11th Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Conference

September 9, 2021 @ 9:00 am September 10, 2021 @ 12:15 pm

11th Annual Advanced Wage and Hour Conference

Earn 6.0 Hours of MCLE which includes 1.50 Hours Legal Ethics.

Program Schedule

Thursday, September 9, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Annual Wage and Hour Update
1.5 MCLE Hours

Join our distinguished expert panelists who will provide analysis and insight about most recent federal and state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases, as well as new legislation.  This dynamic discussion will focus on how these cases and new laws will impact our wage and hour practice from both the plaintiff and defense side. 


  • Jason Marsili, Rosen Marsili Rapp, LLP
  • Sylvia Kim, McGuire Woods
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m | The Current State of AB5, Prop. 22 and Independent Contractor Litigation  
1.5 MCLE Hours

Despite the enactment of AB5 and the codification of the ABC test, whether a worker is an independent contractor continues to be the topic of much litigation.  Exceptions to the ABC test, including Proposition 22, which provides for yet more rules for certain gig workers, make this area of law even more complex.  Join experienced panelists who will discuss the status of AB5, Prop. 22, and current litigation on the issues of misclassification.


  • Rachel Williams Dempsey, Outten & Golden, LLC
  • Alexander “Zander” Chemers, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Friday, September 10, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Navigating Traps for the Unwary: Legal Ethics Issues in Wage & Hour Class Actions
1.5 MCLE Hours; 1.5 Legal Ethics

Class actions have their own unique set of ethical issues for both plaintiffs and defense attorneys.  Navigating them can be complicated, as the rules sometimes diverge from the more widely applicable ethical rules. The issues may arise from representing multiple clients and pursuing claims of absent class members, communicating with absent class members, and structuring and obtaining consent for settlements. This panel will discuss all of these issues, and more.


  • Prof. Clare Pastore, USC Gould School of Law
  • Prof. Gary Williams, Loyola Law School
  • Merri Baldwin, Rogers Joseph O’Donnell
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Judges Panel: A Judicial Perspective on California Wage and Hour Litigation
1.5 MCLE Hours

A perennial Conference favorite, a panel of judges will provide tips to help litigants avoid obstacles when navigating the ever-changing waters of wage and hour individual, class and PAGA representative actions. They will also provide insights into the impact of recent developments in wage and hour and class and PAGA action jurisprudence.


  • Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Justice of Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal
  • Hon. David S. Cunningham III, Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Hon. Winifred Y. Smith, Supervising Judge, Alameda Superior Court

Moderator: Aaron Cole, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.


Jason Marsili, Rosen Marsili Rapp, LLP
Jason C. Marsili

Jason C. Marsili is a partner at Rosen Marsili Rapp LLP in Los Angeles.  His practice focuses on class and collective wage and hour litigation on behalf of both unrepresented and unionized employees involving violations of the FLSA and state law.  Additionally, Mr. Marsili handles individual matters concerning medical leaves, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination, as well as labor-management relations and executive compensation.  With his background in Dispute Resolution, Mr. Marsili is also the founder of Marsili Mediation and an Adjunct Professor at USC Gould School of Law, teaching courses in negotiation theory and mediation advocacy.

Mr. Marsili is an active member of both the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Labor & Employment Law Section.  He is a former Co-Chair of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee and currently serves as a member of the Council of the Section of Labor and Employment Law.  He also serves as an officer on the Executive Committee for the LACBA Labor & Employment Law Section, is a member of the Board of Governors for the Italian American Lawyers Association, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Impact Fund and Legal Aid at Work.

Prof. Clare Pastore, USC Gould School of Law
Clare Pastore

Clare Pastore is Professor of the Practice of Law at USC Gould School of Law, where her courses include Professional Responsibility, Poverty Law, Suing the Government, Civil Procedure, and Civil Rights. Through the Access to Justice Practicum, she continues to practice as a leading member of the California public interest community. She is a frequent public speaker on poverty, access to justice, ethics, and public interest law, and she is co‑author of the leading Poverty Law textbook. She serves on the Los Angeles County Bar=s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, has authored several practice-oriented short articles on ethics, and frequently consults with and trains nonprofit attorneys on ethical issues.

Professor Pastore has received frequent state and national recognition as an outstanding advocate and teacher. She received the USC Gould School of Law’s Rutter award for excellence in teaching in 2020, and was honored with the Western Center on Law and Poverty’s Earl Johnson Award in 2019. In prior years, she was selected as a Wasserstein Fellow by Harvard Law School as part of its program recognizing outstanding public interest lawyers (2005), named one of the nation’s 45 most outstanding public interest attorneys under age 45 (American Lawyer magazine, 1997), one of California’s top lawyers under 40 years old (California Law Business, 1999), and one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” (2006‑09). She was commended by an official State Assembly resolution in 2004 for her work on behalf of the poor in California. 

Professor Pastore is a graduate of Colgate University and Yale Law School. At the start of her career, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel in the Northern District of California.

Rachel Williams Dempsey, Outten & Golden, LLC

Rachel Williams Dempsey is a plaintiff’s side employment litigator who focuses on impact class actions.  Until August 2021, she was an associate at Outten & Golden LLP in San Francisco, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group.  She will be starting in the fall as an attorney at Towards Justice, a non-profit law firm that focuses on promoting workers’ rights through advocacy and litigation. 

Rachel has represented employees and others in employment discrimination, credit discrimination, wage-and-hour, misclassification, and forced labor class actions. She has co-authored amicus briefs in both the California appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court, and was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2021.  Rachel clerked for the Honorable John A. Kronstadt, United States District Court for the Central District of California, and for the Honorable Richard R. Clifton, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and is also the author, with Joan C. Williams, of What Works for Women at Work.

Alexander “Zander” Chemers, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Alexander "Zander" Chemers

Alexander “Zander” Chemers is a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins. 

Zander helps businesses navigate California’s challenging legal requirements. He regularly advises clients on best practices to comply with state and federal law, and frequently delivers speeches and webinars. Zander has testified before Congress on issues surrounding independent contractors, an area in which he regularly litigates. Zander (together with his wife) has been featured on the cover of The American Lawyer magazine. 

Zander represents clients in many industries, including transportation and logistics, manufacturing, retail, food services, construction, technology, and defense contractors. Through his counseling, he advises clients on compensation plans, meal period and rest break compliance, regular rate calculations, and other strategies to minimize litigation risk. 

Zander is also an experienced class action litigator; as discussed in the Experience section, his clients have repeatedly defeated certification in state and federal courts. His litigation practice focuses on wage-and-hour claims, ranging from class actions involving thousands of putative class members, to representative actions under the Private Attorneys General Act, to single plaintiff arbitrations. These cases involve a broad spectrum of wage-and-hour claims, including alleged violations of minimum wage, overtime, prevailing wage, regular rate, meal period and rest break, business expenses, and wage statement statutes. 

Zander has also successfully defended companies against alleged violations of federal statutes, including wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, disability access claims under Title III, and pre-employment disclosures under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Zander has also assisted clients who are facing claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and failure to accommodate. 

Zander received his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 2008. Following law school, Zander spent a year clerking for the Honorable Ancer L. Haggerty, Chief Judge for the District of Oregon.

Merri Baldwin, Rogers Joseph O’Donnell
Merri Baldwin

Merri Baldwin is a shareholder at Rogers Joseph O’Donnell, where her practice focuses on attorney liability and commercial litigation. She handles claims of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as motions to disqualify and for sanctions. She regularly counsels lawyers and law firms on legal ethics and law practice management issues. She represents attorneys in disciplinary matters before the State Bar of California, and has extensive experience handling attorney-client fee disputes. Ms. Baldwin is a Vice-Chair of the State Bar of California’s Closing the Justice Gap Working Group. Ms. Baldwin is a former chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, and is currently a member of the California Lawyers Association Ethics Committee. She is a co-chair of the Legal Malpractice subcommittee for the American Bar Association Litigation Section Committee on Professional Services Litigation. Ms. Baldwin served as the President of the Bar Association of San Francisco for 2017. Ms. Baldwin frequently lectures to attorneys and professional organizations on issues related to litigation, legal malpractice and ethics issues, and she is a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Baldwin co-edited The Law of Lawyers’ Liability (ABA/First Chair Press 2012) and since 2006 she has served as a consulting editor for the Attorney Fee Agreement Forms Manual, published by Continuing Education of the Bar, California. Prior to law school, Ms. Baldwin was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics. She can be reached at mbaldwin@rjo,com.

Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Justice of Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal
Lee Smalley Edmon

Justice Lee Smalley Edmon was sworn in as Presiding Justice of Division Three of the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal on January 5, 2015. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in August 2000 and served for the years 2011 and 2012 as the first woman Presiding Judge of that court. Justice Edmon also has served on the California Judicial Council and as Chair of the Judicial Council’s Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee.

Justice Edmon is also a current edition author of The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial and is a frequent lecturer to judges and lawyers on civil issues.

Before being appointed to the bench, Justice Edmon was a partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP with an active commercial litigation practice, became a recognized bar leader, and served as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association in 1998-1999. Since then, she has remained involved in bar activities. She served as Chair of the State Bar’s Rules Revision Commission, which proposed comprehensive revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct that were adopted by the California Supreme Court effective November 1, 2018, and she served as Chair of the State Bar’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services. This year she served as Chair of the Nominations Committee for the California Lawyers Association.

Justice Edmon has served on the boards of a number of legal services organizations, including Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Inner City Law Center, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, as well as the board of the Los Angeles County Law Library.

Justice Edmon is also active in the ABA and served as a member of its Commission on Women in the Profession and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is a past President of the American Bar Endowment, which over the years has made grants of more than $300 million to the ABA’s Fund for Justice and Education and the American Bar Foundation. She is currently the Chair of the ABA House of Delegates Credentials and Admissions Committee and is a California Lawyers Association delegate to the House.

Hon. David S. Cunningham III, Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
David S. Cunningham

The Hon. David S. Cunningham III is a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge who has served in multiple assignments in family law, probate and he now serves in a complex civil assignment presiding over product liability cases, labor-related class actions, and mass torts.  He was appointed to the court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on January 22, 2009.

Judge Cunningham graduated with his B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1977.  He was awarded a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Service Scholarship and received his Juris Doctorate from the New York University School of Law in 1980.

In the fall of 1980, Judge Cunningham was admitted to the New York State Bar and began his legal career as an attorney in the Honors Program with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section in Washington, D.C. He worked on the redistricting plan for the Texas House of Representatives and tried several voting rights cases throughout the South.  His work aided Congress in its decision to extend the Voting Rights Act another 25 years in 1982. 

In 1983, upon returning to California, Judge Cunningham was admitted to the California State Bar and served as a judicial clerk for the Hon. Terry J. Hatter, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  In 1984, Judge Cunningham joined the Beverly Hills Office of Finley Kumble Heine Underberg Manley & Casey.  From 1987 to 1991, while simultaneously developing his practice, he taught financial institutions and trial advocacy courses at Loyola Law School. 

In the early nineties, Cunningham grew his public law practice by representing a host of municipal entities, redevelopment agencies, the Los Angeles Airport, the LA World Port Authority, Southern California Edison, and public utilities.  In the new millennium, Judge Cunningham joined the California-based law firm of Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson as a principal, specializing in eminent domain, real estate-related matters, and public law. 

While practicing law in the private sector, Cunningham also served as a police commissioner for the Los Angeles Police Department from 2001 to 2005. It was a challenging time for the City of Los Angeles, coming on the heels of the worst corruption scandal in the history of the Los Angles Police Department, a rise in crime, and federal scrutiny of the city’s policing practices. He served on the commission four years, becoming its president in 2003. He saw LAPD move forward in 2003- 2005 with sweeping reforms and strengthened civilian leadership.

Judge Cunningham has continued his academic interest in the law serving as an adjunct professor since 2015 at the University of Southern California, Gould Law School, periodically teaching evidence to second and third-year law students. From 2016 to 2019, he has served on the Executive Board of the California Judges Association, the “Voice of the Judiciary.” 

Hon. Winifred Y. Smith, Supervising Judge, Alameda Superior Court
Winifred Younge Smith

Judge Winifred Younge Smith was appointed to the Alameda Superior Court in November 2000. Since her appointment, Judge Smith has had a variety of assignments including misdemeanors, felony arraignments, Supervising Judge of the Wiley Manual and Allen E. Broussard Courthouses, Civil Law and Motion, Civil Direct Calendar and Supervising Judge of Civil. She was the Presiding Judge in 2014 and 2015. She has been in a complex litigation assignment in Oakland since 2016. 

Judge Smith is active in the community in a variety of ways. She served on the Judicial Council’s Access and Fairness and Education committees before serving on the Judicial Council from 2008 to 2011. She is active on her court and has served on the Executive Committee for most of her tenure.

Before taking the bench, Judge Smith was a Deputy Attorney General in the San Francisco Office of the State Attorney General for 26 years litigating complex state and federal cases related to health and welfare issues.

Judge Smith graduated from Stanford University and Boston University School of Law.

Aaron Cole, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole is a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins. Aaron provides day-to-day advice to employers on wage-and-hour compliance, and focuses his litigation practice on California wage-and-hour class and PAGA representative actions.   He serves on both the Executive Committee for the Labor and Employment Section of the California Lawyers Association and for the Los Angeles County Bar Association.


Early Bird Rate (Before September 1): $75
Regular Rate (After September 1): $95
CYLA/Student Rate: $35


Gold Sponsors

  • Littler

Silver Sponsors

  • Van Dermyden Maddux
  • Oppenheimer Investigations Group

Bronze Sponsors

  • BBK
  • Sloan Sakai
  • Wagener Law

Friends of CLA Sponsors

  • Mizrahi Law
  • Ratinoff Dispute Resolution

Scholarship Opportunity

The Labor and Employment Law Section of the California Lawyers Association is committed to encouraging the representation of persons of color, women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, other underrepresented groups and those who work in the area of public service.  As such, the Labor and Employment Law Section has committed to provide a scholarship to those persons who have traditionally been underrepresented in our field and/or working in public service in order to become familiar with the Labor and Employment Law Section.