NELC 29th Annual Conference

May 1-3, 2024 | Chicago

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Grand Horizon Foyer - Level 4


1:00 pm - 1:15 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

Opening Plenary

1:15 pm - 2:30 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

Employment Law Update

Experienced labor and employment practitioners will provide an update on: (1) recent and pending United States Supreme Court employment law cases; (2) the latest employment-related trends in state and federal legislation, including laws related to anti-discrimination, non-competes, pay transparency and equity, off-duty conduct, and leaves; and (3) recent NLRB developments, including the NLRB’s expansion of the joint employer rule and Section 7 rights under the NLRA. The panelists will participate in an in-depth discussion on what steps employers can take to comply with these new legal developments.

  • Barbara Dunlap, Vice President Legal, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
  • Eric Barnum, Partner, Baker Hostetler
  • Natalie Chan, Partner, Sidley Austin
  • Ryan Chapoteau, Principal, Jackson Lewis

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Grand Horizon D - Level 4

Afternoon Break

2:45 pm - 4:00 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

Wage And Hour Hot Topics - Newest Trends & Upcoming Issues

Wage-and-hour laws are becoming increasingly state-specific and hyper-technical. This trend has made it progressively harder for employment counselors to track recent developments, implement policy changes, and modify best practices in a timely fashion.

Our panel of experts helps you stay updated by providing an overview of the most noteworthy wage-and-hour developments of the past year. The panel also addresses how employers have reacted to those changes from both the litigation and advisory perspectives. Finally, it analyzes significant issues that may impact employers in the coming months.

  • Travis Sumter, Global Head of Employment Law, NextRoll
  • Leslie K. Eason, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg
  • Patrick Martin, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
  • Nick S. Pujji, Partner, Dentons

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

A.I. In The Law: Is It Revolutionizing The Practice or Simply Creating More Liabilities?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a part of the world and the law for some time now but the emergence of generative AI has the potential to transform the practice of law and create new risks and liabilities for employers and for practicing lawyers. This panel of experienced practitioners will discuss the various types of AI, the impact on businesses and the practice of law, the present and future of AI legislation, and hot-button issues to watch out for in the near future.

  • Miguel Manriquez, Head of Labor & Employment, OpenAI
  • Danielle Ochs, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
  • Britney Torres, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson
  • Keith Ybanez, Senior Associate, Husch Blackwell

5:15 pm - 6:00 pm McDonald's HQ - West Loop

Get To Reception

6:00 pm - 7:45 pm McDonald's Headquarters: 110 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607

Welcome Reception

Hosted By

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Emerald Sponsors

8:00 pm - Your selected restaurant

NELC Dine Arounds

7:40 PM: Meet your dining party at the reception at McDonald's. Look for the Dine Around Captains with the restaurant signs in the reception room.

9:30 pm - 11:00 pm Water Tower AB - Level 2

Post-Dine Arounds Dessert & Drinks Party

Join us back at the hotel for dessert and a night-cap after the Dine Arounds. Hosted by Sanders Roberts and Lafayette & Kumagai.

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Thursday, May 2, 2024

7:00 am - 5:00 pm Grand Horizon Foyer - Level 4


7:30 am - 8:30 am Grand Horizon EF - Level 4

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am - 9:45 am Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

The World Isn’t Flat, So Be Careful With Those “Global” Strategies

This panel of practitioners spanning four continents will provide an overview of the highly varied employment law landscape outside the U.S. – through the lens of on-the-ground advising to U.S. based multi-nationals. Areas of inquiry may include: specific developments or restrictions in different jurisdictions related to DEI (laws, regulations, reporting); pitfalls of rolling out “global” policies and initiatives based on U.S. law; and reorganizations, redundancies, and restructures in a global economy. The panel will also discuss avenues for developing a global practice, including best practices for fostering relationships with foreign lawyers and their firms.

  • Lindsey Hulse, Sr. Associate General Counsel, Global Head of Employment Law, Gilead Sciences
  • Jilali Maazouz, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Disha Mohanty, Partner, G&W Legal
  • Juan Carlos Varela, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson

9:45 am - 10:00 am Grand Horizon D - Level 4

Mid-Morning Break

10:00 am - 11:15 am Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

2024 Labor Law Update (Breakout Session 1)

Whether it is a national campaign to organize workers, misclassification issues, joint employment status concerns, or various important recent decisions such as Cemex, traditional labor law is in a state of upheaval. This panel will cover the most noteworthy developments from the last year and will provide information on what may be on the horizon for the rest of 2024.

  • Frank A. Bear, Senior Counsel, Walgreens Company
  • Dean Kpere Daibo, Partner, Traditional Labor Practice Co-Chair, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
  • Alex Dominguez, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
  • Genaira Tyce, Partner, Labor & Employment, Ackerman LLP

10:00 am - 11:15 am Daniel Burnham Room AB - Level 3

Arbitration Update: Current Trends and Best Practices (Breakout Session 2)

Experienced attorneys, arbitrators, and neutrals will discuss current trends and best practices in the developing world of employment arbitration. These professionals will discuss topics such as: (1) the analysis employers must consider as they decide whether to implement an arbitration program; 2) discovery in arbitration—best practices for conducting discovery and handling discovery disputes in arbitration; and (3) current trends in arbitration, including the practical impact of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act.

  • Eniola Akinrinade, Senior Labor & Employment Counsel, Genesys
  • T. Warren Jackson, Mediator/Arbitrator/Special Master, Signature Resolution
  • Nigel Telman, Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Marty Wickliff, Member, Cozen O’Connor

11:30 am - 1:00 pm Grand Horizon EF - Level 4

Lunch Program & NELC Awards Presentation

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm Grand Horizon EF - Level 4

Keynote Q&A w/Bruce Jackson

Associate General Counsel and Managing Director for Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft

Sponsored by

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1:45 pm - 2:05 pm Grand Horizon D - Level 4

Post-Keynote Break

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Daniel Burnham Room AB - Level 3

In-House Counsel Only (Breakout Session 3)

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

Direct & Cross-Examination at Trial: A Practical Experience (Breakout Session 4)

We all hear about what it’s like to go to trial: the importance of the theory of your case, making an impactful opening statement, and prepping your witnesses for anything and everything. But until you actually put those skills to practice, it’s difficult to know what to expect at trial. This interactive panel session is intended to help give attendees the opportunity to put their skills to the test on a specific part of trial: direct and cross examination. An experienced panel of trial lawyers will do a demonstration and then the audience will be given a short fact pattern to develop a direct and cross examination in small groups. Individuals will then have the opportunity to practice asking the direct and cross examination questions they’ve prepared. The panel will close with reflections on the session.

  • J.T. Wilson III, Member/Partner, Epstein Becker & Green
  • Melvin Felton, Partner, Sanders Roberts
  • Nasim Khansari, Associate, Gibson Dunn
  • Tashwanda Pinchback Dixon, Partner, Balch & Bingham

3:30 pm - 3:45 pm Grand Horizon D - Level 4

Afternoon Break

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm Grand Horizon ABC - Level 4

DEI Under Siege: Strategies for Navigating the Uncertain Legal Landscape of DEI

    Join us for an insightful and timely panel discussion on the current state of DEI in the legal profession and in the corporate world in light of the recent landmark SCOTUS Harvard University and the University of North Carolina's affirmative action decision. Our panel of legal professionals from academia, law firms and the corporate world will delve into the implications of this decision for lawyers and for employers in the corporate world. We will also explore what the ruling means for recruiting, mentorship, training, retention and other diversity initiatives. Moreover, our panelists will also discuss possible practical tips and recommendations for navigating uncertainty and continue legally promoting inclusion and belonging in the workplace.
  • Samantha Kwok-Ting Woo, Interim Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Teleicia Dambreville, Director, Senior Counsel, Employment, Burlington Stores, Inc.
  • Barbara Johnson, Founder, BLJohnsonLaw PLLC
  • Michael Thomas, Principal, Jackson Lewis

5:00 pm - 5:45 pm


5:45 pm - 7:45 pm Grand Horizon EF - Level 4

Thursday Evening Reception

Sponsored by

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Friday, May 3, 2024

8:30 am - 10:30 am Grand Horizon EF

Continental Breakfast / Hot Topic Roundtable Discussions

At 9:30 a.m. the roundtable discussions will begin. There will be five small group discussions related to substantive labor & employment issues, as well general topics on best practices. Each discussion will be led by two relatively new and promising NELC members - an in-house and an outside counsel. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in three of these small group discussions. This is not only a great way to become better informed about a topic of interest but also it will enable you to engage with several of your fellow NELC members.

Roundtable Topics:
  • Election Time!!! Regulating both workplace and off-duty speech
  • Hot Practice Area - Labor: How Do I Get Experience in Traditional Labor Law
  • Partnership vs. Of Counsel vs. In House (pros and cons)
  • Business Development: What Can NELC Do For You? (How to Build and Leverage a Whisper Network that Shouts Your Name)
  • What I Know Now that I Wish I Knew Then (Career Perspectives)
Roundtable Leaders - In-House Counsel
  • Shirley Akrasih, Manager, Labor Relations, The Walt Disney Company
  • Karl Analo, Counsel, Labor and Employment Counseling and Litigation, Abbott
  • Tolu Babade, Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase
  • Veronica Couzo-Kamenjarin, Counsel, Baxter International Inc.
  • Alexandra Wright, Senior Counsel, Labor & Employment, Cresco Labs
Roundtable Leaders - Outside Counsel
  • Kristalyn Lee, Counsel, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
  • Eric Mackie, Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Kwan Park, Of Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Lehoan (Hahn) Pham, Associate, Littler Mendelson P.C.
  • Par Vafaeenia, Associate, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

10:30 am - 10:45 am Grand Horizon D

Morning Break

10:45 am - 12:00 pm Grand Horizon ABC

Deal with It: M&A Considerations for Employment Counsel

  • Fabienne Clermont, Senior Vice President Global Employment Legal, Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.
  • Kathiana Aurelien, Counsel, Litigation, Willkie Farr & Gallagher
  • M’Alyssa Mecenas, Executive Compensation Attorney, Baker McKenzie
  • Ashley Smith, Deputy General Counsel, Amtrak

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Grand Horizon EF

Friday Lunch

1:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Post-Lunch Break

1:45 pm - 3:00 pm Grand Horizon ABC

Ethics: What Could Go Wrong????

Our experts will discuss current ethics issues and dilemmas outside and in-house counsel may face, including those related to artificial intelligence and other technology usage during representation, attorney-client privileges, settlements, work product related to internal audits, conflicts of interest, and business development.

  • Christina Alabi, Senior Corporate Counsel, Global Employment Law and Compliance, Celonis
  • Dennis Duffy, Director, Labor & Employment, Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC
  • Chris Wilkinson, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie LLP

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Grand Horizon ABC

Closing Plenary

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