Minna Kotkin

Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-7992 |  Email
Areas of Expertise
Civil Procedure
Employment Law
Administrative Law
Education
A.B., Barnard College
J.D., Rutgers University Law School

Clinic - Employment Law

In this clinic, students will represent low-income workers who have recently lost their jobs, and are have difficulty getting unemployment insurance benefits. For the unemployment proceedings, students will investigate the facts and the law, prepare a written submission and represent the client at a hearing before an Administration Law Judge, which typically entails direct examination, and cross-examination of the employer, as well as argument to the judge. If benefits are not granted, the clinic will prepare a brief on appeal.

In addition to unemployment representation, students will also interview and counsel clients as to many other possible causes of action that relate to termination of employment. These include claims of discrimination on the basis of religion, disability sex, race, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation; claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act; claims under ERISA; claims involving failure to pay minimum wages or overtime; claims relating to OSHA violations; and claims relating to "whistleblowing." In the event the client has a viable cause of action, students will attempt to negotiate a resolution with the employer. If this proves unsuccessful, the clinic may represent the worker in the appropriate federal or state court proceeding.

Seminar Credits: 2.00

Seminar: The clinic includes a 2-credit seminar that will address both substantive employment law and lawyering skills. Substantive topics will include the topic mentioned above. The skills classes will primarily focus on interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, and trial advocacy, and negotiation.

Enrollment Notes: The clinic enrolls students each semester.

Employment Discrimination

This course focuses on prohibitions against employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, and disability. These prohibitions are found primarily in modern federal civil rights statutes. The course considers the sources, theories, and goals of anti-discrimination laws.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.

New York Civil Practice

Prerequisite: Civil Procedure

The practice in civil cases in New York under the Civil Practice Law and Rules and related statutes are studied, including the structure and jurisdiction of New York courts; the commencement of actions; joinder of parties and causes of action; res judicata; statutes of limitation; pleadings; motion practice; accelerated judgement; disclosure devices; provisional remedies; trial practice; judgments and their enforcement; and special proceedings.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade. Some faculty allow pass/fail option. Final exam.