About

The 23rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference offers two days of timely updates and emerging trends in employment law from leading members of the employment law bench and bar along with HR and personnel experts. Highlights include:

  • An exploration of the technology-fueled sharing economy on the relationship between companies, consumers and service providers with Jason Boulette of Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P.
  • Judicial insights into trends in employment litigation from sitting state and federal judges.
  • Practical tips and techniques on accommodating pregnancy, religion and disability.
  • Discussion of The Impaired Employee or Client with advice on how to identify and address suicidal tendencies and mental health crises in the course of your practice.
  • Ethics and professionalism update for employment lawyers.
  • Focused presentation series on litigation and workforce strategies.
  • The latest on federal and state employment case law and legislative developments, including disability issues under the ADA, guidance under the NLRA and more.

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Tuesday Morning
    Presiding Officer:
    Laura M. Merritt, Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Austin Only
    Registration Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    State Employment Law Update: Texas and Beyond

    Clara "C. B." Burns, Kemp Smith LLP - El Paso, TX

    A review of employment-related developments under Texas state law with a discussion of significant new Texas cases and important trends in other states.
  • 9:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Federal Law Developments

    Linda Ottinger Headley, Littler Mendelson P.C. - Houston, TX

    An analysis of recent Supreme Court decisions and significant federal cases, legislative developments and regulatory changes.
  • 10:00 am
    0.50 hr
    Wage and Hour Update

    Robert E. Sheeder, Bracewell - Dallas, TX

    In recent years, wage and hour lawsuits have proliferated. This presentation examines the intricacies of the FLSA and continuing trends, including pending Supreme Court cases involving wage and hour issues.
  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.75 hr
    The Future of Employment

    Jason Boulette, Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. - Austin, TX

    Explore the effects of the sharing economy on the traditional employment model as companies use technology to connect providers and end-users in novel ways and employees increasingly view themselves as individual entrepreneurs with their own business aspirations. Specific topics include the scope of the limitations of the employee vs. contractor classification system, the use of arbitration agreements as a response to judicial second-guessing, the scope of an employee’s fiduciary duty, the ownership of employee inventions, and some of the potential consequences associated with replacing the traditional employment model with individually-defined, market-driven, peer-to-peer business relationships.
  • 11:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Recent Developments Under the National Labor Relations Act

    Jay K. Rutherford, Jackson Walker LLP - Fort Worth, TX
    Rod Tanner, Tanner and Associates, PC - Fort Worth, TX

    In the past year, a revitalized National Labor Relations Board has addressed a number of significant issues affecting union and nonunion workplaces. Hear recent developments from regulation of employer arbitration and e-mail policies to expansion of the joint employer doctrine.
  • 12:15 pm
    Austin Only
    Pick Up Lunch (in Austin)

    Included in registration.
  • Tuesday Afternoon
    Presiding Officer:
    Kenneth D. Hughes, Hughes Roch LLP - Houston, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Judicial Insights

    Moderator:
    John V. Jansonius, Jackson Walker LLP - Dallas, TX
    Panelists:
    Hon. Alfred H. Bennett, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas - Houston, TX
    Hon. Robert L. Pitman, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas - San Antonio and Austin, TX
    Hon. Melody M. Wilkinson, 17th District Court - Fort Worth, TX

    Hear federal and state judges discuss trends in employment law and get practical tips for working effectively with the judiciary.
  • 1:20 pm
    Break

  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Public Sector Update

    Ricardo J. Navarro, Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, Hyde & Zech, P.C. - Harlingen, TX

    Developments in substantive and procedural due process protections, as well as underlying principles governing public sector employment law.
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Federal Contracting Update

    Shafeeqa W. Giarratani, Norton Rose Fulbright - Austin, TX

    Who is now considered a federal contractor (you may be surprised!), updates on obligations and recent Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations and executive orders.
  • 2:50 pm
    Break

  • Track description: Track A: Litigation Strategies Presiding Officer:
    Robert E. Sheeder, Bracewell - Dallas, TX
  • 3:00 pm
    Austin Only
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Trade Secret and Non-Compete Update

    Elizabeth Siberry Chestney, Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP - Austin, TX
    Hon. Grant Dorfman, 334th District Court - Houston, TX
    Kenneth D. Hughes, Hughes Roch LLP - Houston, TX

    A discussion of recent cases involving trade secrets and non-competes, including an emphasis on practical courtroom advice.
  • 3:45 pm
    Austin Only
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Arbitration Strategies

    Vanessa M. Griffith, Vinson & Elkins LLP - Dallas, TX
    Christopher H. Hahn, Dell - Round Rock, TX

    A lawsuit was filed, but there is an arbitration agreement. Now what? From compelling arbitration to trying a case before an arbitrator, survey decision points from the beginning of a dispute to enforcing or appealing an arbitral award and ethical issues unique to the arbitration world.
  • 4:15 pm
    Austin Only
    0.50 hr
    Hot Topics and Trends in FLSA Collective Actions

    J. Derek Braziel, Lee & Braziel, LLP - Dallas, TX
    Kevin J. White, Hunton & Williams LLP - Houston, TX

    Attorneys from both sides of the bar will keep you up to date about the latest trends in conditional certification and the hottest topics facing lawyers litigating in this fast-growing area.
  • 4:45 pm
    Austin Only
    0.50 hr
    Using Experts in Employment Cases

    Lauren E. Mutti, Jackson Walker LLP - Dallas, TX

    Beyond damages, what insight or support can experts offer in employment cases?
  • 5:15 pm
    Austin Only
    Adjourn

  • Track description: Track B: Workforce Strategies Presiding Officer:
    Steven L. Mierl, Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP - Austin, TX
  • 3:00 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Anticipating, Receiving and Resolving Workplace Conflicts

    Vianei Lopez Braun, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP - Fort Worth, TX
    David T. Lopez, Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator - Houston, TX

    Lawyers for employers and employees present a candid discussion of best practices for addressing problems and working effectively to a mutually acceptable resolution.
  • 3:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Navigating Employee Data Privacy in the Digital Age

    Jason M. Storck, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. - Austin, TX

    An overview of current hot topics in the area of employee data privacy, including issues regarding the authorized and unauthorized access of employees’ personal information from current and former employers.
  • 4:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    What’s New with the Affordable Care Act?

    Timothy G. Verrall, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Houston, TX

    As employers continue to adapt to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, many new practical challenges have arisen with health plan design, tax reporting, staffing and scheduling practices among others, and more are sure to follow in 2016 and beyond. Explore an up-to-the-minute survey of these and other ACA compliance concerns and obtain practical tips and insights for ensuring that you are prepared for the challenges to come.
  • 4:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    Employee Handbooks

    Steven L. Mierl, Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP - Austin, TX

    Practical tips to update existing policies and adopt new ones in light of recent NLRB, EEOC and court activity.
  • 5:15 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Wednesday Morning
    Presiding Officer:
    John V. Jansonius, Jackson Walker LLP - Dallas, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Austin Only
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Leaves of Absence Update

    Katrina Grider, Attorney at Law - Cypress, TX

    Discover tips, tricks and strategies to deal with issues like intermittent leave, leave abuse, ADA accommodation, certification and return to work documentation, psychiatric health conditions and more.
  • 9:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Developments in Disability Discrimination Law: 2015 to 2016

    James H. Kizziar Jr., Bracewell - San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC

    A review of significant developments under the Americans with Disabilities Act and insights into emerging disability issues.
  • 10:00 am
    Break

  • 10:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Practical Accommodations 

    Shannon B. Schmoyer, Schmoyer Reinhard LLP - San Antonio, TX

    Practical tips and techniques on accommodating pregnancy, religion, gender identity, and disability, and lessons from recent Supreme Court and EEOC guidance on maintaining a productive and orderly work environment while steering clear of violating employee rights.
  • 11:00 am
    0.75 hr ethics
    The Impaired Employee or Client

    Searcy L. Simpson Jr., Law Offices of Skip Simpson - Frisco, TX

    How to identify and address suicidal risks and mental health crises in employee and clients.
  • 11:45 am
    Austin Only
    Pick Up Lunch (in Austin)

    Included in registration.
  • Wednesday Afternoon
    Presiding Officer:
    James H. Kizziar Jr., Bracewell - San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:05 pm
    0.75 hr
    Lawyers, Guns, and Money

    Michael J. Golden, Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. - Austin, TX

    The Texas Legislature has been on a steady march to broaden the places and manner in which firearms may be possessed. Learn how it affects employers and employees, and see the role lawyers have to play, as well.
  • 12:50 pm
    Break

  • 1:05 pm
    0.50 hr
    Modern Hiring

    Victoria Martin Phipps, Littler Mendelson P.C. - Houston, TX

    An exploration of common mistakes employers should avoid in the hiring process, including the use of outdated applications, performing background checks which are unlawful under the FCRA and Title VII, relying on overly aggressive social media policies and using words which create red flags in job postings.
  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Pretext

    Amy Gibson, Gibson Wiley PLLC - Dallas, TX

    Pretext from the perspective of an experienced worker-side attorney—learn what employers are doing today that may get them in trouble tomorrow. 
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Guardians of the IP Law Galaxy: What Employment Lawyers Need to Know

    Howard L. Steele Jr., Steele Law Group, PLLC - Houston, TX
    Daisy Olivera, Buzz Points - Austin, TX

    Employment lawyers are often closest to the daily employment law issues that actually impact a client’s intellectual property. Get practical tools to protect your clients in this quickly transforming information age.
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Ethics for Employment Lawyers

    Dennis P. Duffy, Baker & Hostetler LLP - Houston, TX

    Annual update on cutting-edge ethics issues in employment litigation and counseling including, attorney-client privilege and waiver issues, ethical issues in internal investigations, ex parte communication issues, employee use of social media and employer computer equipment, in-house ethical issues, and ethics and disclosure issues in settlement and negotiations.
  • 3:35 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Hon. Alfred H. Bennett

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
Houston, TX

Jason Boulette

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P.
Austin, TX

Vianei Lopez Braun

Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP
Fort Worth, TX

J. Derek Braziel

Lee & Braziel, LLP
Dallas, TX

Clara "C. B." Burns

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

Elizabeth Siberry Chestney

Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP
Austin, TX

Hon. Grant Dorfman

334th District Court
Houston, TX

Dennis P. Duffy

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Houston, TX

Shafeeqa W. Giarratani

Norton Rose Fulbright
Austin, TX

Amy Gibson

Gibson Wiley PLLC
Dallas, TX

Michael J. Golden

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P.
Austin, TX

Katrina Grider

Attorney at Law
Cypress, TX

Vanessa M. Griffith

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Dallas, TX

Christopher H. Hahn

Dell
Round Rock, TX

Linda Ottinger Headley

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Kenneth D. Hughes

Hughes Roch LLP
Houston, TX

John V. Jansonius

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

James H. Kizziar Jr.

Bracewell
San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC

David T. Lopez

Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator
Houston, TX

Steven L. Mierl

Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP
Austin, TX

Lauren E. Mutti

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

Ricardo J. Navarro

Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, Hyde & Zech, P.C.
Harlingen, TX

Daisy Olivera

Buzz Points
Austin, TX

Victoria Martin Phipps

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Hon. Robert L. Pitman

U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
San Antonio and Austin, TX

Jay K. Rutherford

Jackson Walker LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Shannon B. Schmoyer

Schmoyer Reinhard LLP
San Antonio, TX

Robert E. Sheeder

Bracewell
Dallas, TX

Searcy L. Simpson Jr.

Law Offices of Skip Simpson
Frisco, TX

Howard L. Steele Jr.

Steele Law Group, PLLC
Houston, TX

Jason M. Storck

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.
Austin, TX

Rod Tanner

Tanner and Associates, PC
Fort Worth, TX

Timothy G. Verrall

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Houston, TX

Kevin J. White

Hunton & Williams LLP
Houston, TX

Hon. Melody M. Wilkinson

17th District Court
Fort Worth, TX

Planning Committee

Laura M. Merritt—Chair

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P.
Austin, TX

Jason Boulette

Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P.
Austin, TX

Richard R. Brann

Baker Botts
Houston, TX

Vianei Lopez Braun

Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP
Fort Worth, TX

Clara "C. B." Burns

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

B. Lee Crawford Jr.

City of Austin Law Department
Austin, TX

Dennis P. Duffy

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Houston, TX

Michael W. Fox

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Austin, TX

Malinda A. Gaul

Law Offices of Gaul and Dumont
San Antonio, TX

Amy Gibson

Gibson Wiley PLLC
Dallas, TX

Brian S. Greig

Norton Rose Fulbright
Austin, TX

Christopher H. Hahn

Dell
Round Rock, TX

Linda Ottinger Headley

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Charles C. High Jr.

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

Kenneth D. Hughes

Hughes Roch LLP
Houston, TX

John V. Jansonius

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

James H. Kizziar Jr.

Bracewell
San Antonio, TX and Washington, DC

David T. Lopez

Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator
Houston, TX

Victoria Martin Phipps

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Deborah Salzberg

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Shannon B. Schmoyer

Schmoyer Reinhard LLP
San Antonio, TX

Robert E. Sheeder

Bracewell
Dallas, TX

Howard L. Steele Jr.

Steele Law Group, PLLC
Houston, TX

Rod Tanner

Tanner and Associates, PC
Fort Worth, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
A Texas MCLE Reporting Form will be included in your course materials. Please complete and return to the registration desk and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas, or you can self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the conference to keep for your records.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state before taking the program to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
Other Credit
This activity has been approved for recertification credit hours toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR and SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. A HRCI Certificate with the activity ID number will be included as part of the course materials provided at the conference. This type of accreditation (HRCI) is only available for live conferences, and does not apply to live webcasts.

For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org
The University of Texas School of Law is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Austin – May 3-4, 2016 – AT&T Conference Center
Conference Concluded
Live Webcast – May 3-4, 2016
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Apr 27, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 22, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Apr 22, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Apr 27, 2016
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Apr 29, 2016

$50 processing fee applied

Live Webcast
Last day for Individual early registration: May 3, 2016

Add $0 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Apr 27, 2016
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Apr 29, 2016

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

The University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX
877.744.8822 (reservations)
Map

Accommodations

$185 room rate good through April 18, 2016 (subject to availability).
Reserve your room online

Parking Information

Free daily self-parking at UT garages. Separate fees apply for valet and overnight parking.

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