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Areas of Practice: Private Guidance - Litigation

Rodgers' Publications and Presentations

Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz, LLP was created in 2000 when four of Boston’s most experienced employment discrimination attorneys joined together to form a powerful new law firm specializing in employment and civil rights litigation.  The firm brought together attorneys with combined experience of more than 100 years litigating many of Massachusetts’ most significant employment and civil rights cases of the past twenty-five years.  Besides representing employees in many of the leading appellate cases in this area, the attorneys of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz have obtained some of the largest jury verdicts in this field for their clients.  The combination of these experienced attorneys into a single firm created a new powerhouse in employment litigation.  The firm now has eight attorneys and is located at 18 Tremont Street, Suite 500, Boston, Massachusetts.

ELIZABETH RODGERS, a founding partner of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz, LLP, is an experienced trial lawyer concentrating in primarily plaintiff employment law for over 25 years. She engages in vigorous litigation which has obtained substantial settlements and jury verdicts in both state and federal courts for age discrimination, race discrimination and sex discrimination and sexual harassment and retaliation, and has represented clients in the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Judicial Court.  Alternatively, recently trained as a mediator, she assists clients in resolving internal disputes without litigation, including successful obtaining of tenure, reinstatement of employment, or funding for laboratory work. Rodgers routinely reviews and advises on separation agreements and non-competes. Rodgers, a former President the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, was elected a 2008 Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a national organization representing the highest standards of excellence and integrity in employment law, and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer”  since 2005. In 2009, she gave national seminars on employment law in California, Georgia and Massachusetts, on topics of pretrial strategy, retaliation, and mediation. In February 2010, Rodgers was quoted in Mass. Lawyer’s Weekly on bullying. She was member of the MBA Labor Section Council for nine years, and taught on the adjunct faculty of Northeastern Law School for 8 years.  She represents a wide range of clients, from CEO’s and upper level executives, physicians, female construction workers, deans and professors and Information, Financial and Bio-Medical employees. She has a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor's Degree (Economics) from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Northeastern Law School’s phenomenal class of 1976. She has also worked for two years as a neutral where she was appointed as the Northeast Regional Coordinator of a Court-appointed Election Officer, overseeing a contested International Union election.

Articles and Seminars by Attorney Rodgers:

Ten tools for mediators in ADR of employment cases. Before, during and after the mediation. MCLE, October, 2009.

The Role of Disloyalty in Retaliation cases, Nela Seminar, October, 2009

Depositions to Avoid Summary Judgment: Ten tools to convince decision makers, opposing attorneys and judges that Summary judgment is out of the question. NELA Seminar, October 2009

Retaliation after Burlington Northern, Circuit variations; National Employment Lawyers Association, Palm Springs California 2009,

“Illustrative Emotional Distress Awards in Contract and Tort Actions,” Elizabeth A. Rodgers, Mass. Bar Association: June, 2007 (Materials only)

“Retaliation after Burlington-Northern”, Adverse actions;  Massachusetts Bar Association, September, 2006.

“Wage and Hour Class Actions” at Suffolk University Department of Continuing Education, -moderator and chair, Wage and Hour Class Actions. April, 2006.

"Plaintiff’s Perspective for University Counsel,” University Counsel Section, Boston Bar Association, Invited guest speaker, August, 2006. 

 “Taxation of Emotional Distress Damages- Murphy & Laveille v. IRS,”  Mass. Lawyers’ Weekly, article, September 2006.

“Significant Employment Law Decisions of the Massachusetts Appellate Courts: April 2003-2004,”  Massachusetts Bar Association 25th Annual Labor and Employment Law  Conference, April 2004. 

Invited Speaker, “Plaintiff Employment Perspective”, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, 2004.

Co-Chair, and author, “Employment Litigation-Thinking Outside the Box- Reversible Error, 2003,” with other panelists including Arthur Miller, Richard Ward, Shannon Liss-Riordan and Charles Wagner, Sponsored by the Macaronis Institute for Trial and Appellate Advocacy and the Flaschner Judicial Institute,  Suffolk Law School Center for Advanced Legal Studies, October, 2003.

“Massachusetts Decisions that Will Have an Effect on the Way we Draft Jury Instructions in Employment Matters” (with Lynn Kappelman), Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Annual Employment Law Conference, December  2002.

“Litigation of an Alleged Direct Threat of Violence Because of Misperceptions of PTSC, a Case Study of Response to Direct Threat,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Employment Law Conference, December 2003.

 “Summary of Law, Age Discrimination, 2000,” (with Robert Mantell), Massachusetts Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2000.

“Top Ten Weathervane Cases of the Twentieth Century”, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2000.

“Maximizing Damages through Discovery,” American Bar Association, Florida, 1999.

“Summary of Important Cases, 1999,” In Employment Law Conference, No. 2000-15.03. Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, December  1999.

“Employment Legislation: Recent and Proposed Enactments and Amendments to Existing Laws,” (with Julie Patiño), in Employment Law Conference, No. 2000-15.03. Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education,   December , 1999.  

“Constructive Discharge,” Massachusetts Bar Association, 1999.

“Protection Against Discrimination for Disabled and Handicapped Workers in Massachusetts,” (with Douglas E. Patrick, Esq.) Union presentation, 1997.

“Family Medical Leave Act,” in Employment and Labor  Law Basics, No. 97-15.01, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education,  Sept. 20, 1996.

“Sexual Harassment in Federal Law,” December 1996.

“Top Ten Discovery Mistakes,”  in Top 10 Mistakes Employment Lawyers Make,  No 96-15.20 Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 1996.  

“The Scaffolding of a Jury Trial: Authority, Structure and Graphics,” the Massachusetts Bar Association, April 13, 1995. 

“Strategies from Plaintiff's Perspective on After-Acquired Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases,” Massachusetts Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, March 2, 1994.

“Validity of Massachusetts Equal Rights Act as an Independent Cause of Action for Discrimination.” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, with Marjorie Heins, 1994.

“Retaliation,” Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Brown Bag Training Session, January 6, 1994.

 “Sexual Harassment,” Talk, Presented at Bentley College, November 1992.

“Age Discrimination in Employment Involving Reduction in Force for MCAD Investigations, Plaintiff's Outline”, MCAD Training, 1992.

“Retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII, Sexual Harassment Claims,” Talk, Presented at Hampshire College, 1991, 1992.

“Sexual Harassment in the University A Fire Drill”           

Talk, Presented at Suffolk University, 1992.

Honors: Attorney Rodgers will be inducted as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment 14th Annual Induction Dinner in Washington DC November 7, 2009, having been selected in 2008. The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, headquartered in Washington, D.C., began as a non-profit professional association honoring the leading lawyers nationwide in the practice of Labor and Employment Law which has become an intellectual and practical resource for the support of the profession. Fourteenth Annual Induction Dinner to be held on Saturday, November 7th in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth A. Rodgers, P.C., is a partner with the firm who has represented employees of all walks of life, both representing and suing people at the highest levels of their professions. Ms. Rodgers was selected by her peers as a Super Lawyer in 2004, 2005, 2006 2007 and 2008, a selection reserved for members of the top 5% of the Bar. In the firm of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz, her three partners, Kevin Powers, Harvey Schwartz, and John Margolis, as well as colleague Robert Mantell, have been all elected Super Lawyers for four years as well. Attorney Rodgers salutes her partners for receiving a Distinguished Presidents’ Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association for representation of detainees at Guantanamo.

Elizabeth A. Rodgers has been elected as a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by ones colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence.

The College was established in 1995 through an initiative of the Council of The Section of Labor and Employment Law of the American Bar Association.  It is a free standing organization recognizing those who, by long and outstanding service, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field. There are only 950 members nationwide in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.  The twelfth installation of Fellows will be held September 13, 2008 in Denver, CO.  
Rodgers is recognized by her peers for 30 years of employment law representations of individuals in every rank and way of life. President of  the Mass. Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association for 2006-2008, she had authored and presented 30 lectures on Employment law for all the bar associations in MA, the ABA and NELA.  She has a reputation for a tremendous command of the law, demonstrated success in jury trials, creatively integrating all areas of law, music, humor and personal authenticity to her representation of clients, and has brought countless cases to successful resolution through shrewd choices of litigation or effective negotiation. Rodgers’ partner, Kevin Powers, is also a member of the College.

Elizabeth Rodgers presented as faculty at two prestigious conferences, the National Employment Lawyer’s Association Annual Conference in Atlanta Ga., in July, 2008, on the subject of Alternative Dispute Resolution, presenting on both Mediation and Challenging Conversations on the same side of the “v.”, introducing skills to use non-zealous advocacy among Co-Counsel, lawyers and clients, and employees who remain employed. She also presented on Deposition Best and Worst Moments, at the New England Regional Conference of the National Employment Lawyer’s Association at the Parker House in May, 2008.  She presented on Retaliation, a survey of cases nationally since Burlington Northern, at the Mass. Bar Association in May and is invited to reprise that talk in December 2008 at the Annual Conference.
Rodgers has co-authored a chapter on Wage and Hour Law for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education treatise, 2008 edition.
 Elizabeth Rodgers and Linda Evans are co-authors of a treatise chapter for “Massachusetts Employment Law”, by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education on the Payment of Wages Statute, in 2002 and 2005, and Philip Gordon, a prominent Wage and Hour attorney, has joined as a co-author for  the revamped soon to be released 2007 edition.
In addition to teaching at Northeastern University from 1978-1986, Attorney Rodgers completed a Mediation Training Program in 2001, and has successfully brought over 20 employment cases to resolution through confidential mediation. Attorney Rodgers also served as a Neutral, for a full year, overseeing the 1991 Elections for the Teamsters for the Northeast Region, reporting to an Election Officer appointed by the U.S. District Court in Southern District of NY. She has participated both as a participant in mediation, has negotiated directly with opposing counsel to successfully resolve complex matters, and has resolved disputes from accidents to complex medical malpractice matters as a mediator, and has brought multiparty employment matters to successful and confidential resolution in high profile matters.

She has a specialty in Wage and Hour cases, and has litigated and advised people in compensation packages, severance and exit strategies and in litigating pay disputes. This work is described more fully below, under either "Private Guidance" or "Litigation."Her clients and adversaries include: Recent results: 2007:
Confidential settlement of long, complex whistleblower case involving defective medical product subsequently recalled from market. Case resolved to satisfaction of plaintiff after finding critical document among 28,000 documents. Plaintiff's Expert Economist Martin Duffy projected $900,000 loss, 12 depositions and discovery over four years. Confidential settlement as to parties and amount.

Confidential settlement of sexual harassment case; 90 day wonder settlement involving more than four times annual salary; prominent figure admitted to poor judgment and settled after rapid development of case with six witnesses and expert supporting aspects of plaintiffs case. No litigation, complete confidentiality for plaintiff and defendant.

Confidential Settlement of four person sexual harassment case: Four year triathalon involving four individuals harassed by same predator, who was quickly fired. Up hill battle to recover resolved after 4 years involving medical records, psychiatric hospitalization, foreclosures, relocations out of state, resolution of potential conflicts of interest, credibililty and damages issues. Clients managed to stay together and support each other through successful mediation.

Confidential Settlement of sexual harassment case; client collapsed due to long series of harassing overtures by boss, to sit on lap, to bring nude pictures, to join him at vacation home, all rejected. Employer paid client throughout. Case settled after probable cause issued at MCAD
For consultation or referral, please Contact Elizabeth A. Rodgers, PC Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP was created when some of Boston's leading employment discrimination attorneys joined together to form a powerful new law firm specializing in employment and civil rights litigation. The firm brought together attorneys with combined experience of more than 75 years litigating many of Massachusetts' most significant employment cases of the past twenty years. Besides representing employees in many of the leading appellate cases in this area, the attorneys of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP have obtained some of the largest jury verdicts in this field for their clients. They also excel in resolving disputes with private guidance, with or without litigation. The combination of these experienced attorneys into a single law firm creates a new powerhouse in employment litigation. For information, contact: Elizabeth A. Rodgers,

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