#NELA16: NELA And CELA Partner To Explore The Latest Developments In California Law

By Bernard Alexander posted 06-01-2016 03:54 PM


NELAConThe 2016 NELA Convention is coming to California, in Downtown Los Angeles, June 22–25. The NELA Convention brings together the best and brightest employment law minds from across the United States. The NELA Convention provides a broad view of the employment law perspective, allowing practitioners from across the country to share the innovative techniques they apply to achieve success, despite often being in plaintiff unfriendly venues. Their innovations are our opportunities. Moreover, a number of the best attorneys from the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) will be speaking or giving trial presentations as part of the California track—speakers who you cannot see and hear anywhere else. There is even a mini-Trial College, with demonstrations by both NELA and CELA trial stars. Don’t miss this opportunity to receive extensive, brilliant materials and view stellar presentations.

You can find out more about the NELA Annual Convention here:

If you are not a member yet, you should really consider joining NELA. The NELA Member Registration Rate through June 9, 2016 is $775. Online registration is still open.

For attendees who need hotel accommodations, NELA’s group rate at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites will end on Sunday, June 5. Make your hotel reservations online.

As just a taste of what is in store for attendees, the Convention will feature the following presentations as part of the California Employment Law Track:

Incorporating The Newly Adopted Employment Regulations Into A Winning Litigation Strategy
Moderator/Speaker: Brian C. Sperber
Speakers: Rachael Langston & Noah D. Lebowitz

Our panelists will provide a comprehensive review of the amendments to Fair Employment and Housing Act and California Family Rights Act regulations that were recently promulgated and adopted by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council, and will discuss the ways in which the new regulations can be used to supplement and strengthen the arguments that practitioners make on behalf of their clients.

Advanced PAGA Issues
Moderator: Cynthia L. Rice
Speakers: Thomas M. Diachenko & Michael D. Singer

Our presenters will address recent developments and advanced issues relating to the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA). More than just the basics, this panel will discuss: (1) discovery in PAGA actions (as addressed in Williams v. Superior Court); (2) briefing PAGA penalties and opposing reductions in penalties; (3) effectively opposing attempts to impose class certification-type requirements in PAGA actions (as addressed in Ortiz v. CVS Caremark); (4) trying PAGA claims; and (5) issues that arise when PAGA claims are brought in conjunction with other Labor Code violations (such as bifurcation and arbitrability).

Winning Pre- And Post-Trial Motions
Moderator/Speaker: Jayme L. Walker
Speaker: Darci E. Burrell & Valerie T. McGinty

Carefully developing and implementing a strategy regarding pre- and post-trial motions is essential to maximize both your chances of winning at trial and preserving every aspect of your victory when you prevail. Our presenters will discuss strategy and tactics regarding: (1) motions in limine; (2) opposing motions for new trial and JNOV; and (3) motions for attorney fees. In doing so, they will describe the specific substantive and timing requirements for each type of motion, suggest best practices, and provide a compendium of examples.

Delivering Dynamic Opening & Closing Statements
Moderator: J. Bernard Alexander, III
Speakers: Kathleen L. Bogas, Lawrance A. Bohm, Alicia K. Haynes & Arash Homampour

A diverse mix of highly-experienced practitioners will discuss ways to craft and deliver energetic and persuasive opening and closing statements. Each of our seasoned advocates will present on a different underlying subject matter, and will share their tips and tactics for engaging your next jury effectively.

Age Discrimination In Focus
Speakers: J. Gary Gwilliam & Daniel B. Kohrman
As more Americans will be working longer into their older years, the need for robust enforcement of both state and federal age discrimination laws is more important than ever. A number of positive results in cases arising under both California and federal law provide encouragement that the courts can provide an effective means of recourse when workers are targeted, individually or collectively, because of their age. Our presenters will share their experiences successfully litigating individual and class age claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in Anderton v. Bass Underwriters and Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as well as favorable rulings on behalf of older workers in collective actions arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act in McLeod v. General Mills and Villareal v. R.J. Reynolds. Our panelists will discuss what can be learned to help practitioners better advocate on behalf of an aging workforce.

Overcoming The Harris Defense
Moderator/Speaker: Barbara E. Figari
Speakers: Craig T. Byrnes & Kelly A. Knight

It has been over three years since the California Supreme Court adopted a burden-shifting framework for Fair Employment and Housing Act claims in Harris v. City of Santa Monica, which included the damages-eliminating “same decision” defense. Our panelists will review how the Harris framework has informed their litigation strategies and altered their tactics at different stages in a case, and share best practices for representing workers under the new standard. They will also analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the existing California Civil Instructions regarding the “same decision” defense, and suggest ways for crafting and presenting instructions in ways that will maximize your ability to recover all of the damages to which your client is entitled.

Visit to see the complete program.

Bernard Alexander is a 2016 NELA Annual Convention Committee Co-Chair, a former CELA President, and a recently-elected member of the NELA Executive Board.

#TrialAdvocacy #Motion #ContinuingLegalEducation #2016Convention #Affiliates #AgeDiscrimination