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June 2017

New York Partner Mercedes Colwin Featured Moderator at ACI’s 30th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions

Gordon & Rees partner Mercedes Colwin will moderate a panel discussion at the American Conference Institute's (ACI) 30th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions on June 12-13, 2017 in New York City. Colwin will moderate a panel presentation titled "Proven Strategies for Litigating the Latest Misclassification Claims - What Are Plaintiffs' Counsel Capitalizing On in These Cases, Best Practices for Avoiding and Defending Against These Claims, and Lessons Learned from Someone Who Has Litigated to a Hung Jury or Judgment."

The panel includes Michael C. Schmidt, vice chair, Labor & Employment Department of Cozen O'Connor and Jeremy Heisler, founding and managing partner of the New York office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP. Colwin will lead the panel discussion which will cover:

  • Examining the latest trends in exempt vs. non-exempt and independent contractor misclassification claims.
  • Assessing the latest key case law on the federal and state level.
  • What strategies are being employed by plaintiffs’ counsel, and what are they capitalizing on in these cases?
  • What are the latest strategies in defeating claims that employers have misclassified workers as "exempt" or as independent contractors?
  • What industries, industry niches and new categories of employees are being targeted?
  • Focus on the latest "gig economy" claims.
  • Staying on top of recent changes and nuances in Federal DOL and state rules governing classification.
  • Key takeaways and lessons learned from someone who has litigated an independent contractor misclassification case to a hung jury or judgment.

For more information on ACI's 30th National Forum, please click here.

Mercedes Colwin is the Managing Partner of Gordon & Rees New York offices. She handles a wide variety of litigation including employment law, commercial litigation, products liability, civil rights violations and criminal law.  Ms. Colwin has successfully tried 49 cases to verdict in various jurisdictions throughout the nation and regularly defends executives from Fortune 500 companies charged with allegations of wrongdoing, including claims of sexual misconduct. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Colwin devoted several years in the public sector where she was a gubernatorial appointee as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights. During her nine year service, while a partner at a major regional New York Law firm, she presided over three-thousand cases under the Federal and State antidiscrimination laws. Forbes Business American Airlines named Ms. Colwin one of the six most influential women in America's list that included former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Notre Dame Law School also presented Ms. Colwin with the prestigious Graciela Olivarez Award for her outstanding achievement as a leading Hispanic lawyer of the highest ethical and moral standards who exemplifies commitment to community service. Additionally, she was selected as one of the “Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” by Human Resource Executive Magazine. Widely regarded as one of the top national legal analysts for the FOX News Network, she appears to discuss critical legal issues and high profile cases dominating the news.

Mercedes Colwin