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Employment Discrimination Law & Litigation 2014

Speaker(s): Anne L. Clark, Edward Hernstadt, Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak, Hon. James C. Francis IV, Hon. Lois Bloom, Hon. Loretta A. Preska, Ivan D. Smith, Jill L. Rosenberg, Joyce S. Dubensky, Katharine H. Parker, Laurie Berke-Weiss, Louis P. DiLorenzo, Mark E. Brossman, Mary Schuette, Ned H. Bassen, Nora E. Curtin, Pearl Zuchlewski, Susan Ritz, Tracy Richelle High
Recorded on: Jun. 18, 2014
PLI Program #: 51788

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 associations.

Honors and Affiliations

Listed in:

The Best Lawyers in America® 2016, Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management; Litigation - Labor and Employment

Best Lawyers' 2013 New York City Labor Law - Management Lawyer of the Year

Chambers USA 2015

Expert Guides, The Best of the Best USA 2015

HR Executive Magazine, 2010-2015 Top Ten Labor Lawyers in the U.S.

Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent Rated, 20th Anniversary Year Top-Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law

“Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys – Labor,” Human Resource Executive® 2015

“Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys – Labor,” Human Resource Executive® 2014

New York Super Lawyers 2015®, Employment & Labor

Who's Who in America

Who's Who in American Law

New York State Bar Association, Past Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section; Past

Chair, Young Lawyer's Section

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Law Lawyers

Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Fellow, New York State Bar Foundation

Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

Member, Worldwide Employment Law Alliance

Editor, New York State Bar Journal

Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University's School of Management

Former Co-Chair, St. John's University Law School's Employment Law Institute

Representative Presentations

Workplace Harassment Misconceptions & Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Breakfast Keynote, 2015 Central New York SHRM Conference, 6/12/15

Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims, Co-Presenter, Practising Law Institute's Understanding Employment Law 2015, 3/27/15

Keynote Speaker, CNY SHRM Conference Sharpen Your Skills: Cutting Edge HR Strategies, 6/20/14

Employment Discrimination Law & Litigation 2014, Practising Law Institute, 6/18/14 Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims, Co-Presenter, Practising Law Institute's Understanding Employment Law 2014, 3/28/14

Defending Against Whistleblowers and Retaliation Claims: Including the Ten Things You Never Want to Admit You Did, National Association of Educational Procurement, Upstate NY Fall Conference, 10/10/13

FLSA Current Case Studies, SUNY Human Resources Association 2013 Annual Conference, 10/3/13

Defending Against Whistleblowers and Retaliation Claims: The 10 Things You Never Want to Have to Admit, 2013 CNY SHRM Conference, 6/7/13

Representative Publications

Louis P. DiLorenzo, Howard M. Miller and Christopher T. Kurtz, "Striking Out A-Rod: The Faithless Servant Doctrine," Law360, 2/14/14

DiLorenzo, "10 Things You Never Want to Have to Admit in a Retaliation Case," HR Specialist, New York Employment Law, 7/13

DiLorenzo, "Enforcing Employer-Employee Arbitration Agreements After Circuit City", 18 Fordham University Law Journal, 2001

DiLorenzo, "Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment After Ellerth and Faragher", 6 Duke University of Gender Law & Policy No. 1, 1999

DiLorenzo, "Civility and Professionalism", 68 New York State Bar Journal No. 1, 1/96 DiLorenzo, "The Growing Menace: Violence in the Workplace", 67 New York State Bar Journal 1, 1/95

DiLorenzo, "Screening Applicants for a Safer Workplace", HR Magazine, p. 55, 3/95 DiLorenzo, "After-Acquired Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases", 19 New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Newsletter No. 2, 1994 DiLorenzo, "Mid Term Bargaining Over Unit Work Transfers", 45 CCH Labor Law Journal No. 7, 1994

DiLorenzo, "Employer's Responsibilities Under 1986 Immigration Act and COBRA", The CPA Journal p. 32, 5/88

DiLorenzo, "Workers Compensation Discrimination in New York: Is It Really LoDolce Vita?", 32 New York State Bar Journal 220, 6/82

DiLorenzo, "Forging a Strategy to Combat Sympathy Strikes", 29 Syracuse Law Review 847, 1978


Labor and Employment


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

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.

Mark E. Brossman is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel and co-head of its Employment & Employee Benefits Group. His areas of concentration include all aspects of employment discrimination, labor relations, education law, ERISA and related litigation.

A frequent public speaker and author in his areas of expertise, he has served as an instructor in the Columbia University Teacher’s College and as a lecturer in the Cornell University ILR School’s Labor Relations Studies Program. Mark currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City Inc., the Board of Directors of New York University School of Law’s Center for Labor & Employment Law, the Advisory Council of Cornell University ILR School and the Board of Trustees of Bard College.

Mark is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyers and was recognized by both Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon as one of the 100 most powerful employment attorneys in America and one of the top 10 in ERISA law. Mark received the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ prestigious Judge William B. Groat Alumni Award (for achievement in the field of industrial relations), the Emerald Isle Immigration Center’s Robert Briscoe Award, the Lawyers Alliance for New York’s Cornerstone Award (for outstanding pro bono service to New York nonprofit organizations) and membership in the Academy of Employee Benefit Authors, in addition to being the first recipient of LANY’s Pro Bono Leadership Award.

Mark earned his J.D. and LL.M. in Labor Law from New York University School of Law and his B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

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 named 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 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.

Ivan Smith devotes his practice to labor and employment law and litigation, and entertainment law. He has substantial experience in employment discrimination cases, with particular emphasis in class and multi-plaintiff cases that are both regional and national in scope.

His clients have spanned many industries, including education, healthcare, sports, entertainment, food service, hotel, construction, maintenance, shipping, airline, trucking and engineering, and he has represented them in collective bargaining, contract and grievance arbitrations, litigation pertaining to unfair labor practices and matters before the National Labor Relations Board. In addition, Mr. Smith advises institutions on benefits and pension issues under Taft Hartley and ERISA, as well as advising on welfare plans concerning privacy and data breach issues.

Mr. Smith's entertainment practice include representing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy- and Emmy-award-winning producers, writers, directors and artists in the music, television and film industries. He has served as general counsel to a number of entertainment companies in these industries. He also represents investors in film and music industries. Mr. Smith also serves as general counsel to various not-for-profit groups.

Professional Background

Mr. Smith joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in October 2013. Previously he was for six years a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, where he was the administrative partner in New York, as well as a co-chair of its entertainment practice, and vice chair of its labor and employment group. He began his legal career at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. as an associate in 1989. He became a partner there in 1995, and served as Managing Partner of the firm from 1996 to 2007, when he left to join Lewis Brisbois.

From 1991 to 2009, Mr. Smith served as an adjunct professor for the Cornell University Industrial School of Labor Relations, where he taught courses in labor and employment law, collective bargaining and arbitration.

Mr. Smith is often sought for legal commentary by such publications and programs as Time Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine and the television program, Court TV. He has been featured on 60 Minutes on CBS News, in a story titled "Southern Exposure."

Professional Affiliations

•              American Bar Association, Member (1991–Present)

•              New York City Bar Association, Member (1993–2007)

Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq. is the CEO at Tanenbaum, a secular, non-sectarian non-profit that promotes mutual respect through practical programs that address religious (and non-religious) differences and combat prejudice. Internationally in demand as a speaker and trainer, Ms. Dubensky speaks, trains and conducts workshops on all Tanenbaum programs including on managing issues of religion in the workplace, health care and in schools. As an attorney, Ms. Dubensky served as a National Consultant for the Council of Jewish Federations (now Jewish Federations of North America). She also created the Legal Department at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and served as its General Counsel for over ten years. Ms. Dubensky began her legal career with the law firm of Botein Hays Sklar and Herzberg and holds her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

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


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



Ned Bassen is Chair of the Labor and Employment 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 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. He also was selected by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment.” 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 2nd Edition (2013).

The most recent edition of Chambers USA notes that sources describe him as “‘bright, charismatic and very tough when he needs to be.’” Past editions have made the following comments: “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 labor and employment 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, principal targets in the well-publicized Dewey & LeBoeuf bankruptcy. His defense in such matters has included, for example, bankruptcy, employment discrimination, trade secrets, false claims, corporate raiding, employment defamation and arbitration in the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Bassen is regularly quoted by the media, including, most recently, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Am Law Daily.

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.

Nora E. Curtin is a Supervisory Trial Attorney in the New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She previously served as Regional Attorney of the Miami District Office after litigating for many years with the New York District office. Ms. Curtin has been with the EEOC since 1990. Prior to coming to the EEOC, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney's Office, Brooklyn, NY.

Ms. Curtin litigated the first Commission case to challenge the exclusion of health insurance coverage for AIDS and HIV-related conditions. She also litigated a disability policy case against J.B. Hunt. While in Miami Ms. Curtin was involved in litigating a nationwide race discrimination case the EEOC settled against Walgreens for $20 million. During her tenure in Miami she also resolved a number of pregnancy discrimination cases including one against Motherhood Maternity for $375,000 and a same-sex sexual harassment case against United Healthcare for $1.8 million.

Ms. Curtin is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and Hobart and William Smith College.

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.

Tracy Richelle High is Deputy Managing Partner of S&C’s Litigation Group, and a member of both the Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group and Criminal Defense and Investigations practice. A partner of the Firm since 2008, Ms. High’s practice focuses on representing financial institutions and other corporations in complex civil litigation, including shareholder derivative and class action suits, arbitration and mediation proceedings, corporate internal investigations, and labor and employment matters.

She has also represented clients before a variety of regulatory and prosecutorial agencies, both at the state and federal levels, as well as Congressional committees, and independent examiners appointed by court order.

Rankings and Recognitions

  • New York Super Lawyers (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Recognized in The National Law Journal’s “Minority 40 Under 40” list
  • Recipient of Network Journal’s 40 Under 40 Achievement Award
  • Named 2015 Diversity Trailblazer by the New York State Bar Association (2015)
  • Ms. High and S&C Receive Commitment to Justice Award from Her Justice (2014)
  • Named a Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
  • Named a Tri-State Multicultural Leader by the National Diversity Counsel
  • Selected as an inaugural CUP Catalyst Change Agent
  • Profiled as one of MultiCultural Law’s “Diversity Advocates”


Securities and Derivative Litigation

  • In Computer Associates International, Inc. Derivative Litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted a motion by CA to realign it as plaintiff in a derivative action so that it could prosecute claims against several former company executives, including its co-founder and former chairman and chief executive officer. The Court also granted CA’s motion to dismiss the derivative claims that had been brought by a CA shareholder against several others.
  • Represented Fox-Pitt Kelton and J.C. Flowers in shareholder derivative litigation (S.D.N.Y.) that arose out of Bank of America’s 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch. In August 2010, obtained the dismissal of the complaint in its entirety as to S&C’s clients.
  • In Wyly et al. v. CA, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a decision granting summary judgment to CA Technologies dismissing with prejudice plaintiffs’ claims that CA breached agreements to settle a shareholder proxy contest and fraudulently induced plaintiffs to settle the proxy contest. The Court concluded that the settlement agreements were unambiguous, that CA complied with all of its contractual obligations and that plaintiffs’ alleged reliance on unmemorialized promises made by certain CA executives was unreasonable as a matter of law.
  • In In re Computer Associates Class Action Securities Litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a decision denying motions made by certain CA shareholders under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking to overturn certain releases. The Court held that the movants lacked standing to bring a Rule 60(b) motion because, among other things, they had been absent class members who had not appeared in the underlying class action or objected in a timely way to the settlement.
  • In a series of seven litigations brought by various companies alleging that Goldman Sachs and other prime brokerage firms manipulated the market for those companies’ stocks by intentionally failing to deliver shares sufficient to settle short positions entered into by the defendants’ clients, recently obtained summary judgment as a matter of law that dismissed such claims brought by against Goldman Sachs in California Superior Court. Of the other six actions, four ended with a dismissal of all claims against Goldman Sachs, and two ended in settlements favorable to the client.
  • Ongoing representation of Goldman Sachs in shareholder litigation, governmental investigations and proceedings, including with respect to residential mortgage backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.

Regulatory, Enforcement and Investigation

  • In re Barclays Bank PLC
  • U.S. v. Computer Associates International, Inc.; SEC v. Computer Associates International, Inc.
  • In re AIG, Inc.
  • Numerous private resolutions

Judge Pollak entered duty as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York on November 1, 1995. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1975 and received her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1978, where she was Articles and Book Review Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. Following graduation from law school, Judge Pollak served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Timbers on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Thereafter, from 1979 to 1986, she was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

In August 1986, Judge Pollak became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she served as Chief of the Narcotics/OCDETF Unit from 1991 to 1994, and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division from 1994 to 1995.  She also served as International Affairs and National Security Coordinator for the United States Attorney's Office. She remained at the United States Attorney's Office until her appointment as a Magistrate Judge in November 1995.

Judge Pollak is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where she has served as a member of the Federal Courts Committee, the Committee on Women in the Legal Profession, and the Criminal Law Committee.   She is Chair of the Eastern District CJA Panel Committee and has also served as a member of the Eastern District Advisory Committee on Civil Practice and Rules.  Judge Pollak has also served as a Master in the Inns of Court for the Federal Bar Council.  She has also participated in Moot Court, mock trial and trial advocacy programs at Columbia, NYU, Cardozo, St. John’s, Brooklyn and New York Law Schools.  She also supervises the Eastern District’s SOS Program involving youthful offenders.

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 United States District Court for 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 also provides instruction in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and in the ALI-ABA program on Civil Practice and Litigation.  He lectures frequently on topics including legal ethics, employment discrimination, and electronic discovery.  Judge Francis 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.

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.

Laurie Berke-Weiss

Laurie Berke-Weiss is a partner in Berke-Weiss & Pechman LLP, which she co-founded in 1996. She counsels executives, professionals (including lawyers, physicians, and architects), managers, and other employees on workplace matters, including employment contracts, severance agreements, restrictive covenants, independent contractor and wage and hour issues, age discrimination, sexual harassment complaints, hiring issues, internal investigations, and general human resources advice and counsel. Ms. Berke-Weiss litigates before federal and state courts and government agencies on related issues. She frequently lectures and writes on employment discrimination, law practice management and legal ethics. Ms. Berke-Weiss is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, and is a Vice President of its Alumni Association. Ms. Berke-Weiss a holds a B.S. from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and is a past President of the ILR Alumni Association and an emerita member of the ILR Dean’s Advisory Council. Ms. Berke-Weiss also holds a master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Rutgers University. She is a Past President of the New York Women’s Bar Association, a Director of the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Inc., a past Chair of the New York City Bar Executive Committee, and, currently, a member of its Council on the Profession. Since 2006, Ms. Berke-Weiss has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer and a Best Lawyer in the area of Employment and Labor Law, since 2011 as one of the “Top 50 Women New York Super Lawyers,” and since 2012 as a “Top 100 New York Super Lawyer.”

Lois Bloom was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York on June 1, 2001. Before her appointment in the Eastern District, Magistrate Judge Bloom served as Senior Staff Attorney in the Pro Se Office of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for 13 years. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her first job out of law school was representing single room occupancy tenants as a staff attorney at the West Side SRO Project, part of the Goddard Riverside Community Center. Judge Bloom has spoken on Civil Rights issues Access to Justice, Employment Discrimination, Habeas Corpus and Federal Civil Procedure at numerous conferences. She also trains new Magistrate Judges as part of the Federal Judicial Center’s annual orientation program for newly appointed judges.

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 (10+ 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.

Anne L. Clark is a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., and concentrates on employment discrimination and other employment-related matters. She graduated from New York University and New York University School of Law. Prior to joining Vladeck, Waldman she served as Law Clerk to Honorable Raymond J. Pettine of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island and was a Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney with the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she worked on employment-related matters. Ms. Clark has been  an adjunct faculty member at Fordham University School of Law and has lectured on employment matters for a variety of organizations.