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Diversity & Inclusion: The #MeToo Movement’s Impact on the Legal Profession

Total Credits
1 - 1.2
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In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, all individuals, organizations and professions need to evaluate their understanding of and policies towards issues of gender discrimination and gender diversity. The legal profession is no exception. This timely CLE course will review issues of sexual harassment, pay equity and diversity in law firms. Practical tips and strategies for increasing diversity and avoiding inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace whether by individuals or by company culture will be discussed.

Lecturer Bios

Wendy Stryker, Esq.

Wendy Stryker is counsel to the Employment and Litigation Groups at Frankfurt Kurnit. She represents marketing services agencies, media companies, tech startups, and other sophisticated corporations and individual executives in New York State and Federal courts and before administrative agencies and self-regulatory organizations.

Ms. Stryker effectively plays the role of outside general counsel. She has extensive experience guiding media, advertising and publishing clients through sensitive matters, including hostile work environment claims, use of freelancers, and the application of child labor laws to child actors and models. She advises on a wide variety of day-to-day employment issues as they arise, including discrimination, employee classification, wage and hour, employee discipline, employee use of social media, background checks, interview questions, identity and work authorization issues, and requests for accommodations. She regularly performs on-site training for client staff and reviews and drafts agreements and policies, including handbooks, offer letters, nondisclosure agreements, restrictive covenants, and employment and severance agreements.

Ms. Stryker has also successfully handled litigation and administrative proceedings for executives and some of the world’s best-known marketing services agencies and sophisticated corporations. She recently settled — promptly and on good terms — a sex discrimination case brought by a former creative director against one of the world’s most famous advertising agencies. Her recent work also includes successfully defending an international company with offices in 20 states against employment-related allegations including age discrimination, disability discrimination, and sexual harassment, and successfully defending various employers against claims alleging breaches of restrictive covenants. Ms. Stryker has been interviewed by Forbes, Variety magazine and SiriusXM and has been quoted by The New York Post.

In addition to her employment practice, Ms. Stryker’s litigation experience includes advertising, trademark and copyright, entertainment, First Amendment, and general commercial litigation matters.

Ms. Stryker is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Civil Liberties Union and is a member of the NYC Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Committee. She performs a significant amount of Pro Bono work, including recent successful representations of two New York City tenant advocacy groups, helping them to defeat on First Amendment grounds a landlord’s effort to ban their community service efforts.

Ms. Stryker is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law. Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Ms. Stryker was a law clerk to the Honorable Michael H. Dolinger, United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York. She is admitted to practice in New York.

Lisa E. Davis, Esq.

Lisa E. Davis is a partner in our Entertainment Group representing businesses and celebrities in the film, television, publishing, music, theatre, and sports industries. She was recently recognized as a "Leading Woman Lawyer in NYC" by Crain's New York Business (2017), one of The National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers” (2015), by Savoy magazine in their “Most Influential Black Lawyers of 2015”, in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 (Entertainment), and in Variety’s “Power of Women New York Impact Report” (2014).

Ms. Davis was also named a New York-area 2018 “Super Lawyer” in the fields of entertainment, sports, and intellectual property by Super Lawyers magazine. In the past, Ms. Davis received a Women of Power award from the National Urban League (2011). She was recognized in The Network Journal’s “Attorneys at the Top” feature (2011), and was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (2011). She was also included in The Network Journal’s list of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business” (2007), received the Jacob K. Javits Achievement Award from Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (2003), and was named one of “America’s Top Black Lawyers” by Black Enterprise Magazine (2003) and one of that magazine’s “Top 50 Black Power Brokers in Entertainment” (2002).

Ms. Davis advises on a full range of transactional matters - focusing on independent film (both feature and documentary), unscripted television production, live stage and branded entertainment. Ms. Davis has served as counsel on such documentary films as “Free Angela”, “The Black List”, and “9/11”, and features such as the classic Spike Lee films “Malcolm X” and “Jungle Fever”. Ms. Davis has an extensive publishing practice, representing authors and author estates, literary agents and publishers, including authors Terry McMillan and Valerie Plame Wilson. She counseled the late Dr. Manning Marable in the writing of his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X. Ms. Davis also represents award-winning playwrights, directors and Broadway producers and has been involved in such shows as “Clybourne Park”, “Motown the Musical”, “Let Me Down Easy”, “Radio Golf”, and “Bridge & Tunnel”. In her sports marketing practice she represents athletes such as Kawhi Leonard.

Beyond counseling on day-to-day business issues, Ms. Davis also advises clients on how best to exploit ancillary markets. She has helped many entertainment clients expand into complementary businesses, including publishing, concert promotion, music, celebrity endorsements, and merchandising.

Ms. Davis is a well-known public speaker. She has recently been featured at the Hollywood Creative East Forum, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications. In 2013 she was a panelist at the NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp, speaking on film finance. She also has been featured at the annual Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC) conference several times, presenting on branded entertainment, electronic marketing and legal ethics, and she served on the “Social Media in a Free Society” panel at the Presidential Summit portion of the NYSBA Annual Meeting in 2010. Ms. Davis has been quoted in Elle Magazine, The New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Network Journal, The New York Law Journal, and other publications.

Ms. Davis is chair of the board of the Urbanworld Film Festival Foundation and is a board member of The Council of Urban Professionals. Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, she clerked for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Davis is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, 1981) and New York University (JD, 1985), where she was a staff member of the New York University Law Review and a Root-Tilden scholar. She is admitted to practice in New York.

Matthew Skinner, Esq.

Matthew Skinner is the Executive Director of The Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York State Courts, where he works closely with senior court system leadership in efforts to promote equal participation in and access to the courts and legal profession by all persons regardless of sexual orientation. gender identity, or gender expression. Prior to assuming his current position with the state court system, Skinner led The LCBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York (LeGaL), litigated at Proskauer Rose LLP, and clerked for the Honorable Richard K. Eaton at the U.S. Court of Intemational Trade. He graduated from Albany Law School and the University of Notre Dame.

Sarah F. Warren, Esq.

Sarah F. Warren is special counsel in Fried Frank's White Collar Criminal Defense and Securities Enforcement Practice, resident in the New York office. Her practice focuses on government and regulatory investigations, often involving complex financial instruments. Ms. Warren also serves as Fried Frank's associate general counsel and is a member of the Firm's Professional Responsibility Committee. In that role, Ms. Warren regularly advises the Firm and clients on ethical issues, professional responsibility, issues related to conflicts of interest and risk management. Ms. Warren has represented institutions and individuals in white-collar criminal and regulatory investigations by the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and other federal, state and local agencies. Her work has included confidential internal investigations into allegations of accounting fraud, FCPA violations and financial crimes, as well as related civil matters. Ms. Warren's practice also includes corporate and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on shareholder and derivative litigation, and securities class actions.

Ms. Warren's pro bono experience has included representation of clients before the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the wrongfully convicted seeking exoneration through The Innocence Project at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and, through the Criminal Justice Act for the Southern District of New York, indigent criminal defendants in federal criminal prosecutions. Ms. Warren previously served as co-Chair of the Advocates for Justice of The Innocence Project, and is an active member of The Innocence Project Lawyers Committee, the Fried Frank Women's Forum and the American Bar Association. In recognition of her work on behalf of The Innocence Project, Ms. Warren received the Advocate for Justice Award in 2013.

Ms. Warren is actively engaged in industry current affairs. She was recently elected to serve a three-year term on the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics. In addition, she is editor-in-chief of the ABA Business Law Section and Professional Responsibility Newsletter, The Ethical Business Lawyer, and is an active member of the Firm Counsel Connection, which is affiliated with the ABA's Sections of Business Law, Law Practice Management and Litigation.

Ms. Warren is regularly asked to speak on industry topics. Ms. Warren recently spoke at the New York City Bar Association – Ethical Dilemmas That Keep Lawyers Awake at Night (February 2018). Ms. Warren also spoke at Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference 2017 – On the Horizons – Emerging Risks for Law Firms (March 2017) and was quoted by Law 360. She also spoke on the PLI's 2017 TechLaw Institute: The Digital Evolution (March 2017), presented on Representing Law Firm Clients: Issues and Practices at the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (August 2016), Ethical and Other Recent Developments in Financial Litigation and Regulation at the New York County Lawyers' Association (May 2011) and Bridge-the-Gap Ethics and Professionalism at the Practising Law Institute (January 2011).

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