Event Location: 
The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel
1127 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC

Registration is now CLOSED.On-site registration will be available.

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.

Registration Cost :

2018 MWELA Member Rate: $285*
Non-Member Rate: $385
Non-Profit and Paralegal Rate: $215**
2018 MWELA Student Member Rate: $65*

*You must be logged in to your member account to receive the member rate. Please contact us if you need log in assistance. If you have not yet renewed your membership, renew and register for the conference together here.

**Please contact us to receive the Non-Profit and Paralegal Rate

Annual Conference Sponsors




Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30 – 8:40 am
MWELA President

Discovery Issues in Employment Litigation

8:40 am - 9:40 am
Tom Spiggle, The Spiggle Law Firm
Christine Webber, Cohen Milstein
Alan Kabat, Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC

Our panel will address several hot discovery issues for both single-plaintiff cases and class or collective actions. We will discuss effective discovery requests and techniques for analyzing an employer’s document production, including employer databases. We will also discuss overcoming or working around objections typically raised by employers to discovery requests.

Title VII Retaliation

9:50 am - 10:50 am
Kristin Alden, Alden Law Group, PLLC
Susan Huhta, Outten & Golden LLP
A.J. Dhali, Dhali PLLC

Retaliation claims are the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in both the private and federal sectors. Recently, the EEOC issued new guidelines on interpreting retaliation claims under Title VII. The panel will discuss the new guidelines with a focus on some of the novel acts considered retaliatory. The panelists will also break down the different ways retaliation is construed in the private and federal sector, including practical tips for both jury trials and administrative hearings.

Litigation Sanctions

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Carla Brown, Charlson Bredehoft Cohen & Brown, P.C.
Richard Renner, Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C.
Professor Michael Frisch, Georgetown University Law Center

In the context of today's high-pressure litigation, defendants may be inclined to seek judicial sanctions against plaintiffs' employment lawyers as a litigation strategy, to exploit ethical missteps, tactical mistakes, or poor judgment, or to counter novel advocacy.

Learn what conduct gives rise to sanctions, how to prevent it, and how to address sanctions threats when they arise.


12:15 – 1:15pm
MWELA President

Presentation of 2018 MWELA Lawyer of the Year Award

Gender Identity Discrimination

1:20 pm - 2:20 pm
Jonathan C. Puth, Correia & Puth, PLLC
Sasha Buchert, Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal
Heather Wydra, Whitman-Walker Health, Supervising Attorney, Legal Services Program

Transgender rights are a hot-button issue and are changing the employment law landscape. This panel will provide attendees with an introduction to the background and terminology of transgender identity, then move into a survey of the history of transgender legal rights within the United States, including practical considerations to consider when deciding to represent a transgender person. Also, the panelists will discuss recent case law and legal principles in representing Transgender individuals under Title VII and the ADA.

Summary Judgment

2:25 pm - 3:25 pm
Donna Rucker, Tully Rinckey, PLLC
Stephen Z. Chertkof, Heller, Huron, Chertkof & Salzman, PLLC
Donald Temple, Temple Law Offices
Dionna Lewis, Tully Rinckey PLLC

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls of Summary Judgment: Learn tips, tools, and techniques for effectively attacking and/or presenting a summary judgment motion.

Rules of the Road with Pat Malone, Dennis Egan, and Elaine Bredehoft

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Patrick A. Malone, Patrick Malone & Associates P.C.
Dennis E. Egan, The Popham Law Firm
Elaine Bredehoft, Charlson, Bredehoft, Cohen & Brown, P.C.

Back by popular demand is Patrick Malone’s Rules of the Road, America’s bestselling trial guide on proving liability. Since its original release in 2006, it has helped plaintiffs’ lawyers throughout the country secure significant victories in cases with difficult liability issues. Mr. Malone is joined by two veteran plaintiff employment lawyers who discuss how to apply Rules of the Road to employment cases to win your next trial.

Cocktail Reception

5:00pm - 6:00pm

Looking for an Employment Lawyer?

Use MWELA’s Find A Lawyer search, in the left navigation bar. Select a practice area: the search will provide you with 10 names randomly selected from MWELA members who practice in that area and who have paid an additional fee to be listed in the search directory. The search results include the name, address, phone number, email address, website, and practice areas of attorneys who meet your search criteria. Note that more than 10 members may practice in any given area; additional searches may yield additional names.

MWELA does not provide legal advice and is not responsible for the advice or services provided by the attorneys included in the Find a Lawyer search.

Attorneys: MWELA Sustaining Members and Presidents Club Members are included in the Find a Lawyer search. If you wish to upgrade your membership be included in the search, contact info@mwela.org.

Become a MWELA Member

Welcome to the Web site of MWELA — the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association. We are about 300 lawyers who represent people in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

As advocates for employee rights and civil rights, we work to protect the rights and privileges of employees in both the private and public sectors of the Washington metropolitan area workforce. We are dedicated to promoting workplace fairness and the right of employees to work in an environment free of discrimination. MWELA provides assistance, support and resources to members throughout the metropolitan area to attain the highest ideals of practice and encourage the sharing of expertise and skills to best serve our clients.

On our vibrant and active listserve, MWELA members share strategies, tips, and responses to queries regarding both routine and novel employment law issues. The listserve is also available as an on-line searchable database, a powerful research tool.

MWELA holds monthly Brown Bag gatherings featuring presentations on trial strategies and techniques, emerging employment law issues, use of new courtroom technologies, successful litigation efforts, and other matters critical to a successful employment law practice.

Our Moot Court Committee regularly prepares our members for oral argument before appellate courts. MWELA's Amicus Committee produces thoughtful and excellent briefs on important policy matters before the courts of appeals, lending a powerful persuasive voice for the plaintiff and for employees generally. MWELA produces a monthly Newsletter covering member news, victories, and key decisions.

At our all-day Annual Conference, MWELA presents local and federal judges, colleagues, and outside experts on topics concerning all aspects of the plaintiff's employment practice. We also present our annual Lawyer of the Year award.

MWELA maintains an on-line Brief Bank, with ready arguments, briefs, and pleadings. MWELA works toward changes in public policy through the lobbying efforts of our members, to strengthen anti-discrimination and related workplace laws.

MWELA Case Advisory service offers two programs to both MWELA members and non-members. One is a Three-member Clinic Panel, which reviews a lawyer’s case either before it is filed or after it is pending and possibly encountering difficulties. The other is a Single Advisor Legal Consultation where an experienced MWELA attorney provides advice and tips on a particular topic to a less experienced lawyer. Topics may include areas of substantive law and procedure, litigation and trial practice, appeals, settlement agreements, and particular Court and administrative forums with which a lawyer may be unfamiliar. 

NELA MWELA is the local affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA and its 68 state and local affiliates have more than 3,000 members. We strongly encourage our members to join NELA. For more information, please contact Ms. Colleen Goodin, Membership Director, NELA, (415) 296-7629 (cgoodin@nelahq.org) or go to www.nela.org for an application. MWELA members receive a discount on NELA dues.

MWELA members can access our brief bank, listserve and newsletter archives, board meeting information, and other resources. If you are a lawyer and devote a majority of your employment practice to representing plaintiffs, join us.