Kutak Rock Employment Seminar Examines Wide Range of Topics 11/16/18 11:34:43 AM
Presenter Anna Berman, an associate in the Kansas City office, conducts a lively interactive session. Photos by Lorraine Boyd
Kutak Rock Employment Seminar Examines Wide Range of Topics
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
More than 200 people attended Kutak Rock’s 11th annual Employment Law Seminar Nov. 8 at the Scott Conference Room on the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s south campus.
The all-day seminar grows every year, Kutak Rock partner Marcia Washkuhn said, with this year’s attendance
being the largest to date. The CLE seminar targets in-house counsel and human resources professionals.
This year’s seminar was entitled “Canvassing Employment Law: A Midterm Review.”
The seminar focused on developments and updates from the past two years, including practical advice
on issues related to new trends, immigration law, wage and hour law, arbitration agreements, the #MeToo movement, anti-poaching laws, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, benefits and ethics.
In what was probably the most entertaining – yet educational – session, Kutak Rock Kansas City associate Anna Berman presented an ethics trivia game. It used real (or thinly disguised), and often unbelievable,
examples from around the country to test participants’ ethics prowess.
The fast-paced one-hour session sped through 10 of the planned 12 questions, with only a few managing near-perfect scores.
Scenarios were presented, then a true-false question was posited.
One question asked: Billing a client for watching a law-related television show (“Law and Order”), which gave the lawyer an idea for defense of a client, is permissible as “research.” True or False?
If you said False, you’d be right.
Another problem that elicited some extra discussion by participants was one called “Virtual Reality.”
This law firm, owned and operated by Millennials, has a virtual office – employees work from home – on a secure laptop supplied by the firm. They have a VPN or virtual private network.
While the owners are not tech-savvy, they hired the best IT person to set up the network. They don’t understand it, but trust the IT person.
Suddenly, the IT person goes MIA. There is suspicious activity on the network; some documents have been leaked online and they suspect that the IT person purposefully compromised the firm. An investigation
reveals the network was highly susceptible to hacking and a third-party took advantage of that.
The owners of the firm were obligated to understand their network: True or False?
True. They were obligated to understand what the IT person was doing. (They need to “competently manage technology used in the practice. Rule 3-501.1.)
The rest of the questions dealt with equally important and sometimes perplexing issues that can confront those in the legal field. The hour was laced with some humor as well, making it the perfect session to follow lunch.
Berman’s session was followed by the presentations of partner Kasey Cappellano on Defend Trade Secrets Act and Anti-Poaching Rules, and of counsel attorney Clete Samson on Immigration Facts on the Ground.
Partner P. Brian Bartels concluded the day with a seminar of ensuringa Winning Benefit Plan.
Morning presenters and their subjects were associates Meaghan Gandy and Ryan Calley with “Employment and Labor Law Changes and Trends;” partner Gigi O’Hara with a “Wage and Hour Update;” partner Kate Jones on the “Great Debate: Mandatory Arbitration or Not;” and Washkuhn on “The #MeToo Movement, One Year Later.”