Randi M. Cohen, Esq.
Randi (Melnick) Cohen believes in keeping things personal. “If you’re looking for a big, corporate firm to throw weight around and blindly bang on tables, I’m not your woman,” she explains. “But if you want someone who really understands your case, who will stand by you every step of the process, I can help.” Randi is a labor and employment counselor and litigator with over a decade of experience representing individuals and businesses. Her expertise is highly sought after by small and medium size businesses and her passion is advising, negotiating, and litigating on behalf of regular, everyday people from all walks of life. Randi litigates before federal, state, and administrative tribunals. Received J.D., cum laude from New York Law School.
Brian Heller, Esq.
Brian Heller is a partner of the firm, Schwartz Perry & Heller LLP.
One of the preeminent trial lawyers in employment law and workplace rights in and around New York City, Mr. Heller has been first chair in multiple seven-figure verdicts on behalf of his clients and has handled matters addressing all aspects of employment law including discrimination, sexual harassment, fraudulent inducement, contractual disputes, stock options and benefits, and workplace torts.
In 2017, the Appellate court affirmed a total award of $1.55 million following a 6-week jury trial that he first-chaired in a sexual harassment and retaliation case. In 2015, Mr. Heller secured his client’s right to bring a sexual harassment and retaliation claim in another appellate court victory. In 2013, Mr. Heller argued before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a landmark victory that reinforced the broad protections of the New York City Human Rights Law for victims of employment discrimination. Mr. Heller testified before the New York City Counsel on a proposed amendment to expand employee rights under the New York City Human Rights Law, which was ultimately successful.
In addition to his established litigation track record, Mr. Heller negotiates severance agreements, employment contracts, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, and counsels employees who are subjected to discrimination in the workplace. He has been with Schwartz Perry & Heller since his graduation from Fordham Law School in 2001. He was made a partner of the firm in 2007 and a named partner in 2016.
Mr. Heller is frequently quoted in national and local newspapers and has appeared on various television news programs in New York City. He is a member of the Bar Association of the City of New York, where he serves on the Employment Law Committee and volunteers with the Monday Night Law program, providing pro bono legal assistance to the community. He is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association of New York and the New York State Trial Association. He actively lectures and publishes articles on the field of employment law for programs sponsored by the New York County Lawyers' Association, National Employment Lawyers Association, Lawline, and the Marino Institute for Continuing Legal Education, where he prepares students for the employment law portion of the bar exam required by various states.
During law school, Mr. Heller served on the Fordham Urban Law Journal and as a mediator in the Bronx Small Claims Court. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Pennsylvania State University.
“Most people feel they have no say in the workplace,” he says. “They feel that it’s best to stay silent and hope the boss leaves them alone. We help give people a voice to fight back.” Received J.D., from Fordham University School of Law, 2001.
Nancy B. Schess, Esq.
Ms. Schess is an attorney and partner in the law firm of Klein Zelman Rothermel LLP. Klein Zelman is a full-service law firm concentrating in all aspects of Labor and Employment Law and Marketing, Promotions and Communications Law. Nancy has been practicing for more than 25 years and represents businesses, both locally and nationally, in diverse industries including banking/finance, professional services, technology, building services, hospitality, entertainment, retail, manufacturing, and transportation.
Nancy’s practice is focused on all facets of labor and employment law, including equal employment compliance and litigation, wage and hour compliance, audit strategies and litigation, FMLA and employee leaves and plant closing compliance. Additionally, Nancy counsels clients in enforceable means to protect their confidential and proprietary business assets. She also practices occupational safety and health law.
Working closely with clients, Nancy develops and implements preventative personnel policies and strategies to foster a litigation-free workplace. She also provides advice and counsel to help her clients successfully manage their personnel assets.
Her experience also includes developing and presenting customized training programs and presentations on various compliance topics including, Wage and Hour Compliance, Prevention of Workplace Harassment, How to Conduct a Defensible Internal Investigation, Tips on Effective Performance Management, and The Pros and Cons of Social Media in the Workplace. While litigating labor and employment cases, Nancy has represented the firm’s clients before federal, state and local courts and administrative agencies, including human rights agencies and various Departments of Labor.
A sought after speaker, Nancy has appeared on television and radio and as a frequent speaker for professional associations and other groups. Nancy is often quoted in the media on a wide range of employment related topics.
Nancy is the co-founder of Gotham City Networking, Inc. (www.gothamnetworking.com), where she chairs the Women's Division. She is Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of Gotham City Networking Foundation.
Nancy was named a NY Super Lawyer for 2011.
B.A. 1982, State University of New York at Albany, summa cum laude
J.D. 1985, Boston University School of Law
Ms. Schess is admitted to practice in New York, and before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Tanya N. Blocker, Esq.
Ms. Blocker is a litigator with considerable employment law experience. She has extensive experience litigating management-side employment matters involving federal and state anti-discrimination laws, state and local wage and hour laws, and class and collective actions. Ms. Blocker has successfully tried cases in both state and federal court and has significant experience litigating race, gender, age, disability, and retaliation actions.
Ms. Blocker also has extensive complex commercial litigation experience, and is proficient in federal practice as well as all facets of the litigation process from the pleadings through to post trial briefings.
Recognizing the importance of community engagement and leadership, on November 1, 2017, Ms. Blocker was installed as the twenty-second President of the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA), a non-for-profit bar association, established in 1976, committed to promoting and supporting both the personal and professional development and growth of Black women attorneys. Notably, the New York Law Journal recognized Ms. Blocker as a Distinguished Leader in the 2018 edition of the journal’s Professional Excellence Awards for her exemplary leadership of the organization.
Ms. Blocker also spent a significant portion of her time in West Africa engaging in diversity and governance work as well as presenting on international employment law. Ms. Blocker was recently selected to participate in the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) 2019 Fellowship program—a flagship leadership program designed to equip aspiring global leaders to be effective and ethical changemakers.