About the Speakers
Mark Downey- Speaker and Moderator
D Law Group, PLLC
For the last fifteen years Mark has been Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has focused his practice for the last 20 plus years on working with in-house Human Resource professionals and in-house employment counsel defending the companies they work for in employment and labor related matters. During this time Mark has had extensive experience in handling and responding to a wide range of local, state and federal employment issues that impact the management and operations of businesses in a wide range of industries. Mark's experience includes appearances before state and federal agencies and regulatory boards, litigation in both state and federal courts, defense of class actions and appearances before courts of appeal. Mark is a published author and regular speaks on labor, employment and workplace practice topics.
Partner, Elise Healy + Associates PLLC
Lisa Sotelo focuses her practice on corporate and investor immigration. She counsels corporations, educational institutions, and individuals on a variety of business immigration issues. Her clients span across a wide variety of industries, including construction, education, energy, finance, health care, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing and sales, staffing, technology, telecommunications, athletics, celebrity personalities, investment, among others. She also has a breadth of experience in family-based immigration, naturalization, removal defense litigation, and various other humanitarian-related immigration matters. She was admitted to practice law in Texas in 2004 and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Paul W. Simon, JD
Simon | Paschal PLLC
Paul is a founding member of Simon | Paschal PLLC, an employment and business law boutique law firm in Frisco, Texas. Paul graduated from Hope College and Michigan State University College of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. Paul is both an active transactional attorney and a litigator. Paul regularly appears before state and federal courts on behalf of his clients. In addition to his work as a litigator, Paul serves as an outside General Counsel for many of his clients, a role in which he regularly represents employers before the TWC, EEOC and various other government agencies. Paul is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. Paul is a five-term member of the DAYL Executive Committee, where he ultimately served as President. Paul has been selected annually as a Texas Super Lawyer since 2014. Paul has been recognized by D Magazine as a Best Lawyer in Dallas.
Partner, Carter Arnett
Courtney Barksdale Perez is a partner at Carter Arnett. Courtney has a vast array of civil litigation experience having tried cases to jury in state and federal court. She has represented plaintiffs and defendants in employment-related claims, civil disputes involving allegations of fraud, negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenants not to compete, tortious interference with contracts, civil conspiracy, antitrust and in intellectual property disputes alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, trademark infringement, and patent infringement. Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Courtney has specialized knowledge representing individuals, corporations, and government entities in all phases of commercial and employment- related litigation from the risk-management phase through trial and on appeal. Courtney regularly advises clients concerning compliance with employment-related statutes and has served as lead counsel in cases involving claims asserted under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Federal Labor Standards Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Texas Whistleblower Act, the Texas Payday Act, the Texas Labor Code and employment agreements. She also conducts internal investigations, reviews and prepares policies and procedures, and provides training for employers. Courtney also has experience advising government contractors concerning their obligations under federal contract compliance laws, developing compliance programs, drafting Affirmative Action plans and representing government contractors in administrative proceedings.
Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Frank Davis is Board Certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His clients know he is ready to use his knowledge to manage a crisis on a moment’s notice. In fact, in the last year, he managed labor relations matters and workplace safety inspections and fatalities in over 35 different states. Mr. Davis’ experience managing crisis events makes him especially suited to counsel clients on strategies to avoid catastrophic litigation and other cost-savings efforts. He also represents clients in whistleblower matters under a broad range of statutes, including the OSH Act, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, and the Clean Air Act. Mr. Davis handles all phases of these complaints, from initial investigation to final litigation before administrative law judges and appeals to federal court. Mr. Davis regularly represents private and public clients in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, petroleum, construction, hospitality, agricultural, aviation, transportation, education, and city services. He also successfully coordinates work throughout the firm’s many national and international offices to ensure his clients receive fast and consistent help with their labor and employment needs.
Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins
Kelly Hughes has spent her career advising and supporting private and public employers across numerous industries, to include manufacturing, pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, construction, hospitality, automotive, computer/software, retail, real estate, and biotech, among others. She is also well experienced in working with local governments, colleges, and universities. Kelly is a nationally-recognized authority on workplace flexibility and guides clients in creating and/or enhancing workplace flexibility tools (such as remote work, flexible scheduling, and the like) in a manner that balances the business needs of the client with the various employment laws that may be implicated. She authored the legal chapters of the book Workflex: The Essential Guide to Effective and Flexible Workplaces as well as the Workflex and Employment Law Pocket Guide for SHRM’s When Work Works initiative. Kelly is an entertaining, sought-after speaker, traveling around the country delivering presentations on this and other cutting-edge topics, such as transgender rights in the workplace, to assist employers in creating an inclusive work environment for their employees. Kelly also authors articles and conducts presentations on mental health issues in the legal profession, particularly with respect to anxiety and OCD.