Category Archive: Events

Aug 29

Recap: 2015-2016 School Year

The St. John’s Labor Relations and Employment Law Society hosted a number of noteworthy guests throughout the 2015-2016 school year. The speakers represented different areas of Labor and Employment Law, ranging from collective bargaining in professional sports to employment contracts with the the unionized workforce in New York City.

In April, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce of the National Labor Relations Board spoke to the Society about his career path from starting a boutique labor law firm in Buffalo, New York to his appointment by President Obama to serve as Chairman of the NLRB.

Commissioner Robert Linn of the Office of Labor Relations, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, spoke about the challenges associated with bargaining with the unions that represent New York City workers.  He also highlighted his work on the newly developed Health Benefits Program in New York City, which is poised to save the City millions of dollars while offering affordable healthcare to city employees.

The Society also hosted Ann Lesser, the Vice President of the Labor, Employment, and Elections Division of the American Arbitration Association.  Ms. Lesser co-lectured a class with Professor David Gregory on the history of arbitration, the current state of the practice, and the future use of arbitration as a litigation alternative.

Finally, the Labor Relations and Employment Law Society welcomed William Heller, General Counsel to the New York Giants, to discuss collective bargaining with professional football players.  He emphasized the importance of Labor and Employment Law with regard to employment contracts with professional athletes.

The Society looks forward to another fascinating lineup of informative guest speakers for the 2016-2017 school year.

Feb 08

Spring 2016: Distinguished Speaker Series Announcement

The Labor Relations and Employment Law Society is thrilled to announce our Distinguished Speaker Series for the spring, 2016 semester. Specific details of the various speaking events will be made available in the coming weeks, as we approach the event dates. In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • On Wednesday, March 9, the General Counsel of the New York Giants, William J. Heller, will be coming in the evening to speak about the inner workings of professional sports organizations, from the perspective of a legal professional, along with a discussion of his specific role as General Counsel of the Giants.
  • On Thursday, March 10, prominent Labor Arbitrator Robert Douglas, and his son, will revisit Griggs.
  • On Monday, March 14, Commissioner Robert Linn of the New York City Mayor’s Office will be speaking in the atrium and holding a Q&A session.
  • On Thursday, April 14, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce of the National Labor Relations Board.

As mentioned above, specific details will follow, but we are exciting to be hosting this outstanding slate of speakers this semester.

Nov 10

Salary Arbitration in Sports Conference | Thursday 11/19

Next week, St. John’s will be hosting the Salary Arbitration in Sports Conference. Salary arbitration is a unique method of determining player salaries in professional sports. In fact, only two sports leagues – Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League – utilize the salary arbitration process.  Much has been written about it, but the inner workings of this rare system remain a mystery, even for the most ardent sports fan.  At the Salary Arbitration in Sports Conference (SAS), seasoned participants in the art of salary arbitration will share their insights and experiences through a full day of panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions.  Students, professionals and sports fans alike are invited to come and hear from league officials, union representatives, sports agents, players and others, who will provide an in-depth look at this one-of-a-kind process.  This is an event you won’t want to miss!

As a courtesy, the conference has provided a limited number of complimentary seats for interested St. John’s students. Students can register by going to and using the promo code “STJOHNS” to receive a 100% discount. Due to limited space, we ask that you register no later than midnight tomorrow. In addition, please know that when you register, we count on your attendance and ask that you only register if you are confident you are able to attend.

May 05

Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors Dinner Reception & Meeting

On April 16, 2015, St. John’s Center for Labor and Employment Law had its Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors dinner reception and meeting that was graciously hosted by William Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of New York. The event was held at BV’s Grill in Manhattan, where Professor Gregory, Dean Simons, and Sarah Mannix ’15 made their welcoming remarks before introducing Mr. Wilson and Vanessa German ‘11 who discussed the future of labor management relations. This event was an informative and educational opportunity for students of the LRELS to engage and network with Professors and Board Members who are involved in diverse aspects of the Labor & Employment industry. It is because of the active participation from our members, alumni and friends that allow for the Labor Relations and Employment Law program to thrive at St. John’s. Thank you again to Mr. Wilson and the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of New York for giving the Center for Labor and Employment Law this great opportunity to bring everyone together. The evening was a huge success and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Oct 30

Dr. Charles Russo’s Lecture — “Education as a Fundamental Human Right: Update, Reflections, and Recommendations.”

On Friday, October 25th, Triple Alumnus Dr. Charles Russo, Law School Class of 1983, and Panzer Chair at the University of Dayton School of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Law, hosted a lecture entitled: “Education as a Fundamental Human Right: Update, Reflections, and Recommendations.” Dr. Russo’s extensive resume includes author or co-author of over 250 professional and academic articles, author, co-author, or editor of 52 books, and is the primary author of the leading textbook on Education Law. In addition, Dr. Russo has made academic and professional presentations in 34 states and 26 countries and has been a visiting professor at universities all over the world, including Australia, China, South Africa and Turkey.

Dr. Russo’s discussion focused on education as a fundamental right not only in the domestic context but also in the international context. He cited pivotal Supreme Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Cf. San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. Dr. Russo provided the audience with an international history of compulsory attendance and then moved on to discuss the best interest of the child. Citing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Principles 5 and 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Dr. Russo highlighted that many cases all over the world have had to balance the role of the parent with the necessity of education to the child. In addition, he explained that while countries sign these declarations, some countries do not necessarily provide these rights to their country’s children.

Dr. Russo then made an essential point in his reflections that some believe that children are not equal to adults but they still have to be protected and provided with their educational needs. Lastly, Dr. Russo provided recommendations that we must recognize education as a fundamental human right and make sure there are laws and polices that reflect this right. This includes funding that covers not only building schools and providing the right texts for learning, but also to enhance the staffing through teacher preparation programs.

Dr. Charles Russo’s discussion was lively, eye opening and informative to the audience at the Catholic Worker Mary House in NYC.

Oct 30

Our Annual Distinguished Lecture with His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan — “Pope Francis: Where Will He Lead Us?”

On Monday afternoon, a packed house in the Atrium gathered to hear our distinguished speaker, His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, for the annual Center for Labor and Employment Law lecture. Dean Simons briefly introduced His Eminence, with Professor Gregory giving an introduction to the lecture. Professor Gregory explained that originally Caridnal Egan’s discussion would be focused on Title VII and human rights; however, it had evolved based on a recent lecture given at the Harvard Club. His Eminence then began his lecture explaining that it would be broken up into three parts, first, his own friendship with Pope Francis; second, a brief review of the Pontiff’s history; and third, the doctrinal directions in which he believes Pope Francis will lead the church.

On February 21st, 2001, Pope John Paul II ordained Egan as a cardinal and amongst the College of Cardinals in this group was Pope Francis. Cardinal Egan was immediately asked to direct the next group of Cardinals to be ordained in October. However, this assignment was disrupted by a pivotal moment during his tenure as archbishop of NYC – September 11th—and the resultant fallout from this terrorist attack. Mayor Giuliani asked for Cardinal Egan’s help during 9/11 by first going to Ground Zero to attend to the dead, and then by going to St. Vincent to help the wounded. Soon after, Cardinal Egan was back in Rome to prepare the new cardinal class.

Cardinal Egan discussed the process of preparing for the new cardinal class and the many administrative duties he took on. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) came to Cardinal Egan and said he could only imagine what he had been through during the aftermath of 9/11 and offered Egan any support he needed for this new group of cardinals. This began their friendship. On breaks they would talk about their shared interest in classical music. Pope Francis even reached out to Cardinal Egan on the day after the Metropolitan Opera opening, sending him a letter about Renee Fleming’s performance. Cardinal Egan had previously connected then Cardinal Bergoglio with Ms. Fleming, who sent him recordings of her solos from La Traviata.

During the time they spent together post 9/11, His Eminence Cardinal Egan believed His Eminence Cardinal Bergoglio to be a quiet, thoughtful, and genuine Jesuit and a wise, learned man with a kind heart. Though Cardinal Egan did not take part in the Papal Conclave, he was happy that Cardinal Bergoglio was chosen. When the new Pope Francis appeared, His Eminence’s face portrayed his delight on live television. During his lecture, Cardinal Egan reflected on the change in his old friend since they had met in 2001, Pope Francis had become less reserved. When they met again after the Papal Conclave, Pope Francis asked Cardinal Egan to pray for him, “At least three times a day.” Cardinal Egan asked us to continue with prayers for the pope. Based on Cardinal Egan’s recollection, after their meeting Pope Francis started to walk away, he then stopped and said, “Say hello to Madame Fleming.”

Cardinal Egan then provided a brief biography of Pope Francis including his family background; Pope Francis was from an Italian immigrant family living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied to be a chemical technician, entered an archdiocesan seminary, and three years later he entered the Society of Jesus where he taught psychology and literature. Cardinal Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, when the city was struggling through financial challenges. He had a simple lifestyle as the archbishop, living in a 4-room building next to cathedral. He cooked his own food, took public transportation and frequently consoled families of “Los Desaparecidos” in Argentina.

His Eminence Cardinal Egan provided a reasoning as to the Pope’s appointment by stating that he is recognized as man of prayer who has handled daunting situations in his own country very well. As an advisor of several offices in the Vatican, the address he gave to cardinals before the voting process began was considered to be a speech of Christ-like commitment to the Church. Cardinal Egan also said that many news outlets have called him “the most popular leader in the world.”

Regarding his tenure as Pope, Cardinal Egan discussed the focus that Pope Francis has taken on controversial social justice issues. His spirit and love for caring for the poor has caught attention of the world and Pope Francis treated this topic at length in his paper published on November 24th 2013, Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis, On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World. His Eminence Cardinal Egan called this a clear apostolic document that discusses key social issues and noted that it is a passionate plea to open eyes to the mistreatment through exclusion, especially the poor. Cardinal Egan clarified that although some may find Pope Francis’s message controversial and groundbreaking, it is not a departure from recent church doctrine. Cardinal Egan reflected that the tone with which the messages have been delivered may not be what people are used to.

Cardinal Egan delved into several topics that the Pope has discussed including: abortion, homosexuality, and divorced Catholic’s receiving communion. With regard to abortion, the Pope is clear that we must represent the unborn and ensure that their lives are preserved. With regard to homosexuality, Cardinal Egan explains that Pope Francis sees homosexual acts as morally wrong, yet his response about homosexual people is “who am I to judge them.”

While discussing divorced or remarried Catholics, Cardinal Egan explained that there is some discussion currently about simplifying the marriage process and annulment process, including looking at the strategy of the Orthodox Church or absolving couples after consultation with proper clergy. His Eminence Cardinal Egan is waiting to hear any clarifications that Church scholars and theologians can provide and said he would agree if the thesis is sound. He also stated that the next Senate of Bishops meeting in October 2015 would continue to discuss this topic.

Cardinal Egan’s talk was an in-depth look at the Pope, his beginnings as Cardinal Bergoglio and an exploration of what his future may bring to the Church. At the end of Cardinal Egan’s discussion, Father Whalen spearheaded the Q&A portion of the event. Dr. Charles Russo, Law School Class of 1983, and Panzer Chair at the University of Dayton School of Education asked what advice Cardinal Egan would give the pope regarding dealing with the media to get his point across clearly. Cardinal Egan laughed and said he would tell the Pope to ask someone else! Sarah Mannix ’15 asked if Egan had any advice for recent and futures graduates on how to carry the message of the church through our legal practice. The Cardinal replied that he would ask young lawyers use their analytical skills to help other lay people analyze and evaluate right and wrong.

Cardinal Egan was an engaging and thoughtful speaker who shed light on the new leader of the Catholic Church. The Cardinal’s address was a memorable event and he was truly a fitting distinguished guest for the Center’s lecture series.

Sep 23

16th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference – Maryland Oct 17th-18th

The 16th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 17 and 18, 2014 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Each year this conference brings together law students, experts and practitioners from all over the nation to discuss workers’ rights law. The conference is sponsored by the Peggy Browning Fund a nonprofit corporation which sponsors 40 Summer Fellowships and one School-Year Fellowship for law students in a variety of nonprofit workers’ rights organizations, unions, and NLRB offices throughout the nation (Fellowship application forms are expected to be made available later this fall 2014).

Registration Process:
At the organization’s request, the Law School must approve students’ registrations in order for them to attend the conference. Students will be selected on the basis of demonstrated interest in either workers’ rights issues or public interest law.

Interested students should submit their resumes to Symplicity job posting # 337555 ASAP. Upon approval, candidates will be given further instructions for registering through the conference website.

Associated Costs and Funding:
Students are responsible for the costs of attendance which are described below. While funding should not be expected in connection with conference attendance, the Career Development Office will explore whether limited funding is available to sponsor student attendance; students with a demonstrated interest in workers’ rights issues/public interest law should contact with their resumes as soon as possible to be considered.

Students are also responsible for the costs of attendance:
· Registration Fee (covers materials and processing) – $25
Non-refundable; covers materials and processing. To reduce .no-shows, we prefer that this fee be paid by the student, not the school.

· Conference Fee (includes meals) – $225
Includes meals. Students attending only one day pay reduced rate of $125)

· Overnight Fee (includes full breakfast) – $99 per person
Per person, per night, double occupancy. Students may request a roommate; otherwise, one will be assigned. Single rooms are available for $170 per night, paid in advance.

· Congressional Staff Briefing…….$18 for box lunch

Please Note: The actual cost per person is greater than the fees listed above; thus, PBF subsidizes every student to some extent. Conference attendees may make arrangements to arrive early or stay longer at their own expense. This gives students a chance to schedule job interviews or other activities while in the Baltimore-Washington area.

For more information see, and read the attached brochure and Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Helena Quinn at her contact information below:

Helena Quinn, M.S.Ed
Associate Director of Employer Relations
Career Development Office
St. John’s University School of Law
(718) 990-1390

Sep 15

Guest Speakers This Week!

Please join the Professor Gregory and the LRELS for two exciting guest speakers this week!

September 16, 2014 – Jack Newhouse ‘12, an associate with Virginia & Ambinder LLP, will discuss wage and hour compensation claims from the plaintiff employee rights perspective. Mr. Newhouse’s practice areas are wage and hour class action litigation, and he has previously worked for both the NLRB and EEOC.

Room 2-12, 1:40 pm – 3:50 pm.

September 18, 2014 – Chair of EEOC, Presentation
The Honorable Jacqueline Berrien, the Chair of the EEOC Commission, will discuss the strategic initiatives of the Obama Administration.

Room 2-12, 6:15 pm — 7:50 pm.

Please see attached flyer for speaker bios and we hope to see you there!

Labor Relations FLYER


Sep 08

Fall 2014 Upcoming Events

September 9th
Fall Fest 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Great Lawn
The Labor Relations and Employment Law Society E-board and members, will have various program information available.

September 16th
Mr. Jack Newhouse, Class of 2012, an Attorney with Virginia and Ambinder, will discuss wage and hour compensation claims from the plaintiff employee rights perspective. Room 2-12, 1:40 pm – 3:50 pm. This is a very compelling dimension in Labor and Employment Law. See, for example, Steven Greenhouse, More Workers are Claiming Wage Theft, Monday, Labor Day, The New York Times, September 1, page 1.

September 16th
General Meeting of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Society, 530 pm—630 pm, Room TBD/TBA. Employment search Information—bring your cover letters and resumes

September 18th
The Honorable Jacqueline Berrien, the Chair of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will discuss the strategic initiatives of the Obama Administration. Room 2-12, 6:15 pm — 7:50 pm.

October 24th
Triple Alumnus Dr. Charles Russo, Law School Class of 1983, and Panzer Chair at the University of Dayton School of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Law, will discuss education as a global human right. In addition to being the primary author of the leading text book on Education Law, Dr. Russo is the author of hundreds of professional and academic articles informed by his academic and professional presentations in more than 30 nations. This event will be at the Catholic Worker Mary House, 55 East 3rd Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues in Manhattan, commencing at 7:30 pm.

October 27th, Monday, Room and Time TBD
Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York (ret.), will reflect on his half century of work to enhance Human Rights, ranging from his work as a newly ordained priest through his many years of friendship with Pope Francis.

Note Regarding Annual Management Lawyers Colloquium

The Annual Management Lawyers Colloquium and dinner, and the conferral of the Cesar Chavez Memorial Prize upon the Class of 2015 student with the highest GPA in the most labor and employment law courses at the beginning of the senior year, have been deferred indefinitely. The Jackson Lewis Scholarship, normally awarded at the Colloquium, has been deferred. to the Spring Semester 2015. The scholarship application and selection process, as well as the election of the Labor Society’s executive officers for 2015-16, will commence in January 2015.

May 12

Video Link – Title VII at 50 Conference

n_uT1h9y08KPVcH90Nr_oXo4-ceRk5lJOC1-ro8R-2M,uag3aUMzRCkJqegYm-AjCBuVaCofjzsDqTvuxHTyK7M,ZRHRnUo5SWhOuBHWa5cZcfRT2dc5yuVxVWucTiDh0iYIf you missed the Title VII at Fifty Conference, you can now see what you missed on the video links. Thank you to St. John’s Law School’s IT team for putting this together.

Watch video of the two day event:

Video 1 – Day 1.

Video 2- Day 1

Video 3 – Day 1

Click!collection284&k=769ca2463b for Video from Day 2, provided by NYU.

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