Our 2021 Legal Symposium will provide a great opportunity to be informed on various HR Legal Issues. The one-day session will start off with attorneys presenting on topics such as hiring in the digital age, how to avoid common HR Legal mistakes, and navigating accommodations in a post-COVID world. In the afternoon, John Hagan will be bringing the court room to life by hosting an interactive Mock Trial, based on a real case. Learn new skills and strategies to mitigate risk within your organization while earning 7 recertification credits.

$125 - NTXSHRM Members

$150 - SHRM or Other Chapter Members

$175 - Non-Member

Speakers and Presentations

John Hagan - Managing Attorney, Hagan Law Group

John P. Hagan is an HR attorney who practices nationwide employment law from his office in Allen, Texas and is Board Certified in Texas Labor and Employment Law. He is ranked by his peers to be in the top 5% of all lawyers in Texas and is an award-winning author for the College of the State Bar. Mr. Hagan has written on many employment law issues, including damages, discrimination, and wrongful termination. Mr. Hagan has co-authored the Employment Law Handbook - Texas (Texas Association of Business and Chambers of Commerce) and Texas Employment Law for James Publishing.

Mr. Hagan and his firm represent a wide range of companies of all sizes and in all industries. His specialty is counselling companies using best practices and preventative HR resulting in less litigation. He has served as President for both DallasHR and Mid-Cities HRA. He served on committees for Collin County HR Association. Mr. Hagan has been named consistently as a Texas Super Lawyer (┬ęThomson Reuters) from 2010 – 2021.

Presentation Topic: The Top 5 Legal Mistakes that an HR Professional Can Make 

For HR professionals, one small misstep—by themselves or a supervisor—can cost an organization dearly in time, energy and legal costs. Board Certified in Labor & Employment attorney John Hagan will uncover the five most important legal mistakes that HR professionals need to protect against.

This presentation will identify areas of our jobs where the most amount of damage can be prevented with reminders of where some HR functions can go awry. John will share typical problems in these areas and best practices to prevent them, all with humor and examples from his own experiences.


  • Learn what actions HR professionals take or fail to take that get their companies sued by employees
  • Learn how to avoid the adverse legal consequences of bad HR decisions
  • Learn the legal consequences of bad HR decisions

Dustin Paschal - Partner at Simon | Paschal PLLC

As a founding member of Simon | Paschal PLLC, a boutique employment law firm in Frisco, Texas, Dustin maintains an active employment law practice.  If it’s an HR related issue, Dustin likely handles it for his clients.  Dustin is a former President of DallasHR and is currently serving as the Board Chair on DallasHR’s overall governing body.  Dustin also serves as the District 1 Director for Texas SHRM and previously served as one of its Legal & Legislative Directors.  Dustin likes HR so much, he married an HR professional!  When Dustin isn’t working, he is trying to keep up with an active three year old son or enjoying a nice cocktail poolside with his wife!

Presentation Topic: Accommodations in a Post-Covid World

After more than a year of unprecedented accommodations, adjustments, and pivoting on the part of employers, employers seemingly face a new reality.  Accommodation requests by employees must now be examined and evaluated with the background of more than a year of remote work and other adjustments.  With that in mind, how should employers examine accommodation requests in the workplace?  This presentation aims to answer that question.


  • A brief primer and review of the law of accommodation requests regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and sincerely held religious beliefs under Title VII
  • An examination of adjustments to ADA and Title VII interpretation during COVID and what revised rules and regulations remain in place for employers
  • Attendees will understand the degree to which what qualifies as a “reasonable accommodation” has changed since COVID

Attendees will learn and understand the interactive process and dialogue that must take place regarding accommodations, with a particular focus on the changes since COVID

Michael Deponte - Principal and Office Litigation Manager at Jackson Lewis

Michael J. DePonte is a Principal in, and the Litigation Manager for, the Dallas, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Board Certified in both Labor and Employment Law, as well as Civil Trial Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Of the approximately 90,000 attorneys that are licensed in the State of Texas, only 29 are Board Certified in both of these areas.

Mr. DePonte has extensive litigation and trial background having tried numerous cases in state and federal courts in Texas. Mr. DePonte’s practice focuses on advice and counseling and the litigation of employment claims – including wage and hour issues, class and collective actions, and civil rights claims under state and federal law.  Mr. DePonte has defended national and regional employers on a broad range of employment-related issues.  He has represented employers before numerous federal and state agencies, and has handled trials and appeals in federal and state courts.

Mr. DePonte also provides his clients with general advice and counseling on a broad range of employment and labor issues, prepares and presents training seminars to clients, and has prepared materials for and presented lectures at multiple employment law seminars and human resources workshops.  He has presented to organizations across Texas and New Mexico and in 2020 he was inducted to the HR Southwest Conference Speaker Hall of Fame.

Presentation Topic: Hiring in the digital age. Is new always better?

Gone are the days of paper applications, telephone screens and hour after hour of in-person interviews.  Recruiting and interviewing techniques have evolved.  New tools include the use of on-demand recorded interviews, real-time work samples, machine-scored interviews and artificial intelligence.  These tools promise a better candidate experience and greater efficiency in the hiring process.  They may also create legal risk. 

Together, we’ll address questions such as:  Do these tools pose a greater risk than traditional tools?  How will EEOC and OFCCP evaluate these new techniques?  Must these techniques be validated?  What, if any, accommodations should be offered to applicants? Together, we’ll explore the benefits and potential pitfalls of using these cutting-edge hiring techniques.


  • Understand the tools available for hiring in the digital age
  • Identify the risks associated with the use of digital tools
  • Minimize the exposure in using digital information  

Mock Trial - Employment Law discrimination and retaliation

We will present a mock trial about an employment law discrimination and retaliation case where ex-employees are suing their former employer.


  • Learn what actions HR professionals take or fail to take that get their companies sued by employees
  • Learn how to avoid the adverse legal consequences of bad HR decisions
  • Learn the legal consequences of bad HR decisions

Sponsorship Information 

Email silouanclarke@gmail.com


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Event Information: 

Friday, September 17, 2021

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Symposium Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

At Alagood Cartwright Burke PC, we’re passionate about helping clients achieve their goals. With a wide variety of practice areas that include real estate, civil litigation, construction law, personal injury, wills and probate, motor vehicle accidents, and more, we help people find effective solutions to life’s problems.

We care about what happens to our clients, before and after the case is settled. We work closely with each client throughout the legal proceedings to give them confidence in their choices moving forward. Our dedication to the people of Denton and the surrounding area motivates us to provide quality, personalized service to each person and business that we work with. We’re proud of our reputation as a respected, ethical and professional law firm, and we strive to give each legal matter the consideration it deserves while pursuing the best outcome attainable in each case. For more information on Alagood, Cartwright, and Burke visit https://www.dentonlaw.com/

Platinum Sponsor

Sana Benefits is an Austin-based startup founded in 2017 and revolutionizing the way small and medium-sized businesses experience employee benefits. By utilizing level-funding, open-access networks, reference-pricing, telemedicine, a beautiful, easy-to-use product, and best-in-class customer support, Sana is able to provide a handful of simple, rich plans that save the average SMB customer 20% on their premiums. To find out how your company can change the way it does benefits, visit www.sanabenefits.com

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