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Let’s Make a Deal: Business Relationships in the COVID Era


October 13, 2020 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm

United States + Google Map
Free

4:00 p.m. – Program Begins
5:00 p.m. – Zoom Networking

Join The Associated’s Lawyers’ Division for a program on contractual relationships during COVID-19.

Hear from three experts on the following topics:

  • Employment – Laura Rubenstein, Wright, Constable & Skeen Law Firm
  • Insurance/Liability – Steve Heller, Heller Kowitz Insurance Advisors
  • Force Majeure/Real Estate – Rachel Hirsch, In-House Counsel at AIPAC

Moderated by Searle Mitnick, Gordon Feinblatt, and Associated Lawyers’ Division Co-Chair.

Questions? Contact Alexis Miller at ammiller@associated.org or 847-400-4343.

Live-captioning is available through Maryland Relay Service. Generally, 48 hours advance notice is required to set this up. 

In lieu of a registration fee, please consider a donation to The Associated by visiting associated.org/give. The Associated needs your financial support now more than ever.

This presentation is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent legal opinion. Statements of fact and opinions expressed during this presentation are those of the presenters individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of The Associated, its sponsors, or its committees. The Associated does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for the content, accuracy, or completeness of the information presented.

Speaker Bios


Steven J. Heller

Anyone who knows Steve can attest to his passion for helping others. He currently serves as co- founder and partner of Heller Kowitz Insurance Advisors, a boutique independent insurance brokerage, housed in Green Spring Station, located in Lutherville, Maryland. Steve formalized a partnership with Brian Kowitz in 2013. With over twenty-five years insurance underwriting experience, Steve oversees and manages the firms property casualty insurance operations. In addition to his underwriting experience, Steve comes with an extensive property claims background. As a licensed public insurance adjuster, he was responsible for assisting home and business owners with claims navigation and negotiation. The combination of both underwriting and claims experience has allowed Heller Kowitz to attract and retain individuals, families, and business owners, who value protection and advisory.A native to Baltimore, Steven and his wife Kyra live in Reisterstown, Maryland. Outside of his business, Steve enjoys hiking, exercising, music, traveling, restaurants, and spending time with his friends and family. He is also involved with the Climb for Hope Foundation which raises money for targeted MS and Cancer related research trials. Steve’s 2019 summit attempt of El Dorado Peak, located in the northern cascade mountains, helped the team raise over $20K.

Rachel Hirsch

Rachel Hirsch serves as AIPAC’s In-House Counsel, the sole legal officer on staff for the internationally-recognized, non-profit advocacy organization and its charitable foundation. In her role, Rachel provides guidance to senior management and the board of directors on issues central to the mission and stability of the organization and identifies potential risks to the organization and pro-actively creates strategies to address them. She oversees a broad range of legal matters, including non-profit, employment, corporate governance, intellectual property, contracts, cyber security, real estate and litigation. Rachel also assists in the development of legislative and policy initiatives at the federal level. Rachel first started her career as a litigator at the national law firm of Venable LLP. For nine years prior to joining AIPAC, Rachel was an associate, and then a partner, at a nationally-recognized litigation boutique in Washington, D.C., where she focused her practice on defending high-net worth individuals and corporations in civil and white-collar criminal cases involving federal and state agencies including the FTC, SEC, CFTC, and DOJ. A Baltimore, Maryland native since age two (having emigrated from Iran), Rachel is a J.D. graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (cum laude), She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (summa cum laude).

Laura L. Rubenstein

Laura L. Rubenstein is a partner in Wright, Constable & Skeen’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and a member of firm’s Executive Committee. Her practice includes advising clients in many different areas of workplace law, including COVID-19’s impact on work culture. She represents businesses and nonprofit organizations in a wide range of matters and successfully handles and guides clients through investigations related to claims and charges filed against executives.Laura defends against FLSA wage disputes, harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims. Laura drafts critical documents specific to her client’s industries and needs, such as employment contracts, restrictive covenants, employee handbooks, disciplinary and termination letters as well as separation agreements. An advocate for her clients before federal, state and local administrative agencies and courts, she also is a certified mediator.Laura also enjoys advising on Board governance matters, working with company officers and c-level executives. She regularly provides on-site training for owners, managers, supervisors and executives to help reduce exposure to liability and promote a more harmonious and productive workplace.

Searle Mitnick

For fifty years, Searle has gained a regional reputation providing legal counsel to real estate and business clients, including commercial real estate developers, residential apartment owners, and borrowers and lenders in loan transactions and workouts. He has formed entities such as partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations which own and operate real estate and other businesses and has handled major leasing transactions representing national and local landlords and tenants in office buildings and retail centers. Searle’s experience includes handling matters involving bond financing and mortgage insurance and/or subsidies from HUD and agencies of the State of Maryland. He has completed transactions involving development and financing of many projects containing thousands of units. He has provided counsel in the creation of numerous condominium developments. Searle has represented mortgage companies and banks with regard to acquisition, development and construction financing of real estate; represented sellers of real property to real estate investment trusts (REITS) and represented REITS. He has represented major institutional clients in the sale and acquisition of large mixed-use projects. Searle’s real estate experience includes matters that involve solar projects representing property owners and solar developers. Searle has appeared in court as an expert witness on a number of occasions on cases involving real estate, business, and professional liability matters. He has been a frequent presenter for numerous industry and professional seminars, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Real Estate Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Law Conference, and the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education for Lawyers (MICPEL). Searle also serves a number of clients as a trusted family advisor, often in a trustee capacity. He is experienced in dealing with as many as three generations of families and assisting them with the myriad types of issues that frequently arise. Searle confers regularly with Gordon Feinblatt’s trust and estate, business and tax lawyers in arriving at creative solutions for their planning and administrative needs. Prior to joining Gordon Feinblatt in 2003, Searle was a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Tydings & Rosenberg LLP. Immediately prior to joining Tydings & Rosenberg, he was a partner in the firm of Kaplan, Heyman, Greenberg, Engelman, Belgrad, P.A. Before joining Kaplan, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Singley, Jr. of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors

Title Sponsor: Miles & Stockbridge

Supporting Sponsors: Kramon & Graham, PA, PK Law, Venable LLP

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