Issue #16 Summer 2021
View From the Chair
Nickelhoff & Widick, PLLC
I want to start by thanking Nedra Campbell, Chair of the LELS SpringBoard event on July 29. This was the Section’s first in-person event since the Annual/Midwinter Meeting at the DAC on January 24, 2020, more than 18 months ago. Under Nedra’s leadership, the Council started planning this event back in February of this year, while we were all still wearing masks, meeting by Zoom, and the prospects for an in-person event in July were much less certain than today. I also want to thank all of the mediators who shared their insights with us—Magistrate Judges Kimberly Altman and Mona Majzoub (retired) and private mediators Earlene Baggett-Hayes, Dave Calzone, Joe Golden, David Kotzian, Antoinette Raheem and Shel Stark.

Buoyed by your enthusiastic response, the Council has begun planning additional in-person events. Elsewhere in this issue you will find details regarding the Section’s first outstate event in several years—our own OCTOBERFEST to be held on Friday, October 22 at Bell’s Brewery’s indoor/outdoor Eccentric Café, a “biergarten” located next to Bell’s general store and original brewery in downtown Kalamazoo. Accommodations are available within walking distance at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalmazoo Center and the Hilton Garden Inn. The quaint Henderson Castle Inn is only a mile and one-half away.

We all yearn for a return to normalcy. The Section intends to accommodate that need by bringing back our Annual Holiday Party at the Birmingham Country Club on Thursday, December 9 and our Annual/Midwinter Meeting at the Detroit Athletic Club on January 21, 2022, after a year’s absence. Please mark these dates on your calendar.

Our Zoominar Chair, Ronda Tate Truvillion, has been reaching out to other Sections to keep us educated and up to date. We are partnering with the recently formed Immigration Law Section to co-sponsor a Zoominar entitled Immigration Law 101 (or What Every Employment Law Attorney Needs to Know about Immigration Law) at noon on Wednesday, September 15; Two weeks later at noon on Thursday, September 30, we are again joining with the Immigration Law Section to present a Zoominar entitled I-9 Compliance and Audits.

We are also partnering with the Antitrust, Franchising and Trade Regulation Section to co-sponsor a Zoominar at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 23 on the subject of Employee versus Independent Contractors under the PRO Act (Protecting Our Right to Organize Act).

Finally, our Mentorship Pilot Project has now been underway for six months. By all reports, it has been a success. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the Alternate Dispute Resolution Section is now at work, attempting to establish its own mentorship program. Meanwhile, Council Member and Mentor Jennifer McManus has been planning a dinner for LELS Mentors and Mentees so that we can all get together, compare notes and take steps to make mentorship a permanent part of the Labor and Employment Law Section experience.
LELS First Outstate Event: Oktoberfest!
What: Oktoberfest
When: Friday, October 22, 2021

Where: Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café, 355 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, Michigan 5:00 p.m. until closing

Cost: $50 pre-registration; $60 on-site registration
The SBM Labor and Employment Law Section is excited to announce its first outstate event in several years. A perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues after the quarantine of the last twenty months, the networking-only event will be held at Bell’s indoor/outdoor Eccentric Café, adjoining its general store and old brewery in downtown Kalamazoo. For those interested in spending the night, Bell’s Eccentric Café is located a short walk from the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center and the Hilton Garden Inn. The quaint Henderson Castle Inn is only a mile and one-half away.

Registration fee includes admission to the event, bar service, appetizers and a barbecue dinner (vegetarian option upon request). We are also trying to arrange a tour of the old brewery, or the new brewery located in nearby Comstock. Although we have chosen a weekend when the WMU Broncos do not have a home football game, we recommend that you make hotel reservations as early as possible.
Mentoring Program: A Personal Perspective
If your eyes are open, you've been paying attention, or you have any sense of self-awareness, you recognize whatever success you've had in your legal career has probably been the result of being mentored, trained, nurtured, supported, and advanced by kindness, generosity, and professionalism of many lawyers and teachers who came before you. I have had such good fortune. More than my share perhaps. As a result, an enormous debt or duty to give back has grown within me: an individual debt to those who helped along the way, a general debt we all owe to this profession that means so much to all of us, and a loftier public debt we owe to the public to ensure the next generation of lawyers who will serve them ethically and well.
Sheldon J. Stark
Mediator and Arbitrator
Elizabeth K. Abdnour
Elizabeth Abdnour Law, PLLC
Demographic Report
The following information is taken from the SBM website regarding the membership and demographics of the Labor and Employment Law Section(LELS). For the SBM’s 2019-2020 fiscal year, the LELS had 2,191 members, making it the sixth-largest of the forty-five Sections in the SBM (not including the Master Lawyers and Young Lawyers Sections). Only the Business Law (3,349 members), Family Law (2,567 members), Litigation (2,441 members), Probate and Estate Planning (3,355 members) and Real Property Law (3,355 members) Sections are larger. It is also worth noting that of the 2191 members of the LELS, 160 are also members of the ADR Section, 360 are also members of the Business Law Section, 150 are also members of the Government Law Section, 408 are also members of the Litigation Section, and 187 are also members of the Real Property Law Section.
Upcoming Events
Immigration Law 101
Date: Wednesday, September 15 2021
Location: Zoom Webinar

Partnering with the recently formed Immigration Law Section as a co-sponsor.
Employee versus Independent Contractors
Date: Thursday, September 23 2021
Location: Zoom Webinar
When: 6:00 p.m.

Partnering with the Antitrust, Franchising and Trade Regulation Section as a co-sponsor.
I-9 Compliance and Audits
Date: Thursday, September 30 2021
Location: Zoom Webinar

Partnering with the recently formed Immigration Law Section as a co-sponsor.
Date: Friday, October 22 2021
Location: Bell's Brewery's Eccentric Cafe
Annual Holiday Party
Date: Thursday, December 9 2021
Location: Birmingham Country Club
Annual/Midwinter Meeting
Date: Friday, January 21 2022
Location: Detroit Athletic Club
Labor & Employment Law Council
Vice Chair 

Immediate Past Chair

Commissioner Liaison