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May 2013

Gordon & Rees Partners Mercedes Colwin and Elizabeth F. Lorell Co-Author Article in FDCC Quarterly

FDCC Quarterly has published an article co-authored by Gordon & Rees’s Mercedes Colwin, managing partner of the New York office, and New Jersey partner Elizabeth F. Lorell.

The article, titled “Borders and Fences: Who Gets to Be an American?” appeared in this summer’s FDCC Quarterly, a scholarly journal published by the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”). This followed Colwin and Lorell’s joint presentation on this topic at the 2012 Winter Meeting of the FDCC in Phoenix, Arizona.

In the article, the authors examine key legislative and judicial developments that emerged from the recent immigration debate. States such as Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma passed attention-getting legislation in response to federal immigration policy. As a result, litigation rooted in the pre-emption doctrine led to numerous court decisions, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 opinion in Arizona v. United States.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States severely curtailed state efforts to regulate and criminalize employment of undocumented workers. The dynamic tension between local immigration issues and need for uniform immigration law continues, but it is now being tackled at the federal level,” the authors note. “Numerous reports and studies confirm that comprehensive immigration reform is good for workers, good for employers, and good for the United States economy.”

Colwin was selected as Vice Chair of the FDCC’s Employment Section for 2012-2013. Last year, the FDCC honored her with the Andrew C. Hecker Award for her article titled “Taming the Town Crier - Litigation and the Media.” The award is presented to the member who authors the year's most outstanding FDCC Quarterly article. The article complemented her presentation on the topic at the FDCC’s 2011 Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia. Colwin has been a panelist at numerous FDCC meetings, most recently discussing “Agency Initiatives and Enforcement: The Government Is Busy – and Why Employers Should Care” at the Whistler, British Columbia, event.

Lorell is an FDCC Director and was the CLE Program Chair of the 2013 FDCC Winter Meeting CLE Program. Her numerous leadership positions within the FDCC include Vice President (2011-2012); Chair (2010-2011) and Vice Chair (2007-2009) of the Employment Practices Section; and Vice Chair of the ADR Masters Project (since 2008). In 2011, Lorell received the John Alan Appleman Award, which honors the chair who made outstanding contributions to advance the FDCC's education goals through his or her substantive law section’s work.

The FDCC, composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction, is dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits.

For a link to the FDCC Quarterly article, please click here.

Mercedes Colwin
Elizabeth F. Lorell