J. ASHLEE ALBIES (Chair)
Ashlee Albies has been practicing civil rights and employee-side employment law since 2005. She has devoted her legal career to providing zealous advocacy for clients who have been harmed by discrimination, retaliation, and unfair treatment by their employer or by the government. She is a past chair of the Portland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and of the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section, and formerly served on the Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Oregon Council on Civil Rights. She presents at many public forums and continuing legal education seminars about employment law, the First Amendment, free speech, creative uses of the law, trial advocacy, and civil rights litigation. She is a partner in the firm Albies & Stark LLC.
JANINE BLATT (Past Chair)
Janine is a partner at Druckman & Blatt, P.C. who has 28 years’ experience litigating employment claims and advising management. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, Janine served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Willamette Law Review. Thereafter, Janine was selected as a SuperLawyer for several years from 2014-2017, and 2019-2020, for her work in defense-oriented employment litigation. Janine is actively involved in her community and was a founding member of Wilson Youth Basketball Association.
Kate Flanagan represents unions and union members as an Associate Attorney at Bennett Hartman, LLP. Kate earned her Juris Doctorate from Lewis and Clark’s Northwestern School of Law in 2021, then clerked for Judge Judith Matarazzo at the Multnomah County Circuit Court. She serves as the chair of Oregon’s Democratic Third Congressional District Committee and of the Tryon Life Community Farm Board of Directors.
Amanda Gamblin is a solo practioner offering practical advice to employers that integrates complex and often contradictory legal requirements with business realities. Taking a proactive approach, Amanda trains executives, managers, and directors to understand their legal obligations, recognize high-risk situations and balance the needs of the business with the rights of employees. Whether in litigation, strategic planning, or employment advice, Amanda is known for creative strategies that lead to positive people solutions. Amanda also conducts workplace investigations incorporating on years of study of discrimination, bias, and equity.
Sarah Hale is a partner at Miller Nash LLP and advises public and private employers on a wide variety of workplace-related matters. She has extensive experience counseling clients on day-to-day employment and labor issues, including leave and disability law compliance, conducting workplace investigations, drafting workplace policies and employee handbooks, and representing clients in collective bargaining, union contract negotiations, and grievance and interest arbitrations. Sarah also defends clients in state and federal court in claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour, and wrongful discharge. She previously worked as a municipal prosecutor where she tried cases to verdict and handled pre-trial and post-trial motions and sentencing.
Before private practice, Sarah served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Marsha J. Pechman in the U.S. District Court and the Honorable Marlin J. Appelwick in the Washington State Court of Appeals. Sarah received a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and earned both a M.A. and B.A. in history from the University of Oregon.
Sam is an attorney with the law firm of AmicusPoint Law LLC. Sam began his legal career working as a judicial clerk for the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. After his clerkship, he worked for a boutique firm specializing in employment defense. He later transitioned to work for one of the largest AmLaw 100 firms in the country, continuing to hone his skills by working complex commercial and employment litigation matters for national and international companies. Sam also worked with clients to provide legal compliance advice; draft agreements and policies; enforce trade secrets; and handle single, multi-plaintiff, and class action litigation. After nearly a decade working for notable law firms, he decided to start AmicusPoint Law LLC and continue to help companies and individuals wade through business and employment-related challenges in state and federal courts. Sam currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to LatinoBuilt, an association for Latino contractors in Oregon. Sam served as an Infantry Officer with the Oregon Army National Guard, attained the rank of Major, and conducted two combat deployments to Afghanistan and one NATO-led deployment to Kosovo.
SCOTT N. HUNT (Advisory Member)
Mr. Hunt represents employees in wrongful discharge claims and all types of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and whistleblowing actions as well as medical leave claims and claims for unpaid wages. Following twenty-three years of partnership, after his partner retired he has maintained his own firm Busse & Hunt, LLC.
In 1999 he argued Albertsons v. Kirkingburg, a seminal disability discrimination case, before the United States Supreme Court. Since then his primary focus has been disability law. He has also argued before the Washington Supreme Court, the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Many of those cases have resulted in significant appellate court rulings, including Head v. Glacier Northwest, 413 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2005). His practice ranges from negotiating separation agreements for present employees, through all phases of state and federal trial litigation, to appellate work at all levels of the state and federal courts.
Mr. Hunt graduated from Northwest School of Law, Lewis and Clark College, magna cum laude, in 1992. In his practice he has exclusively represented employees and former employees in civil litigation of employment law matters.
Mr. Hunt has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment Law, since 2007. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers from 2007 to the present, which is limited to only 5% of the attorneys in Oregon. Starting in 2010, he has been listed in Oregon Super Lawyers Top 50 attorneys each year. Martindale-Hubbell has awarded him an “AV rating”, its highest for legal ability and ethics. In 2016 and again in 2019 Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law – Individuals.
In addition to his trial and appellate practice, Mr. Hunt is active in the Oregon State Bar continuing legal education program. He co-authored the “Reinstatement Rights of Injured and Disabled Workers” chapter of Workers Compensation (Oregon CLE, 1994), and numerous other papers.
He is a frequent speaker on civil rights and employment law issues in general, with an emphasis on disability law. In addition to speaking at continuing legal education seminars, his bar activities include service on the following committees: Disability Section Executive Committee (2000-2002); Uniform Civil Jury Instructions Committee (2004 through 2006); the Civil Rights Section Executive Committee (2007 to 2009); and the Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee (2005 through 2006 and 2008 to the present). In 2010 he was appointed to The Bench and Bar Commission on Professionalism, on which he served seven years. Since 2016 he has been an adjunct professor at Willamette University Law School teaching Disability Law.
Mariann Hyland is the Vice President of People and Culture at the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), where she provides leadership for human resources, organizational culture, and advancing OCF’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Mariann has more than 20 years of experience in institution-wide leadership at non-profit educational and regulatory institutions in Oregon, where she has emphasized advancing diverse, inclusive, and engaged workforces and cultures. Prior to joining OCF she served as assistance vice provost for academic affairs at the University of Oregon (UO), focusing on faculty labor and employee relations; policy development; and advancing institutional priorities related to faculty recruitment and retention.
Mariann’s other leadership positions include serving as the Oregon State Bar’s director of diversity & inclusion, the director of affirmative action & equal opportunity at Oregon Health & Science University, and in-house legal counsel and director of public safety, risk management, and contracts at Chemeketa Community College.
Mariann began her career in law as an associate at Stoel Rives in Portland, Oregon, with an emphasis on labor and employment law. Mariann earned an M.S.W. from Portland State University, a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law, and a B.S. from the University of Oregon.
Shirin Khosravi is the Supervising Attorney for the Service Employees International Union, Local 503, a Union of 65,000 public services workers and care providers in Oregon.
Shirin completed her law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School, graduating with a certificate in public interest law in 2014. During law school, Shirin clerked with Legal Aid Services in Oregon and New York and completed a full-time externship with the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project. In addition to serving on the Oregon State Bar Labor & Employment Section, Shirin currently sits on the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project Board of Directors and was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Public Records Advisory Council.
Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, Shirin attended Bard College. After graduating, she worked as a grass roots organizer on various marriage equality campaigns in Maine and New York.
DAEMIE M. KIM (Advisory Member)
Daemie is a solo-practitioner in Salem, Oregon, representing primarily government employees and small-business owners in business and employment matters.
Daemie received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her law degree from Willamette University College of Law. Daemie serves on committees for both the OSB Labor & Employment Section and the OSB Civil Rights Section; she is also an elected member of the OSB House of Delegates and participates in the Willamette Valley Inns of Court.
In her spare time, Daemie spends time with family and volunteers as part of the Dartmouth Club of Oregon. This year, Daemie is retiring from serving for several years as the Oregon/SW Washington District Enrollment Director for Dartmouth College.
Blerina is a partner in Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. For over a decade, she has represented and defended employers in numerous matters, including discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, OFLA, and ADA, wage and hour, harassment, and employment agreements. Blerina also represents employers in agency investigations of civil rights violations and wage and hour compliance—whether for individual complaints or systemic audits. She advises management on countless employment issues, from risk assessment of terminations and complex medical leave situations, to evaluating employee classifications and drafting employment documents.
Blerina further partners with clients in conducting workplace investigations, whether they relate to wage and hour issues or harassment and safety concerns. Her clients range from nonprofit organizations to national companies in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, military defense, and financial services.
The Portland Business Journal named Blerina as one of its 2018 Forty Under 40 award recipients, recognizing influential business and community leaders in the greater Portland area who are under 40 years old. Blerina has also been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2022-2023, an Oregon Super Lawyer in 2022, and an Oregon Rising Star from 2015 to 2017.
Sally LaJoie is a mediator and arbitrator in private practice. She is a graduate of Willamette University College of Law and has spent over two decades working in labor and employment law in Oregon. She also provides preventative services, including training, facilitation, workplace investigations and communication skill building.
Sally began her private mediation practice after serving as a mediator for the Oregon Employment Relations Board. As one of three mediators for the board, she assisted public employers and employee organizations throughout Oregon to resolve disputes and mediated over 100 cases. Those mediations included resolving collective bargaining disputes, grievances under collective bargaining agreements, unfair labor practice cases and civil service appeals. She also conducted joint trainings and facilitation services for labor and management representatives for improved negotiations.
Before becoming a mediator, her legal practice focused on representing clients in individual and class action claims for Wage and Hour, Family Medical Leave Act, Title VII and other employment related cases. She worked as a public affairs attorney at the Oregon State Bar in the law improvement and government relations program, as a labor representative for the Oregon Nurses Association handling contract negotiations, labor relations and administration in private sector healthcare, and as a Labor Relations Manager for Multnomah County.
BRENA MOYER LOPEZ
Brena Moyer Lopez is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Oregon Department of Justice Labor and Employment Section, General Counsel Division. Brena began her career as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Farmworker program in Woodburn, Oregon. She joined the Oregon DOJ, Labor and Employment Section in 2013, where she provides legal compliance advice and training to a variety of state agencies, and represents state agency management in labor and employment-related litigation, including grievance arbitrations and hearings before the Oregon Employment Relations Board. She graduated from Gonzaga University and the University of Texas School of Law.
Caitlin Mitchell specializes in employment law and civil rights litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she was a staff attorney at Youth, Rights & Justice (YRJ) in Portland, where she represented children and parents in juvenile dependency proceedings in the trial court and on appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals. She also worked on class-action litigation on behalf of children in Oregon’s foster care system and drafted proposed legislation in support of the rights of parents and children.
Caitlin graduated from Yale Law School in 2012. She clerked for Justices Adrienne C. Nelson and Martha L. Walters on the Oregon Supreme Court. Caitlin has taught Children and the Law as an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School. She is currently a member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association Amicus Committee.
Elizabeth Semler assists clients in a broad range of business and employment matters. Elizabeth’s employment practice includes representing employers in court and before administrative agencies. She also provides advice, training and counsel to employers on a wide range of employment-related topics including: employee discipline and termination; issues related to competition and solicitation, and confidentiality; appropriate and effective employee documentation; harassment and discrimination investigations; medical, disability, and sick leave, wage and hour issues, and severance agreements. Elizabeth also represents parties in business disputes in federal and state courts and in arbitration, including disputes arising from contracts, restrictions on competition, franchises, intra-corporate relationships, and lender liability.
Elizabeth frequently writes and speaks on issues relating to employment law including, the federal and Oregon Family Leave Acts, Title VII and Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (and corresponding Oregon statutes), and issues relating to independent contractors versus employees.
DIANE S. SYKES
Diane S. Sykes has practiced law for 24 years, primarily in the area of employment, with an emphasis on civil rights case work. She represents both public and private employees of all sizes, including federal employees. Ms. Sykes graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in 1992 and University of Oregon School of Law with a JD in 1997. After law school, Ms. Sykes was a public defender with the firm of Squires and Lopez, specializing in the representation of low-income Hispanic populations. In 1999, she was hired at Legal Aid Services of Oregon and continued to serve low-income populations at the Oregon Center, performing primarily casework in the area of employment and housing discrimination, as well as consumer protection cases, over a 10-year period. In 2009, Ms. Sykes was hired by Oregon Department of Justice to create and lead the DOJ Civil Rights Unit. In this capacity, Ms. Sykes litigated several employment and fair housing cases. In 2013, Ms. Sykes launched a private law practice in SE Portland and continues to advocate for the rights of employees.
Dennis Westlind is a partner at Bullard Law, where he practices both traditional labor law and employment litigation. He also provides clients with daily labor and employment advice, litigates grievance arbitrations, appears in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and responds to charges and investigations before federal and state administrative agencies.
Dennis received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 2000. Prior to joining Bullard, Dennis was in-house counsel for Providence Health and Services for seven years. Before that, he was a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Stoel Rives and started his career as an attorney with Tonkon Torp, both in Portland. Dennis received his Ph.D. from Lund University, Sweden in 1996, where his doctoral thesis analyzed the rhetoric of fringe political movements using discourse analysis techniques derived from continental post-structuralist thought of the 1960s and 1970s; the resulting period of unemployment explains why he went to law school two years later.
Alex Wheatley is a partner in Fisher Phillips’ Portland and Seattle offices. Alex’s practice focuses on employment litigation, labor management relations, and counseling employers on Oregon and Washington employment and labor issues. He has substantial experience working with employers of all sizes to create and implement legally compliant policies and practices. Alex also provides counsel with respect to leave, disability, wage and hour, and discrimination and retaliation laws as well as discipline and termination decisions. Alex defends employers against lawsuits and administrative complaints related to all types of employment claims.
Maria Witt is Of Counsel to Albies, Stark & Guerriero. Maria has spent nearly fifteen years advocating for employee rights, first as a union organizer and then as an employment lawyer. She is passionate about fair treatment in the workplace and strives to make sure every client has the knowledge they need to make informed, empowered decisions. Maria is fluent in both English and Spanish. As an advocate for clients facing discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wage and hour violations, Maria has successfully represented employees in Oregon and Washington at trial, in mediation, and in negotiating settlements. Throughout her work, she draws on her extensive experience helping individuals resolve workplace disputes and obtain better working conditions.