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Event Details

    2016 Annual Legal and Legislative Conference

    Date: October 21, 2016
    Cumberland Valley SHRM Chapter
    Fountain Head Country Club
    13316 Fountain Head Rd. Hagerstown, MD 21742
    Pre-paid CVSHRM Members – $75, Pre-paid non-CVSHRM members – $90, Student particpants $23 All registrations after October 9 – $100, all of our event fees are non-refundable
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    Please RSVP by 10/19/2016 by registering here!

    Student participants register here!

    Program Agenda

    Program Agenda

    7:30 – 8:15 Continental Breakfast and Registration

    8:15 8:30 Welcome-Debbie Peyton

    8:30 – 9:30 Recent Developments in Federal and Maryland Employment Law- Eric Paltell

    9:30 -- 9:45 Break

    9:45 – 10:45 Strategic Employment Contracts and PA Employment Law Updates Jill Sebest Welch

    10:45--11:00 Break

    11:00--12:00 Workplace Civility: Myth or Mandate– Christine Walters

    12:00-- 1:00 LUNCH

    1:00 -- 2:00 Workplace Investigations ­- Stephen Stern

    2:00 -- 2:15 Break

    2:15 -- 3:15 The ACA, Legal Trends in Benefits, and Executive Compensation - Henry Smith

    3:15 – 4:15 New DOL and NLRB Rules for “Joint Employers” - Tracey Eberling

    4:15 - 4:30 Closing Remarks-Debbie Peyton


    Eric Paltell




    Eric Paltell has practiced law since 1987, concentrating in the representation of private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. His clients include a broad range of businesses, including a regional health care system, a national mortgage company, a major automobile finance company, and numerous small to medium sized companies. Prior to joining Kollman & Saucier as a partner in 2002, he was a partner with one of the world’s largest law firms, Piper Rudnick (now known as DLA Piper). Eric’s practice includes general advice and counseling in employment matters, as well as the defense of employment discrimination and sexual harassment suits, ADA and FMLA litigation, wrongful discharge suits, wage and hour cases, ERISA litigation, NLRB proceedings, collective bargaining negotiations, and grievance arbitrations.

    Eric has been named Baltimore’s  2014-2015 Management Employment “Lawyer of the Year” by the Best Lawyers in America.  Each year since 2003, Eric has been listed as one of the top labor attorneys in Maryland in the Chambers USA publication, “America’s Leading Business Lawyers,” and he is one of only six attorneys in Maryland to receive a “Band One” ranking from Chambers.  He has been listed by Baltimore Magazine as one of Maryland’s “Super Lawyers” since 2007, and was named one of the survey’s Top 100 Maryland Lawyers in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Eric has obtained an “AV” peer review rating from Lexis-Nexis/Martindale Hubbell and a perfect “10.0” rating from Avvo.

    Bar and Court Admissions

    Admitted to practice in Maryland, Virginia and  Washington, D.C.

    Also admitted to practice before the United States Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 4th and D.C. Circuits, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the District of Columbia.


    University of Virginia School of Law (J.D. 1987)

    University of Virginia (B.A. with High Honors 1983)

    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Echols Scholar


    University of Virginia School of Law Program for Employment and Labor Law Studies

    National Public Employers Labor Relations Association Labor Relations Academy.


    Professional Memberships

    Maryland Chamber of Commerce Employment Relations Committee

    Maryland State Bar Association. Labor and Employment Section

    Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association

    Virginia State Bar, Litigation Section

    District of Columbia Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section


    Jill S. Welch, Esq.

    Ms. Welch is a partner in Barley Snyder’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, where she counsels companies across a wide range of industries including manufacturing, retail, banking, finance, hospitals, long-term care facilities, food processing and agri-business, hospitality, construction and property management, communication, technology, transportation, professional services and non-profit organizations in all aspects of labor and employment law.

    In her employment litigation practice, she represents employers of all types in the Mid-Atlantic region - large and small, public and private, family-owned, emerging companies, entrepreneurs and others - in matters involving employment discrimination, benefits, contracts, collective action wage and hour claims, non-compete cases and unemployment compensation appeals, and whistleblower cases before the EEOC, PHRC, OSHA, administrative tribunals and state and federal courts.

    She is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the D.C. Circuit; and the U.S. District Courts for the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  Jill clerked for the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

    Ms. Welch is a graduate of Wittenberg University, and received her law degree from Rutgers University School of Law.  She was acknowledged among Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers® in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and Pennsylvania’s Rising Stars ® in 2010. She is a Board Member and the immediate past Chair of the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board.  She also holds a second degree (2nd Dan) black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

    Christine V. Walters JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

    Ms. Walters has more than 25 years’ combined experience in human resources administration, management, employment law practice and teaching. She has been engaged as an expert witness for the defense, testified before U.S. Congressional and state legislative committees and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Walters has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of media including television, radio and print media.   Her first book, “From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations was published in March 2011 and has been one of the SHRMStore’s “Great 8” best-sellers for five consecutive years and is pre-approved by HRCI for 2.5 continuing education credits!


    Throughout her career, Ms. Walters and FiveL Company have been honored with awards and accolades including and not limited to:

    • Nominee – Daily Record’s “Leadership in Law” Award, 2012
    • Nominee – Small Business of the Year Award – Maryland Chamber of Commerce, 2011
    • Small Business of the Year Award – Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, November 2010
    • Small Business of the Year Award – B/W Corridor Chamber of Commerce, April 2010
    • Nominee – Daily Record’s “Leadership in Law” Award, 2009
    • Finalist – Maryland Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award, 2009
    • President’s Award – B/W Corridor Chamber of Commerce, 2003
    • Capitol Award - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 2002
    • Outstanding Leadership Award – American Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration, (ASHHRA), 1997
    • Best Practices Award – ASHHRA, 1996


    Ms. Walters regularly presents at national, regional and state conferences across the country with better-than-average ratings including for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Employment Management Association (EMA), the American Physical Therapy Association, College and University Personnel Association, Credit Union National Association and more. 

    Today, Ms. Walters serves as an independent consultant doing business as FiveL Company, Helping Leaders Limit Their Liability by Learning the LawSM providing proactive guidance, training programs, education, and counsel on employment and human resource issues, policies, procedures, and practices for clients across the country and in a variety of industries. She was also an adjunct faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University teaching a variety of courses in the graduate, undergraduate and certification level programs from 1999 through 2006.

    Ms. Walters demonstrates her commitment to supporting and advancing the needs and interests of the business community and HR profession by serving in a variety of volunteer leadership roles including and not limited to:

    • Panelist – SHRM HR Disciplines Panel
    • Immediate Past Director -  Maryland SHRM State Council
    • Member – MD Chamber of Commerce, Employment Relations Committee (& Past Board Member)
    • Appointee – Mid-Maryland Workforce Investment Board (Carroll County)
    • Member & Past Board Member – B/W Corridor Chamber of Commerce
    • Official Blogger – We Know Next (SHRM Blog)
    • Editorial Advisory Board Member – Thompson Publishing’s FMLA Handbooks
    • Past Chair  - Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
    • Past President - Carroll County SHRM
    • Former Advisory Board Member – McDaniel College, Graduate Program in Human Resources

    Ms. Walters is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland. 

    Stephen Stern

    Stephen Stern is a partner with Hyatt & Weber, where he advises businesses and represents them in litigation.  Stephen helps employers minimize risk and exposure to liability by developing effective employment policies and practices.  In this regard, he advises employers on strategic matters, such as trade secret protection programs, non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements, privacy issues, wage/hour matters, independent contractor relationships, document retention practices, and employee handbooks, among other things.  Stephen also helps companies address issues that arise on a day-to-day basis, such as leave requests, employee discipline, accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and terminations.  In addition, Stephen has been retained to conduct highly sensitive and complex investigations.  When litigation has been unavoidable, Stephen has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts and before federal, state, and local administrative agencies across the country.  

    Tracey Eberling

    Tracey Eberling focuses her practice in the areas of labor and employment law and litigation, with a concentration in the defense of institutions, professionals, insurance companies and governmental entities. Ms. Eberling has tried numerous cases in the trial courts of Maryland and West Virginia, and has argued cases in the appellate courts of both states as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She is a member of the firm's General Litigation group, the Professional Liability and Long Term Care group and the Education Law team. REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE Defended employers in wage payment and collection and retaliation claims Defended local law enforcement agency and officers in civil rights litigation Sought dismissal of premises liability action for national retailer and a local board of education Defended political subdivisions and boards of education and their employees in personal injury and civil rights litigation Represented physicians in professional liability actions Defended individuals and businesses in tort and contract litigation Extensive briefing of summary judgment motion in disability discrimination case Defended Board of Education in claim alleging violation of First Amendment and due process rights by student disciplined for using social media Represented insurance carriers in coverage matters and conducted insurance investigations WORK EXPERIENCE 1993 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS PROFESSIONAL The Best Lawyers in America® Defense Research Institute Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia Chair, Pro Bono Committee, Washington County Bar Association Volunteer of the Year, Martinsburg-Berkeley Chamber of Commerce 2006 INDUSTRY/CIVIC Chairman, Board of Directors, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past President, Board of Directors, Martinsburg-Berkeley Chamber of Commerce Past President, Board of Directors, United Way of the Eastern Panhandle 



                                                                    Smith & Downey

                                                                  Baltimore, Maryland



    Henry is a partner of Smith & Downey, a law firm with a national practice concentrating in employee benefits, executive compensation, and labor and employment law.  Smith & Downey has offices in Baltimore, New York, Washington, Charleston and Sarasota/Bradenton.


    Henry advises for-profit, tax-exempt, governmental and church-related employers of all sizes, in all industries and in all areas of the country, concerning the full range of employee benefit and executive compensation issues.  Henry also regularly works with other benefits professionals and other attorneys who require for their clients legal expertise in Henry=s practice area.


    Henry has been active in various American Bar Association and Maryland State Bar Association committees dealing with employee benefits and executive compensation, and he is a frequent lecturer and panelist at educational programs dealing with those areas.  Henry is past Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association's Employee Benefits Committee and past Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association's Tax Section.


    Henry is a principal author of Panel Publishers' Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Answer Book and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Forms and Checklists, and formerly was a contributing author of Panel Publishers' 403(b) Answer Book.  From 1997-2000, Henry was the author of COBRA Procedures Manual, HIPAA Quarterly and COBRA Quarterly.  Henry also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law in the University of Baltimore Law School's Graduate Tax Program.


    Henry received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Frostburg State College, where he was an Honors graduate in Political Science and Education, received a Masters degree from the Johns Hopkins University, and received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he graduated with Honors and was selected to the Order of the Coif.  Henry is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.


    When not practicing law or spending time with his wife and five adult children and five grandchildren, Henry chairs the Surrattsville High School Foundation ( and plays guitar in The Back Pages Band (


    HR Competency:  tbd