Trial by Jury or Trial by Motion? Summary Judgment, Iqbal, and Employment Discrimination

Speaker Information


Speakers at this event are:

The Honorable Denny Chin (Keynote Speaker) is a U.S. Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was sworn in on April 26, 2010. Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975 and received his J.D. from Fordham Law School in 1978. After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell from 1980 to 1982. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1982 until 1986, when he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin. In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.

From 1994 through 2010, Judge Chin served as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan’s Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken’s use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books settlement, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.

Judge Chin has taught legal writing at Fordham Law School since 1986. While in private practice, he provided extensive pro bono representation to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York from 1992 through 1994. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including Hartley House, Care for the Homeless, the Clinton Housing Association, the Prospect Park Environmental Center, and the Fordham Law School Alumni Association.

Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong. He was the first Asian American appointed a U.S. District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. He is the only federal appellate judge of Asian American descent on active status in the country.

The Honorable Mark W. Bennett was appointed a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Iowa in 1994.  In 2000 he became Chief Judge of the Northern District and served in this capacity for seven years.  Judge Bennett had previously served, from 1991, as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the sister district, the Southern District of Iowa.  Judge Bennett received his J.D. from the Drake University Law School in 1975.  Upon graduation, he started his own law firm in Des Moines. The firm eventually became Babich, Bennett & Nickerson.  During more than 16 years, his extensive practice in employment discrimination, constitutional law, and other civil rights litigation took him to more than 50 state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States resulting in more than seventy reported decisions, including arguing Evans v. Oscar Mayer Co., 441 U.S. 750 (1979), in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Honorable Bernice Bouie Donald was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2011 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to her elevation to the Sixth Circuit, Judge Donald served on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Judge Donald has also served as a Judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee, and on the General Sessions Criminal Court. Judge Donald has a distinguished record of service to the legal profession and to the community at large. Extremely active in the American, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Associations, she has served in vital leadership roles on numerous key committees. A former President of both the National Association of Women Judges (“NAWJ”) and the Association of Women Attorneys, Judge has served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges (“NCFTJ”), as well as on the ABA Board of Governors, and in the ABA House of Delegates. Her many other ABA leadership posts have included service on the Council of the Litigation Section and on the Board of Editors of the ABA Journal, in addition to her tenure as Chair of the ABA Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession.  Judge Donald has written on a wide range of topics, and is in high demand as a teacher, lecturer, and speaker. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Memphis School of Law, where she received her law degree. In recent years, she has traveled the world on behalf of various government agencies and non-profit organizations promoting the international rule of law, lecturing at courses for judges and lawyers in the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere. Judge Donald’s many “firsts” include her service as the first African American female judge and the first female District Court judge in the history of Tennessee, as well as the first African American female in the U.S. to be appointed as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge. The recipient of more than 100 awards for professional, civic, and community activities, Judge Donald’s many honors include the Distinguished Alumni Award presented by the University of Memphis.

Deborah T. Eisenberg is an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law. Her scholarly interests include employment law, civil procedure, and alternative dispute resolution.  Her publications include Money, Sex, and Sunshine: A Market-Based Approach to Pay Discrimination, 43 Ariz. St. L.J. (forthcoming 2011) and Shattering the Equal Pay Act’s Glass Ceiling, 63 SMU L. Rev. 17 (2010).  She was selected as one of four junior employment law scholars to present at the Sixth Annual Employment & Labor Law Scholars’ Forum in October 2011. Prior to teaching, Professor Eisenberg practiced civil litigation for more than 15 years. More recently, from 2003 to 2008, she was a Partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP in Baltimore, where her practice focused on civil rights, employment law, and other complex civil litigation. She is a former President of the Maryland Employment Lawyers Association and serves on the Boards of the Job Opportunities Task Force (as Vice President) and the Public Justice Center.  She continues to serve as a mediator in civil and employment cases. Professor Eisenberg received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994, where she was a symposium editor of the Yale Law Journal. She graduated Valedictorian of her class at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1991, with a B.A. in Political Science.

The Honorable Nancy Gertner is a recently retired U.S. District Court Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Judge Gertner was appointed in 1994. Before then, Judge Gertner was a Partner at Silverglate, Gertner, Fine & Good from 1973 to 1990. Judge Gertner has taught at Harvard Law School, Boston University Law School, and Boston College Law School, and she has lectured at Northwestern University Law School and Yale Law School. Judge Gertner has authored or coauthored numerous books and has been widely published in legal journals, including the UCLA Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, the Boston University Law Review, and other journals. Judge Gertner has been the keynote speaker at a variety of conferences concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment law, and criminal justice and procedural issues. And, in addition to her other affiliations, Judge Gertner served on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1977 to 1984. Judge Gertner graduated cum laude from Barnard College, received her master’s degree from Yale University, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1971. After graduation, Judge Gertner was a law clerk for Chief Judge Luther M. Swygert for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Elizabeth Grossman is Regional Attorney in the New York District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she has worked, also as a Trial Attorney and Supervisory Trial Attorney, since 1993. Ms. Grossman served as Acting District Director from October 2010 through April 2011. As Regional Attorney, Ms. Grossman is responsible for the Commission’s litigation in the New York District that includes New York, Northern New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The litigation docket of the New York District Office is one of the largest in the country and includes some of the Commission’s largest class cases. Ms. Grossman makes frequent presentations to bar associations, law schools, non-profit organizations, and employers. She has also provided many interviews to national television, newspaper, and radio press. Ms. Grossman has served as a volunteer community mediator with both the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution and the Brooklyn Mediation Center, affiliated with Victim’s Services Association. Ms. Grossman was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of 50 “Women to Watch” in 2004 and was awarded a 2005 Service to America Medal by the Partnership for Public Service and the Atlantic Media Company. Ms. Grossman attended the University of Michigan and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Diane S. King is a trial attorney who practices exclusively in the area of plaintiff’s employment and civil rights law. She has represented plaintiffs in all areas of employment law, including federal court, state court, appellate court, arbitration, and administrative proceedings. She has written and lectured frequently on employment law issues. She is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association Executive Board, the Colorado Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association Board, and numerous other professional boards. Ms. King is also a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Ms. King is a partner in the firm of King & Greisen, LLP. She received her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Minna J. Kotkin is a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and director of its Employment Law Clinic. She has taught employment law, civil procedure, administrative law, civil rights law, and interviewing and counseling. Professor Kotkin has written and lectured extensively on issues of employment discrimination and clinical legal education. Her recent articles include Diversity and Discrimination: A Look at Complex Bias, 50 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1439 (2009), Invisible Settlements, Invisible Discrimination, 84 N.C. L. Rev. 927 (2006), and Outing Outcomes: An Empirical Study of Confidential Employment Discrimination Settlements, 65 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 111 (2007). Professor Kotkin has been a visiting scholar at New York University School of Law, University of East London, and the University of Cape Town. She has served as the chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Litigation and Section on Clinical Legal Education, on the steering committee of the Association’s Equal Justice Project, and on the Board of Editors of the Clinical Law Review. She currently serves on the board of directors of Disability Advocates, Inc. and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York Litigation Fund, and has previously been a board member of several legal services organizations. Before joining the Brooklyn faculty in 1984, Professor Kotkin was the litigation director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and a litigation associate at Proskauer Rose. She graduated from Barnard College and received her J.D. from Rutgers University Law School–Camden, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

David L. Lee, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1952, has practiced and taught law for over 33 years. For over the last 25 years, David has concentrated his practice on representing employees. David is the Secretary of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), was President of NELA’s Illinois chapter from 2005 to 2007, and is the co-chair of the National Litigation Strategy Project for the Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy. From 1984 to 1991, David was a full-time clinical professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law’s nationally-recognized clinic on employment discrimination with fellow NELA/Illinois members Richard Gonzalez and Ron Schwartz. David is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, is on the Labor and Employment Law advisory committee for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and has been named a “Leading Lawyer” and a “Super Lawyer” in the field of employment law. David speaks frequently to lawyers and human-resources personnel on employment law and has published extensively on that topic. David has also spoken and published on civil procedure, legal writing, and other aspects of the practice of law. He is a Hearing Officer for the Cook County Commission on Human Rights and an arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers), and the National Futures Association. David attended Northwestern University for college, where he claims to have majored in the game of chess and ended up rated an “expert” by the U.S. Chess Federation, but actually graduated in 1974 with a B.A. in History. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1977, graduating magna cum laude and Order of the Coif.

Arthur S. Leonard is a Professor of Law at New York Law School. His courses at New York Law School have included Contracts, Torts, Labor Relations Law, Employment Law, Employment Discrimination Law, Professional Responsibility, and Sexuality & the Law, and he has published widely in law journals and other media on lesbian and gay law, AIDS law, and labor and employment law. He started New York’s LGBT Law Association in 1978 and served as its first formally elected president from 1984 to 1988.  He edits and largely writes the Association’s monthly substantive newsletter, Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, which circulates directly to members of half a dozen lesbian and gay lawyer associations in the United States and has an international readership by subscription and online through New York Law School’s Justice Action Center website.  He writes for Gay City News, a NYC community newspaper available online, and is co-editor of the first law school casebook on AIDS and a casebook on Sexuality Law.  He provides timely commentary on LGBT and HIV-related legal issues on his blog, Professor Leonard graduated from Cornell University in 1974 and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977.

Suzette Malveaux is an Associate Professor of Law at Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. She has taught Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Civil Rights Law and Fair Employment Law at Catholic University Columbus School of Law and at the University of Alabama School of Law for the last eight years. Professor Malveaux is co-author of the casebook Class Actions and Other Multi-Party Litigation: Cases and Materials (2d ed. 2006) and author of various law review articles that explore the intersection of civil procedure and civil rights. She has presented her work at dozens of conferences and for various news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and the Congressional Quarterly. Professor Malveaux graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor of the Law Review, Root-Tilden Scholar, International Fellow, AAUW Fellow, LDF Earl Warren Scholar, and Research Assistant. Upon graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ann C. McGinley is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A nationally recognized prolific scholar in the area of employment discrimination and disability law, Professor McGinley is currently focusing on how masculinities theory should aid courts in interpreting employment discrimination law. Professor McGinley was a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Professor McGinley clerked for the Honorable Joseph S. Lord, III of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and practiced commercial, employment, and civil rights litigation.

Scott A. Moss is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where he teaches and researches on employment law and discrimination, First Amendment and other constitutional rights, and civil procedure topics such as discovery, class actions, settlements, and damages.  In the past several years he has published in the Michigan Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the UCLA Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, and other publications.  Before teaching, Moss was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley and then a plaintiff’s employment lawyer for five years at Outten & Golden LLP, where he was the firm’s first associate. Moss served as the firm’s hiring attorney, “ethics czar,” and in-house collections lawyer, a role in which he personally served a complaint on an elusive defendant by posing as a flower delivery person with a rose in hand. Since entering academia, Moss has served as an administrative hearing officer for an employee’s unlawful termination claim, and has continued to litigate plaintiffs’ claims; in the past few years he has personally tried two cases, briefed and argued two appeals, and briefed and argued two summary judgment motions. Moss also is a regular speaker at NELA, ABA, and other bar events; he also is an officer of the AALS Section on Litigation, past chair of the AALS Section on Employment Discrimination, and co-founder of the Annual Labor/Employment Law Scholarship Colloquium at which dozens of professors present works in progress annually. Moss received his J.D. (magna cum laude) in 1998 from Harvard Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review; his B.A. (Economics) and M.A. (Media Studies) are from Stanford University.

Relevant to this conference, one of the dispositive motions Moss is litigating has been ongoing for eight years and counting: after a motion to dismiss was briefed in 2003, appealed repeatedly, and then re-briefed on remand in 2007, the judge decided it should be a summary judgment briefing, so Moss re-briefed it in 2008, and then after sitting on the motion for a year the judge required a letter briefing in 2009, and after the judge granted summary judgment without allowing oral argument, Moss appealed in 2010, and as of mid-2011, over a year after oral argument, is still waiting for a decision.

The Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal is a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Judge Rosenthal was appointed in 1992. Before then, she was a partner at Baker & Botts in Houston, Texas, where she tried civil cases and handled appeals in the state and federal courts. Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Rosenthal as a member of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in 1996. She served as chair of the Class Actions subcommittee during the development of the 2003 amendments to Rule 23. Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Rosenthal chair of the Civil Rules Committee in 2003. During her tenure as chair, the Civil Rules were “restyled” and the electronic discovery amendments were enacted. In 2007, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Judge Rosenthal to chair the Judicial Conference Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, which coordinates and oversees the work of the Advisory Committees for the Civil, Criminal, Evidence, Appellate, and Bankruptcy Rules. During her work as chair, the Evidence Rules were also “restyled.” Judge Rosenthal is a member of the American Law Institute, where she serves as an advisor for the Employment Law project and the Aggregate Litigation project and was an advisor for the Transnational Rules of Civil Procedure project. In 2007, she was elected to the ALI Council and in 2011 became chair of the Program Committee. Judge Rosenthal has taught, written, and lectured extensively, concentrating on topics in complex litigation and civil procedure, including class actions and electronic discovery. Judge Rosenthal serves on the Board of Trustees of Rice University in Houston, Texas. She also serves as President of the District Judges’ Association of the Fifth Circuit. She received her undergraduate degree and J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Elizabeth M. Schneider is the Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, and has also been Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools. Professor Schneider teaches and writes about civil procedure, civil rights, gender law, and domestic violence. Much of her recent scholarship has focused on the impact of federal civil litigation on civil rights and employment discrimination cases. She is the author of The Changing Shape of Federal Pretrial Practice: The Disparate Impact on Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination Cases, 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. 517 (2010) and Gender and Federal Civil Litigation: The Dangers of Summary Judgment, 59 Rutgers L. Rev. 705 (2007). She is the co-editor, with Stephanie M. Wildman, of Women and the Law Stories (2011), the author of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking (2000), which won the 2000 Association of American Publishers Professional-Scholarly Publishing Award in Law, and co-author, with Cheryl Hanna, Judith G. Greenberg and Clare Dalton, of Domestic Violence and the Law: Theory and Practice (2d ed. 2008). Professor Schneider is a frequent commentator for both print and broadcast media, and lectures widely in the United States and abroad. She also clerked for the late U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley of the Southern District of New York. She earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow.

Joseph Seiner is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Professor Seiner was an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he developed and taught a seminar on comparative employment discrimination. Professor Seiner’s articles have been selected for publication in numerous journals, including the Boston University Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the William and Mary Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Wake Forest Law Review, and the Yale Law and Policy Review. Professor Seiner’s work has been featured in a number of media sources, including the Wall Street Journal. Upon invitation, Professor Seiner has submitted written testimony to committees in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Professor Seiner teaches courses in the labor and employment law area. Professor Seiner received his B.B.A., with High Distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1995, where he was an Angell Scholar. Professor Seiner received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1998, where he was a lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review. Following law school, Professor Seiner clerked for the late Honorable Ellsworth Van Graafeiland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After his clerkship, he practiced law with Jenner & Block, LLP, in Chicago, Illinois, where he focused on labor and employment matters. In September 2001, Professor Seiner accepted a position as an appellate attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C., where he presented oral argument as lead counsel in the U.S. Courts of Appeals in employment discrimination cases.

Suja A. Thomas is a Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. She joined the University of Illinois College of Law in the fall of 2008, after visiting at Vanderbilt Law School in the spring of 2008 and after beginning her academic career at the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2000. She has written on the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial and has focused on the intersection between civil procedure and employment discrimination.  Her article entitled Why Summary Judgment Is Unconstitutional, published by the Virginia Law Review, was the subject of a symposium of the Iowa Law Review and has been the basis of arguments by plaintiffs’ employment discrimination lawyers against summary judgment in the federal courts. This article and her other articles have been cited by federal and state courts, including a citation by Judge Posner of her article The New Summary Judgment Motion: The Motion to Dismiss Under Iqbal and Twombly. Professor Thomas received her B.A. in mathematics from Northwestern University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she graduated with honors and was on the Law Review. After a federal clerkship in Chicago, Professor Thomas practiced in New York City for several years at Cravath, Swaine and Moore; Weil, Gotshal and Manges; and Vladeck, Waldman, Elias, and Engelhard, a boutique plaintiff’s employment discrimination firm.