Panel List and Descriptions

We pride ourselves on creating a diverse, interesting and educational slate of panels for each Convention. Below, you can see slate of panels and speakers for this year (click panelist name to see an online bio or LinkedIn profile). As always, we welcome topic submissions and speaker suggestions at panels@sabanorthamerica.com.

We are proud to partner with the Thomson-Reuters Corporation to make your CLE experience as smooth as possible.

The Art of Deal-Making in Sports & Entertainment
Sports Law

With a rapidly-evolving media landscape, how can sports teams and media companies most-effectively monetize their brands across multiple platforms?  How is digital media changing the face of sports and entertainment?  And how can lawyers help their clients navigate that transformation?  Join us for a discussion of the hottest trends in the sports and entertainment industries, featuring panelists with unique perspectives on the business of sports and media and the role lawyers can and should play in negotiating and contracting against uncertainty, technological innovation and shifting consumer preferences. Our panelists are Samir Mayur, Director of Business Development for the Houston Astros; Umar Hussain, Manager of Global Distribution Strategy for Disney and the ESPN Media Networks; Neema Sahni, Litigation Associate at Covington & Burling LLP; and Tony Wadhawan of the The Wadhawan Firm.

South Asian Americans & New Worker Movements
Labor & Employment

This panel will examine the plight of South Asian and South Asian American low-wage workers across sectors and how they work to build and sustain power. South Asian Americans work in a variety of low-wage sectors, including, domestic workers, taxi workers, retail, restaurant and fast-food workers. And yet, the infamous model minority myth—particularly as depicted in mainstream media—fails to acknowledge the struggles and realities of hundreds of thousands of South Asians here in America. Panelists will present a diversity of perspectives on the issue of low-wage work and worker organizing in the South Asian community, including the growing role that South Asian American advocates and leaders have played as movement builders. We will also discuss the importance of legal advocacy, cross-ethnic coalitions, and cross-sector organizing as they inform the fight to improve conditions for low-wage workers of color as a whole. The panel includes Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Attorney Advisor to Chair Jenny R. Yang of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance; Luna Ranjit, Co-founder and Executive Director of Adhikaar; and Seema Patel, Acting Director, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, City and County of San Francisco.

So Much Fraud; So Little Time: A Primer on How to Prosecute Claims On Behalf Of Investors
Banking/Business Development/Litigation

In today’s technologically-advanced world, financial markets and investing have become increasingly complex and inaccessible for personal investors and working individuals saving for retirement. Such changes, however, have allowed banks and other financial institutions to defraud investors and retirement plans in complicated ways.  This panel will help corporate counsel avoid these investment pitfalls in their own companies’ plans and investments, and also help attorneys in private practice determine whether their clients have been harmed and what recourse they may have.  These complicated cases are frequently argued before the United States Supreme Court, which will hear two ERISA cases this term, and are also typically substantial in size:  the top ten largest ERISA class actions resolved in 2015 returned more than $920 million to wronged investors.  This panel will discuss how you can recover on behalf of investors that have been the victims of bad brokerage firm advice or have been fleeced in their 401(k)s.  It will explain what to look for in cases, how to market for these cases and how to prosecute them.  Our panelists will be Joseph Peiffer of Peiffer Rosca Abdullah Carr & Kane and  Peter Schneider of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns, and will be moderated by Tej R. Paranjpe of Paranjpe & Mahadass, LLP.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the CFPB and CFPB Enforcement
Banking/Finance

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2008 and has since seized upon its mission to protect consumers. It has entered the on-profit college lending, mortgage lending and financing, debt repayment and student loans areas, and is now trying to enter the auto finance space. The CFPB continued in 2015 promulgating rulemakings, conducting supervisory examinations, and initiating and settling enforcement litigation to regulate and resolve purported violations of various provisions of the 19 statutes and their implementing regulations under its jurisdiction. In sum, during 2015 the CFPB filed or settled more than four dozen individual actions, obtained over $1.3 billion in consumer redress, and imposed over $186.7 million in civil money penalties on regulated entities. As there is no reason to believe the CFPB’s pace of enforcement will slow down in 2016, this panel will examine the trajectory of CFPB, the areas in which it is regulating and legal and constitutional challenges that could limit its power. It will also provide a brief summary of the CFPB’s 2015 activity and seek to identify trends for 2016. Our panelists will be Anand Raman, Partner, Civil and Criminal Litigation and Government Enforcement at Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP; Nandan Joshi, Senior Counsel at the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau; Dong Hong, Vice President and Regulatory Counsel, Consumer Bankers Association; and moderated by Om Jahagirdar, Associate General Counsel at Freddie Mac.

www: The Wild Wild West of Brand Enforcement
Intellectual Property

Is the Internet the digital equivalent of the wild wild west? With unfettered access to materials and the ability to post and repost with anonymity, what steps can a brand take when its rights are violated or its reputation is harmed? More than ever brands need guidance on how to deal with rights violations on the Internet while understanding the potential exposure and legal and business risks association with action and lack of action. Panelists will cover issues such as examples of violations, how to find out who is responsible, the policies and procedures of various sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, for content reporting and removals, alternative strategies, including take down procedures, cease and desist letters, and/or UDRPs, and the potential repercussions of aggressive action. Our panel will include Sanjana Chopra, Corporate Counsel at Underwriters Laboratories; Sandra Buja, Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Aparna Dave, Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo; Goutam Patnaik, Partner and co-chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group at Pepper Hamilton LLP; and will be moderated by Monique (Nikki) Bhargava, associate at Winston & Strawn LLP.

Taking Control of Your Own Destiny: How to Economically Open Your Own Plaintiff’s Firm

Due to the economic climate and use of technology, opening up your own firm has become easier than ever before.  This panel will discuss how to get funding from various sources, how to economically get your office running and the ways to get cases.  Our panelists will be Sam Mukerji of Mukerji Law Firm, Anjali Nigam of The Nigam Law Firm and Daniel Horowitz of The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III.

Defending High Risk Cases: The Cases Get Bigger And The Risks Get Worse
White Collar

This panel will discuss how lawyers handle high risk white collar investigations and prosecutions, including the complicated array of choices lawyers must present to their clients. The panelists will evaluate complex multinational cases involving criminal and civil issues, the proliferation of sports-related criminal cases, and the inevitable tension regarding whether to settle or fight. The panelists will be Mythili Raman, Partner at Covington & Burling; the Hon. Amit Mehta of United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Anjali Chaturvedi, Assistant General Counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation; and moderated by Sanket Bulsara, Deputy General Counsel for Appellate Litigation and Adjudication at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Breached:  The Ethics of Cybersecurity for Lawyers and their Clients
Ethics
Apple v. FBI.  Panama Papers.  Law firm data security.  No lawyer, whether outside counsel or inhouse, can ignore the ethical challenges posed to their profession and to their clients by the specter of data breaches.  Ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive client information is at the heart of the legal ethics rules, and for good reason, given the prospect of reputational harm from unauthorized disclosures.  This panel will examine the relevant ethics rules and engage in an interactive discussion of real life situations faced by law firms and companies around the world.  Our panelists are Khurram Gore, General Counsel at Personal Blackbox Company; Amar Sarwal, Vice President & Chief Legal Strategist at the Association of Corporate Counsel;  and Renee Meisel, Legal Director of Cybersecurity at Dell, Inc.; and moderated by  Anil Mujumdar, Partner at Zarzaur Mujumdar & Ambrose.
Patent Damages: Mock Examination
Intellectual Property

This panel will address controversial issues associated with patent damages. The panel will start with a mock examination and cross examination of a real life damages expert. The mock examination will expose a controversial area of patent damages law and raise the question of whether the question is better resolved by judge or jury. Following the examination, the panelists will describe the key legal considerations surrounding issues such as the entire market value rule, FRAND, and apportionment. Time permitting, the panel will discuss case management related to patent damages and current proposals to advance the resolution of controversial issues. This panel will include Nick Setty, IP partner at Orrick; Neel Chatterjee, IP Partner at Orrick; Ambreen Salters, consultant at StoneTurn Group; and the Hon. Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California.

Selected Topics and Issues for Philanthropic Planning, Organization and Administration
Tax

High-net worth individuals and families with significant charitable and philanthropic interests face a variety challenges in achieving their goals. First they must address the difficult emotional issues involved: what problem do I want to solve and do I have enough money to make a dent; will the art piece(s) I wish to exhibit survive environmental conditions twenty years from now; do my kids and grandkids want to be involved; should they; if so, how much? Then the immense complexity of charitable organization and private foundation law, both federal and state (and possibly international) corporate and tax issues must be addressed and harmonized with the subjective goals previously decided…or perhaps adjusted to fit the desired tax outcome. All of these issues must be faced by clients and their advisors in putting together an effective plan and organizational structure to implement the family’s philanthropic goals. Our panelists will include Rahul Ranadive of the Ranadive Law Firm; Andrew Huber, Senior Vice President Wealth Structuring at U.S. Trust; Gina Pereira, founder of Dana Philanthropy; and Amy Purvis, Chief Development Officer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Annual Supreme Court (P)Review
Supreme Court

This year’s annual Supreme Court roundup will analyze the High Court’s most significant cases and decisions from the 2015-2016 Term. Once again, the Supreme Court will be confronting some of the most important issues of the day, and our panel will break down the most important aspects of those cases. Among the issues that the Court—and therefore the panel—will address are: voting rights; affirmative action; abortion rights/reproductive freedom; immigration; free speech; and class actions. Our panel will feature Archis Parasharami, partner at Mayer Brown; Pratik Shah, partner at Akin Gump; Kannon Shanmugam, partner at Williams & Connolly; and Tejinder Singh, partner at Goldstein & Russell, P.C.

Anti-Human Trafficking Litigation in the Civil Justice System
Civil Rights

The panel will discuss various civil remedies on behalf of victims of human trafficking, including civil justice for victims of sex trafficking and victims of labor trafficking. In addition to coordinating social services for victims, working with victims seeking justice against perpetrators through the criminal justice system, and other legal efforts on behalf of victims, such as immigration work, civil damages cases are an important and available remedy for victims of trafficking. Panelists will include Nadeem Bezar, partner at Kolsby Gordon Robin Shore Bezar; Naomi Tsu, Senior Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center; Sharan Dhanoa, coordinator at the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking; and Gregory Zarzaur, founding member and lead trial attorney at Zarzaur, Mujumdar and Ambrose.

Emerging Risks for Healthcare Organizations: What Keeps Us Up at Night?
Healthcare

The current health care environment poses many challenges to health care providers, including competitive dynamics, expanding government oversight, and evolving business complexities. As a result, health care providers are not only required to provide high-quality care, treatment, services, supplies and products, they must also address the legal risks posed by this challenging environment. This panel discussion will focus on identifying these legal risks and our panelists will offer practical guidance for attorneys representing health care providers. The panel will include Michael E. Clark, Special Counsel at Duane Morris LLP; Chandrika Shori, attorney at Texas General Hospital; Daniel Hu, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas; and Priya Bathija, Senior Associate Director, Policy Development at the American Hospital Association.

The Eavesdropping Employer: A 21st Century Framework for Employee Monitoring
Labor & Employment
Late last year the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a ruling that invalidated an employer’s policy prohibiting employees from recording conversations, images, or events at work without management approval. This ruling could have far reaching implications given that it sets a precedent for reviewing similar employer policies in an age where practically every employee carries a cell phone with recording features and many have turned to technology and social media to address grievances with their employers.
This panel will discuss the ruling and its impact on workplace relations between employers and employees.

The questions that will be explored during the panel discussion include:
1) What impact does this ruling have on existing employer policies that bar or otherwise limit employees from making recordings in the workplace?
2) Are there circumstances under which an employer or manager may prohibit an employee from making recordings at work?
3) Must employees give notice to their employer or manager that they intend to make a recording?
4) How will this decision play out in states that require dual consent to make a recording?
Does the ruling impact employer monitoring policies?

Our panelists will be Anita Khushalani, Founder and Managing Director at Worth Workplace Training LLC; Pankit Doshi, partner at Sheppard Mullin; Jolsna John, House Counsel at Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3;  and Punam Kaji, associate at Haynes and Boone.

Critical Moments and Critical Decisions: Conducting and Defending Congressional and Internal Investigations

Critical moments and critical decisions. Congressional and internal investigations are on the rise, implicating a host of high-profile issues ranging from national security and corruption, to government misconduct and corporate malfeasance. How we interact with Congress and with law and regulatory enforcement agencies involves critical decision-making by attorneys both conducting investigations and defending against them. This panel will discuss the high-stakes implications of recent and ongoing investigations, examine the mechanics of conducting and defending against them, and explore other emerging trends in the current investigatory landscape. The panel, comprised of former and current practitioners in both the public and private sectors, will also provide guidance to those attendees interested in pursuing careers in this arena. The panelists will include Hrishikesh Hari, associate at Dechert LLP;  Anurag Varma, partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld; Vikramaditya S. Khanna, William W. Cook Professor of Law at the University of Michigan; Jeff Vaden, partner at Bracewell; and moderated by Ronak D. Desai, Democratic Counsel for a Select Committee on Capitol Hill .

The Politics of Immigration
Immigration

This panel will focus on the politics of immigration. The most prominent of President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions on immigration have been the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program and the expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Together, these programs could protect up to 5.2 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation, and give them temporary work permits. The implementation of DAPA and the DACA expansion has been stalled in federal court, and its outcome will now be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This panel will examine possible outcomes and implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling, as well as the political and practical challenge to implementation of these programs. The panel will also examine the politics of this lawsuit in a Presidential election year. The panel will also examine other aspects of immigration that have been politicized over the past year, including business immigration and the admission of refugees from the Middle East, and from Syria and Iraq, in particular.

Our panelists include Sujata Ajmera, partner at Strasburger; Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration at the Center for American Progress; Jill Campbell, Immigration Attorney at Neighborhood Centers Inc.; and Ami Gandhi, former Executive Director at SAAPRI.

What Do I Expect From My External Counsel? Best Practices from the Inside
Practice Management

How do you develop business? How do you stay on top of your client’s needs? What staffing considerations do in-house counsel expect? How do you best build relationships with in-house counsel? What are common mistakes that external counsel make? What are billing pitfalls to avoid?

Our panel will answer these questions and more — featuring in-house counsel from a variety of industries and where each speaker regularly works with outside counsel and has some discretion to retain external counsel. The panel includes Malini Moorthy, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Bayer Corporation; Tanya Holcomb, Vice President and General Counsel, Global Litigation, at Honeywell International; Alka Patel, Managing Director and Senior Counsel, BNY Mellon; Aneesh Mehta, attorney at Microsoft; and will be moderated by  Sachin Bansal, senior associate at Paul Hastings.

Cross-Border Energy Development and Integration: From Conflict to Collaboration and Growth
Energy Law

North America has long been a global energy powerhouse in the production of coal, oil, natural gas and renewable energy. While the crude oil and natural gas markets pause, the future of North American energy production leans into growth in the renewable energy space and ongoing efforts to integrate energy markets across Canada, the United States and Mexico. This panel will explore key aspects of the growing business of energy transactions across North America and the prospects for continued progress and future trends in traditional and alternative energy markets. The ongoing efforts of the North American Energy Standards Board’s Gas-Electric Harmonization Forum will be summarized, as well as a case study on the City of Houston’s recent utility scale solar deal as a milestone in the rise of the evolving renewable energy market.

Session Topics:

The outlook for various energy markets in North America

– Trends in renewable energy: technology and transactions

– Policy considerations and current projects
– NAESB’s Gas-Electric Harmonization Forum
– Thoughts from the panelists on the near term future of energy transactions
The panelists will be James Cargas, Senior Assistant City Attorney for Energy for the City of Houston; Gigi John, partner of Energy and Infrastructure at Orrick; Vivek Warrier, partner and head of Oil and Gas at Bennett Jones; and moderated by Noopur Garg, associate at Hunton & Williams

Global Perspectives in Mergers and Acquisitions: Value Creation in an Increasingly Complex Corporate Environment
M&A

With corporate deal-making activity at record highs, our practices have also seen execution of record levels of cross-border transactions.  In 2015, overall M&A activity reached $4.28 trillion, 39% (or $1.66 trillion worth) of which represented cross-border transactions over 5,441 deals, enough to set a new post financial crisis record.  Against this increasingly global backdrop, this panel aims to explore issues and considerations in negotiating and conducting cross-border M&A deals.  Topics will include areas such as: navigating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), foreign investment and public company takeover rules, reconciling differences in legal and regulatory systems, political considerations, challenges to conducting foreign diligence, impacts of differences in business cultures and norms, and more. The panelists will include Natasha Khan, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP;  Shaun Mathew, Counsel, Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity at Vinson & Elkins; Manish Vyas, Chief IP Counsel at Cameron International Corporation; and Bipul Mainali, Associate General Counsel at Aricent.


Corporate Counsel Roundtables

  • “Somebody Ought to Go to Jail”: Representing Companies in the Age of the Yates Memo
    • In September 2015, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released the memo, “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” In it, she amplified previous statements from Justice and crystalized an enforcement policy that seeks to hold individual employees accountable for corporate wrongdoing. Commentators have noted that corporate wrongdoing often fails to result in individuals paying any price. In the wake of the financial crisis, many in the public decried the lack of criminal prosecutions of any kind. In response, Justice and Yates announced “[o]ne of the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing. Such accountability is important for several reasons: it deters future illegal activity, it incentivizes changes in corporate behavior, it ensures that the proper parties are held responsible for their actions, and it promotes the public’s confidence in our justice system.” This panel will explore the Yates memorandum and the role of in-house counsel (including with respect to potential conflicts down the road) in advising executives and the representing corporate client.
    • Our experts are Davina Pujari, partner at Hanson Bridgett and Sujal Shah, partner at Morgan Lewis.
  • Welcome, Now Be a Business Lawyer
    • Most in-house counsel arrive at their posts from law firm positions where they have spent years developing specialized skills, and working closely with like-minded attorneys.  The in-house transition requires applying existing skill sets in a new context, working closely with the singular client and its many personalities, while learning to evaluate and communicate in ‘business’ terms. It also means providing advice on a wide range of topics affecting the company’s business, including, potentially, topics of a non-legal nature. Ensuring that the company’s interests are protected while still delivering value to the client through mixed providing legal and non-legal advice can be a challenge. During this session, you will hear from senior attorneys with experience in navigating these issues and engage in roundtable discussions with your peers on personal experiences and challenges on this topic.
    • Our experts are Nipun Patel, partner at Reed Smith; Nicky Jatana, principal at Jackson Lewis and Monica Khetarpal, principal at Jackson Lewis.
  • Handling Data Breaches: A Primer
    • As hacking attacks and data breaches are on the rise, companies will continue to face potential data security incidents. In this “simulation,” the discussion will cover the various steps to responding to such an incident through the lens of a hypothetical breach scenario. Covered topics will include the company’s discovery of the potential incident, handling an internal investigation (including working with law enforcement), analyzing whether breach notice law requirements have been triggered, and dealing with the aftermath of an incident.
    • Our expert will be Caroline Wenzke Hudson, associate at Winston & Strawn LLP.