Event Location: 
L’Enfant Plaza Hotel
480 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20024
L’Enfant Plaza Hotel

MWELA’s Annual Conference is an all-day event featuring colleagues, judges, and outside experts on topics concerning all aspects of the plaintiff’s employment practice. Our annual Lawyer of the Year award will also be presented during the conference. We have applied for 6 hours of CLE credit with Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Pre-Registration for the 2013 MWELA Annual Conference is now closed. We will be accepting on-site registrations. If you are interested in an onsite registration, please contact us.

2013 MWELA Members Rate: $250
2013 MWELA Student Members Rate: $50
Non-Member Early Bird Rate: $350


Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30 am - 8:40 am
MWELA President

Wage Theft and Building Support For Wage Claims

8:40 am - 9:40 am
Kim Bobo, Executive Director Interfaith Worker Justice, Chicago, IL
Phil Zipin, Zipin Law Firm, LLC
Laura Brown, Director of Legal Services, DC Employment Justice Center

Wage Theft has been a growing problem for employees, particularly in low-wage jobs. As the number of Fair Labor Standards Act and Wage Payment Act cases has continued to rise, these claims are becoming an increasingly important aspect of employee representation to ensure that workers are paid properly, and fairly.


9:40 am - 9:50 am

How To Use Employer’s Information Ethically

9:50 am - 10:50 am
Ellen J. Messing, Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C., Boston, MA
David Marshall, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP
John Ates, Ates Law Firm, P.C.

It’s a common situation we now face: a client walks into your office and hands you a thumb drive (or a large stack of paper) containing emails and other documents that she has downloaded from a computer or other information systems used at work. What should you do?


10:50 am - 11:00 am

Framing Issues and Persuasive Writing for Appellate Arguments

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Michael T. Anderson, Murphy Anderson, PLLC, Boston, MA
The Honorable David S. Tatel, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Alan Kabat, Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC

Appellate advocacy is the linchpin to holding on to a hard fought battle in the trial court or a means of breathing life into claims that a lower court improperly dismissed. With more than 20 years of experience in the appellate courts representing unions and workers, Michael Anderson will speak about the tactics of persuading appellate judges to rule for workers, even when their ideological sympathies may dictate otherwise. Success often depends on clarity and vividness of language, which is inseparable from clarity and force of thought.

Luncheon and Keynote Presentation

12:10 pm - 1:30 pm
Kim Keenan, General Counsel, NAACP

Presentation of 2013 MWELA Lawyer of the Year Award

Tried and True Effective Deposition Techniques

1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Paul J. Lukas, Nichols Kaster, Minneapolis, MN
Bill Lightfoot, Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP
Valencia Rainey, Gebhardt & Associates, LLP

Depositions are at the heart of the discovery process and can make or break your case. Renowned local trial attorney, Bill Lightfoot, and NELA’s own energetic and charismatic presenter, Paul Lukas, will explore deposition techniques and expose the “secrets” of case-changing depositions. This hour and a half presentation will give you practical tips and tools to take your deposition to the next level.


3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Effective Trial Presentations

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
J. Bernard Alexander III, Alexander Krakow + Glick LLP, Los Angeles, CA
The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, Judge, U.S. District Court for D.C.
R. Scott Oswald, The Employment Law Group, P.C.

Who can forget this classic trial theme: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” A trial theme can tell your client’s story in a way that a jury can relate to and get them to rule in your client’s favor. One of NELA’s best trial advocates, Bernard Alexander, will discuss how trial themes and other effective trial presentations can help you succeed in the courtroom and in front of a jury. We are very pleased to have Judge Wilkins on this panel to give us perspectives on effective trial techniques that have worked well in the courtroom.

Cocktail Reception

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm