"What a long strange trip it's been . . ." "Truckin'", The Grateful Dead (1977)
This is such a challenging and painful time for so many of us. Consequently, I can't seem to bring myself to write a column about the events taking place within our ranks without first acknowledging what is happening in these unprecedented times. We have heard about numerous friends and colleagues who are suffering from COVID-19. We have seen, either on television or in person, the racial tensions that are facing us, and we have witnessed economic difficulties unlike any others in the past. The images of lawful protesters being driven out of Lafayette Square on June 1 and the divisions that currently exist over race relations were unimaginable to me in another time. I frankly don't understand why there are some who defiantly refuse to take a precaution as simple as wearing a mask to keep others safe from the virus. I just got off the phone with one of our distinguished leaders of the College who had tested positive recently and been sick. Fortunately, he and his wife are now safe and sound but hearing him talk about what they went through broke my heart.
This column is not intended to be a political piece. I know we do not all share the same political views; our diversity of political beliefs while demonstrating collegiality at all times stands as an example of our adherence to the values for which the College stands. Our Fellows all deeply care about preserving the dignity of all. No one expressed the College's commitment to diversity better than David Borgen, the College President, in his email of June 2, 2020. My intention in this article is to convey how proud I am to be a member of this organization.
I have to look at the positive. In the words of Elie Wiesel, "just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings." The friendships I have formed with other Fellows give me that hope. Our members are willing to assist other Fellows even if we have yet to have the pleasure of getting to know them. There is an implicit sense that respectful collaboration enables us to achieve our goal of furthering the practice of labor and employment law.
For example, the College has recently undertaken to provide new meaningful services to our Fellows in this environment. As part of the Board Regional Activities Committee's efforts to implement our Strategic Plan, led by Homer Deakins, a newly formed task force chaired by Fellow Darrell Gay is planning a series of cutting-edge remote CLE programs. Other Task Force members are Ed Buckley, David Cashdan, William Frumkin, Gwynne Wilcox, Loren Gesinsky, John Hamlin, Wayne Outten, Mark Pearce, and Evan Spelfogel, with Vice President Alan Symonette serving as the Board liaison to this committee. The first such program will take place on June 30, 2020 and will address "Remote Depositions." I hope you will register for this program, and please reach out to them with any other ideas for programming.
We have just completed the nomination cycle for the Class of 2020. We received 94 nominations of esteemed members of the labor and employment community from the US and Canada. The incoming Fellows represent all four of our constituency groups. Their professional and civic accomplishments are a source of pride for us. The admission standards were applied with the utmost care, and the new protocols that we put in place two years ago to improve our credentialing process worked well. The members of our fourteen Circuit Credentials Committees devoted countless hours to ensuring that everyone was treated fairly during this exhaustive review of their qualifications. I am so appreciative of their selfless work, especially our Committee Chairs, who led reasoned discussions even when some of the decisions became difficult. A list of these distinguished new Fellows is listed below. Please join me in welcoming them.
So yes, I am hopeful, and incredibly proud of how our Fellows fulfill the mission of our Founding Fellows. Be safe, everyone.
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 2020.
J. Bernard Alexander, III, Los Angeles, CA Richard S. Amador, Los Angeles, CA Gitanjali Anand, Toronto, Ontario Richard A. Bales, Akron, OH John J. Balitis, Jr., Phoenix, AZ Eric L. Barnum, Atlanta, GA Brett C. Bartlett, Atlanta, GA Jeffrey A. Belkin, University Heights, OH Robert T. Bernstein, Chicago, IL Robert E. Bloch, Chicago, IL William A. "Zan" Blue, Jr., Nashville, TN Jason R. Bristol, Cleveland, OH Carla D. Brown, Reston, VA Kristine Orr Brown, Gainesville, GA Helene Bussieres, Montreal, Quebec Wendy C. Butler, New York, NY Lisa R. Callaway, Oak Brook, IL Robert B. Cottington, Pittsburgh, PA Vicki M. Crochet, Baton Rouge, LA Michelle P. Crockett, Detroit, MI Maria C.F. Dwyer, Detroit, MI Barry S. Fagan, Royal Oak, MI Amanda A. Farahany, Atlanta, GA Regina E. Faul, New York, NY Adrienne Fechter, Denver, CO Chai R. Feldblum, Washington, DC Stephane Fillion, Montreal, Quebec Michele R. Fisher, Minneapolis, MN Barbara A. Fitzgerald, Los Angeles, CA Maureen Flynn, Montreal, Quebec Wade M. Fricke, Cleveland, OH Karl A. Fritton, Philadelphia, PA Amy M. Gaylord, Chicago, IL Kimberly W. Geisler, Birmingham, AL Holly Ann Georgell, Detroit, MI Thomas S. Giotto, Pittsburgh, PA Katie S. Gold, Los Angeles, CA Leizer Z. Goldsmith, Washington, DC Carrie Anne Gonell, Costa Mesa, CA Gloria A. Hage, Ann Arbor, MI William E. Hartsfield, Dallas, TX Ronald J. Holland, San Francisco, CA Eric J. Holshouser, Jacksonville, FL
Pamela C. Jeffrey, New York, NY Allison A. Jones, Shreveport, LA Alan R. Kabat, Washington, DC T. Scott Kelly, Birmingham, AL Gary R. Kessler, Atlanta, GA Troy L. Kessler, Melville, NY Allen S. Kinzer, Columbus, OH Nancy B.G. Lassen, Philadelphia, PA Sang-yul Lee, Chicago, IL Warren B. Lightfoot, Jr., Birmingham, AL Randi E. Lowitt, Far Hills, NJ John T. McDonald, Atlanta, GA Sean T. McGee, Ottawa, Ontario Sara Gullickson McGrane, Minneapolis, MN Mari Anne Newman, Denver, CO Robert J. O'Hara, New York, NY Angelo A. Paparelli, Los Angeles, CA Steven J. Pearlman, Chicago, IL Michael J. Puma, Philadelphia, PA Jonathan C. Puth, Washington, DC Marcella F. Reed, Mill Creek, WA James P. Reidy, Manchester, NH Marlo J. Roebuck, Southfield, MI E. Michael Rossman, Chicago, IL Roxanne L. Rothschild, Washington, DC Michael L. Russell, Brentwood, TN Donald L. Samuels, Denver, CO Rebecca K. Saturley, Halifax, Nova Scotia Leticia Marie Saucedo, Davis, CA Lawrence P. Schaefer, Minneapolis, MN Elliot H. Shaller, Potomac, MD Wendell V. Shepherd, Elmsford, NY Michael D. Singer, San Diego, CA Christopher L. Slaughter, Huntington, WV Diane I. Smason, Chicago, IL Steven A. Smith, Minneapolis, MN David B. Spear, Pittsburgh, PA Dane Steffenson, Atlanta, GA Mark M. Stubley, Sr., Greenville, SC Dana L. Sullivan, Portland, OR Tracey L. Truesdale, Chicago, IL Anneliese Wermuth, Chicago, IL Louie A. Wright, Kansas City, MO
Although it has long been a College tradition for the new class of Fellows to be installed at a black-tie dinner held in conjunction with the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's CLE Conference, the Board of Governors has made the difficult decision to postpone this year's dinner, which was scheduled to take place at the Beverly Hilton on November 14th. The COVID 19 pandemic has simply made our induction dinner event impossible and out of concern for the health and welfare of our Fellows and their guests, we are cancelling the 2020 dinner and instead look forward to celebrating with everyone in 2021. As for the Class of 2020, plans are in the works for an alternative induction ceremony and we will be in touch soon to share those details.
As you may remember, the Board had previously decided to postpone the College's 25th Anniversary Celebration. We continue to work on plans to commemorate and celebrate this auspicious occasion in 2021. Along with the induction of new Fellows and the recognition of the 2020 Fellows, next year's black-tie event is sure to be a very special time for all. In the meantime, we encourage all Fellows to reach out and congratulate the Class of 2020 on their election to the College.
While COVID 19 may have changed the way many do business, it has not stopped the College from moving forward with implementing our strategic plan, a component of which was the development of a civility class for law students. Fellow Ruben Garcia was spearheading the effort, along with David Borgen, which was scheduled to take place the end of March at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Unfortunately, that class was postponed but thanks to Fellow Anne Lofaso, a law professor at West Virginia University School of Law, a virtual class was offered to her students on June 9th, and by all accounts, it was a huge success. David Borgen, along with Fellows Richard Griffin and the Honorable Elizabeth Walker, served as panel members for the two-hour online class. Feedback was extremely positive and multiple students commented how much they appreciated the varying backgrounds of the panelists who provided differing perspectives. One student remarked, "Just interesting to hear how accomplished people from both sides of the isle felt about the topics, and how to maintain professionalism with people you may not agree with. I would definitely recommend continuing that session."
A template power point is available for anyone interested in this class for students or new associates. Please contact Susan Wan with questions.
Even before David Borgen's all Fellows email was sent March 24th, Darrell Gay proposed to several 2nd Circuit Fellows the idea of creating a regional task force which would examine the labor and employment implications of the Coronavirus to provide guidance to the various constituencies and governmental agencies. The idea was included in David's email and quickly became a reality with a committee comprised of Ed Buckley, David Cashdan, William Frumkin, Loren Gesinsky, John Hamlin, Wayne Outten, Mark Pearce, Evan Spelfogel and Gwynne Wilcox.
Their first effort, a webinar titled Best Practices for Remote Labor & Employment Depositions, was coordinated by Wayne Outten and Bill Frumkin and will take place on June 30th with a focus on the 'new normal' of remote depositions in light of social-distancing and COVID 19 precautions. US Legal Support will demonstrate how they run such depositions and Melissa Woods and Doug Dexter, joined by moderator Loren Gesinsky, will address the laws, rules, and procedures that apply to remote depositions and discuss their personal experiences in navigating the practical challenges posed by conducting remote depositions to ensure effective, efficient, and ethical results.
Several other webinars are being planned, including ones on trials and hearings, negotiations and investigations, and mediations and arbitrations. Chaired by Mark Pearce and Homer LaRue, the mediations and arbitrations webinar will examine the benefits and challenges of conducting and participating in virtual labor and employment arbitrations during the pandemic. Currently, the planning committee is seeking practitioners from labor, management, plaintiff and defense who have actually participated in virtual arbitrations who are willing to speak about their experiences. Discussion will include, among other considerations, observations on the technology, factors influencing the decision to go virtual, client concerns and reactions, problems experienced and means of resolution. The target date of this webinar is July 14th between 11 am - 12:30 pm (eastern time). Please contact Susan Wan if you are interested in participating as a panelist.
• Fellow Harriet Cooperman (pictured left) was recently named a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Honoree by The Daily Record. Harriet is also a recipient of The Daily Record’sLeadership in Law Award, a three-time recipient of Top 100 Women Award and was inducted into the Circle of Excellence.
• Fellow Stuart Davidson (pictured right) will serve as a co-chair of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) Advisory Board. In 2018, Davidson joined the advisory board of LAANE, which is the largest social justice advocacy group on the West Coast. In 2019, he was honored at the organization's City of Justice Awards in Los Angeles which recognizes outstanding leaders who help to improve the lives of working people.
• Congratulations to Fellow Dan Nielsen (pictured left) who has been elevated to President of the National Academy of Arbitrators. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAA Annual Meeting and Education Conference in Denver, CO was postponed. The official election of new officers would have taken place at this meeting. Instead current officers and Board members resigned allowing the 'incoming' officers and board members to succeed to their respective office for a seamless transition. Other incoming Officers, who are also Fellows, include Vice President Joshua Javits, Washington, DC and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Walt De Treux, Philadelphia, PA, who is in his 2nd term. The NAA expects to formally elect the Officers and Board members at a business meeting in October 2020.
• The ABA Board of Governors recently elected Fellow Don Slesnick (pictured right) to the ABA Journal Board of Editors for a three-year term beginning in August 2020 and expiring in August 2023.
• Fellow, and College Secretary, Arlene Switzer Steinfield (pictured left) provided expert analysis in an article titled 7 Things to Know When Bringing Employees Back to Work which was featured in Law360. "Apart from legal constraints, employer flexibility is key. Being open to new and innovative methods of conducting business will encourage employees to work productively, while feeling protected from unnecessary risks." Click here to read the full article.
• Fellow Ted Scott recently retired from Littler Mendelson’s San Diego office after thirty-two years as an employer advocate representing clients in all areas of employment law, with a particular focus on union-management issues and litigation before the NLRB as well as the federal and state trial and appellate courts. Mr. Scott has begun a labor arbitration practice, where he is looking forward to again being a neutral and applying some of the skills related to that role he acquired while serving with the NLRB during the first eight years of his legal career. Mr. Scott’s services as a labor arbitrator are available to parties throughout the Western States.
• Fellow Michael Starr has retired from Holland & Knight, LLC, but not from continuing engagement in labor and employment law. Having formed M Starr ADR, LLC, he now has a full-time practice in mediation, arbitration and other neutral services.
Sadly, the College mourns the passing of seven Fellows in the past two months: Willard Z. Carr, Charles Donnelly, Debra Millenson, Lawrence Poltrock, Arthur Rosenfeld, William Schoeberlein and Ted Weatherill.
Fellow Willard Z. Carr, Jr. passed away on April 10th at the age of 92. Inducted in the inaugural class of Fellows in 1996, Bill was an internationally recognized expert in Employment Law and Labor Relations who practiced for 42 years with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. He authored numerous publications, was a mentor to generations of young lawyers and was extremely active in civic, legal and philandthropic affairs, including Chairmanship of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the California Chamber of Commerce, the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group of the Federalist Society, the Los Angeles Area American Red Cross, and numerous committees for the International and American Bar Associations. He was a founder of the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation and the Pacific Legal Foundation; on the Board of the California State Parks Foundation, the Los Angeles Zoo, the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, and a Commissioner of the California World Trade Commission. A graduate of Indiana School of Law, he endowed the Willard and Margaret Carr Professorship of Labor and Employment Law in 1999 at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. His full obituary can be viewed here.
Fellow Charles Donnelly passed peacefully on May 6 after an extended illness. He was 71. Chuck served as the General Counsel for the United Mine Workers in Washington, DC and West Virginia. He received his Law Degree at Ohio Northern in Ohio, his Master's with Marshall University, and attended classes at Harvard. He served his country with the United States Marines and was involved with the Boy Scouts of America. Chuck was an avid Notre Dame fan and enjoyed being with his family. He is survived by his wife of 42 years and two sons. Click here to view his obituary.
Fellow Debra Millenson passed away on May 12th at the age of 72. A retired senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor and longtime National Institute for Trial Advocacy faculty member, Debra was admitted a Fellow in the Class of 1997. Her work at the Department of Labor sought to enforce non-discrimination and affirmative action obligations of government contractors. Subsequently she was a senior counsel at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, and then established her own practice, The Millenson Law Firm. For several years she was co-editor of annual supplements to Lindemann & Grossman's Employment Discrimination Law and an Executive Editor of the 2014 Supplement to Bloomberg BNA's Employment Discrimination Law. Debra served on the Board of Governors from 2009 through 2014, and was instrumental in the creation and drafting of the College's Principles of Civility and Professionalism for Advocates. Memorial donations can be made in her memory to National Institute for Trial Advocacy Foundation, 1685 38th Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80301-2735 or to Israel Cancer Research Fund, 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, Suite 1510, New York, New York 10017. Debra’s complete obituary can be found here.
Fellow Lawrence Poltrock passed away on May 8th at the age of 78. Inducted in the Class of 2000, he was a graduate of Chicago Kent College of Law, and served as a special agent in the FBI upon his graduation. Eventually, Larry transitioned to his legal career, representing the American Federation of Teachers and various labor organizations in the Chicagoland area specializing in labor and employment. He is survived by his wife Sandy Schultz and his two children Billy and Jennifer Poltrock who was elected a Fellow of the College in 2012. He was an avid golfer and fisherman who loved the Cubs. Click here to read his full obituary.
Fellow Arthur Rosenfeld lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on May 16th after being diagnosed six months earlier. He was 75 years old. Inducted a Fellow in 2002, Arthur was a prominent conservative figure in the labor and employment bar for many years, having served in various leadership roles within the Republican executive branch and on congressional staffs during his illustrious career which started in 1979 at the US Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he served as General Counsel of the NLRB and as Director of the FMCS. Most recently, he directed the Labor Department's Office of Labor-Management Standards, a position he came out of retirement for in 2017. Fellow Randy Johnson, a close friend, was quoted in Arthur's obituary as saying, "Arthur was my pal, confidant, and ultimately a motorcycle buddy since the time we worked at the Department of Labor under the Reagan Administration. His in-office cigar smoking was legendary, as was his friendly nature and sharp mind." His full obituary can be found here.
Inducted a Fellow in the Class of 1997, Bill Schoeberlein passed away unexpectedly on April 25th at the age of 87. The following tribute was written by Fellow Larry Marquess in his memory.
"Bill was one of the first true labor lawyers in Colorado. He was an excellent lawyer and a wonderful person. In addition to his very busy practice, he dedicated many volunteer hours to representing the underserved in our community in pro bono cases. In particular he spent many hundreds of pro bono hours leading a team of volunteer lawyers representing a community of Latino famers in rural southern Colorado, whose centuries-old hereditary legal rights to graze their livestock on and collect fire wood from a neighboring ranch were wrongfully denied by a wealthy purchaser. After years of litigation and multiple appeals, Bill and his team succeeded. Bill was an active outdoorsman. He climbed all of the 14,000+ foot mountains in the state, rowed his personal raft through the Grand Canyon on at least two occasions, hiked, backpacked, fished and skied. He was a great family man and a great friend to many of us. Bill was truly a worthy Fellow of the College, and his presence among our ranks reflected well on all of us." Bill's full obituary can be found here.
Fellow Ted Weatherill passed away on April 13, 2020, peacefully at home in Ottawa. Ted obtained his BA at Trinity College, his LL.B at University of Toronto Faculty of Law (Dean's Key), and his LL.M in 1958 at Harvard Law School. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1960. He was one of the first in Canada to work on a full-time basis as a labour arbitrator. His career included stints as a law professor (Osgood Hall), Vice-Chair at the OLRB, 15 years as the sole arbitrator for the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration, Chair of the Canada Labour Relations Board, President of the National Academy of Arbitrators (1995-1996), An Honorary Fellow of the College, inducted in 2005, he was author of A Practical Guide to Labour Arbitration Procedure. Over his 60-year career as an arbitrator Ted issued over 5,000 awards, in English or in French, rendering his final award on March 25, 2020. His full obituary can be found here.
Members of the College strive to promote achievement, advancement and excellence in the practice of labor and employment law. All of these practitioners distinguished themselves as leaders in the field, and the College was proud to have been able to call them Fellows.
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.