33rd Labor & Employment Law Annual Meeting and 22nd Annual Public Sector Conference

A Showcase of Topics for Both Private and Public Sector Attorneys

Gathering nearly 500 employment and labor practitioners and human resource professionals for a premier educational and networking opportunity.

April 21 and 22, 2016
Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA

Register Online Here

Sponsors | Hotel Info | Schedule | Essential Information | Printable Brochure | Mail/Fax Reg. Form

Earn up to 13 hours of participatory MCLE credit, including 1.25 hours in Legal Ethics and 1.25 hours in Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society

Pre-registration deadline is April 14. Note: Sign up by April 14 for conference fees as low as $295 a single day or $495 for two days.

Special Note: The Labor and Employment Law Section’s Cooperative Law Subcommittee invites you to attend a special "Cooperative Law Roundtable" scheduled on Thursday, April 21, 5:15 - 6 pm at the Claremont Club & Spa, in Berkeley, CA. RSVP by April 14 to carol.zlongst@calbar.ca.gov, or if you are attending the Labor Annual Meeting select session #10 on the course selector. There is no charge to attend the Cooperative Law Roundtable but space may be limited, so sign up early. Call 415-538-2585 for more information.

2016 Section Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

  • Paul Hastings

Platinum Sponsor

  • Littler

Gold Sponsor

  • Mercer

Silver Sponsors

  • Ogletree Deakins
  • simpluris

Bronze Sponsors

  • Amy Oppenheimer
  • Best, Best & Krieger
  • Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
  • Renne, Sloan, Holtzman, Sakai Public Law Group
  • Sacks, Ricketts & Case
  • Alexander, Krakow & Glick
  • Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation

Friend of the Bar Sponsors

  • Mizrahi Law
  • Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard
  • Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP
  • Bryan Schwartz Law
  • Siegel, Lewitter & Malkani
  • Moscone, Emblidge & Otis
  • Law Offices of William M. Crosby

Hotel Info

Hotel reservation deadline is March 28.

All programs and events will be held at the Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel (previously named the Claremont Resort & Spa), 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705. A limited number of rooms have been blocked at the Claremont Resort & Spa at the special Conference rate of $249 (single/double occupancy). The deadline to reserve a hotel room is March 28. Telephone reservations only. Call 1-800-551-7266. Identify yourself with the Labor & Employment Law Conference. The Hotel has agreed to waive the daily Facilities Charge per room and will charge $20 per day for parking.

You can use this link to book your hotel room. Click here for maps and directions to the hotel and information on hotel amenities and services.


33rd Labor & Employment Law Section Annual Meeting

Thursday, April 21, 2016 Time

Continental Breakfast

7:45 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Registration and MCLE Sign-In

7:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly—A Review of Recent Employment Law Cases

In this fast-paced discussion, Anthony J. Oncidi of Proskauer Rose LLP and Andrew H. Friedman of Helmer Friedman LLP will reprise their annual review of recent employment law cases with an emphasis on those cases of most utility to the employment practitioner whether plaintiff, defense, or neutral.

Welcome and Introductions: Ramit Mizrahi, Mizrahi Law, APC
Speakers: Andrew Friedman, Helmer Friedman LLP; and Anthony Oncidi, Proskauer Rose LLP

8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

(1.5 Hours MCLE Credit)

Happy Lawyering: A Discussion with Professor Deborah Rhode

In The Trouble with Lawyers, Stanford Law Professor Deborah Rhode chronicles problems endemic in the legal profession. Numerous empirical studies show that lawyers tend to be among the least-satisfi ed and most unhappy professionals, and that the commitments to diversity, pro bono activity, and other worthy aims often fall by the wayside, with the push for profi ts in a highly-competitive and contentious system. But, Prof. Rhode, one of the nation’s leading scholars of the legal profession, shows that it does not have to be this way. In this Happy Lawyering question-and-answer discussion, Prof. Rhode will not only illustrate some of the problems with our profession, but how we can solve them. If we listen—and ask the right questions—we can learn how to have a happier and more fulfi lling practice.

Moderator: Bryan J. Schwartz, Bryan Schwartz Law
Speaker: Professor Deborah Rhode, Stanford Law School

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Luncheon and Keynote Address by the Hon. Brad Seligman, Superior Court of Alameda County

Ticketed Event $30 per person. Advance RSVP requested. Purchase your lunch ticket on the Registration Form.

11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

(0.5 Hours MCLE Credit)

Concurrent Sessions (Choose from 3 Courses)

ADA/FEHA: Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace

This panel will discuss the best practices with respect to identifying and accommodating mental disabilities in the workplace. The panel also will discuss when accommodations are not appropriate and the interplay of the ADA/ FEHA with employee discipline when there are mental health issues in the mix.

Moderator: Kristianne T. Seargeant, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard
Speakers: Noah D. Lebowitz, Duckworth Peters Lebowitz Olivier LLP; and Tracy Smith Todd,  Genentech

Newest Developments In Wage and Hour Law: Hot Topics

California continues to provide new developments in wage and hour law through recently enacted statutes and important appellate and Supreme Court case law. Join our panel of distinguished labor and employment practitioners as they discuss and explore the ever-changing wage and hour landscape. Topics will include California’s Fair Pay Act, sharing economy apps and independent contractors/employees, the vast array of local minimum wage law increases, and additional statutory and case law updates.

Moderator: Charles O. Thompson, Polsinelli LLP
Speakers: Douglas J. Farmer, Ogletree Deakins; Jennifer Reisch, Equal Rights Advocates; Beth Ross, Leonard Carder LLP

The Evolving Role of NLRB in Today’s Workplace: An Update on Rules, Rulings, and Trends

The role of federal labor law remains signifi cant in determining issues of workplace rights and employee representation by labor unions. The National Labor Relations Board has, through recent decisions and regulations, developed new legal standards and processes touching upon areas thought by many employers to be regulated by employment law and the HR department. Attorneys representing employees, employers, and labor unions need to be aware of these developments to best represent their clients. This panel consists of attorneys representing employers, employees, and the National Labor Relations Board, bringing experience and perspective to issues including: protections for employee use of social media; limits on employer handbook policies; new election rules; and how to best represent your client at the NLRB.

Moderator: Thomas A. Lenz, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
Speakers: Jill Coffman, National Labor Relations Board Region 20; Valerie Hardy-Mahoney, National Labor Relations Board Region 32; and Scott Stillman, McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky

12:45 p.m. - 2 p.m.

(1.25 Hours MCLE Credit)

Concurrent Sessions (Choose from the 3 Courses)

Ethical Issues in Employment Litigation

This program will provide insightful guidance designed to help you spot and navigate recurring ethical issues in employment litigation. Topics will include confl icts of interest, joint representation, evidence preservation and spoliation, privilege issues concerning workplace investigations conducted prior to litigation, communications with represented parties, candor with the court, and inadvertent discovery or disclosure of confidential information.

Moderator: Cara Ching-Senaha, Moscone Emblidge & Otis LLP
Speakers: Kathryn Burkett Dickson, Partner, Dickson Geesman LLP; and Hon. Kandis A. Westmore, United States District Court, Northern District of California

Retaliation Claims: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Panelists will discuss the latest developments in employment-related retaliation law, covering both the state and federal law. Our distinguished panelists will address some of the common issues that arise in prosecuting and defending retaliation claims, including perspectives from within enforcement agencies.

Moderator: James W. Michalski, Holland & Knight
Speakers: Hon. William Dorsey, U.S. Department of Labor; Danielle Ochs, Ogletree & Deakins; Cynthia Remmers, Remmers Global Mediation, Arbitration and Fact-Finding; and Roberta Steele, U.S. EEOC

Comparative Employment Law: A Worldly View of Workers’ Rights

The U.S. is in the minority of industrialized countries where there is a statutory presumption of at-will employment and where there is a right to a jury trial for employment claims. Two prominent law professors with expertise in the legal framework of employer-employee relations throughout the world will discuss how workplace claims such as discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination are asserted in other countries, and their mechanisms for dispute resolution.

Moderator: William M. Crosby, William Crosby Law
Speakers: Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; and Professor Katherine Stone, UCLA School of Law

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

(1.25 Hours MCLE Credit. Specialty credit for "Ethical Issues" course.)

Mock Trial Opening Statements – Johnson v. Acme

Members of the jury, you are about to hear opening statements in Johnson v. Acme, a wrongful termination and wrongful demotion case based on pregnancy and gender. You will hear fi rst from counsel for Plaintiff Tina Johnson, and then from counsel for Defendant Acme, Inc. An interactive discussion will follow opening statements, with counsel being questioned by a moderator, the jury (i.e., the attendees), and each other about their opening statements, and tactics for opening statements generally.

Moderator: Samson R. Elsbernd, Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney, LLP
Speakers: Lawrance A. Bohm, Bohm Law Group; and Melinda Reichert, Morgan Lewis

3:45 p.m. - 5 p.m.

(1.25 Hours MCLE Credit)

Opening Night Reception

5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Cooperative Law Subcommittee Roundtable

You are invited to join the Labor & Employment Law Section Cooperative Law Subcommittee at a special innovative discussion group session. RSVP by selecting course #10 on the enclosed Course Selector, or if you are not attending the Annual Meeting but would like to participate in this roundtable discussion send your RSVP by email directly to Carol.Zlongst@calbar.ca.gov.

5:15 p.m. - 6 p.m.

(not for MCLE Credit)


22nd Annual Public Sector Conference

Friday, April 22, 2016 Time

Continental Breakfast

7:45 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Registration and MCLE Sign-In

7:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (Choose from the 3 Courses)

From Promise to Practice: Perspectives on Inclusiveness

In the legal business are we excelling and including all available talent? A leading neutral, scholar and law fi rm manager discuss bias and assess the legal profession’s score card in hiring and retaining lawyers representative of California’s diverse population. Panelists will discuss the role of implicit bias, bias interrupters, and practical measures to enhance progress.

Speakers: Ray Cardozo, Reed Smith; Jamie Dolkas, Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings; and Amy Oppenheimer, Law Offices of Amy Oppenheimer

Successfully Navigating Discipline in Public Employment

This session will address the unique substantive and procedural challenges facing representatives of public sector employers and employees regarding employee discipline. Learn about the various issues involving social media, public safety, and First Amendment issues. Panelists will provide essential tips to successfully defend against or ensure discipline is upheld in public sector forums.

Moderator: Monica T. Guizar, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld
Speakers: Jason Jasmine, Messing, Adam & Jasmine; Najeeb Khoury, SEIU; and Vicki R. Nuetzel, BART

The Nuts and Bolts of Bargaining in the Public Sector

This session considers the lifecycle of the collective bargaining process, including preparing for negotiations, understanding mandatory subjects of bargaining, strategies for negotiating to agreement, the implications of impasse, and post-impasse resolution processes. Panelists will focus on areas and processes that are common to the various bargaining statutes in California.

Moderator: Adam J. Fiss, Littler Mendelson
Speakers: Gary M. Messing, Messing, Adam & Jasmine; and Richard Noack, Hopkins & Carley

8:45 a.m. - 10 a.m.

(1.25 Hours MCLE Credit.
Specialty credit for
"From Promise to
Practice" course).


10 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.

In One Year and Out the Other

This panel will review and discuss 2015-2016’s most important court decisions, administrative rulings, and new and proposed legislation affecting the public sector.

Moderator: Maribel Hernandez, Klien DeNatale Goldner
Speakers: Dale L. Brodsky, Beeson, Tayer & Bodine; and David W. Tyra, Kronick, Moscovitz, Tiedemann & Girard

10:10 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.

(1.5 Hours MCLE Credit)

Luncheon Program

Ticketed Event $30 per person. Advance RSVP requested. Purchase your lunch ticket on the Registration Form.

It’s the Labor and Employment law edition of “Wheel of Justice.” Spin the wheel during this gameshow to unveil the fun facts of public sector labor and employment law, with a concentration on recent developments. You will be entertained by a puzzling series of new labor and employment statutory and common law, frequently used terms, and more. Join us at lunchtime and play your fortune with the Wheel of Justice!

Speakers: Samson R. Elsbernd, Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney, LLP; Fernando Flores, DIR-Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; and Latika Malkani, Siegel LeWitter Malkani

11:50 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.

(.75 Hour MCLE Credit)

Concurrent Sessions (Choose from the 3 Courses)

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News! Or Not? What Medical Information is Protected in the Workplace and in Litigation

Various laws and court decisions both confer, and take away, employees’ medical privacy in the workplace. This panel will discuss the balance of the right to medical information between the employee and the employer in various workplace situations and how the balance changes based upon the workplace issue (such as hiring, disability accommodations, job performance) and in litigation. This panel will use a “case study” approach with hypotheticals that evolve through different employment and employment litigation scenarios.

Moderator: Anne M. Giese, SEIU Local 1000
Speakers: Sean Graham, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld; and Arlene Prater, Best, Best & Krieger

Do’s and Don’ts of PERB Hearings and Appeals

Join our panelists – a PERB administrative law judge, PERB board counsel, a union attorney, and a management attorney – as they explore PERB’s hearing and appeals processes, including issues that may arise with particular substantive claims. Gain insight into PERB’s perspective on these processes, and learn successful techniques and strategies from experienced advocates.

Moderator: Erich W. Shiners, Renne Sloan Holtman Sakai
Speakers: Alicia Clement, PERB; Jennifer Keating, Leonard Carder; Nate Kowalski, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo; and Katharine Nyman, PERB

The Evolving Law and Rules of Factfi nding Under the MMBA

Even though factfi nding under Government Code section 3507 has been around for three years now, the parties (PERB, factfi nders, legal counsel, unions and public employers) are still navigating their way through the statute, the regulations, the practices, the practicalities (and the impracticalities) of how it all works. Learn about the step-by-step procedure that PERB uses to process requests for (and objections to) factfi nding, including PERB’s strict adherence to the statutory timelines, and other key issues.

Moderator: Carol L. Koenig, Wylie, McBride, Platten & Renner
Speakers: Shelline Bennett, Liebert Cassidy & Whitmore; Paul Roose, Arbitrator/Mediator/Factfinder; Robert Szykowny, Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld; and Carol Vendrillo, Arbitrator/Factfinder

1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

(1 Hour MCLE Credit)


2 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (Choose from the 3 Courses)

What You Should Know about POBAR & FOBAR

In addition to providing an overview of the Public Safety Offi cers Bill of Rights (POBOR) and the Firefi ghters Procedural Bill of Rights (FOBAR). The panelists will discuss recent case updates and how these two statutes affect citizen oversight and employee privacy.

Moderator: Stephen A. Mesi, California Department of Justice
Speakers: Anthony M. Santana, California Association of Highway Patrolmen; and Todd R. Simonson, Sacks, Ricketts & Case

How to Succeed in Mediation

Mediation is a time-honored method for resolving public sector labor and employment disputes. Mediation can save you and your client money and time, and avoid costly and exhausting litigation. But how does mediation work? What do mediators do, and how do they do it? How can you best prepare yourself and your client for mediation? How can you use mediation to establish a better working relationship with the other side in the future? Our experienced panel of mediators will answer these, and more questions, and share their individual approaches toward achieving success in your next mediation.

Moderator: Laura Z. Davis, PERB
Speakers: John LaRocco, Mediator/Arbitrator; Steve Pearl, ADR Services, Inc.; Loretta van der Pol, State Mediation and Conciliation Services; and Barry Winograd, Mediator/Arbitrator

Pension Wars: Will They Ever End?

Public employee pensions still remain under attack. New initiatives are being planned – while the court and legal battles over the old ones continue. Receive a fi rst-hand up-to-the-moment update from the attorneys who are in trenches. What will the City of San Diego do with PERB’s recently issued decision in San Diego Municipal Employees Association v. City of San Diego. The City of San Jose and its unions have agreed on terms for settlement in the Measure B case, but will the court approve it? What is in the Reed/DeMaio Initiative and how would it impact the battles that have already been decided? Find out the answers to these and other questions about California’s ever-changing public pension scene.

Moderator: Carol L. Koenig, Wylie McBride Platten & Renner
Speakers: Jan Goldsmith, San Diego City Attorney; Christopher E. Platten, Wylie McBride Platten & Renner; Charles Sakai, Renne Sloan Holtzman & Sakai; and Ann M. Smith, Smith Steiner Vanderpool & Wax

2:10 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

(1 Hour MCLE Credit)


3:10 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

A Judge’s View of Meaningful Cooperation During the Litigation Process

This year, the judges’ panel will focus on cooperative law during litigation – that is how plaintiff and defense can employ templates, case management plans, and discovery protocols to reduce contention and costs in the litigation process. Seasoned judges will discuss the successful use of these measures in California federal and state court.

Moderator: Chaya M. Mandelbaum, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe
Speakers: Hon. Donna M. Ryu, United States District Court, Northern District of California; Hon. Brad Seilgman, Judge, Superior Court of Alameda County; and Hon. Brian C. Walsh, Judge, Superior Court of Santa Clara County

3:20 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

(1 Hour MCLE Credit)

Networking Reception

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Essential Information

Printable Brochure

For your convenience, we've provided a printable version of the program brochure, which replicates the information on this web page.

Register Online

Click here to register online. Online registration will close after April 14, 2016.


Register on or before April 14, 2016.

Registration Fees

Non-Section Member Rate Includes $95 enrollment in the Labor & Employment Law Section for 2016.

Registration Package

Reg. Type

By April 14

After April 14

A. Two-Day Conference Package Rates: Labor & Employment Annual Meeting & Public Sector Conference on Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22

Section Member



Non Section Member



B. One-Day Conference Rate: 33rd Labor & Employment Annual Meeting on April 21

Section Member



Non Section Member



C. One-Day Conference Rate: 22nd Annual Public Sector Conference on April 22

Section Member



Non-Section Member



Register by Mail or Fax

Print out and complete the Mail / Fax Registration Form and return it with payment to The State Bar of California. Make checks payable to The State Bar of California. VISA/Mastercard Only.

Mail To:

Program Registrations
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Or Fax To: Program Registration at 415-538-2368. In order to fax your registration, credit card information is MANDATORY. (Photocopies of checks will NOT be accepted.)


The State Bar of California and the Labor and Employment Law Section are approved State Bar of California MCLE providers.