Total Credits: 1.2 MCLE
Moderator: Lauren Collins, Automobile Club of Missouri (AAA) | Kraft, Bischoff, Buckley & Collins, St. Louis
Panelists: Sheena Hamilton, Dowd Bennett, Clayton; Judge Michael Stelzer, 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, St. Louis
Lauren C. Collins is a litigation attorney for the in-house counsel firm of The Automobile Club of Missouri, which is known as Kraft, Bischoff, Buckley, and Collins.
Lauren began her legal career as a prosecutor in the City of St. Louis, where she tried numerous bench and jury trials. After two years at the Circuit Attorney’s Office, Lauren went into private practice working as an associate with HeplerBroom, LLC and Sandberg Phoenix.
Currently, Lauren is the chair of both the Young Lawyers' Section Council of The Missouri Bar and the Young Lawyers Division of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and is an adjunct professor at Saint Louis University School of Law where she teaches Marijuana Law.
Lauren obtained her J.D. from the University of Missouri - School of Law in 2013.
Sheena R. Hamilton is a partner at Dowd Bennett LLP in St. Louis, Missouri. She concentrates on employment litigation and corporate internal investigations. Primarily, Ms. Hamilton defends employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. She tries cases alleging employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as well as wage and hour disputes, to verdict and through appeals.
Ms. Hamilton regularly speaks and writes on employment law. She presents to attorneys and human resources professionals on topics such as maintaining a respectful workplace, conducting workplace investigations, creating and implementing privacy policies, and applying rules of evidence and procedure. An author of more than 20 articles in publications such as the Missouri Employment Law Letter, Missouri Business, St. Louis Lawyer and TYL, Ms. Hamilton also has been quoted as an authority on matters involving employment and labor law by The New York Times, Law360, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM®), and the ABA Journal.
For her work, she was awarded the Women in Justice Award titled Litigation Practitioner in 2017 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly and the John C. Shepherd Professionalism Award in 2019 by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.
Ms. Hamilton is a member of the board of governors for the American Bar Association, vice chair of the Labor and Employment Law Committee for The Missouri Bar, and a member of the board of directors for the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Prior to joining Dowd Bennett, she clerked for the then Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
In July 2012, Judge Stelzer was appointed to the circuit bench. Since his appointment to the bench, he has handled civil, criminal and family court dockets and has served on the budget, drug court and public education committees. In January 2021, he was elected as presiding judge for a two-year term.
Judge Michael Stelzer was appointed to the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court as associate circuit judge in 2004.
Judge Stelzer graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL with a B.A. in 1986. After working for the U.S. Treasury as a federal bank examiner for three years, he went to law school. He obtained his J.D. from Saint Louis University in 1992, graduating cum laude.
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