Legal Summit 20212021-05-10T19:51:11+00:00

SHRM-Atlanta Legal Summit

May 20, 2021
7:45 AM – 12:15 PM | Virtual

SHRM-Atlanta’s 4th Annual Virtual Legal Summit will help you stay up to date with the complex, ever-changing legal landscape that affects your organization. Don’t miss this opportunity to take a deep dive into timely and relevant legal topics.


Welcome to SHRM-Atlanta’s 2021 Legal Summit!

SHRM-Atlanta’s 4th Annual Virtual Legal Summit will take you on a deep dive into the world of pressing HR legal issues – including COVID, leave administration, immigration, protests and political statements, equality and much more. We know your schedule is full, so this May we’re giving you the afternoon off!

You can join us for the live event from 7:45 am – 12:15 pm OR take advantage of the content on-demand while you earn up to 5 SHRM PDC’s / HRCI CEU’s.

Hot Topics

Learn about the most important legal topics that affect you and your organization.

Experienced Speakers

Hear from some of the top legal experts in Atlanta, sharing the most up-to-date information.

Interactive Discussions

Participate in interactive discussions by connecting with others and deepening your knowledge.



Click on the + sign next to any session to learn more.


Speaker: Keely Collins | Elarbee, Thompson, Sapp & Wilson LLP

As COVID-19-related lawsuits and penalties continue to affect employers across the country, employers are searching for effective strategies to manage legal risk and improve employee health, without compromising the health of the business. Absent interference by the Department of Labor or another auditing agency, employers’ voluntary self-audits of their safety and health practices and policies provide important risk management protections. There is, however, “no free lunch.” Strategic planning must guide the audit process to avoid creating additional legal (and reputational) liability.

From this program, attendees may expect the following practical and immediately applicable learning outcomes:

• Strategies for conducting voluntary workplace health and safety audits related to COVID-19 policies and practices.
• Strategies to maximize the value of an audit and avoid opening liability doors.
• Best practices for minimizing liability related to COVID-19.

Speaker: Aaron Holt | Cozen O’Connor

This session will review the legal requirements and potential pitfalls for an employer’s pre-employment hiring practices, including online social media posts, background checks and ban the box laws. We will utilize real-world examples of problematic social media posts and pre-employment hiring policies relative to an employer’s legal obligations. We will discuss and analysis of Georgia and Federal court decisions regarding an employer’s hiring practices relating to these pre-employment activities and policies while assessing proactive strategies for limiting legal liability and potential for costly litigation in these situations.

Speakers: Bert Brannen | Fisher & Phillips LLP

Joe Biden is starting to make his mark as our nation’s 46th president and one party controls both houses of Congress. What will these changes mean for employers?  Join us to hear Bert Brannen of Fisher Phillips outline changes that employers can reasonably expect this year.  Bert will focus on the following topics and, more importantly, he will offer practical recommendations for how Georgia employers can constructively prepare for and comply with these potential changes:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Employee Benefits
  • Employee Leaves
  • Employee Misclassification Issues
  • Employee Privacy and Data Security
  • Global Immigration
  • Labor Relations
  • Pay Equity
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Workplace Safety
  • Wage and Hour Law

Speaker: Greg Hare | Ogletree Deakins

Where Are You? A question that has vexed company managers for a long time. Employers and their Human Resources departments have been trying earnestly to balance the need for workplace productivity and accountability against the strong headwinds of federal laws that protect employees who are unable/unwilling to come to work. Of course, the FMLA protects short term employee leaves, while the ADA instills the duty to offer reasonable accommodation and an ongoing interactive dialogue. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced several forms of mandatory paid leave, intended to be temporary, but will they persist? How do those LOA concepts apply in a world where most employees have been working-from-home for a year or more? Can an employer insist that employees return-to-work in-person as the pandemic wanes? Or do employees have a right to insist on perpetual telecommuting, with protection from this confluence of LOA laws? Can the company replace employees who won’t come back to the office? This session will bring structure and clarity to this complex series of questions. And will start down the path of considering whether work is a “place” … or a “thing” that people do.

Speaker: Fred Dawkins | Hall Benefits Law

Responding to an EEOC Charge represents an employer’s earliest and best opportunity to determine whether an administrative claim will become active litigation.

Learn what strategies can: (1) limit the quantum of information you provide to the EEOC; (2) best manage Requests For Information and on-site inspections; (3) prevent the issuance of a “cause” determination; and (4) achieve a result which makes the claim much less attractive for an employee and a plaintiff’s lawyer to pursue further.”



Partner | Fisher Phillips

D. Albert Brannen

Attorney | Elarbee Thompson

Keely Collins

Of Counsel | Hall Benefits Law

Fred Dawkins

Shareholder | Ogletree Deakins

Greg Hare

Member | Cozen O'Connor

Aaron Holt

Partner | Fisher Phillips

D. Albert Brannen

As the partner of the Atlanta office, Bert Brannen mentors attorneys in the Atlanta office and helps them serve the Firm’s clients.

Bert advises employers on a wide variety of union-related matters and assists them with the administration, negotiation, mediation and arbitration of collective bargaining agreements. He also counsels employers who want to remain union-free with training, preventive strategies and counter-organizing educational campaigns.

Employers rely on Bert to help avoid workplace crises, comply with all applicable laws and prevent litigation. As part of his preventive practice, he prepares and reviews documents associated with the employment experience, including employee handbooks, employment contracts, restrictive covenants, ethics and confidentiality agreements, non-competition or non-solicitation agreements, and severance agreements.

The esteemed College of Labor and Employment Lawyers admitted Bert in 2015. He is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been included in Georgia Super Lawyers since 2005. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010 and has been recognized as a member of Georgia’s “Legal Elite.”

Attorney | Elarbee Thompson

Keely Collins

As both counselor and advocate for businesses large and small across all sectors, unionized and non-unionized, Keely takes a practical approach to advising and advocating for businesses nationwide. Both small family businesses and corporate boards of directors have benefited from Keely’s attention to the details of law and business, creative solutions, and zealous advocacy for businesses in negotiations before numerous administrative agencies, and in all levels of state and federal court. As an experienced collaborator with large organizations’ in-house counsel and general and employment counsel, Keely is trusted by other attorneys to strengthen the value they offer to the organizations they serve.

Keely was selected by her peers as a 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star. She holds an LL.M. in tax, with a specialization in employee benefits, from Villanova University School of Law, and she earned her Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law.

Of Counsel | Hall Benefits Law

Fred Dawkins

Fred Dawkins has over 29 years’ experience helping public and private employers manage personnel-related issues. Mr. Dawkins’ services include providing day-to-day counselling on workplace matters; handling discrimination, harassment, and unpaid overtime claims; advisement on performance management and disciplinary matters; conducting training for supervisors; and performing workplace investigations. Mr. Dawkins’ specific expertise also includes diversity and inclusion training, and counselling on leave obligation requirements, disability accommodation requirements, and severance plans/reductions in force.

For seven years, Mr. Dawkins served on the board of directors of Atlanta Diversity Managers Advocacy Group (ADMAG). He is on the Partnership Gwinnett Advisory Committee and chaired the Partnership Gwinnett Diversity Leadership Council. Mr. Dawkins is a graduate of the 2016 Leadership Gwinnett class, and a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Board of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, the board of directors of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of the Gwinnett County Police Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of Eastside Medical Center.

Shareholder | Ogletree Deakins

Greg Hare

Greg Hare has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree his entire career, ever since 1991. He assists companies with human resources and employment-related litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, employment contracts, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements.

He advises clients on a wide range of human resources topics, such as drug testing, employee discipline and discharge, severance planning, independent contractor classifications, wage payment, family and medical leave, disability law, military leave, joint employment issues, affirmative action and reductions in force.

Mr. Hare also counsels clients on traditional labor relations matters involving union avoidance, decertification, strike contingency planning, double-breasting, grievance administration and arbitration, collective bargaining, unfair labor practice litigation, and other matters involving the National Labor Relations Board, including “protected concerted activity” cases.

Mr. Hare encourages companies to develop proactive human resources strategies that are designed to minimize exposure to costly litigation and disputes. This commonly includes conducting comprehensive employment law compliance audits, employment policy design and review, management training and counseling, and simulated problem solving workshops.

Member | Cozen O'Connor

Aaron Holt

Aaron is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and partners with employers and human resources professionals across the country to provide practical legal advice, solve employment disputes, and avoid costly litigation. Aaron exclusively represents employers across the country and his clients include Fortune 500 companies in the manufacturing, grocery, retail, gaming, hospitality, health care, banking, and energy industries.

When litigation cannot be avoided, Aaron’s decades of trial experience as a former felony prosecutor in Houston, Texas informs his litigation strategy and practice legal advice to employers on all types of labor and employment litigation issues. This experience includes defending against single plaintiff lawsuits, class actions, and investigations resulting in litigation brought by state and federal administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Aaron’s traditional labor experience includes representing management before the National Labor Relations Board involving union elections, claims of unfair labor practices, injunction hearings, and labor arbitrations.

Because of Aaron’s practical and common-sense advice and counsel to a wide variety of employers and industries, he is often interviewed by newspapers, television programs, and magazines. To name a few, Aaron has been quoted in Texas Monthly, National Public Radio (NPR), Bloomberg Law, The Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Aaron is also a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s Midwinter Treatise on the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2019, 2020, and 2021, as well as a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s How to Take a Case Before the NLRB.

Aaron earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.


The 2021 Legal Summit is a VIRTUAL Summit that will take place completely online!

This interactive online summit will bring amazing HR legal education right to your home, office – or wherever you’ll join from!

You can attend live sessions, interact with speakers, network with other attendees, and more.



Early Bird


NOW – April 30 May 1 – May 20
SHRM-Atlanta Member $99 $129
Best Option: Includes 1 Year of SHRM-Atlanta Membership
$239 $269
Non-Member $249 $279

Best Registration Option: Event+

The Event+ registration option allows you to bundle your Legal Summit registration and one year of SHRM-Atlanta Membership – whether you’re renewing or joining for the first time! If you’re not up for renewal just yet, you can still choose this option and one additional year of membership will be added to your account.

It’s the best of both worlds: get amazing legal education and join our thriving community of HR professionals!



Learn more about the sponsorship opportunities available at this summit. Registration is open via our website. Questions? Email

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