Saturday, June 28

   Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

7:30–9:00 a.m.

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00–10:15 a.m.


Emerging Issues

The Affordable Care Act: What Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyers Need To Know
Moderator/Speaker: Mary Ellen Signorille
Speakers: Denise M. Clark & Gary Phelan
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have a profound impact on employment law practitioners. This panel will provide an overview of the ACA’s impact on your practice; review the ACA’s provisions governing employer wellness plans, explore the employment discrimination claims that may arise under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; discuss the ACA’s whistleblower provisions; and examine the requirement that employers provide break time for nursing mothers.

Nuts & Bolts

Pragmatic Brief Writing: When To Move, When To Respond & When To Stop Typing
Moderator/Speaker: John F. Beasley, Jr. 
Speakers: Joan M. Bechtold & The Honorable Bernice B. Donald
Justice Kennedy remarked that "[a good brief] must be lucid, cogent, succinct, interesting, informative, and convincing." But what if your opponent files affidavits from previously undisclosed witnesses, attacks your communications with potential opt-ins on ethics grounds, or raises an issue for the first time in the reply? How do you respond when defense counsel puts a dozen "conclusions of law" in the "Statement of Material Facts" in a summary judgment motion, but doesn't cite to evidence, and instead cites to case law for the conclusory statement? Questions like these require professional judgment and regularly affect brief writing, but they can be hard to answer through legal research alone. Designed for new lawyers, this session will feature a federal judge and veteran NELA practitioners who will share practical strategies for writing effective and persuasive trial court and appellate briefs, including organization, credibility, and how to "tell your story" without getting side-tracked by disruptive briefing tactics employed by opposing counsel.


Get Out Or Just Get Busy? The ADEA Five Years After Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.
Moderator/Speaker: Laurie A. McCann
Speakers: Thomas J. Crane & Jeffrey Neil Young
Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have solidified more difficult proof standards under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act than under Title VII, and corrective legislation is stalled in Congress. Overt ageism persists as older workers continue to be laid-off in disproportionate numbers and are unemployed longer before finding new jobs for which they are well-qualified. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued regulations explaining how to litigate  "disparate impact" ADEA claims. In addition to a review of legal developments, our panel of veteran practitioners will discuss strategies to help ADEA plaintiffs overcome the “but-for” standard announced in Gross for your next summary judgment, trial, and settlement negotiation.


Retaliating Against Third Parties After Thompson v. North American Stainless Under Title VII & The ADAAA
Moderator: Janet L. Heins
Speakers: Darci E. Burrell & Professor Michael L. Foreman
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP that a terminated employee who was fired three weeks after his fiancé filed a sexual harassment claim against the employer had standing to bring a Title VII retaliation action against the employer. This session will explore case law developments in the aftermath of Thompson and how employee advocates can vindicate the rights of third parties—a family member, friend, or fiancé—to be free from retaliatory conduct by their employers based on their relationships with Title VII and ADAAA claimants.


Rule 68 Offers Of Judgment—What Happens When You Accept? What Happens When You Don’t?
Moderator: Rosemary Orsini
Speakers: Paige Fiedler & Bruce Fox
A Rule 68 offer of judgment is not your ordinary settlement offer. Significantly, Rule 68 imposes a penalty on a plaintiff who refuses a reasonable settlement offer. The upshot is if the plaintiff wins at trial, but doesn’t do better than the defendant’s offer, the plaintiff is required to pay the defendant’s court costs. NELA members who have confronted Rule 68 offers will explore how to tell if the offer includes fees and/or costs; whether the defendant can withdraw the offer; what happens if the verdict is less than the offer; what difference it makes if the underlying statute defines fees as part of costs; how to judge the value of equitable relief in determining if the recovery is higher than the offer; and whether the defendant can ever recover its fees.


Effective Strategies For Drafting Executive Employment Contracts
Moderator/Speaker: Patricia V. Pierce
Speakers: Sue Ellen Eisenberg & Wendi S. Lazar
Many of us are called upon to draft contracts that will be protective of our executive client. Our panel will provide a useful checklist of all of the considerations that exist in such drafting, and engage in a helpful analysis of the negotiating tactics, and potentially acceptable alternatives, in arriving at the best contract.

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

The Year In Review: Significant Developments In Employment Law
Moderator: Paul H. Tobias
Speakers: Professor Eric Schnapper & Richard T. Seymour
The 2014 Annual Convention will close with Professor Schnapper and Mr. Seymour discussing the employment cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court during its 2013–2014 term, significant legislative and state law developments, as well as emerging issues in plaintiffs’ employment law.

12:00 p.m.

Convention Adjourns

   Wednesday | Thursday | Friday
  Program subject to change without notice.