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2017 Employment Law CLE
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Approved for 6 hours of CLE credit including 1 hour of ethics & professionalism in Kansas & Missouri

When: Friday, October 20, 2017
Registration & Continental Breakfast begins at 8:30. CLE begins at 9:00 am and adjourns at 3:30 pm
Where: Kansas Law Center
1200 SW Harrison St.
Topeka 66612
United States
Presenter: The Kansas Bar Association
Contact: Nancy Burghart

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 Approved for 6 hours of CLE credit including 1 hour of ethics & professionalism in Kansas & Missouri


Program Agenda:

8:30 AM • Check-in & Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM • Evolution of Title VII Protections:  An overview of the EEOC's New Enforcement Priorities, with a Focus on the Developing Law Regarding Protections for LGBT Employees
Sara McCallum, Littler Mendelson PC, KCMO 
2017 marked the beginning of a new four-year Strategic Enforcement Plan from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The agency’s priorities during the next four years include eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, enforcing equal pay protections, and emerging and developing issues such as pregnancy accommodations and evolving protections for LGBT employees. This session will provide an overview of the new enforcement priorities and related guidance.  It will also provide a more detailed update on the current state of the law regarding protections for LGBT employees, including the Seventh Circuit’s recent opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College. 

9:50 AM • Can They Do That? Case Developments in Employment Cases Filed Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 
Jessica Skladzien, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Wichita 
This presentation will evaluate recent case developments in employment cases filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, including cases involving a wide-range of alleged constitutional violations, including claims of excessive force by law enforcement officers terminations allegedly aimed at stifling free speech, and the denial of due process. 

10:40 AM • Break

10:55 AM • Winning at Mediation in Employment Cases
Diane H. Sorensen, Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy, Chtd., Wichita 
This presentation will focus on how, as an advocate, you can win at mediation, regardless as to whether the case settles that day.  We will discuss the best ways to prepare clients for mediation; the attorney’s role during mediation; ethical concerns that may arise; the timing of mediation; choosing the right type of mediator; and creative ways to settle a case.

11:45 AM  •  Lunch (Provided)

12:45 PM • Are You the Boss of Me?  Current Trends in Independent Contractor & Joint Employment Issues. 
Brent Coverdale, Scharnhorst Ast Kennard Griffin PC, KCMOThis session will focus on the current state of the law and trends regarding independent contractor and joint employment issues. In particular, the boundaries of the so-called “gig” economy often put companies in the crosshairs of plaintiffs and government agencies regarding who is actually an employee rather than an independent contractor, and what companies can be considered an individual’s employer.

1:35 PM •  Business Immigration Issues Update for Employment Lawyers
Leyla McMullen, Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, Overland Park
Leyla will provide an update on U.S. employer corporate immigration compliance and international personnel global mobility issues.

2:25 PM • Break

2:40 PM • Ethical Pitfalls in Employment Litigation You Ought To Be Thinking About
Kathy Perkins,Kathy Perkins LLC, Lawrence
Whether representing employees or employers, there are some unique challenges that arise in employment litigation.  This program will focus on communicating effectively with the client, better understanding the client’s interests, identifying client goals, helping the client become a better decision-maker, and identifying conflicts of interest including in multi-party or class cases. Rules discussed will include Competence (Rule 1.1); Scope of Representation (Rule 1.2); Client Representation-Diligence (Rule 1.3); Communication (Rule 1.4); Conflict of Interest-  Current Clients (Rule 1.7); Client Lawyer Relationship-Organization as Client (Rule 1.13); Advisor (Rule 2.1); and Meritorious Claims & Contentions (Rule 3.1). 

3:30 PM •Adjourned

Registration Information:

KBA Employment Law Section Registration          $210
KBA Member Registration          $240
Non-Member Registration          $300
Paralegal Registration                $180
HR Professional Registration     $170 
Paper Materials:  (Optional)       $30


Presenters Information:

Sara K. McCallum, Littler Mendelson PC, KCMO
ara K. McCallum’s practice is focused on defending discrimination and wrongful discharge claims. She has worked with clients across multiple industries including healthcare, retail, and education. She is also committed to pro bono work, including advising local nonprofit organizations on their employment practices. During law school, she served as articles editor on the Kansas Law Review and interned for the Hon. John W. Lungstrum of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.





Jessica Skladzien, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Wichita

Jessica Skladzien is a partner in the Wichita office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Employment & Labor Practice. She has considerable experience defending employment claims in state and federal courts, for both private and governmental employers. Her practice involves nearly every aspect of employment law: interacting with government administrative agencies on behalf of employers, counseling employers regarding employment policies and practices, advising federal contractors regarding their affirmative action obligations, and representing employers in civil litigation. In addition to employment litigation, Ms. Skladzien has considerable educational law experience, especially as related to the constitutionality of the funding of K-12 public education in Kansas. Ms. Skladzien currently represents a group of Plaintiffs who have successfully sued the State of Kansas alleging that the level of school funding in Kansas is unconstitutional. That litigation is ongoing. She is also involved in a counterpart to that lawsuit, which is currently pending in federal court. Aside from issues related to funding, Ms. Skladzien also has experience helping school districts and their employees navigate various state and federal laws. Most recently, Ms. Skladzien helped secure summary judgment in favor of a school teacher, after a student who allegedly experienced bullying at school attempted to hold the teacher responsible for that bullying. 


Diane H. Sorensen, Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy, Chtd., Wichita
Diane H. Sorensen is a shareholder at Morris, Laing in Wichita, Kansas, where she has been practicing employment law for well over 25 years.  She is also a frequent mediator of employment litigation, and is a panel member of the the American Arbitration Association.  Diane authored the Title VII chapter for for the 3d Edition of the KBA’s Employment Law Handbook.





Brent Coverdale, Scharnhorst Ast Kennard Griffin PC, KCMO
As the Firm’s employment litigation and counseling practice group chair, Brent has vast experience assisting clients with litigation and counseling matters throughout the country. In addition to general commercial litigation, Brent's practice focuses on employment law, including administrative agency proceedings, civil litigation, and trials. His years of experience defending claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour class and collective actions, and agency investigations cause employers to seek his assistance representing them in state and federal courts throughout the country. He has obtained successful results for clients at all levels of litigation, from motions to dismiss through trial and appeal.



Leyla McMullen, Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, Overland Park
Leyla practices corporate immigration law with the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm. Her corporate immigration compliance areas of expertise are internal I-9 audits and immigration compliance training for corporate counsel and HR professionals. Leyla’s global mobility practice covers L-1, H-1B, E-3 and TN visas for international personnel sought by U.S. employers for their executives, management, and specialty occupation employees, and E-2 visas for entrepreneurs and key personnel. Leyla’s pro bono work includes providing counsel and legal assistance to immigrant survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes in obtaining legal immigration status through the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm’s Pro Bono Program.




Kathy Perkins, Kathy Perkins LLC, Workplace Law and Mediation, Lawrence
Kathy founded her firm in Lawrence, Kansas in 2008 after 25 years of litigating employment and commercial disputes, most recently with Constangy, Brooks & Smith in Kansas City.  Kathy is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has a Civil Engineering degree from Kansas State University.  Her focus is on resolving workplace conflict and she provides proactive employer counseling and training, mediates, and conducts independent workplace investigations. Kathy has served on the Boards of the Heartland Mediators Association, Jayhawk Chapter of the Society for Human Resources, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and is President of the Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club.


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