Overview

UT Law CLE's 28th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference is the premier program on employment law practice in Texas. By virtually bringing together leading members of the bar, personnel experts, and in-house counsel, the conference offers the timely updates, emerging trends, and the variety of perspectives practitioners need.
 
2021 highlights include:
 

  • Updates on the latest federal and state employment case law and legislative developments, including disability issues under the ADA, changes under the NRLB, wage and hour enforcement, the public sector, #MeToo, and more.
  • Workplace issues and developments facing employees and employers on workforce reductions, diversity and inclusion initiatives, pay equity, whistleblower cases, and a reshaped workforce due to the pandemic.
  • Taking Stock of the New Supreme Court with Professor Stephen Vladeck of The University of Texas School of Law.
  • A two-part presentation series focused on Virtual Advocacy. Learn the best methods for virtually conducting depositions and investigations, and gain tips for virtually participating in hearings, trials, and arbitrations.
  • 2.75 hours of ethics, including the always essential presentation on Ethics for Employment Lawyers.
 
Following the webcast, attendees will receive a free, on-demand eSupplement that will bring their total available hours to 15.00, including 3.00 hours of ethics.

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.
All times are Central Time Zone.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, May 6, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    B. Lee Crawford Jr., City of Austin Law Department - Austin, TX
  • 8:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    State Employment Law Update: Texas and Beyond
    Examine employment-related developments under Texas state law, including a discussion of significant new Texas cases. Also explore important trends developing in other states, and what they might mean for Texas.

    Christopher Benoit, The Law Office of Lynn Coyle, PLLC and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. - El Paso, TX
    Clara "C. B." Burns, Kemp Smith LLP - El Paso, TX

  • 9:15 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 9:25 am
    0.75 hr
    Federal Employment Law Update
    Analyze recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, federal legislative developments, and administrative action.

    Danielle K. Herring, Littler Mendelson P.C. - Houston, TX

  • 10:10 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 10:20 am
    0.75 hr
    NRLB Update
    A detailed discussion of the dramatic changes that affect unionized and non-unionized workers and employers that have occurred in the last 12 months under the National Labor Relations Act.

    Robert E. Sheeder, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP - Dallas, TX
    Rod Tanner, Tanner and Associates, PC - Fort Worth, TX

  • 11:05 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 11:15 am
    0.50 hr
    Wage and Hour Update
    Review developments in wage and hour enforcement and law over the past year.

    David Schlottman, Jackson Walker LLP - Dallas, TX

  • 11:45 am
    Break for Lunch (30-minutes)
    Presentations resume at 12:15 p.m. 

  • Thursday Afternoon, May 6, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Shannon B. Schmoyer, Schmoyer Reinhard LLP - San Antonio, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    Taking Stock of the New Supreme Court
    The Supreme Court will soon wind down its first term with Justice Amy Coney Barrett—and a solid 6-3 conservative majority for the first time in generations. What are some of the key takeaways from the new Court, both procedurally and substantively? How big a difference has Justice Barrett’s replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg actually made? And what does all of this portend for the Court’s near- and longer-term future in general, and for labor and employment law, specifically? Obviously, there’s lots to discuss.

    Stephen Vladeck, The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX

  • 12:45 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 12:55 pm
    0.75 hr
    Do Your Pay Equity Practices Support Your Policies of Diversity and Inclusion? 
    Many employers have announced great policies supporting diversity and inclusion for women and other protected classes, but have not checked to see if a pay equity analysis would show adherence to those policies. In the last few years, employers have faced increased litigation and loss of productivity due to claims that organizations still pay women and people of color less than white men for the same work—and these earnings gaps compound over time. Review how to address those issues in order to minimize risk and possibly improve morale and productivity.

    Victoria Martin Phipps, Texas A&M University - College Station, TX

  • 1:40 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 1:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Whistleblowers
    A plaintiff-side and defense-side lawyer discuss protections and pitfalls for individuals and employers under state and federal whistleblower statutes.

    Drew L. Harris, Office of the Attorney General - Austin, TX
    Austin Kaplan, Kaplan Law Firm - Austin, TX

  • 2:35 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 2:45 pm
    0.75 hr
    Recent Developments and Best Practices in Diversity and Inclusion
    Review best practices in diversity and inclusion, with a specific focus on the evolving impact of the pandemic (health and racial).

    Shafeeqa W. Giarratani, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. - Austin, TX
    Mickey L. Washington, Washington & Associates, PLLC - Houston, TX

  • 3:30 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 3:40 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Workforce Has Been Reshaped, Forever?
    Now that many employers and employees have experienced remote work for at least a year, the genie is out of the bottle. From hiring and onboarding new employees to managing their performance remotely, employers have to change their playbooks. Timekeeping and overtime risks remain issues, but consider state tax issues and additional cyber risks that go with a remote working environment.

    Jennifer M. Trulock, Baker Botts - Dallas, TX

  • 4:25 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 4:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Employment Beyond Borders: Expat and Inpat Issues for Employers and Employees
    Continually expanding trade and commerce increases the assignment of employees abroad and into the United States, presenting the need for significant attention to temporary and long-term assignments, compensation, taxation, and applicable foreign and domestic laws. A brief survey of the issues is intended to avoid problems and facilitate the resolution of disputes.

    David T. Lopez, Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator - Houston, TX

  • 5:20 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, May 7, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Tom Nesbitt, DeShazo & Nesbitt LLP - Austin, TX
  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Public Sector Update
    Hear the latest on representing government employees, including developments in the First Amendment, due process, privacy, political patronage, and state law protections in the public workplace.

    B. Craig Deats, Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C. - Austin, TX
    Natalie G. DeLuca, Harris County Attorney's Office - Houston, TX

  • 9:15 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 9:25 am
    0.75 hr
    Developments in Disability Discrimination Law
    A comprehensive review of significant regulatory and court developments under the Americans with Disabilities Act and insights into emerging disability issues.

    Amber K. Dodds, Bracewell LLP - San Antonio, TX
    James H. Kizziar Jr., Bracewell LLP - San Antonio, TX

  • 10:10 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 10:20 am
    0.75 hr
    Regulatory and Administrative Changes
    Dive in to the latest regulatory developments at the EEOC and discuss the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement priorities under Chair Charlotte A. Burrows.

    Katrina Grider, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Houston, TX

  • 11:05 am
    10-Minute Break

  • 11:15 am
    0.50 hr
    WARN Act and Workplace Restructuring
    Explore developments, issues, and strategy in workforce reductions and restructuring, including the WARN Act, state law notice requirements, and legal challenges to compliance and decisions made in planning and implementing furloughs, layoffs, and reductions-in-force.

    Tasha Grinnell, The Neiman Marcus Group - Dallas, TX

  • 11:45 am
    Break for Lunch (30-minutes)
    Presentations resume at 12:15 p.m. 

  • Friday Afternoon, May 7, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Laura M. Merritt, Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:15 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Covenants and Related Post-Employment Disputes
    What claims can parties assert after a ruling on injunctive relief in a non-compete or TUTSA case? What legal and equitable relief is available, and what defenses are available to other parties?

    Kenneth D. Hughes, Hughes PLLC - Houston, TX
    Carlos Soltero, Soltero Sapire Murrell PLLC - Austin, TX

  • 1:00 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 1:10 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Top Drivers of Large Employee-Plaintiff Verdicts
    What happens at the workplace, before litigation, that drives large employee-plaintiff verdicts? What happens during the lawsuit that drives large employee-plaintiff verdicts? Understanding these drivers can help those on the worker-side develop a case toward a large verdict and help those on the management-side take action to avoid or limit a large verdict.

    Amy Gibson, Gibson Wiley PLLC - Dallas, TX

  • 1:55 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 2:05 pm
    0.50 hr
    #MeToo, Part 2
    #MeToo is still alive and impacting how organizations hire, fire, and much of what happens in between the two. Legislatures, agencies, and litigants are behind a substantial list of do’s and don’ts that savvy employers should compare against their operating procedures and adjust accordingly. 

    Audrey E. Mross, Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP - Dallas, TX

  • 2:35 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 2:45 pm
    1.00 hr ethics
    Ethics for Employment Attorneys: Am I Your Lawyer?
    Explore the point at which an attorney-client relationship forms, with particular reference to employment attorneys on both the plaintiff and defense side. Discussion includes casual conversation, client intake, the effect and importance of disclaimers, and the risk of individual representation of corporate agents.

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

  • 3:45 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 3:55 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Virtual Advocacy Part I: How to be Persuasive Virtually
    Part I focuses on the best method for virtually conducting depositions, mediations, hearings, trials, and arbitrations to be effective and persuasive. The panel also discusses what the future holds for virtual advocacy.

    Moderator:
    Malinda A. Gaul, Gaul and Dumont - San Antonio, TX
    Panelists:
    Elizabeth Larrick, Larrick Law Firm - Austin, TX
    Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas - San Antonio, TX
    Robert R. Swafford, Strike for Cause Jury Consultants - Austin, TX

  • 4:40 pm
    10-Minute Break

  • 4:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Virtual Advocacy Part II: How to Handle Virtual Logistics
    Part II focuses on the logistics of conducting investigations and trainings and participating in hearings, trials, and arbitrations. Hear what this panel has to say regarding what the future holds for virtual advocacy.

    Moderator:
    Malinda A. Gaul, Gaul and Dumont - San Antonio, TX
    Panelists:
    Joseph Y. Ahmad, Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. - Houston, TX
    Hon. Elizabeth S. Chestney, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas - San Antonio, TX
    Cecilia H. Morgan, JAMS - Dallas, TX

  • 5:35 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Joseph Y. Ahmad

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C.
Houston, TX

Christopher Benoit

The Law Office of Lynn Coyle, PLLC and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.
El Paso, TX

Jason Boulette

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

Clara "C. B." Burns

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

Hon. Elizabeth S. Chestney

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

B. Craig Deats

Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C.
Austin, TX

Natalie G. DeLuca

Harris County Attorney's Office
Houston, TX

Amber K. Dodds

Bracewell LLP
San Antonio, TX

Malinda A. Gaul

Gaul and Dumont
San Antonio, TX

Shafeeqa W. Giarratani

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

Amy Gibson

Gibson Wiley PLLC
Dallas, TX

Katrina Grider

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Houston, TX

Tasha Grinnell

The Neiman Marcus Group
Dallas, TX

Drew L. Harris

Office of the Attorney General
Austin, TX

Danielle K. Herring

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Kenneth D. Hughes

Hughes PLLC
Houston, TX

Austin Kaplan

Kaplan Law Firm
Austin, TX

James H. Kizziar Jr.

Bracewell LLP
San Antonio, TX

Elizabeth Larrick

Larrick Law Firm
Austin, TX

David T. Lopez

Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator
Houston, TX

Cecilia H. Morgan

JAMS
Dallas, TX

Audrey E. Mross

Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP
Dallas, TX

Victoria Martin Phipps

Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Hon. Xavier Rodriguez

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

David Schlottman

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

Robert E. Sheeder

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Dallas, TX

Carlos Soltero

Soltero Sapire Murrell PLLC
Austin, TX

Robert R. Swafford

Strike for Cause Jury Consultants
Austin, TX

Rod Tanner

Tanner and Associates, PC
Fort Worth, TX

Jennifer M. Trulock

Baker Botts
Dallas, TX

Stephen Vladeck

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Mickey L. Washington

Washington & Associates, PLLC
Houston, TX

Planning Committee

B. Lee Crawford Jr.—Chair

City of Austin Law Department
Austin, TX

Sean M. Becker

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Houston, TX

Jason Boulette

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

Clara "C. B." Burns

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

Natalie G. DeLuca

Harris County Attorney's Office
Houston, TX

Michael W. Fox

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

Malinda A. Gaul

Gaul and Dumont
San Antonio, TX

Shafeeqa W. Giarratani

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

Amy Gibson

Gibson Wiley PLLC
Dallas, TX

Christopher H. Hahn

Dell
Round Rock, TX

Danielle K. Herring

Littler Mendelson P.C.
Houston, TX

Charles C. High Jr.

Kemp Smith LLP
El Paso, TX

Kenneth D. Hughes

Hughes PLLC
Houston, TX

John V. Jansonius

Jackson Walker LLP
Dallas, TX

Austin Kaplan

Kaplan Law Firm
Austin, TX

James H. Kizziar Jr.

Bracewell LLP
San Antonio, TX

David T. Lopez

Attorney-Arbitrator-Mediator
Houston, TX

Laura M. Merritt

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

Audrey E. Mross

Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP
Dallas, TX

Tom Nesbitt

DeShazo & Nesbitt LLP
Austin, TX

Victoria Martin Phipps

Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Shannon B. Schmoyer

Schmoyer Reinhard LLP
San Antonio, TX

Robert E. Sheeder

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Dallas, TX

Rod Tanner

Tanner and Associates, PC
Fort Worth, TX

Jennifer M. Trulock

Baker Botts
Dallas, TX

Credit Info

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.
UT Law CLE is an approved provider of Pennsylvania credit, sponsor #236. Attorney attendance will be reported to Pennsylvania within 2 weeks of the webcast conclusion. Attorneys are not able to report this credit on their own, and UT Law CLE pays all associated fees for the credit hours. Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
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 to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.

To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. 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 .

MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
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

Live Webcast – May 6-7, 2021
Register now
Live Webcast
Last day for Individual early registration: Mar 1, 2021

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Government Attorney early registration: Mar 1, 2021

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Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Mar 1, 2021

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Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Mar 1, 2021

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Last day for cancellation (full refund): Apr 30, 2021

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: May 3, 2021

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