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|2014 National Institute Faculty|
Julie B. Yanow, Institute Chair
Julie B. Yanow, Institute Chair, is a workplace investigator and trainer, and expert witness. Ms. Yanow has conducted many hundreds of workplace investigations and trained thousands of employees and executives at all levels. Before launching EquiLaw in 2003, Ms. Yanow was employed by Warner Bros., where she was chosen to co-found the Company's Employment Law Department and served as Vice President and Senior Employment Counsel. Before joining Warner Bros., Ms. Yanow served as in-house counsel at NBC and in private practice at the law firm of Pepper, Hamilton and Scheetz. Ms. Yanow is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Yanow received her JD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ms. Yanow serves on the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is President of the Society of Independent Workplace Investigators (SIWI) and is a Sustaining Member and Director of AWI.
Pamela L. Hemminger, Vice Chair
Pamela L. Hemminger, Vice Chair, is an arbitrator, mediator, investigator and trainer. She is on the American Arbitration Association employment panel (Southern California) and national class action panel as well a mediator with expertise in complex, class action, and individual cases. Her investigations have included those involving high-level corporate executives. An employment law partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP for many years before recently retiring, she is a past chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a past Board member of Dispute Resolution Services (1999 -2009) and a gubernatorial appointee to the California Law Revision Commission (1998-99; 2005-2010). She is a well-known author and speaker, and has contributed to Employment Discrimination Law (settlement), California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation (leaves of absence; worker safety) and EEOC Litigation and Charge Resolution (employer responses), and has been featured in The Best Lawyers in America (15 years) and Top 50 Women Super Lawyers (Southern California). Ms. Hemminger is a Sustaining Member and Director of AWI, currently serves as AWI Treasurer, and was the founding Chair of the AWI National Institute in 2012 and 213.
Samantha E. Blake
Samantha E. Blake is a Director with EXTTI, Incorporated, which provides consulting services on labor and employment matters, including expert testimony, training, workplace investigations, and executive coaching. Prior to EXTTI, Ms. Blake worked for the EEOC in Los Angeles for over six years. While with the EEOC, Ms. Blake served as a Trial Attorney; adjudicated discrimination claims of federal employees as an Administrative Judge; supervised EEOC investigators and staff as an EEOC Enforcement Supervisor; and provided oversight and guidance, as State and Local Coordinator, to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. Ms. Blake also frequently provided outreach and training to various groups, large and small, including public and private employers, human resources and management professionals, law enforcement, attorneys, and employee advocacy groups. Before joining the EEOC in 2001, Ms. Blake was a litigator in the private sector for several years. Ms. Blake received her J.D. from Loyola Law School and her B.A. in Philosophy (with honors) and Psychology from the University of Washington.
Barry Chersky is a trainer, coach, facilitator and consultant focusing on civil rights issues in California, nationally and internationally. For more than 25 years he has conducted training on preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation in a variety of workplace and educational settings. He has conducted investigations on behalf of employers in a wide range of industries including entertainment, biotechnology, insurance, financial services, legal, and medical, and in workplaces ranging from small non-profits to labor unions to multinational corporations. He has served as an expert witness in several court cases which included the evaluation of investigation practices. He served as the Director of Employee Relations and Campus Climate at Saint Mary’s College of California where, among his other responsibilities, he conducted all of the in-house investigations. He is a Sustaining Member and Founding Director of the Association of Workplace Investigators. Mr. Chersky is a private investigator licensed by the State of California.
Dennis A. Davis, Ph.D.
Dennis A. Davis, Ph.D. is recognized nationally as an expert on Workplace Violence Prevention, Workplace Bullying, Conflict Resolution, Sexual Harassment, and Cultural Diversity. Since 2008 Dr. Davis has served as Ogletree Deakins’ National Director of Client Training. In that capacity he develops and implements training programs which are designed to minimize the risks associated with inappropriate employee behavior. Dr. Davis spent more than ten years consulting to Federal, State, and Local law Enforcement Agencies, where he used his education in Clinical Psychology to teach willful compliance techniques.
Lindsay Harris brings considerable employment law and investigative experience to her current practice focused on conducting independent investigations of suspected workplace misconduct. Prior to founding West Coast Workplace Investigations in 2009, she spent nearly five years as senior counsel at Speer Associates/Workplace Counsel, where her practice focused on conducting internal investigations of alleged workplace misconduct, with an emphasis on high-level, complex, and sensitive matters. Among other employment law-related claims, Ms. Harris has examined allegations of discrimination retaliation, harassment, and sexual favoritism. Ms. Harris has investigated allegations affecting senior and executive management, and her clients have included companies across a variety of industries, Fortune 500 companies, and public-sector organizations. Prior to joining Speer Associates, Ms. Harris practiced employment law at the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster. She currently serves as Chair of AWI's Marketing Committee.
Tracey A. Kennedy
Tracey A. Kennedy is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the Sheppard Mullin's Los Angeles and New York offices. Ms. Kennedy is responsible for all aspects of employment litigation matters on behalf of employers and management. An experienced trial attorney, she has tried to verdict in state and federal court employment matters such as age, race, sex, national origin, and disability discrimination, sexual and racial harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Ms. Kennedy has also tried to verdict wage and hour class actions. Ms. Kennedy provides preventive counseling to clients concerning personnel and employment matters. Ms. Kennedy has lectured state-wide on personnel practices, employment discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. Ms. Kennedy also has experience in labor issues such as union organizing, labor negotiations, and labor arbitrations.
Justin Kochan, CCFE
Justin Kochan, CCFE, is an associate attorney with Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation. Mr. Kochan is an employment attorney, specializing in workplace investigations. He graduated from UC Davis School of Law, and earned an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from UC Berkeley. He decided to pursue a career in law after facilitating a Teach in Prison class with UC Berkeley and San Quentin State Prison. Mr. Kochan is licensed to practice law in the State of California. He is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), and obtained his certificate of completion at the AWI National Institute for Workplace Investigators in 2013. He produced the hands-on computer forensics exercises for the 2012 and 2013 AWI Annual Conference Pre-Conference sessions, and is a Certified Computer Forensics Examiner (CCFE).
Mark Meyerhoff is a partner in the Los Angeles Office of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, and is the Managing Partner of its San Diego Office. He regularly advises and represents clients in all aspects of employment and traditional labor relations matters. Mr. Meyerhoff utilizes his employment law and litigation experience and expertise for the benefit of the firm's clients in such matters as discipline and termination arbitrations and hearings; state and federal court actions involving harassment, civil rights, discrimination, writs of mandate relating to meet and confer disputes, Public Safety Officer Procedural Bill of Rights issues, administrative charges of harassment and discrimination brought before the DFEH and EEOC and several court of appeal arguments. In addition to his litigation expertise, Mr. Meyerhoff continuously counsels clients on a variety of labor relations matters, including labor negotiations, major labor disputes and strikes, unfair labor practice charges, bargaining unit disputes, collective bargaining agreement interpretations and union organizing issues. He also develops and updates personnel rules, policies and ordinances for public sector clients and routinely presents training programs and workshops for supervisors and managers..
Amy Oppenheimer has more than 25 years experience working in the field of employment law, emphasizing preventing and responding to workplace harassment and discrimination. As an attorney, she has litigated employment cases. Since 1992 she has acted as a neutral in a variety of capacities, including investigating claims of harassment and discrimination, training workplace investigators, mediation and arbitration. Amy is the author of many articles about harassment, bias and discrimination, including one of the only practical guides to doing investigations: Investigating Workplace Harassment, How to be Fair, Thorough and Legal, published in 2003 by Society of Human Resource Practice (SHRM). She is a trial qualified expert on the issue of employment practices in preventing, responding to and investigating workplace harassment and discrimination. Ms. Oppenheimer is the founder and President of AWI.
Michael A. Robbins
Michael A. Robbins is President of EXTTI, Incorporated. EXTTI provides Expert Testimony, Training and Investigation services in employment matters. He is a frequent lecturer and author on employment issues. Mr. Robbins has conducted and/or supervised over 500 workplace investigations and has served as an expert witness in close to 450 employment cases--mostly on workplace investigations and interactive process issues. Prior to forming EXTTI, he was a Labor & Employment attorney for 20 years--including 4 years as in-house counsel and 16 years in two nationally recognized law firms. Mr. Robbins graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University and received his JD degree from UCLA School of Law. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Labor & Employment Section, is a founding member and Immediate Past President of the Society of Independent Workplace Investigators (SIWI) and is a Charter Member and Vice President of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI).
Alexander M. Sperry
Alexander M. Sperry is a partner with Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation. He has dedicated his career to providing labor and employment law counseling, training, and investigative and litigation services to public and private employers. Today, Mr. Sperry focuses primarily on conducting workplace investigations and training employers and employees on best practices. He is a frequent lecturer on workplace-related issues. In particular, he has studied and lectured on ethical issues in employment, including presenting “Workplace Ethics: Your Responsibilities” training to multiple groups. Mr. Sperry is an active member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI). He recently co-presented AWI's annual legal ethics webinar. Mr. Sperry co-authored Applying the California Supreme Court "Mixed Motive" Analysis in Workplace Discrimination Investigations, published in the July, 2013 AWI Journal.
Dan Stormer is a 1974 graduate of New York University School of Law. He has been a Civil Rights, International Human Rights and Constitutional lawyer for thirty-seven years. Mr. Stormer has repeatedly been listed in the Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California, Best Lawyers in America, as well as in the Top 10 Lawyers in Southern California. He was recently named "Attorney of the Year" by the California Lawyer for his work in International Human Rights. As a result of a nationwide survey, he is listed among Lawdragon Magazine's 500 Leading Lawyers and 500 Leading Litigators in America. He has been profiled repeatedly by various legal periodicals, including The Daily Journal, Los Angeles Lawyer, California Law - Business, California Lawyer, and The Legal Exchange. He was named as one of the top 10 plaintiff-side employment lawyers in California by The Daily Journal. He was also named one of the top 5 plaintiff-side employment lawyers in California by Chambers U.S.A. - America’s Leading Lawyers. He has been repeatedly named one of Southern California's Super Lawyers by Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine. He is rated "AV Preeminent" rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He has been repeatedly recognized in the Guide to the World’s Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers. He has presented at the "Arguments of the Masters" and the "Legends of Litigation." Mr. Stormer has lectured and published extensively, including legal treatises and law reviews. He has taught at over 200 seminars and trial programs, including the national conventions for the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and other advocacy programs. He has also taught law school at Hastings College of Law, Loyola Law School, University of San Fernando Law School, Southwestern Law School and People’s College of Law. Mr. Stormer has been involved in over 70 published appellate decisions and has argued cases at all levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sue Ann Van Dermyden
Sue Ann Van Dermyden, a shareholder of Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation, has specialized in employment law since 1993. She is a licensed private investigator and certified EEOC investigator. Her practice focuses on investigating complex work-related claims related to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, misconduct and performance issues; providing expert witness testimony on employment matters; advising clients on complex employment-related matters; and, conducting training seminars. Ms. Van Dermyden is a founding member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). She is also a AWI Board Member and Officer, and currently serves as the Annual Conference Committee Chair and the Sacramento Local Circle Convener. She has authored numerous articles on employment law and conducted countless training seminars. Ms. Van Dermyden is a native of North Dakota and alumnus of Pacific McGeorge School of Law.