining Disability Rights New York, Elizabeth served as Regional Attorney for the New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she managed the litigation program.  Previously, she practiced plaintiff’s employment law at Schneyer & Shen, and worked as an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project and the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy.  Elizabeth is a certified volunteer community mediator in New York State.  Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan.  Elizabeth received the Federal Executive Board Distinguished Government Service Award in 2002, was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” column in 2004, was named as one of 50 “Women to Watch” by the Wall Street Journal in 2005, received a Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service in 2005, and was given the Distinguished Alumna Award by Cranbrook School in 2015.


James C. Francis IV has been a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York since October 1985 and served as Chief Magistrate Judge from 1998 to 2000.  He 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.  He continued in this capacity until his appointment to the bench.  Judge Francis is an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he teaches Constitutional Torts.    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.  His publications include two chapters in Moore’s Federal Practice.


Mary Schuette recently retired as Vice President, Legal Services, responsible for the Labor Relations, Benefits, Workers’ Compensation and General Litigation and Claims areas of the Law Department of the Consolidated Edison Company of New York.   She is currently working as a consultant; she also serves on the board of the Fund for Modern Courts.  She is a graduate of Yale College and the Columbia University School of Law and is admitted to the bar of the State of New York.  She has been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.  Prior to joining Con Edison’s Law Department she worked for the National Labor Relations Board.


Susan Ritz has practiced employment law since 1985.  She is a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Ritz Clark & Ben-Asher LLP.  Ms. Ritz handles all forms of employment-related matters, including advising employees and partners regarding their rights, duties and entitlement to benefits; handling contract, severance agreement and partnership dispute negotiations; and representing employees and partners in negotiations, mediations, administrative proceedings, arbitrations and lawsuits encompassing a full panoply of employment-related issues, with special emphasis on claims of unlawful harassment, retaliation and employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion, marital status, sexual orientation and other protected classes.

Ms. Ritz provides neutral mediation services, and conducts impartial internal investigations on behalf of employers into alleged discriminatory conduct.  She also advises non-profits and small employers on employment-related issues, reviews and revises Staff Manuals for employers and represents employers in contract and severance negotiations.  She offers harassment and discrimination prevention training to management and employees, as well.

Ms. Ritz is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (20+ years) and Super Lawyers. She is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell and was selected for its 2011 Inaugural Edition of the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.  She is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Ritz has published articles and lectured widely, including for the National Employment Lawyers Association/NY, ALI-CLE, American Bar Association, Practising Law Institute, New York State Bar Association and at CUNY School of Law.  She serves as a pro bono mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.


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.