Labor and Employment Law Section
Welcome to the Washington State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, one of the larger sections of the Bar with more than 1,000 members. The section includes members practicing many different aspects of labor and employment law, including lawyers representing private- and public-sector employers, unions, management, and individual employees as well as law professors, arbitrators, and other neutrals. Section members practice throughout the state. Lawyers interested in joining the section can read additional information.
2016 Section CLE: Another Record-Breaking Success
The Labor & Employment Law Section held its annual day-long CLE on Nov. 18, 2016, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle – and by webcast. The event was incredibly successful, drawing rave reviews from attendees. This continues the section's multiyear streak of high attendance. Nearly half of the attendees participated via live webcast, demonstrating that the section's high-quality CLE is accessible to attorneys across the state. Thank you for your support.
During the day-long event, attendees enjoyed interactive and highly engaging presentations on topics ranging from the year's legal developments in state and federal law to recent developments in Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions and classifications as well as recent NLRB decisions and their impact on union and nonunion workplaces. Hon. Ronald B. Leighton and Hon. Robert S. Lasnik, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, offered judicial perspectives on the new federal rules. A new (and popular) feature of this year's program was a hour-long ethics session with experienced trial attorneys providing tips, trips, and lessons from legal malpractice claims brought in conjunction with employment law representation.
The section hosted a networking lunch during the CLE. As fellow labor and employment lawyers mingled, the lunch showcased a special tradition of our section that helps budding labor and employment lawyers get invaluable experience. Each year, our section reaches out to each of our in-state law schools to grant summer internship stipends to students with an interest in employment law. The three grants are awarded to law students for summer work at positions that might not typically be paid, such as those with government agencies or public interest work. (See detailed article below).
The section's executive committee thanks all of our phenomenal presenters, moderators, attendees, and staff at the WSBA and the Washington State Convention Center for helping make this event such a resounding success. And we look forward to another excellent CLE in November 2017. Be sure to watch the website and the list serve for specific "save the date" information in alter summer.
The Labor and Employment Section’s third East of the Mountains Mini-CLE and social event was quite a success; for the first time, the event was held in Yakima. For the convenience of many attendees, the section-hosted CLE and reception that followed was scheduled the evening before the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Washington, conference in Yakima. About 75 people registered for the event.
Once again this section event afforded attendees a great opportunity to meaningfully engage with lawyers and judges from the eastern part of the state in a relaxed and conversational environment. Speakers this year were Yakima attorneys Lori Isley, Directing Attorney for the Working Families Project of Columbia Legal Services, and Brendan Monahan, Shareholder at Stokes Lawrence Velikanje Moore & Shore and president of Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Washington. Their joint presentations addressed labor and employment issues in the agricultural sector. Following their presentation, we were honored to have Hon. Judge Stanley Bastian and Hon. Thomas Rice, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, offer their practical insights on effective advocacy in employment cases from the judicial perspective.
The section looks forward to presenting more of these type events as a benefit to its members across the state.
The votes are in! Thank you to all of the qualified candidates who ran for the four open executive committee positions. We would like to welcome Aviva Kamm, Jeanie Tolcacher, Shelly Shapiro, and Jamal Whitehead to the committee. Kamm and Tolcacher are filling the two defense counsel positions, and Whitehead occupies a plaintiff's counsel position. Shapiro returns to the committee in the neutral position.
Each year, the WSBA Labor and Employment Law Section is proud to partner with Washington’s three law schools to provide student grants funding summer work in labor and employment positions at nonprofits and public sector entities around the state. The WSBA grant is awarded annually to one student from each law school through a competitive selection process administered by each of the schools.
In years past, the WSBA L&E Section has awarded $3,000 to each student grantee. For the summer of 2017, the section is thrilled to announce it will be able to increase its share of the grant award to $5,000 per student.
Glogovac is a 2017 J.D. candidate at Gonzaga University School of Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. In her grant application, Glogovac shared that her interest in labor and employment law was fostered at a young age by listening to the stories of her great-grandparents’ involvement in union work during the 1930s and 1940s. Glogovac’s summer grant enabled her to continue working for the labor and industries division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in Spokane.
Okantey is a 2018 J.D. candidate at the University of Washington School of Law. He is a graduate of Whitman College. He began his law school career with the goal of working in the labor and employment field, spurred in part by first-hand observation of the vital role labor and employment law plays in the workplace. His grant award allowed him to spend the summer working in the labor and employment section of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.
Schell is a 2017 J.D. candidate at Seattle University School of Law, and a graduate of Lewis and Clark College. She is a former immigration paralegal with a demonstrated interest in worker’s rights. Her law school record reflects a continued commitment to both public interest work and labor and employment issues. Schell’s summer grant gave her the opportunity to obtain valuable courtroom experience as a Rule 9 intern for the labor and industries division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General in Seattle.
The section hosted a new event this year, and the free CLE program and reception SOLD OUT! On March 9, 2016, more than 100 labor and employment lawyers attended our ethics mini-CLE (1 Ethics CLE credit): Avoiding Ethics Pitfalls in Labor and Employment Arbitration presented by noted legal ethics expert, John Strait of Seattle University School of Law.
Labor and employment advocates and lawyer-arbitrators (who were attending a National Academy of Arbitrators session preceding the CLE) participated in the interactive session and afterward had the opportunity to socialize at the hosted reception, both at the WAC in Seattle.
Chair: James Shaker (defense counsel)
Treasurer: Katie Rosen (defense counsel)
Secretary: Jillian Cutler (plaintiff counsel)
Immediate Past Chair: Leslie Hagin (plaintiff counsel)
Other Members: Laura Ewan (union counsel); Erica Shelley Nelson (union counsel); Grace O’Connor (public-sector counsel); Brad Medlin (union counsel); Sarah Moorehead (public sector counsel); Aviva Kamm (defense counsel); Shelly Shapiro (neutral); Jeanie Tolcacher (defense counsel); Jamal Whitehead (plaintiff counsel)
Board of Governors Liaison: Angela Hayes (in-house counsel, associated industries)
Young Lawyer Liaison: Emily Arneson (defense counsel)
Section members: To join the section list serve and for general questions, please send your email address and Bar number to email@example.com. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the section Chair James Shaker.
Section 2016 Ethics Mini-CLE: Capacity Crowd at CLE & Reception
The Section hosted a new event this year, and the free CLE program and reception SOLD OUT! On March 9, 2016, more than 100 labor and employment lawyers attended our ethics mini-CLE (1 Ethics CLE credit):Avoiding Ethics Pitfalls in Labor and Employment Arbitration presented by noted legal ethics expert, Prof. John Strait of Seattle University School of Law.
Labor and Employment advocates and lawyer-arbitrators (who were attending a National Academy of Arbitrators session preceding the CLE) participated in the interactive session and afterward had the opportunity to socialize at the hosted reception, both at the WAC in Seattle.
Bylaws, Annual Report, and Executive Committee
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