Barbara S. Mehlsack
New York Lawyer
Barbara is an experienced labor, employment and employee benefits attorney, whose unusual combination of private sector, governmental and managerial experience makes her an effective advocate for her clients in all arenas, whether in the courtroom or at the negotiating table. An accomplished litigator, she is also an experienced mediator, who brings her background, life experience and street smarts to the table as an effective conciliator.
Barbara leads the firm’s employment and labor litigation practice in representing our international and local union clients in complex federal cases. She is a passionate advocate for individuals seeking redress in the courts and administrative agencies in employment discrimination, employee benefits, wrongful termination and wage and hour cases. She has managed hundreds of representation cases for our union clients before the National Labor Relations Board and brought and defended unfair labor practice charges. Barbara has a special expertise representing labor unions and employee benefit funds in employer bankruptcy proceedings.
Barbara brings both a strategic and practical approach to serving her clients as a litigator, negotiator and mediator. She advises small businesses on employment best practices, designing employment manuals and providing advice and counsel on compliance with the full range of employment laws. Her management experience in government and the private sector means she understands the practical day to day responsibilities of running a business. As a mediator, she is adept at facilitating the resolution of disputes among the most stubborn of adversaries.
Barbara is known and respected by adversaries, colleagues and clients alike for her fierce devotion to her clients’ needs and her creativity and dogged persistence as a litigator and a mediator.
Barbara combines extensive private sector legal experience, including as in-house labor and regulatory counsel for NYNEX, with a strong record in government affairs in both the executive and legislative branches. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a Deputy Comptroller of the City of New York, running a department of over 100 employees. She also served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives Pension and Welfare Benefits Task Force, where she was one of the staff architects of the Multi-employer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPAA”).
Barbara graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from City College and received her J.D. with honors from Rutgers University School of Law. She is admitted in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the federal district courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut and is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and the Labor and Employment Committees of the ABA and the New York State Bar Association.
While bringing up her daughter, Barbara was active in school and community affairs as treasurer of her daughter’s soccer team and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Westside Soccer League. With her daughter in college, she gets to spend more hours on the mountain: Barbara is an avid skier, attacking black diamond slopes the same way she practices law, with grace, flexibility and determination.
- New York, 1976
- U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, District of Connecticut.
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1975
- City College of New York, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude
- New York State Bar Association (Member, Labor and Employment Section, Employee Benefits Committee)
- American Bar Association (Member, Labor and Employment Committee)
- Partner (2004 to present), Senior Associate (1997-2004) Gorlick Kravitz & Listhaus, P.C.
- The Law Offices of Barbara S. Mehlsack, New York NY 1994-1997
- Deputy Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller, City of New York, 1990-1994
- HR/Regulatory Counsel, NYNEX Corporation, 1985-1990
- Labor/ERISA Attorney, Cohen, Weiss & Simon, 1981-1985
- Chief Counsel and Staff Director, U.S. Congress, House of Representatives Pension Welfare Benefits Task Force, 1978-1980
- Labor/ERISA Attorney, Cohen, Glickstein, Lurie, et al, 1975-1978
- New York, New York