I hope that with vaccinations and the easing of COVID restrictions you have had opportunities to spend time with family and friends and hopefully continue to enjoy the discoveries of the outdoors. Most of us are also engaged in the planning to return to a fully functioning office and in-person hearings. For those of us who lost family and friends to the pandemic and have not had time to mourn, we also must continue to take the time to reflect on the impact of those losses on our families and community, find time to grieve, and hopefully move on.
In my Presidential article in the February 2021 Newsletter, I reflected on 2020 and considered whether the challenges of that terrible year would provide the College with the opportunity to engage in a conversation to discern what we can do individually and collectively to promote civility, reconciliation, public discourse, and support for the foundations of our democracy. I want to add another area – to engage in those vexing conversations concerning race, diversity, inclusion and again, hopefully reconciliation. I continue to want to encourage you to challenge and engage each other in these conversations. These are the queries I proposed as a point of engagement:
Have you felt the loss of civility and respect in your recent encounters, both professionally and personally?
As a respected attorney, what can you do to promote reconciliation and stimulate civil and professional engagement?
What can the College do to promote such reconciliation and reestablish the institutional foundations for a better community and profession?
I came up with a fourth query given the recent conversations surrounding racial equity, diversity, and inclusion:
How can we challenge each other to be active in learning about the racial inequities in our profession and communities and work to discern opportunities to model racial inclusion and find places of reconciliation?
I have put together some suggested resources that may be helpful in considering these questions:
Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, New York, 2020
Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth, Did That Just Happen?!: Beyond “Diversity” -Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations, Beacon Books, 2021
I hope you find these resources to be useful. In the next two months, the College will be launching its new website. It will provide increased accessibility for Fellows including an interactive space for Fellows to engage in discussion and exchange. Meantime, if you have thoughts or ideas to share on what it means to demonstrate civility and professionalism in these times, please feel free to reach out to me directly or through the College.
Over the past six months, some of our Fellows have been very active in developing, sponsoring, and participating in webinars to keep us current with developments in the law especially given the challenges presented by the pandemic in the workplace. A full listing of those webinars can be found on the College’s website at https://www.laborandemploymentcollege.org/white-papers/regional-meeting-papers.
I do want to highlight a few notable active projects. In 2020, then President David Borgen along with a committee of Fellows who are law school professors developed a curriculum on civility to be distributed to law schools. There is a template deck of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a variety of settings. The curriculum can be used as a unit in a full employment/labor law course, as a unit in a Professional Responsibility course or as a stand-alone program over lunch or after school. The programs were presented virtually on two occasions in 2020. This is a good opportunity for Fellows to engage law schools in their regions. Please contact Susan or David directly if you are interested in bringing this program to a law school in your region.
I am excited to inform you that the Video History Project is in the final stages of its documentary on the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and its role in Public Sector Collective Bargaining. Fellow Cynthia Nance will be the film’s narrator. We hope to show it on the afternoon prior to the Induction Dinner on November 13, 2021, as part of the Section of Labor and Employment Law’s CLE Conference. If you would like to see a trailer of the documentary, please visit the College’s website.
Finally, the College, in collaboration with the American Law Institute (ALI/CLE) will be developing, producing, and releasing a stand-alone teaching video featuring real-world hypotheticals and practical discussions describing uncivil and unprofessional behavior, including micro-aggressions toward women and people of color, and the best and most effective ways of dealing with such conduct. The group that is working on the project has been engaged in some very exciting discussions on what it means to exhibit civil and professional behavior. What particularly intrigued me was a perspective described by Fellow Loren Gesinsky in an email discussing the project. He stated that we should find ways to “exemplify not just civility, but also sensitivity and inclusivity to diverse perspectives in all our professional communications, interactions, and actions.”
I also believe that the College should go beyond providing lip service to the concepts of civility and professionalism. We must be intentional in modeling this behavior in our work and community. Admittedly this is easy when we interact with those we know and who share our views and perspectives. However, we must make a special effort to model this behavior when we engage in exchanges that make us uncomfortable and when we must encounter differences. In those instances, we must be more than civil. I have heard this described embodying “cultural humility.” This means opening our hearts and minds to truly listen to each other with empathy and unpretentiousness. I believe that when we “turn down the volume” we may be surprised by what we can discover about not only ourselves but also what we can accomplish together as a profession and a society. I hope to see and greet many of you in November.
Please join the Board of Governors in welcoming the following accomplished lawyers who were elected Fellows of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers in the Class of 2021.
Aaron Lee Agenbroad, San Francisco, CA Blake L. Barnes, Redmond, WA Allyson L. Belovin, New York, NY Nicole G. Berner, Washington, DC David M. Braswell, Jr., Coral Gables, FL Teresa Rider Bult, Nashville, TN Dean Lawrence Burrell, Morristown, NJ Stacey A. Campbell, Denver, CO Michael N. Chesney, Cleveland, OH Michael A. Church, Toronto, ONT John D. Coulter, Little Rock, AR Sarah C. Crossley, Toronto, ONT Justin D. Cummins, Minneapolis, MN Kathleen Ann DeLaney, Indianapolis, IN Robert E. DeRose, II, Columbus, OH Henry Y. Dinsdale, Toronto, ONT Danilo Di Vincenzo, Laval, QC Todd C. Duffield, Atlanta, GA William F. Dugan, Chicago, IL Camilo Echavarria, Los Angeles, CA Karen Evans, Miami, FL Shannon D. Farmer, Philadelphia, PA Marina K. Fraigun, Sherman Oaks, CA Frederick W. Headon, Jr., Dorval, QC Barney M. Holtzman, Tucson, AZ Toni (Tonette) J. Jaramilla, Los Angeles, CA Elizabeth C. Lawrence, Chicago, IL James F. LeMesurier, QC, Saint John, NB Margaret C. LePage, Portland, ME Kurt A. Level, Wichita, KS John T. Lovett, Louisville, KY Gary F. Lynch, Pittsburgh, PA Marty N. Martenson, Atlanta, GA Michael L. Matula, Kansas City, MO
David T. McDonald, Vancouver, BC Mark McQueen, Omaha, NE Devjani H. Mishra, New York, NY Portia R. Moore, Seattle, WA Eric H. Nelson, Houston, TX Robert R. Niccolini, Washington, DC William A. Nolan, Columbus, OH Angela Onwuachi-Wilig, Boston, MA Arthur Pearlstein, Washington, DC Lawrence Peikes, Stamford, CT Joseph J. Perkoski, Chicago, IL Hope A. Pordy, New York, NY Nicole Buonocore Porter, Toledo, OH Alton D. Priddy, Louisville, KY Randolph H. Pyle, Oakland, CA Angela J. Reddock-Wright, Los Angeles, CA Amy L. Rosenberger, Philadelphia, PA Reed L. Russell, Tampa, FL Delayne M. Sartison, QC, Vancouver, BC Michael C. Schmidt, New York, NY Shannon B. Schmoyer, San Antonio, TX Jerrald L. Shivers, Memphis, TN Andrea Clark Smith, Pittsburgh, PA Susan L. Stewart, Toronto, ONT Michael C. Sullivan, San Diego, CA Eric A. Tate, San Francisco, CA Timothy Scott Taylor, Pittsfield, MA Mark C. Travis, Cookeville, TN Donica Thomas Varner, Oberlin, OH George G. Vuicic, Ottawa, ONT Keith Waldman, Mount Laurel, NJ Elizabeth S. Washko, Nashville, TN Stephanie Wilson, Princeton, NJ Charles P. Yezbak, III, Nashville, TN
As we look in the rearview mirror at 2020, we are excited that we will be able to return to one of the College’s longest standing traditions – the Annual Induction Dinner. This event has become a celebrated occasion for new Fellows, and old friends as well, as we gather in our black tie best to commemorate the newest College members. The induction of the Class of 2021 will take place in the iconic International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton, home of the Golden Globe Awards since 1961, on Saturday, November 13th. And for members of the Class of 2020, who missed the experience last year, we will be recognizing you as well. Invitations will be mailed in September.
We have communicated over the past couple of weeks that the Beverly Hilton has only been able to provide us with a small room block: 50 rooms on Friday night and 50 rooms on Saturday night. At this time, the hotel is otherwise sold out, with the ABA Labor & Employment Law Section holding the majority of the remaining rooms as part of a block for their annual CLE Conference. If you plan to attend the CLE conference, you may want to wait until the Section opens their block for booking in late August. In addition to the Beverly Hilton, we have small room blocks at the W Hotel and the Mosaic Hotel, a small boutique hotel about a mile from the Hilton. Listed below you will find information on these hotels:
We are encouraging Fellows who plan to attend the Induction Dinner to not wait to make your hotel arrangements, keeping in mind that the pandemic has left many hotels short staffed. This could mean it will take longer find a hotel that is available. In the event you are not able to make a reservation at any of the three hotels above, we are providing a list (with website links) of other hotels that are all within 5-10 minutes of the Beverly Hilton. This is just for your convenience. WE DO NOT HAVE ROOM BLOCKS AT ANY OF THESE.
Over the past year, the National Academy of Arbitrators has undertaken studies of developments in various substantive areas of arbitration, including developments in Canada, the US State and Local Public Sector, the US Federal Sector, and non-labor Employment Arbitration. The NAA has shared these reports and invited the College to make them available to Fellows. These reports are available on the public side of the Academy's website at https://naarb.org/reports/. The public side of the website also contains links for presentations and information on a wide range of topics and are freely available to all College members.
In February 2018, after over a year of work, the Board of Governors approved a revised strategic plan identifying innovative ways to fulfill the College's mission and addressing the evolving professional interests of our Fellows. A committee, appointed by 2016 President Alan Epstein, worked diligently with the assistance of Javier Ramirez from the FMCS. His guidance and insight were invaluable during the process. At the 2017 Induction Dinner, Mr. Ramirez attended as a guest and was presented with a Proclamation of Appreciation for his vital assistance by President Norm Brand (see photo to left). On June 9th, 2021, President Biden nominated Mr. Ramirez to become the next FMCS Director, an honor that all who know him feel is so well deserved.
Javier Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and currently serves as the Executive Manager of the Division of Agency Initiatives. This office bears responsibility for the Office of Conflict Management & Prevention, Office of Strategy & Development, the Center for Conflict Resolution and Education, the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, and the DC and Northern Virginia (HQ) Commissioners.
In the White House press release, the College is specifically named as one of several entities who have recognized or featured Mr. Ramirez for his outstanding efforts. The full press release can be read here.
Fellow Domenick Carmagnola (Morristown, NJ) was sworn in as the 123rd President of the New Jersey Bar Association in May 2021. In the year ahead, he stated that the Association would be dedicated to several issues, key among them helping attorneys emerge from the pandemic with the tools to thrive in their practice and well-being. He also emphasized the Association’s vow to continue the work of its Pandemic Task Force and Commission on Racial Equity in the Law.
Fellows Gwynne Wilcox and Dave Prouty (pictured right) have been nominated by President Joe Biden as Members of the National Labor Relations Board. Gwynne Wilcox is a partner at Levy Ratner PC, a New York law firm that specializes in employee rights. She has a distinguished career in labor advocacy, including working as a field attorney for the NLRB in Region 2 (New York) and working as counsel for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. In addition to her stellar legal career, Ms. Wilcox has taught classes at CUNY Murphy Institute and the Cornell Industrial Labor Relations School in New York.
David Prouty is General Counsel of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ, the largest labor union for property service workers in the country with over 175,000 members. He served as General Counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) from 2013 – 2017 and as Chief Labor Counsel of the MLBPA from 2008 – 2013. Prior to June 2008, Mr. Prouty was General Counsel of UNITE HERE. He was the Union Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the National Labor Relations Act from 2007 – 2010; was a member of the National Labor Relations Board’s Union Advisory Panel from 1997 to 1998; and is a member of the Peggy Browning Fund’s Advisory Board.
Fellow Cynthia Sass (Tampa, FL) of the Sass Law Firm has been named Editor-in-Chief for the upcoming supplements to the national treatise, Employment at Will, a State-by-State Survey, published by Bloomberg and the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section.
Congratulations to Susan Stewart (Toronto, ONT), who will be inducted a Fellow in November, on her installation as President of the National Academy of Arbitrators in May of this year. Fellow Homer LaRue (Columbia, MD) was elevated to President-Elect. Other incoming officers who are Fellows include Joshua Javits (Washington, DC) - Vice President (2nd term) and William Hartsfield (Dallas, TX) - Vice President (1st term).
Fellow Ralph Teti was named an Unsung Hero in The Legal Intelligencer’s 2021 Professional Excellence Awards. Mr. Teti, who is a partner at Willig, Williams & Davidson in Philadelphia, PA, was recognized for the hundreds of hours he devoted to coordinating the firm’s election protection efforts during the 2020 presidential election. Considered by his peers as a leading authority on federal and state election law and regulation, Teti also serves as counsel for political candidates, political action committees and related organizations in matters such as campaign finance and election law enforcement. Held annually, The Legal Intelligencer’s Professional Excellence Awards honor lawyers who have left an indelible mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania and beyond. The 2021 honorees were recognized in special editorial sections and at an awards dinner on June 24, 2021 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
Fellow Steve Suflas (pictured left) has relocated to Ballard Spahr’s Salt Lake City office effective June 1st. His new address is One Utah Center, Suite 800, 201 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2221, and his new phone number will be (801) 531-3048. Steve and his law partner, Jason Boren, have grown the base of their clients and business contacts in Utah, and the move will continue the expansion of his firm’s labor and employment presence in the West.
The College mourns the passing of Douglas Huron. His obituary can be viewed here.
It is with great sadness, I write to acknowledge the death of Fellow Douglas Huron, admitted to the College in 1999. Without question, his death is a huge loss to the legal community. Doug was a trailblazer and a magnificent champion of workers’ rights. We stood in awe of his commitment, creativity and intellectual prowess and reveled in his good humor.
Doug graduated from Chicago Law School in 1970. On a personal level, although I understood his decision, I was extremely disappointed when just prior to Doug’s graduation he rejected my offer to work in the General Counsel’s Office for the EEOC and chose instead to accept a position in DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights. In the ensuing years, it is fair to say, the Doug caused me no other disappointments.
Two years later, he was lead counsel for DOJ in NAACP v. Allen, that resulted in the desegregation of the Alabama State Troopers. After handling several other successful discrimination cases for DOJ under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Doug worked in the White House for President Carter. He was tasked with leading efforts to nominate female and minority candidates for federal judgeships from 1977-1981, including the nomination of Ruth Bates Ginsberg to the United States Court of Appeals, (D.C. Circuit.)
Thereafter, Doug entered private practice continuing to pursue the eradication of a broad range of invidious discriminatory employment practices. His highest profile case was Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, a Supreme Court decision establishing that an employer’s reliance on sexual stereotypes is unlawful, resulting in the only court ordered admission into a partnership. Doug was repeatedly recognized in various listings as one of the premier employment attorneys in the nation. In 2004 he was named Lawyer of the Year by the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyer’s Association. Doug served several years as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, teaching a course in Equal Employment Opportunity Law.
In the 1990’s Doug was afflicted with a debilitating neurological disability, a slower-progressing version of ALS, necessitating the use of a wheel-chair and a computer device to talk. Even so, he continued to perform at the highest level of legal advocacy, including well-crafted briefs, which, among other things made for enjoyable reading, and lecturing cheerfully through his device at CLE’s and to his students.
David Cashdan, Class of 1996 Member, Board of Governors
Members of the College strive to promote achievement, advancement and excellence in the practice of labor and employment law. Mr. Huron certainly distinguished himself as leader in the field, and the College was proud to have been able to call him a Fellow.
Fellows are encouraged to include the College logo on their website or as part of their email signature block. Two different formats are available for download - .jpg or .eps. Please contact Susan Wan if you would like a logo file in a different format.