Issue #17 Fall 2021
View From the Chair
Nickelhoff & Widick, PLLC
Report from the Council

In the northern hemisphere, the autumnal equinox takes place around September 22 each year when the sun crosses the celestial equator in a southerly direction. That used to be the time of year when attorneys from across the state would gather together in Detroit, Grand Rapids or Lansing for the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Michigan (SBM). The Labor and Employment Law Section (LELS) would hold its own Annual Meeting at the same time, elect new officers and conduct a seminar followed by a reception.

Despite efforts to rebrand the SBM Annual Meeting as the “NEXT Conference,” attendance continued to decline and the 2018 Annual Meeting of the State Bar in Grand Rapids was its last. Shortly thereafter, the Council of LELS decided to hold its Annual Meeting in connection with its signature event, the Midwinter Meeting held each January. That left the Fall open for what we hope will become another signature networking event—OCTOBERFEST—to be held this year at Bell’s Brewery’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo, adjoining its original brewery and general store (see attached photo).

Thanks to our Vice-Chair Keith Brodie’s relationship with Bell’s, the Eccentric Café will be ours alone from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021. The registration fee includes a barbecue dinner (vegetarian option on request) and if all goes well, a tour of the original brewery as well the new brewery a short distance away in Comstock. Spouses and children are welcome. Accommodations are available at a number of nearby hotels (see attached list)

OCTOBERFEST will provide us all an opportunity to get away from our computers for a while and reengage the conversational and networking skills which atrophied during the long pandemic. We will also be fulfilling one of the goals of the strategic plan which the Section adopted back in 2015 by hosting an event outside the Detroit metropolitan area. Please make every effort to join us on October 22.
Kalamazoo Accommodations
Radisson Plaza Hotel 
100 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

$158/night for Standard King $208/night for a Suite

Reservations: 269-384‐2655 Corporate ID # 27709
Home2 Suites by Hilton Kalamazoo
303 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

$135/night for Standard King Suite

Phone: 269-279-0699
Residence Inn by Marriott Kalamazoo East 
1500 E Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49001

$99/night for Standard, $119/night for Suite

Phone: 269-349-0855
Courtyard Marriott Kalamazoo

$141/night for Standard, $159/night for Suite

400 Trade Centre Way

Phone: 269-382-5808

Code: 49N
Holiday Inn Express Kalamazoo


3630 East Cork Street

Reservations: 269-373-0770
Delta Hotels Marriott Kalamazoo 
2747 South 11th Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

$100/night for Standard King

Phone: 269-375‐6000

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Kalamazoo 
303 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

$145/night for Standard King

Phone: 269-382-4000
Four Points by Sheraton 
3600 E Cork St Ct, Kalamazoo, MI 49001

$109/night for Standard King, $119/night for Suite

Reservations: (269) 385‐3922
SET Account # 392619
Homewood Suites Kalamazoo


500 Trade Centre Way

Phone: 269-382-5817

Code: 0003111255
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
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