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  • March 12, 2024

    ABA’s Labor and Employment Conference Offers Timely Topics and Discussions

    The American Bar Association’s Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference never disappoints, writes Andrew Gollin. Learn more about the conference.

    Andrew S. Gollin

    The American Bar Association’s Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference never disappoints.

    The conference I attended was held at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 9-12, 2022.

    It offers curriculum covering all aspects of labor and employment practice, including timely topics such as remote work, biometrics, contingent worker discrimination, employment considerations created by Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, and whether college athletes are entitled to organize. There was a particularly fascinating session entitled “U.S. Women’s Soccer: Advancing Equity and Equality through the Collective Bargaining Process.”

    There also was an interesting and useful section entitled “Effective Strategies for Remote Proceedings in Labor Employment Litigation” that provided tips for practitioners in preparing exhibits and witnesses for remote hearings. Although there were benefits discussed about remote testimony, most notably health and safety for all participants and the cost and convenience for the witnesses, the panel and attendees offered interesting perspectives about how remote hearings resulted in less effective direct and cross-examination, as well as problems using and reviewing exhibits.

    Andrew S. Gollin, Marquette 1998, is an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board, hearing cases involving alleged unfair labor practice arising under the National Labor Relations Act. The opinions expressed are his and not those of the agency.

    There was a demonstration about software programs that allow for easier and more effective exchange of exhibits, but they are expensive and not amenable to proceedings with limited or no pre-trial discovery. There also were tips shared for spotting and safeguarding against possible witness coaching, which I plan to use in future remote hearings.

    In addition to its well-rounded programming, the conference allows attendees the opportunity to confer with top practitioners representing employees, employers, unions, and government agencies, as well as neutrals, in-house counsel, and academics in formal and informal settings. One of those informal settings was the conference reception and gala at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is a beautiful Smithsonian Institution Museum located on the National Mall that opened in 2016. There was wonderful food and live music on multiple floors.

    An Excellent Value

    The conference is an excellent value in that it offers attendees a full year of CLE credits (20.7) (including ethics) for about $1,225. Solo practitioners, neutrals, government and non-profit lawyers, and academics can attend for $695, or $495 if they are ABA and section members.

    The only downside to the conference that I found was there were multiple programs I wanted to attend occurring at the same time, and they are not recorded, so you are forced to choose. But the presenters’ written materials are available online for attendees, and they provide a wealth of information and links to other resources.

    This article was originally published on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Government Lawyers Blog. Visit the State Bar divisions webpage or the Government Lawyers Division webpage to learn more about the benefits of division membership.

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    Government Lawyers Division Blog is published by the State Bar of Wisconsin; blog posts are written by division members. To contribute to this blog, contact Katie Castle-Wisman and review Author Submission Guidelines. Learn more about the Government Lawyers Division or become a member.

    Disclaimer: Views presented in blog posts are those of the blog post authors, not necessarily those of the Section or the State Bar of Wisconsin. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the State Bar of Wisconsin makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content.

    © 2024 State Bar of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.

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