MBA On Demand

31st Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference

The 31st Annual Labor & Employment Law Spring Conference, sponsored by the Labor & Employment Law Section Council, includes panel discussions on the following topics:




This opening panel will cover developments in employment discrimination law both in Massachusetts and on the federal front. Hear about changes in legislation that impact your practice and the way in which you advise and represent clients in employment discrimination claims. From issues as fundamental as who is “disabled”, to changes in the interpretation of when certain damages may be available to the successful litigant, to the viability of mandatory arbitration of employment discrimination disputes, hear about these important developments and how they impact you and your clients.




This panel will provide practice tips and review technology-related issues in the area of discrimination law, with an emphasis on practice before the MCAD and EEOC. Topics include:

  • Practicing before the EEOC — what the agency expects of you and what you can expect from the EEOC;
  • Practicing Before the MCAD — what the agency expects from you and what you can expect from the agency;
  • Practice tips from intake to public hearing; and
  • Workplace harassment — policies, preventative measures and investigations in the age of electronic and social media.

Massachusetts is a jurisdiction in which has seen tremendous growth in wage and hour lawsuits. This is due in part to decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court involving Walmart, the Attorney General's Advisory on Independent Contractors, the continuing saga of adjusting to the Department of Labor’s white-collar regulations, decisions by the DOL to file amicus briefs on important issues before the Circuit Courts and an increase in "hybrid class actions." Massachusetts employment law practitioners should take great care when answering wage and hour inquiries and initiating or responding to causes of action. This panel will present the latest updates in this area of the law and provide you with practice tips on bringing and responding to collective and class actions.







2009 saw two significant judicial decisions addressing an employer’s ability to compel arbitration of statutory claims. Emphasizing the unionized environment, our panel will explore some of the many questions that lie ahead for practitioners, such as:

  • What guidance is available in drafting and enforcing such provisions in union contracts?
  • What standards apply to the interpretation of these provisions?
  • Once an individual claim arises, how do attorneys representing the employee interact with union counsel?
  • Who decides who prosecutes and tries to settle the discrimination claim - the employee or the union? Does management have anything to say on the subject?
  • What changes might lie ahead for deferral policy given the NLRB general counsel's recent statement (Memorandum OM 10-13 11/3/2009) that "a new approach to cases involving arbitral deference may be warranted?"

This panel will focus on two key practice issues impacting employment lawyers — malpractice avoidance and data security compliance. The panel will begin with a presentation by the president of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Insurance Agency on risk management tips, what to look for when buying malpractice insurance, common mistakes made by attorneys when they buy malpractice insurance, statistics on where claims are happening and the reasons claims are being filed, and information on claims related to referrals and referral fees. The panel will then focus on your legal obligations with respect to data security. If you have personal information about your clients and employees — and virtually all employment lawyers do — you should have developed a written information security plan, named a compliance officer, conducted employee training and prepared yourself to report any breaches of personal information. This session will also cover the new Massachusetts law that requires notification of security breaches and a practical discussion of things you can do to protect your employees and clients from identify theft.


SUMMARY JUDGMENT: THE REAL WORLD featuring the Hon. William G. Young, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

The panel will address the shifting burdens and presumptions that frame summary judgment argument in discrimination cases. The group will discuss how defense lawyers can counsel employers before a termination takes place, to give their clients effective advantages under Rul 56 scrutiny. Also, the panel will discuss how plaintiff-side lawyers, in real world situations, can build an effective summary judgment record, even if evidence directly contradicting the employers' statements is unavailable.

Click here
to view the full conference schedule.



David E. Belfort, Esq., conference co-chair
Bennett & Belfort PC, Cambridge

Catherine E. Reuben, Esq., conference co-chair
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, Boston

Stuart J. Ishimaru, Esq.
Acting Chairman, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Washington D.C.

Hon. William G. Young
United States District Court, Boston

David C. Casey, Esq.
Littler Mendelson PC, Boston

David M. Conforto, Esq.
Conforto Law Group PC, Boston

Sharon Henderson Ellis, Esq.
Professor, Boston College Law School, Chestnut Hill

Sunila Thomas George, Esq.
Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Boston

Philip J. Gordon, Esq.
Gordon Law Group LLP, Boston

Marc D. Greenbaum, Esq.
Professor, Suffolk University Law School, Boston

Katherine A. Hesse, Esq.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey, & Lehane LLP, Boston

Ellen C. Kearns, Esq.
Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP, Boston

Jaclyn L. Kugell, Esq.
Morgan, Brown & Joy LLP, Boston

Robert S. Mantell, Esq.
Rodgers Powers & Schwartz LLP, Boston

Julie A. Moore, Esq.
Employment Practices Group, North Andover

Robert L. Sanders, Esq.
Director, U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, Boston

James A.W. Shaw, Esq.
Segal Roitman LLP, Boston

Terence J. Welsh, CPCU, AIS
President, MBA Insurance Agency, Boston/Springfield

David B. Wilson, Esq.
Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, Boston

Sponsoring Sections:

Labor & Employment Section

Related Practice Areas: Arbitration/Mediation, Employment Law, Government & Administrative Law, Labor Law

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On Demand On Demand
Presentation Date: May 11, 2010
Runtime: 6:08.18
NOTE: This is an On Demand product.
With registration for this product you can conveniently watch an archived MBA program from the comfort of your home or office, at a time that suits your schedule. When you register, you will receive a permanent link to the program in addition to the program's ePublication. Your My Resources profile will also contain permanent links to both products if you wish you review the program's archived presentation. The archived version of this program will not be available until after the date of the on-site program.

MBA On Demand System Requirements
Click here to review On Demand system requirements and an On Demand product demonstration.
MBA Sponsoring Section$160.00
MBA Paralegals$100.00
MBA Law Student$100.00
MBA New Admittee$100.00
MBA Member$180.00

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ePublication: 31st Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference
Publication: 31st Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference
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