Keynote Speakers

Angelo I. Amador

Angelo I. Amador

Executive Director | Restaurant Law Center

Angelo Amador is Executive Director of the Restaurant Law Center. He also serves as Senior Vice President of Legal Advocacy and Regulatory Counsel for the National Restaurant Association.

Amador serves as chief litigation officer for the Association, prioritizing legal matters to be pursued through amicus briefs or first party litigation. He also represents the Association’s interests by advocating before regulatory agencies; testifying at public hearings; drafting and filing regulatory comments; and, when necessary, recommending and managing legal challenges.

Prior to his current role, Amador was vice president of labor and workforce policy. He was  responsible for working with the business community to develop the restaurant industry’s position on labor, health care, immigration, education and other issues affecting the benefits, availability and quality of the workforce. He advocated on behalf of the Association and its members before Congress and the executive branch.

Before joining the National Restaurant Association, Amador served as an executive director in the Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits Division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he had responsibility for workforce issues, global migration, and travel/border policy. Previously, he was in private practice and served as law clerk to the Hon. David T. Stitt, judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit of Virginia. Prior to his clerkship, he worked in Washington, D.C., for the governor of Puerto Rico as assistant director/legislative counsel and as staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Kathleen A. Barrett

Kathleen A. Barrett

Associate | Epstein Becker Green P.C.

Employers in a range of industries, including health care, retail, hospitality and insurance, count on Kathleen Barrett to defend them in employment litigation in state and federal courts. Kathleen has represented companies across the country in wage and hour class actions. She also regularly represents companies in cases involving allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful termination brought by single-plaintiff employees at all levels of a company.

In addition, Kathleen proactively counsels clients to ensure their employment practices comply with current or new workplace laws and regulations. For example, she has guided clients through new workplace issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also offered training and guidance on the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis and its impact on a client’s workplace drug policies, complaint procedures, disciplinary action policies, and accommodations practices.

Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Kathleen worked in medical prosecutions at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. She has published numerous articles and presented on a variety of employment law topics, including the impact of the legalization of cannabis on the workplace, wage and hour compliance, and reasonable accommodations in health care workplaces. She also speaks on developments in wage and hour class action law, managing remote employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Labor Standards Act classification, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and cannabis workplace issues.

Dan Brewer

Dan Brewer

Partner, Class Actions Practice Group | Cozen O’Connor

Dan represents companies in consumer class actions and complex business disputes nationwide. He defends companies in actions in state and federal courts across the country that challenge practices related to advertising, marketing, and promotional activities, consumer privacy, credit reporting, pricing, customer communications, and product labeling and defects. He has particular experience defending claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and a host of state consumer protection laws, including California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).

Dan is a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US). He counsels clients on privacy issues under FCRA, TCPA, the Children’s Online Protection Privacy Act (COPPA), the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), with an eye towards mitigating the risk of litigation and enforcement exposure. He also crafts, revises, interposes, and enforces customer disclosures, terms and conditions, arbitration agreements with class action waivers, and privacy policies. His focus on class action litigation gives him a valuable perspective to anticipate areas of focus from the plaintiffs’ bar and help businesses proactively address issues and tweak policies, practices, and disclosures where appropriate.

Dan’s experience stretches across a broad range of industries, such as retail, financial services, telecommunications, automotive, energy, pharmaceuticals, and computer software, and a broad range of cases, including consumer class actions, commercial disputes, intellectual property litigation, product liability/mass tort cases, shareholder derivative suits, and other corporate governance-based matters. He has successfully litigated intellectual property disputes, including claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, false designation of origin and false advertising claims brought under the Lanham Act, including affirmative claims for ex parte seizure of counterfeit goods.

Meredith Conder

Meredith Conder

Executive Director, Executive Education | Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Meredith Conder is Executive Director of Executive Education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She specializes in matching high potential professionals with world-class professional development. She develops partnerships with corporations to contribute to their on-boarding, talent development, succession-planning ,and retention strategies. She also supports ambitious professionals to reach the heights of their careers by connecting them to Duke’s Executive Education. Based on market needs, she also proposes new non-degree, executive education programs to add to Duke’s portfolio.

Laurel K. Cornell

Laurel K. Cornell

Regional Managing Partner • Co-Chair, Healthcare Industry Group | Fisher Phillips LLP

Laurel Cornell is the managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ Louisville office and co-chair of the firm’s Healthcare Industry Group. She is also a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic. Laurel’s practice involves providing daily advice and counseling to employers on a wide variety of employment-related matters including multi-state compliance, leave administration, accommodation issues, policy reviews, and wage and hour compliance.  She also has extensive experience representing employers in both state and federal court, as well as before federal, state and local administrative agencies, in disputes involving alleged violations of Title VII, the Family and Medical Leave Act  (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and related state and local laws.  Laurel is currently acting as a part-time in-house attorney for a multi-national company that operates numerous restaurants across the United States and has more than 58,000 employees.  She has also previously served as interim in-house employment counsel for a company that manages assisted living facilities across the country.

Stacy M. Dominguez

Stacy M. Dominguez

Associate | Sheppard Mullin LLP

Stacy Dominguez is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the Orange County office.

Stacy’s practice focuses on ADA matters. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Stacy worked for another major law firm’s Antitrust Group and spent several years handling general liability matters, including but not limited to, employment law, environmental litigation, professional liability, health care law, construction law, and general negligence defense in both state and federal court. She secured favorable results in complex, multi-party, large exposure cases for her clients. Stacy also performs work on a pro bono basis in matters involving Veterans Affairs and domestic violence.

While in law school, Stacy was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board and the Traynor Moot Court Team and was awarded the George H. Mayr Foundation Scholarship. Stacy also served as a certified law clerk for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and worked as a pro bono clerk for the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles.

Felice B. Ekelman

Felice B. Ekelman

Principal | Jackson Lewis PC

Felice B. Ekelman is a Principal in the New York City office of Jackson Lewis P.C. where she serves as the Co-Lead of the Firm’s Restaurant Industry Team, and Leads the Firm’s Hospitality Industry Group (restaurants, hotels and fitness).  Felice is an established leader and has served on the Jackson Lewis Board of Directors, as well as the Boards of other organizations.  Felice approaches the attorney-client relationship as a business partnership, and clients rely on her to develop both legal and business strategies and when necessary, to litigate “bet the company” cases.

Felice places paramount importance on understanding her clients’ businesses, their goals and tolerance for risk. She has decades-long relationships with clients because of her ability to communicate with senior management, develop consensuses in problem solving, and work with clients to execute their goals. Known for her ability to develop thoughtful and creative solutions to complex workplace issues, clients trust her judgment.  Felice has in-depth knowledge of the challenges facing employers in the hospitality industry.  Her experience in the industry is wide-ranging.  She is a well-known class action litigator and has defended countless wage and hour claims both in court and before arbitrators.  She is an experienced trainer and investigator, having investigated claims of wrongdoing asserted by employees as well as customers.   Felice prides herself on providing practical well thought out advice that addresses the particular needs of the employers she represents.  Her experience in the hospitality industry is well established, and she is a sought-out speaker at industry events.

Gabriel K. Gillett

Gabriel K. Gillett

Partner | Jenner & Block LLP

An appellate and complex commercial litigator, Gabriel Gillett develops, evaluates, and executes successful long-term legal strategies for clients facing multifaceted disputes. He crafts winning briefs and arguments in courts across the country on a range of issues, including contract and business disputes, class actions, government regulation, insurance coverage, antitrust, civil procedure, securities, preemption, and constitutional and administrative law.

Leading Jenner & Block’s partnership with the Restaurant Law Center, Mr. Gillett has been a go-to lawyer on major issues impacting restaurant and hospitality companies, franchisors, and franchisees. He has led the firm’s high-profile lawsuits in Chicago and New York on behalf of iconic restaurants seeking business interruption coverage from their insurance carriers. Mr. Gillett has also served as appellate counsel for the Restaurant Law Center and state restaurant associations in many federal and state cases involving business interruption claims, regulatory challenges, antitrust, ERISA, and other important issues.

Jenna Morgan Hamilton

Jenna Morgan Hamilton

Partner | Capitol Legislative Strategies, LLC

Jenna Hamilton brings over twenty years of lobbying and strategic government affairs experience to her role representing a broad range of business priorities in areas including tax, business operations, housing policies, construction practices, energy efficiency, labor and immigration.  She has a specialty in U.S. immigration policy and immigration reform proposals, focusing on the impacts of policy and visa programs on the service and construction industries. In addition she has done a substantial amount of work in the area of employment verification and the development of a fair and efficient work authorization verification system.  In 2011, she was named by CEO Update as one of the top lobbyists in Washington, DC.

Since 2011, Jenna has been a partner in Capitol Legislative Strategies, LLC, based in Washington, DC, representing the interests of a wide variety of clients across industry.  Prior to joining CLS, Jenna spent fifteen years in federal advocacy roles in trade associations, balancing the bureaucracies of associations with the needs of both large and small industry members.  Jenna’s work extends beyond basic lobbying, also focusing on strategic issue development, third party coalition building and outreach, management of grassroots messaging, and project and issues management.

Since 2006, Jenna has served as co-chair of the Essential Workers Immigration Coalition (EWIC), a coalition representing the service, construction industry, and business community’s interests in immigration policy reform.  She participated as a business representative in Capitol Hill immigration policy development negotiations during the development of legislation in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2013.

Mahrukh Hussain

Mahrukh Hussain

Vice President • Associate General Counsel • Assistant Secretary | McDonald’s Corporation

Mahrukh Hussain is Corporate Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for McDonald’s Corporation. She has been with McDonald’s for over twenty years, over seven of those as General Counsel for the United States and two as General Counsel for Europe. More recently, she served as Interim General Counsel and Secretary for McDonald’s Corporation. She has been directly responsible for overseeing a wide scope of legal issues affecting the business of McDonald’s Corporation, including franchising, real estate, safety and security, litigation, technology, supply chain and marketing.

Adriana S. Kosovych

Adriana S. Kosovych

Associate | Epstein Becker Green P.C.

Adriana Kosovych’s experience includes:

  • Representing clients in employment-related litigation on a broad array of matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate disabilities, breach of employment contracts and restrictive covenants, and wage and hour disputes, in state and federal courts and before various administrative agencies
  • Advising employers in all facets of the employment relationship, from pre-employment considerations and hiring to terminations and post-employment restrictions
  • Counseling clients on compliance with EEO laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, worker classification issues, and other federal, state, and local statutes governing the workplace
  • Auditing employers’ employment-related policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable laws and best practices

Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Adriana was an attorney in the Labor and Employment practice group at a boutique law firm in New York City.

Carmen W. Landrau, MD

Carmen W. Landrau, MD

Cardiologist • Executive Coach

Carmen W. Landrau, MD, is a board certified physician who specializes in cardiology and is a professional keynote speaker who uses her experience navigating a male-dominated and hierarchical career to empower other women to recognize their talents, regain confidence, and take the next steps in their careers and in life. As a member of the speaker’s bureau of the American Heart Association and throughout her career, Dr. Landrau has presented both live and on TV teaching about prevention and management of heart disease in women and in the adult population in general.

David C. Layden

David C. Layden

Partner | Jenner & Block LLP

David Layden is a member of Jenner & Block’s Complex Commercial Litigation, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity, and Bankruptcy Litigation Practices. He has represented clients in a broad array of complex litigation matters, including consumer and privacy-related class actions. Mr. Layden has extensive experience representing clients facing class actions under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). He also counsels clients regarding potential risks under BIPA and other biometric privacy statutes and regulations, and how to address those risks in practical, business-savvy ways. Mr. Layden’s focus in BIPA matters has been representing clients that face not only significant potential exposure under the statute, but also important strategic and business issues, such as relationships with customers, clients, and business partners. He also has extensive experience defending clients in class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Kelly Lefferts

Kelly Lefferts

Executive Vice President • Chief Legal Officer • Secretary | Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

Kelly Lefferts was named Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary in July 2019 after serving as Group Vice President, US General Counsel and Secretary since September 2015. As CLO, Kelly oversees the legal team at Bloomin’ Brands.  She joined Bloomin’ Brands in 1997 as Corporate Counsel and has held other positions of increasing responsibility.

Previously, Kelly was an attorney with the law firm of Foley and Lardner, practicing in general corporate and business matters, mergers and acquisitions, securities, executive compensation, and commercial lending. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Restaurant Law Center, a public policy law association affiliated with the National Restaurant Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.

 

Michael Lotito

Michael Lotito

Shareholder • Co-Chair, Workplace Policy Institute | Littler Mendelson P.C. 

As co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute (WPI), Michael Lotito strategically advises clients and policy makers on what labor and employment law might become, not just what it is today. He provides counsel in all aspects of traditional labor relations, including matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act.

A nationally recognized thought leader on workplace policy, Michael has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In his WPI role, he advocates on behalf of the employer community on a variety of issues, regularly files amicus briefs on vital workplace policy concerns and has led the management community in opposition to the federal persuader rule, which would destroy confidentiality between lawyers and their clients.

Through the Emma Coalition, a project Michael co-founded and named in honor of his granddaughter, he is at the vanguard in preparing American business and the American workforce for the future of work. As technology, especially robotics and artificial intelligence, creates not only unprecedented displacement but also unprecedented opportunities, the Emma Coalition, in cooperation with government and corporate entities, examines what skills the American workforce will need down the road and makes sure America and its people will remain competitive in the years to come.

As part of this work, Michael has coauthored a widely read report summarizing what the future workforce can expect and how America can prepare.

Michael represents leading global companies on strategic issues impacting their workplaces, including the intersection of U.S. and international labor standards. He speaks throughout the world to management groups, sharing his passion for the development and implementation of workplace regulations that balance the legitimate needs of businesses, their workforce and society at large.

He is labor counsel to the International Franchise Association, the National Association of Manufactures’ legal compliance program, the Job Creators Network and a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s labor and employment law litigation committee.

Michael W. McTigue, Jr.

Michael W. McTigue, Jr.

Partner • Co-Chair, Class Actions Practice Group | Cozen O’Connor

A premier class actions strategist, Mike represents leading companies in the defense of class actions and complex civil litigation in jurisdictions across the country, at both the trial and appellate levels. He also assists clients with class action and litigation due diligence in connection with corporate transactions. Mike also represents global businesses in international arbitration proceedings in the United States and abroad. Mike has been recognized by BTI Consulting, which noted that in-house corporate counsel praised him for “unsurpassed excellence in client service.”

For more than 25 years, Mike has defended high stakes litigation for Fortune 500 companies and other businesses. He has substantial experience representing clients in the financial services, retail, telecommunications, technology, pharmaceutical and life sciences, education, hospitality, and insurance industries. He has a proven record of success persuading plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss claims, obtaining early dismissals on the pleadings, defending cases on the merits, defeating class certification, negotiating favorable individual settlements, and curtailing the efforts of professional litigants. Mike routinely defends claims brought pursuant to California’s robust consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), and Song-Beverly Credit Card Act.

Mike has considerable success shutting down Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) putative class actions that challenge marketing and informational telephone calls and text messages, as well as fax advertisements. He is well-versed in the nuances of the statute as to the sufficiency and scope of consent, reassigned and wrong number issues, revocation of consent, and the health care and emergency purpose exemptions. Mike has been a leading advocate in the push for TCPA reform through his representation of a large industry association in multiple proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In one such proceeding, the FCC ruled in favor of the creation of a reassigned number database with an accompanying safe harbor for liability. His advocacy efforts also resulted in a favorable appellate court ruling that effectively shut down mass class action filings against retailers and consumer-facing companies under the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA).

James Paretti, Jr.

James Paretti, Jr.

Shareholder | Littler Mendelson P.C.

James A. Paretti, Jr. is an experienced management-side employment and labor relations attorney with in-depth political and policy knowledge of labor, pension, healthcare and employment law, regulations and legislation. Jim is well versed in all aspects of legislative and political processes with demonstrated knowledge in the substance of federal labor and employment policy. He has over two decades of experience working with federal legislators and policymakers, including former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairmen of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and senior level administration officials.

Prior to joining Littler, Jim was chief of staff and senior counsel to the acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He provided legal and political counsel with respect to all aspects of agency business, administered and managed the Office of the Chair where he was responsible for over 2,200 employees and a 375 million dollar annual budget, and served as primary liaison to regulated stakeholders and Capitol Hill.

Alden J. Parker

Alden J. Parker

Regional Managing Partner • Co-Chair, Hospitality Industry Group | Fisher Phillips LLP

Alden Parker is the managing partner of the firm’s Sacramento office and the co-chair of the Hospitality Industry Group. Alden represents employers in all facets of employment law matters. He has considerable experience defending employers in litigation involving claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California’s wage and hour laws, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Alden has also defended employers against whistleblowing and retaliation claims, including claims under the California Whistleblower Act and various provisions of the California Labor Code.

Alden has extensive experience defending employers in federal and state court, as well as in investigations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In addition to defending his clients in litigation, Alden frequently counsels employers to assist them in avoiding litigation. He regularly advises clients on leave management issues and the interactive process for employees with disabilities, reinstatement obligations under various leave laws and wage and hour compliance. Alden has prepared employee handbooks and a variety of agreements, including independent contractor, employment, confidentiality and trade secrets agreements.

His clients are involved in a variety of industries, including restaurants, retail, construction, and healthcare. Alden is also a frequent speaker for many human resources organizations, including those affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management.

David M. Poell

David M. Poell

Associate | Sheppard Mullin LLP

David Poell is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm’s Chicago office, particularly focusing on the areas of consumer privacy and class action litigation.

David represents companies in a variety of class actions, multi-district litigations and other complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts. He specializes in defending corporate clients in high-stakes litigation matters involving federal consumer-protection statutes, privacy torts, unfair business practices, false advertising claims and large-scale data breaches.

David is also particularly experienced in prosecuting and defending actions involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants and non-competes, deceptive trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, the Lanham Act and unfair competition. He further advises companies regarding privacy matters matters and provides counseling on compliance with FCC, FTC and state-specific rules and regulations.

In addition, David works on appellate litigation matters and is well-versed in issues involving administrative law, Article III standing issues and federal jurisdiction.

Ann Robertson

Ann Robertson

Vice President, Legal | Shake Shack

Ann Robertson is Vice President, Legal, with Shake Shack. Ann is responsible for the oversight of employee and guest litigation and employment matters generally, including compliance, as well as leading the company’s securities department and interfacing with institutional investors. Her responsibilities also include crisis planning, ESG governance, contract review, and supervision of various general compliance matters. Ann began her career with Hogan Lovells, and has worked in-house with Time Warner, Saks, and Belmond/LVMH.

Jennifer Rote

Jennifer Rote

Senior Vice President • General Counsel | TGI Friday’s Inc.

Jennifer Rote is Senior Vice President, General Counsel of TGI Friday’s Inc. Since joining Friday’s in 2004 as real estate counsel, she has held positions of increasing responsibility, taking over the General Counsel role in 2017. As General Counsel, Jennifer leads the Legal and Human Resources teams at Friday’s. She oversees all legal issues affecting Friday’s, both as an operating company and as a franchisor, including corporate real estate, domestic franchising, litigation, acquisitions, and employment law.

Gabrielle Sigel

Gabrielle Sigel

Partner | Jenner & Block LLP

Gabrielle Sigel is co-chair of Jenner & Block’s Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety Law Practice and of the firm’s Climate and Clean Technology Law Practice, where her clients include food manufacturers and others in the industry supply chain. She focuses on environmental, climate change, and safety and health litigation and counseling. Clients seek her representation in complex environmental statutory, common law, Superfund enforcement, and cost recovery actions. She has experience with toxic tort lawsuits and representing clients in claims related to the release of or exposure to hazardous substances, including Proposition 65 matters in California. Ms. Sigel also spends significant time representing employers in matters concerning work-related injuries and chemical exposures, including OSHA enforcement defense, whistleblower matters, compliance programs, and regulatory interpretation. In addition, she counsels corporate clients on a variety of environmental and workplace health and safety regulatory and transactional issues. Ms. Sigel has published and spoken extensively on climate change, toxic material exposure and remediation issues, and workplace health and safety topics.

Amanda Simpson

Amanda Simpson

Principal | Jackson Lewis P.C.

Amanda Simpson is a Principal in the Orlando, Florida office of Jackson Lewis P.C., where she serves as the Co-Lead of the Firm’s Restaurant Industry Team and is a core member of the Class Actions and Complex Litigation practice group. Amanda believes it is her professional calling to stand with and for her clients to educate, minimize legal risks, and when faced with litigation achieve the most advantageous outcome in every case. Amanda has successfully tried cases on the state and federal levels and argued appeals. She has led large teams of Jackson Lewis attorneys to successfully navigate highly complex class and collective actions and mass arbitrations.

Amanda has in-depth knowledge as to the unique needs of hospitality clients based on working with a variety of restaurant and hotel clients in the industry. She has defended a number of wage and hour matters, charges and claims of discrimination and DOL investigations for hospitality clients. She is regularly asked to speak at a number of industry events. Amanda believes that education and manager training are key to helping clients navigate ever-changing workplace regulations, stay apprised of critical information and avoid litigation.

Meredith C. Slawe

Meredith C. Slawe

Partner • Co-Chair, Class Actions Practice Group • Chair, Retail Industry Group | Cozen O’Connor

Meredith is a recognized authority in the national class actions defense bar. She represents businesses in a range of industries in class actions across the country. Her cases often implicate cutting-edge privacy and consumer protection issues under federal and state statutes. Meredith has been widely acknowledged for her mastery of the facts and the law and for her strategic and thoughtful defense of litigation. She routinely secures early dispositive victories on the pleadings that spare clients the costs and burdens associated with protracted litigation. She has been the architect of strategies to prompt plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their claims, to compel arbitration, to obtain dismissals on the pleadings and at summary judgment, to strike class allegations, to defeat class certification, and to prevail on the merits in arbitration proceedings. Meredith is also a thought leader on the issue of consumer arbitration, and drafts, revises, interposes, and enforces arbitration agreements and class action waivers in consumer contracts. Meredith’s proven record of success, combined with her practical, accessible, and business-oriented approach, have made her the go-to class actions lawyer for several of the country’s leading businesses.

Meredith is also chair of the firm’s cross-practice Retail Industry Group and counsel to many prominent retailers and consumer-facing companies. She represents retailers in consumer class actions and advises them on related compliance issues to mitigate litigation and enforcement risk. She has deep experience advising retailers and consumer companies on compliance with federal and state privacy laws, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Shine the Light Law, and other federal and state privacy-based laws. She also works closely with retailers to reduce litigation exposure under assorted consumer protection statutes, including California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and False Advertising Law (FAL). Meredith counsels retailers on issues related to COVID-19, including contracts, leases, dynamic pricing, asset protection, health and safety measures, data privacy, store operations, e-commerce, shipping delays, policies and procedures, and tort liability. Meredith is a member of the firm’s Coronavirus Task Force.

Meredith represents industry groups, including the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Retail Litigation Center (RLC), in class actions and privacy proceedings, including before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in the U.S. Supreme Court. She also represents the National Retail Federation and the Restaurant Law Center. Meredith’s work on behalf of the retail community led her to be selected as the designated consumer class actions lawyer for the RLC’s Defense Division. In 2018, Meredith received a certificate from Harvard Business School in connection with its Senior Leaders in Retail Executive Program and a certificate from ShopTalk.

Joseph J. Torres

Joseph J. Torres

Partner | Jenner & Block LLP

Joe Torres is chair of Jenner & Block’s ERISA Litigation Practice, co-chair of its Labor and Employment Practice and a member of the Culture Risk and Sensitive Investigations Practice. He concentrates his practice in labor, employment and ERISA litigation before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as administrative agencies such as the NLRB, the EEOC, the DOL, and OSHA in a wide variety of discrimination, employee benefit, whistleblower, retaliation, and other labor and employment claims arising under state and federal law.

Additionally, Mr. Torres has a broad range of experience representing clients in matters arising under ERISA. He has defended clients in claims for vested retiree benefits, alleged wrongful denial of or interference with employee benefits and breach of fiduciary duty. He has also represented clients in complex withdrawal liability matters involving multiemployer pension plans. Mr. Torres has considerable experience in the analysis and interpretation of ERISA-governed plans and has defended clients in audits involving union-sponsored health and welfare plans, as well as advising clients contemplating the establishment, modification or termination of employee benefits plans.