- Congratulations to Fellow Jennifer Abruzzo, Dave Prouty, and Gwynne Wilcox who were recently confirmed as NLRB General Counsel and NLRB Board Members, respectively. Gwynne Wilcox filled the vacant Carmody seat and Dave Prouty will fill the Smith seat when Fellow William Emanuel’s term expires the end of August 2021. Jennifer Abruzzo’s four-year term in office began on July 22, 2021.
- Congratulations to Fellows Marty Malin, Mark Pearce, Jeanne Charles and Joe Slater. President Joe Biden announced on August 23rd his intent to appoint all four to the Federal Services Impasse Panel. Marty Malin will serve as Chair of the Panel, which is a component of the Federal Labor Relations Authority that resolves impasses between federal agencies and unions representing federal employees. If bargaining between the parties, followed by mediation assistance, does not result in a voluntary agreement, then either party or the parties jointly may request the Panel’s assistance.
- Fellow Hope Comisky (pictured right), a Member and Chair of Griesing Law’s Employment and Ethics & Professional Responsibility practice groups, was named by Best Lawyers® as the 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" for Employment Law - Management in the Philadelphia area. This award recognizes individual lawyers with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Hope counsels clients on employment issues, provides training to managers and staff and offers strategic advice on employment litigation matters.
- Fellow Vanessa Kelly was named a New Jersey Legal Awards Winner by the New Jersey Law Journal in the Mentors category. She will be recognized during the publication’s awards event on September 23rd. The Legal Awards “honor those lawyers who have left an indelible mark on the legal community in New Jersey and beyond through their unwavering dedication to the profession.” Ms. Kelly practices at Clark Hill’s Princeton, NJ office where she strategizes with employers to minimize their legal risks and optimize the employee experience, to help companies focus on their business.
- Fellow Cynthia Nance was profiled in a recent edition of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, focusing on her amazing life and distinguished career. She currently serves as Dean Emerita and the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. You can read the article by clicking the link below.
Trailblazing Dean Emeritus of University of Arkansas School of Law Keeps Giving Back | Diverse: Issues In Higher Education (diverseeducation.com)
Dean Nance was also named Chair of the American Bar Foundation Fellows. As Chair, she will be part of a four-person team leading the Foundation Fellows, comprised of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars who have demonstrated dedication to the legal profession and to their communities' welfare. The American Bar Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization with a mission to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes and legal institutions. Primary funding for the foundation is provided by the American Bar Endowment.
- Fellow Bob Steptoe was given the West Virginia Bar Association’s Award of Merit at the group’s annual meeting in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Mr. Steptoe, who has served the West Virginia legal community for over 45 years, practices with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC as CEO and managing partner. He was recognized for his contributions and efforts to elevate the practice of law in West Virginia. Mr. Steptoe has served as president of the West Virginia State Bar, president of the West Virginia Bar Association and president of the West Virginia Bar Foundation in addition to being an adjunct professor at the West Virginia University’s College of Law.
- Fellow Donica Thomas Varner was featured in the July edition of The Oberlin Review, in an article announcing her departure as Vice President and General Counsel at Oberlin College. Over the past four years, she has managed a variety of issues including navigating the legal risk during the pandemic, Title IX compliance and labor and employment affairs. She has accepted the Vice President and General Counsel positions at Cornell University. The article can be read by clicking this link:
Off the Cuff with Donica Thomas Varner, Former Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary – The Oberlin Review
- Fellow Anna Wermuth, Vice-Chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, was recently appointed to the Rules Advisory Committee of the US District Court, of the Northern District of Illinois (NDIL). One of seven members of the committee, focusing on evaluating and updating the rules that govern trial practice, her three-year term begins immediately. In addition, Anna was recently named one of the “Top 50 Women In Law” by Law Bulletin Publishing, the publishers of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the Chicago Lawyer magazine. The award recognizes these 50 women of the Chicago legal community for their work in advancing other women in the profession and for being respected leaders in their field.
- Fellow Reggie Turner was named the 2021-22 President of the American Bar Association. Mr. Turner practices in Detroit with the law firm Clark Hill where he is an accomplished litigator, government affairs advocate, strategic advisor and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Considered by his peers as a “serial volunteer,” he is the past president of the National Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.
Mr. Turner, who was inducted a Fellow of the College in 2017, followed in the footsteps of his longtime mentor, Dennis Archer Sr. (ABA president 2003-05) who Mr. Turner clerked for during Mr. Archer’s time in the Michigan Supreme Court. In addition to numerous presidential, gubernatorial, mayoral, and county executive appointments, Mr. Turner served as a White House Fellow and as an aide to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros during the Clinton administration.
Read about his illustrious career here: New ABA President Reginald M. Turner (michbar.org).
- The College congratulates Fellow Kelly Dermody, who assumed the office of Chair of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law at the close of the Annual Meeting of the Section in August. All of the newly elected Officers and several newly elected and re-elected Council Members are also College Fellows, and we recognize them below:
Kelly Dermody – Chair
Doug Dexter – Chair-Elect
Denise Clark – Vice Chair
Joseph Torres – Vice Chair
Louis Lopez – Secretary-Elect
Julie Richard-Spencer – Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates George Washington, Jr. – Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Wayne Outten – Section Governance Liaison
Eric Tate – Council Member
Melinda Burrows – Council Member
Lori Ecker – Council Member
Melissa Woods – Council Member
Michael Subit – Council Member
- 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 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.