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Speaker Faculty


Hon. Young Kim
U.S. Magistrate Judge
Northern District of Illinois

James P. Anelli

James P. Anelli is a shareholder in the Newark, New Jersey and New York City offices of LeClairRyan, where he leads the firm's Affordable Care Act and Life Sciences teams. Mr. Anelli has, for more than 30 years, worked in almost every area of the labor and employment field. His primary focus involves helping management across industries handle employment benefit matters, defend employment discrimination claims, negotiate executive employment agreements and provide guidance on related plan design and tax issues (for private and public entities). He also handles all facets of labor litigation, including representing management in grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practices and collective bargaining matters. Besides traditional employment matters, Mr. Anelli has extensive experience defending federal and state False Claims Act cases and whistleblower actions under Sarbanes Oxley. Mr Anelli also regularly provides due diligence on corporate matters, including guidance on complex benefit issues arising out of asset and stock sales, mergers and secondment transactions. Mr. Anelli also handles complex, multi-employer pension matters. Mr. Anelli regularly provides counsel to corporate clients regarding compliance with state and federal employment requirements and designing effective personnel policies, and the development, design and implementation of employee benefit programs. As an experienced litigator, Mr. Anelli defends plans and employers and trustees in ERISA litigation throughout the United States. Mr. Anelli is also the United States representative for Transatlantic Law International, a global legal services provider to companies in more than 80 countries, through which he assists international clients on cross-broader employment issues. Lastly, Mr. Anelli has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Employment Law – Management, and Labor Law – Management since 2010. He has served on the executive committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section) since 2006. In this capacity, he has presented numerous seminars to the State Bar on employment matters and has for more than two decades spoke on numerous topics before various corporate counsel organizations throughout the United States.

Brian Arbetter
Norton Rose Fulbright

Brian Arbetter is a member of Norton Rose Fulbright's Global Employment and Labor Steering Committee. He has more than 25 years of practice experience advising and developing strategy for multinational companies regarding their international and domestic labor and employment issues in the United States and abroad. Brian's experience includes, among other things, employment discrimination and harassment, leaves of absence and disabilities, unions and works councils, wage and hour, restructurings and reductions in force, hiring, employment agreements and policies, codes of conduct, whistleblowing, affirmative action, health and safety, and employment law aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Brian represents employers and management exclusively. He frequently writes, speaks, and is quoted on labor and employment law issues. While focusing largely on advising and defending employers on a myriad of employment issues and claims, Brian also assists in developing policies and practices to help minimize employment liability risks — and avoid claims that give rise to litigation. He has deep experience in regulatory matters — including government audits, investigations and private party actions — in all areas of wage and hour law, occupational health and safety, and affirmative action/government contracting. He is highly experienced in obtaining emergency injunctive relief to stop and prevent union picketing activity, he also helps implement policies and techniques to avoid and minimize unionization, including emerging threats via the internet. Brian is admitted to practice in New York, California, Illinois and in the Eastern District of Michigan. He has been admitted pro hac vice in cases before courts in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Heather R. Becker
Laner Muchin

David L. Christlieb
Littler Mendelson P.C

David L. Christlieb litigates in a broad range of employment law areas, including: Discrimination Wrongful termination Retaliation Wage and hour issues Restrictive covenants Trade secrets Expert witness issues Adverse impact analyses Government investigations and audits National Labor Relations Board elections Collective bargaining Diversity initiatives Workplace violence issues Employee/applicant assessment issues Traditional labor matters He has particular expertise in the area of affirmative action and has created more than 500 affirmative action plans, and he also advises clients regarding compliance, labor and management relations, and EEO policy. A member of the firm's Class Action Practice Group, David's litigation experience includes complex nationwide collective and class actions under: The Fair Labor Standards Act Title VII Section 1981 Various state statutes He has represented clients, including manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and consulting firms, in federal and state courts and in arbitrations and mediations before the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Department of Labor. David is frequently called upon to cross-examine or depose expert witnesses including economists, statisticians, psychologists, and sociologists. Among David's notable successes, he has successfully argued an appeal in a discrimination lawsuit for a national manufacturer before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, has won a high-stakes unfair labor practice trial over allegations that his client’s lockout of union employees was unlawful, and tried one of the first cases applying the “strike then lockout” exception to New Jersey’s unemployment compensation law. He has provided pro bono representation of indigent students in school expulsion cases. David serves as the hiring shareholder in Littler Mendelson's Chicago office, and developed a litigation training program for associates. In addition to his law degree, David holds a masters degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Illinois. In law school, he served as the notes editor for the Elder Law Journal.

Richard Cohen

Mr. Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial, insurance, and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Mr. Cohen has tried dozens of cases in both federal and state court, argued numerous appeals, and has conducted arbitrations and mediations before the American Arbitration Association, FINRA and other dispute resolution forums that have involved: Complex corporate and business disputes; Corporate shareholder and partnership disputes, and corporate derivative suits; Employment related matters, including discrimination, harassment, restrictive covenants and business non-competes, and trade secret and confidential business information protection; Insurance disputes; Broker-dealer and public investor stock exchange arbitrations; and Intellectual property. Mr. Cohen created and edited his former firm’s blog, “Employment Discrimination Report,” and posted over a thousand articles. The blog received the distinguished American Bar Association “Top 100 Law Blog Award for 2014.” Mr. Cohen was also a member of the 2010 Editorial Advisory Board of Employment Law360, and had one of his blog posts published as a chapter in the university text “Employers and the Law: 2013-14 Anthology of Best Articles” – a collection of articles penned by seasoned labor and employment law attorneys.

Jessica Golden Cortes
Davis and Gilbert

Jessica Golden Cortes is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. Ms. Cortes regularly counsels clients and actively litigates on their behalf in all aspects of employment law. Representative counseling services include: Conducting internal company investigations of discrimination complaints; Advising clients on: - Hiring, terminations and reductions in force - Restrictive covenants - Wage and hour issues - Federal and state family and medical leave laws Drafting employment policies, handbooks and employment and separation agreements. In addition, Ms. Cortes represents employers in federal and state courts, federal, state and local administrative agencies and in arbitrations and mediations nationwide in the areas of race, sex, age, disability, failure to hire and other discrimination, and in breach of contract disputes arising primarily from alleged breaches of continuing post-employment obligations and for cause terminations. She has successfully defended several of the firm’s clients against claims of discrimination before the EEOC and state agencies in states such as New York, Connecticut, California, Ohio and Michigan. Ms. Cortes has been recognized as a leading lawyer for labor & employment law for five consecutive years by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-2016). She has also been recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of labor and employment: workplace and employment counseling area for five consecutive years (2013-2017). In addition, she has been selected as a Rising Star by New York Metro Super Lawyers (2013-2016) and as a winner in the Esquire Industry Practice category for SmartCEO’s 2015 CPA & ESQ Awards. Before joining Davis & Gilbert, Ms. Cortes was a litigation attorney at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

Judith Dever
Deputy Corporation Counsel, Labor Division
City of Chicago Law Department

Geri Hernandez
former In-Housel Legal Counsel and Director of Human-Resources – National Strategies

Monica Lowe
Associate Chief Labor Counsel
City of Chicago Law Department, Labor Division

Buena Vista Lyons

Vista Lyons is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has focused her practice on exclusively defending management in employment litigation matters for nearly 20 years. Employers turn to Vista to defend them before federal and state courts and administrative agencies across the nation involving Title VII discrimination claims (race, color, sex, religion, and national origin); ADEA (age), ADA/ADAAA (disability) and Equal Pay Act claims; ERISA Section 510 discrimination and denial of benefits claims; FMLA discrimination/interference claims; FLSA and state wage and hour claims; SOX whistleblower/retaliation and other wrongful termination claims; tort claims and claims for breach of contract, including employment, non-disclosure and restrictive covenant agreements. The employers she represents span a broad range of industries, including the healthcare, airline, logistics, cosmetics, hospitality and financial services industries.

Sean Nash
Managing Counsel – Labor & Employment
United Airlines

Skilled employment attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in all phases of management side labor and employment law and litigation. Proficient in providing strategic advice and representation that exhibits a proactive approach with flexibility to fit a client’s business goals and objectives.

Andrew Rosenman
Mayer Brown

Andrew Rosenman is an experienced litigator whose practice particularly emphasizes labor and employment litigation and counseling on behalf of employers. In the course of his litigation and employment law practice, Andrew represents clients in a broad variety of actions, including: Trials. First-chaired a multi-day arbitration hearing under the FLSA and Illinois law which resulted in a complete victory for the defendant-employer on all counts where plaintiff alleged that a company-wide alternative workweek schedule was unlawful, that she was entitled to overtime pay for missed meal breaks, and that she was owed additional compensation for errors in the timing and calculations of her paychecks. First-chaired a jury trial in a collective action under the FLSA in which the jury returned a defense verdict on plaintiffs’ claims that they were not paid properly either for donning and doffing related to meal breaks, or for donning and doffing good manufacturing practices gear before and after their work shifts. First-chaired a jury trial resulting in a defense verdict in an age discrimination case filed by the client company’s oldest employee (age 70 at trial), in which all other employees terminated in the same reduction-in-force were over the age of 45. Obtained a defense verdict on all counts for client-employer in a jury trial involving claims of workers’ compensation retaliatory discharge and failure to re-hire. Obtained judgment in favor of a defendant corporation on all counts in a bench trial of a $150 million complex litigation matter in US Bankruptcy Court. Class and Collective Actions. Defended several state and federal wage and hour collective and class actions, as well as Railway Labor Act class actions and multi-plaintiff race, age, and national origin discrimination claims. Appellate Cases. Briefed and argued cases in state and federal appellate courts, including breach of contract claims in the Illinois Appellate Court, sexual harassment claims in the Michigan Court of Appeals; age, race, and national origin discrimination claims in the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and age and national origin discrimination, wrongful discharge, misrepresentation and breach of employment contract claims in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Individual Claims. Obtained numerous favorable summary judgment rulings and Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals in sexual harassment cases, and age, sex, race, disability, and national origin discrimination cases. Successfully prosecuted and defended claims involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements as well as other forms of restrictive covenants. Administrative Proceedings. Frequently represented employers in proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (age, sex, race, disability, and national origin discrimination, as well as sexual and racial harassment); the US Department of Labor (wages and FMLA); the Illinois Human Rights Commission (discrimination and harassment); the Illinois Department of Labor (wage claims); the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (discrimination and harassment); the Minnesota Human Rights Commission (sex discrimination); and the New York State Division on Human Rights (race discrimination). Mediations. Represented employers and corporate clients in dozens of formal, court-ordered settlement conferences and mediation programs and in informal, voluntary mediations and case evaluation procedures mandated by state courts. Commercial Litigation Experience. Represented corporate clients as plaintiffs and defendants in various complex commercial litigation matters. Andrew’s practice also encompasses substantive areas of concentration, including: Terms of Employment. Counsels clients regarding compliance issues arising under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, WARN, and state and local employment laws; advises clients with respect to decision-making processes in restructurings and reductions-in-force; assists clients in conducting investigations of harassment and employee misconduct; enforces restrictive covenants and defends related claims. Policies and Practices. Drafts employment contracts and severance agreements, disciplinary notices, employee manuals and handbooks, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and mass layoff and plant closing notices under the WARN Act. Pro bono. Represents and provides advice to top administrators of a privately funded, independent school in Chicago with respect to litigation and employment law matters. Prior to joining Mayer Brown’s Chicago Office in 1999, Andrew was associated with another prominent law firm in Detroit. Earlier (1995–1996), he served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Steven D. Pepe in US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Andrew has an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named to the list of Best Lawyers in America since 2010. Andrew has been quoted on employment law and litigation matters by the Society for Human Resource Management, the New York Times, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the Detroit News, USA Today, and IA Week.

Allan T. Slagel
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

ALLAN T. SLAGEL is an experienced civil trial attorney. Allan focuses his practice on complex civil litigation including class actions, securities and derivative litigation, employment-related matters and defense of claims against local municipal governmental entities. He has substantial experience in state and federal courts, administrative proceedings and with alternative dispute resolution methods. Allan has successfully represented clients in a variety of commercial disputes, ranging from breach of contract actions to multi-state class action securities and derivative litigation. He also has done extensive work in defending employment-related claims and local municipalities. Allan received his B.S. and J.D. (magna cum laude) from Indiana University. During law school he was a Managing Editor of the Indiana Law Journal, member of the National Moot Court Team, Order of the Coif and Order of Barristers.

Julie L. Trester
Cozen O'Connor

Julie L. Trester represents management on a wide array of labor- and employment-related issues, including affirmative action, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, contract, tort, and traditional labor claims. Julie regularly counsels employers on compliance with applicable laws and also represents them in litigation before state and federal agencies and courts. She also has extensive experience in civil appeals involving a variety of substantive issues and has argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd and 7th Circuits, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Iowa Supreme Court and various districts of the Illinois Appellate Court. Julie graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law. She is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and also served on the inaugural board of directors for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law Firms. She is on the board of directors for the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, an organization dedicated to the care and early education of infants and toddlers. Julie is also part of the Host Committee for the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 30th Anniversary Luncheon. Julie has taught as an adjunct professor for the Chicago-Kent College of Law and is a frequent writer and speaker on labor and employment law issues.

Eric Zion
Senior Counsel, Litigation and Employment
Baxter International Inc.

For over the past 15 years, Eric has advised and represented businesses and management in a full range of litigation, labor, employment, privacy, compliance and risk issues, and in a broad range of industries including industrial products, consumer products, healthcare, medical products, pharmaceutical, financial services, transportation, technology, hospitality, retail and service.