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Pamela C. Enslen

Partner | Email

  • Kalamazoo

    t. +1.269.276.8112

    f. 269.276.8300

Biography

Pamela is a counselor, litigator and mediator with extensive experience in business, employment and commercial litigation. She is Chair of the firm’s Higher Education Practice Group. Pamela provides labor, employment and business advice, as well as policy advice and drafting, to corporations, nonprofit entities, universities and colleges, municipalities, medical practices and others. She represents clients in commercial and employment litigation, including claims for breach of contract, infringement of proprietary information, wrongful discharge, discrimination, violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious and gender harassment, free speech, retaliation, public policy violations and whistleblower claims, and provides dispute resolution services as an advocate and as a neutral mediator and arbitrator in litigation and pre-litigation matters. She has conducted numerous internal investigations relative to a myriad regulatory and statutory issues, employee, customer and student/faculty complaints and criminal allegations, including Title IX, Title VII, the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, security, sexual harassment and assault claims. Pamela also represents corporations and individuals in white-collar criminal matters. In 2013, Pamela traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as the American Bar Association’s official observer of trial proceedings for the alleged organizers of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC. She was one of only eight NGO observers allowed to observe the proceedings. In addition to practicing law, Pamela has taught at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Industries

Education

  • University of Michigan M.M.
  • University of Michigan B.M.
  • Wayne State University Law School J.D.

Admitted

  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession (2018-Present); Board of Governors (2013-2016); Executive Committee of Board of Governors (2015-2016); Chair, Board of Governors Planning, Evaluation and Program Committee (2015-2016); House of Delegates (1999-Present); Nominating Committee (2010-13); Chair, Board of Governors Convocation on Improving Relations Between Law Enforcement and the Community (2015); House of Delegates Select Committee (2012-2013); State Chair, American Bar Fellow (2010-2016); Commission on Homelessness and Poverty (2016-2018); Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (2011-2013); SCLAID Indigent Defense Advisory Group (2011-2013); Vice Chair, Women in Dispute Resolution (2011-2013); Center for Human Rights Advisory Council (2010-2011); Criminal Justice Section White Collar Crime Committee Midwest Detroit Region, Subcommittee co-chair (2010-2013); Governing Council Officer of Dispute Resolution Section (1993-2013); Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (2007-2010); Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (2003-2008); Chair, Dispute Resolution Section (1998-1999); Liaison, Commission on Women in the Profession; ADR Committee of the Litigation Section (1993-2000); Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution (1990-1993); Subcommittee on Training Attorneys to Operate in an ADR Environment, Chairperson
  • Federal Bar Association
    Member, Board of Governors, West Michigan Chapter (2003-2015); West Michigan Chapter Scholarship Committee (1992-2015)
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Representative Assembly (2010-Present); Justice Initiatives: Equal Access Initiative panel (2010-2014); CJI Criminal Issues Initiative (2011-2014); Committee on Arbitration and ADR (1986-1991); ADR and Arbitration Section Council (1985-1999)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Kalamazoo County Bar Association
    Board of Directors (1996-1999, 2007-2010); Law Day Committee Chair (1989); Mediation Committee (1991-2012); Pro Bono Committee (1986-2010); ADR Committee (1993-2014)

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Adjunct Professor, teaching course in Alternative Dispute Resolution (1994-95)

Experience

  • Successfully represented the Emergency Manager for the City of Benton Harbor as to all aspects of governance of the City, as well as in federal and state court lawsuits surrounding the development of the Harbor Shores Project and its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
  • Successfully represented a liberal arts college in Michigan in a particularly difficult sexual harassment lawsuit. Through her efforts, the college obtained a favorable settlement, while at the same time severing all ties to the plaintiff who had been a difficult and disruptive professor in the school's English Department. The resolution of the lawsuit was a great relief to many at the college, and allowed the healing process to begin. After the matter was concluded, several of the professors and administrators at the college kept in touch with Pam for years.
  • In 2013, Pam traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the American Bar Association's "non-governmental organization" (NGO) observer of the trial proceedings for the alleged masterminds of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. She was one of only eight such NGO observers allowed at the otherwise closed proceedings
  • In 2014, Pam traveled to Viet Nam and Thailand to educate and train judges and attorneys in dispute resolution techniques and ways to incorporate facilitative mediation into their justice systems.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as the YWCA of Kalamazoo's 2019 Lifetime Woman of Achievement
  • Named as one of the 2017 Leaders in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • Named as one of the 2016 "50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan" by The Grand Rapids Business Journal
  • Named as one of the 2016 recipients of its Women of Achievement Awards by the Grand Rapids YWCA
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015 Best Lawyers’ Kalamazoo Employment Law-Management Lawyer of the Year
  • 2017, 2010-2014 Top 50 Women Michigan Super Lawyers
  • 2013 State Bar of Michigan Nancy S. Klein Award for contributions to the field of dispute resolution
  • 2013 Women Leaders in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • 2011 Business Review West Michigan 2011 Thought Leader in the Law
  • 1999 - Michigan Lawyer of the Year, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
  • 2014 Leading Lawyers Michigan
  • 2015-2016 U.S. Court of Appeals F.P.D. Merit Selection Panel
  • "Once a musician, litigation attorney specializes in ADR," Grand Rapids Legal News, February 1, 2012
  • 2009-Present - Fellow, Michigan Bar Foundation
  • 2008 - Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • 2008-Present - Best Lawyers in America in areas of dispute resolution, litigation, labor and employment, white-collar criminal defense
  • 2006-Present - Michigan Super Lawyer
  • 2004-Present - Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • 2004 - Master, American Inns of Court
  • 2004 - ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Pathways to Leadership
  • Member, American Mensa
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who’s Who in the World
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans
  • International Who’s Who

Publications

  • Book (Co-Author): Michigan Pleading and Practice-ADR, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing (1994)
  • "Health Care Fraud Enforcement," (Co-Author), The Federal Lawyer, June 2010
  • "Contractual Alternative Dispute Resolution: What It Is and Why It Should Be Used," International Legal Strategy Monthly Magazine (1994)
  • "Incorporating ADR into Law Firm Practice," (Co-Author), Michigan Bar Journal (1993)
  • "Attorney duty to Inform Clients of ADR," Michigan Bar Journal (1993) (selected for journals and law reviews database on WESTLAW)
  • "The Status of Governmental Immunity in Michigan and its Impact on Municipalities," State Bar of Michigan General Practice Journal (1982)

Leadership

Professional Affiliations

  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
    Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee (1999-Present); Chair (2014-Present)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
    Editorial Board of the Journal of College and University Law (2015-Present)
  • Michigan Supreme Court
    Dispute Resolution Court Rule Committee (2007-08)
  • Women Lawyer's Association of Michigan
    Regional Representative, Gender Bias Committee (1989-90)
  • American Arbitration Association
    Member, Panel of Arbitrators
  • Environmental Law & Policy Center
    Member, Michigan Advisory Council (2012-2014)

Community Affiliations

  • Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
    Board of Directors (2011-Present); Secretary (2013-Present); Chair-Elect (2017-)
  • Stulberg International String Competition
    Board of Directors (2018-Present)
  • Michigan Women's Foundation
    Chair (2017-2019); Board of Trustees (2012-Present); Secretary (2014-2015); Vice Chair (2015); Chair-Elect (2016)
  • Communities In Schools Board of Directors (2014-Present)
  • Western Michigan University Theater Guild Board of Directors (2016-Present)
  • Gryphon Place
    Chairperson (2013-2014); Board of Directors (2007-2014); Dispute Resolution Services Advisory Committee
  • Dispute Resolutions Services Advisory Council (2007-2014)
  • Kalamazoo Kiwanis
    Board of Directors (2011-2013)
  • Inforum - a Professional Women's Alliance
    Executive Leadership Program (2008)
  • American Cancer Society
    Board of Directors, Michigan Division, Inc.; Kalamazoo County Unit (1991-2004); Volunteer, Personnel Leadership Group

Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent speaker before professional and public bodies on alternative dispute resolution and employment, commercial and criminal law
  • "Political Activism on College Campuses in Today’s Divisive Political Climate," Legal Trends and Challenges for Higher Educational Institutions Webinar, November 29, 2018
  • “Labor & Employment Panel,” Warner 2018 HR Executive Panels, October 12, 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • “Key Employment Issues for Start-Up Companies,” Innovation Lunch-and-Learn Series, July 19, 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • “Sexual Harassment and Bystander Training,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace webinar, December 13, 2017
  • "Myth or Truth: Labor & Employment Panel," Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panels, October 26, 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • "Managing an Evolving Workforce" and "Wage/Hour and FLSA Issues," Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, October 18, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, Warner Seminar, September 30, 2015, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • "Hot Topics in Labor and Employment," Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 20, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor and Employment Panel, Labor and Benefits Executive Panel-Government Enforcement Initiatives, October 23, 2014, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Testimonials

“My organization’s efficiency has greatly benefited from Pam’s HR legal advice and counsel. Her understanding and application of the law has consistently demonstrated a keen intellect, sound reasoning and objectivity, along with an acute sense of fairness and equity. Pam’s passion to see organizations like mine accomplish their mission effectively is well-demonstrated in how she cares about the law and what is right for her clients. I do not hesitate to contact Pam anytime I need the assistance of an attorney in a difficult case or expert advice.” — CEO at a community nonprofit organization

* * *
 
“Pam Enslen has been our labor advisor for the last three years.  We joined forces with Pam because she is an excellent mediator and problem solver.  Our business culture is very positive and we aim to keep it that way. Pam helps us develop effective strategies that mitigate legal risk, act in the best interest of our business and treat our employees fairly. Pam is extremely responsive and approachable. I would highly recommend Pam Enslen.” — Human resources director at a food products company

***

“Pam Enslen provides excellent legal services for Western Michigan University, including successful litigation defense. The field of higher education law is complex and unique, and Pam quickly assimilated her specialized employment and labor expertise to our higher education environment, as well. She is extraordinarily intelligent, thorough, caring, knowledgeable, and works extremely well and collaboratively with both clients and in-house counsel. Without hesitation, I would recommend Pam Enslen to other universities and colleges, organizations, and public and private entities.” - Carol L. J. Hustoles, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Western Michigan University

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