2022 Virtual Legal Symposium

Federal and state legislation, pandemic concerns, reporting requirements and stress in the workplace, are constantly testing practice managers. By understanding and becoming well-versed with legislative requirements, managers can help the practice avoid legal problems. There is a lot to know and it’s not always feasible to access the latest information. VHMA’s Virtual Legal Symposium was designed to connect managers with legal experts who provide information about the veterinary industry’s most compelling legal issues and offer suggestions for actions to ensure compliance. 

  • Legal and Regulatory Updates - What to Expect in 2022
  • FMLA Update: Performance Management and Good Documentation from a Legal Perspective
  • California Employment Laws and Bills You Should Montor
  • Incentivizing Employees with Equity Interest – New Opportunities in Non-Traditional Methods
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Management Services Organizations (MS0) (And why veterinary professionals should establish their own)

Multiple members from the same hospital are encouraged to attend - take advantage of the $99 rate for additional attendees. 

Program Schedule

1:00 to 2:30 pm ET 

Legal and Regulatory Updates - What to Expect in 2022

Speaker: Tim Davis
This session will provide insight into what to expect in 2022 regarding employment law updates. Don’t miss an opportunity to get ahead of the curve.

2:45 to 4:15 pm ET

FMLA Update: Performance Management and Good Documentation from a Legal Perspective

Speaker: Tim Davis
Tim will cover what managers need to know regarding FMLA, ADA, and Workers' Compensation. Tim will also discuss good performance management, conducting a thorough internal investigation and what documentation is needed to minimize legal liability and reduce employee complaints. You will walk away with tools that will help you manage the documentation challenges that keep you up at night.

4:30 to 6:00 p.m. ET

California Employment Laws and Bills You Should Monitor

Speaker: Lara C. de Leon
Keeping up with employment law in California adds another layer of complexity to every manager’s job. In this session, Lara will help managers navigate current leave and disability laws, including the recently reenacted COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick leave. She will also discuss important new develops and bills that are important to watch in 2022.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dennis J. Alessi

Timothy A. Davis

Dennis J. Alessi

Dennis J. Alessi prides himself on anticipating the risks and opportunities of his employer and healthcare clients, while providing highly practical compliance counsel that moves the needle forward.

Dennis has more than 35 years of experience helping businesses manage their workforces, maintain compliance with federal and state employment laws, and address employee disputes and regulatory investigations. He also develops, implements and updates employment policies, handbooks, policies and forms, in addition to conducting educational seminars for managers on a wide range of issues, including ways to mitigate risk and manage disputes, in order to avoid litigation.

When litigation does arise, Dennis defends employers before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other federal and state employment regulatory agencies. He also regularly represents employers in wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and whistleblower cases in New Jersey and New York's federal and state courts, and in administrative law hearings and arbitrations.

A significant part of Dennis' practice is devoted to counseling healthcare providers, professionals and businesses, including physicians, dentists, management and billing service providers, third party administrators, group purchasing organizations, labs and surgical centers. Leveraging more than two decades of industry experience, and a graduate certificate in healthcare law compliance, Dennis helps clients establish, structure and license their businesses, strike joint ventures and other professional arrangements, negotiate leasing and exclusive service agreements, and comply with the industry's evolving regulations.

In addition, Dennis litigates and addresses complex healthcare matters in state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies, licensing boards and hospital fair hearing committees. The range of concerns he frequently deals with includes disputes stemming from medical group dissolutions, physician shareholder dismissals and employee lawsuits, as well as defending clients against allegations of insurance fraud, false claims and kickback schemes.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Timothy Davis
Tim concentrates his practice on labor and employment law in the exclusive representation of management. In this capacity he is recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a “Top Ranked Labor & Employment Lawyer,” by Ingram’s as a “Best Lawyer”, and by LRI as one of the “Top Labor Lawyers in America.” He advises and defends clients on all aspects of the employer/employee relationship with special focus on labor relations/union avoidance.

Tim is also active in the human resources community as a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and former President of SHRM-KC. He has been invited to speak at the National SHRM convention on labor relations topics the past nine years and also regularly speaks for state and local SHRM and other professional and business associations.


Lara C. de Leon
Lara is an experienced trial lawyer and client advocate. Her extensive career has involved representing companies of all sizes, across many industries, in all aspects of employment law. Lara has successfully defended clients in the courtroom, before administrative agencies, and on appeal.

In addition to litigation, Lara has spent her two-plus decades of experience partnering with clients to counsel them through complex issues involving discrimination, retaliation, accommodation, and wage and hour compliance. Lara has also developed a passion for guiding clients through high stakes matters involving pay equity, harassment, leave of absence and accommodations. Lara has had the distinct experience of working as in-house counsel for two large, multi-national corporations, which gives her a unique perspective on how to address the intricate issues facing organizations and their employees.

Lara is an accomplished speaker and presenter, having presented on cutting edge employment law topics at local and national events, as well as many online forums. Lara is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

1:00 to 2:30 pm ET

Incentivizing Employees with Equity Interest – New Opportunities in Non-Traditional Methods

Speakers: Dennis J. Alessi and Peter H. Tanella
Particularly given the current labor market and with consumer increased expectations for veterinary care, incentivizing veterinary employees with an equity interest in the practice is increasingly becoming a requirement, not an optional perk, for attracting and retaining quality veterinarians and support staff. This presentation addresses the major points of the traditional means for granting such equity interests (and the downsides of them) and the advantages of newer, non-traditional methods for such grants. This presentation also addresses several models of the business structures required for the adoption of these non-traditional methods.

2:30 to 2:45 pm ET - Break

2:45 to 4:15 pm ET

Everything You Wanted to Know About Management Services Organizations (MS0) (And why veterinary professionals should establish their own)

Speakers: Dennis J. Alessi and Peter H. Tanella
Over the past year, the media has extensively reported on the rapid change in the business of veterinary medicine with private equity companies owned by non-veterinarians, effectively acquiring ownership of veterinary practices. These acquisitions are occurring even in the majority of states where only veterinarians are supposed to own practices. The projection is that over the next decade, there will be a rapid increase in the percentage of veterinary practices owned by private equity. More often than not, with such ownership, the veterinary professional effectively loses clinical control over their practice. To accomplish these acquisitions, despite laws that the veterinarian must own the practice, private equity companies are using the business structure of a Management Services Organization (MSO).

Entrepreneurial veterinary professionals who want to maintain the independence of their practices from acquisition and control by private equity companies need to consider joining together, in a cooperative effort, to establish and operate their own MSO. This presentation is an overview of the MSO business structure to assist independent, entrepreneurial veterinary professionals in deciding whether to combine their resources to establish their own “cooperative” MSO for their practices.

Peter H. Tanella
Peter Tanella is an experienced business lawyer and trusted advisor who helps entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small and middle-market businesses through every stage of their growth.

Peter frequently serves as outside general counsel to clients from a wide array of industries across the U.S., including retail, manufacturing, wholesale, pharmaceutical, healthcare, life science, transportation, technology, construction, real estate development and hospitality, among others.

He maintains exceptionally close relationships with clients, who count on him to drive their businesses forward through the entire lifecycle, including business formation, structuring and governance; capital raising, business restructuring, M&A transactions and joint ventures, as well as their contract, employment, real estate and intellectual property concerns. Peter also has extensive experience helping business owners create succession plans and resolve sensitive matters, including disputes among principals and business divorce transactions.

Peter often adds value to his clients' businesses by making mutually rewarding introductions to professional service providers, customers and investors. He works under the premise that connecting quality people with one another enhances the likelihood of success for all involved.

After graduating from law school, Peter served as a law clerk to the Honorable James G. Troiano, Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division. Following his clerkship, Peter was a Deputy Attorney General with the New Jersey Attorney General Office, Division of Law where he served as general counsel to numerous state agencies.

Lara C. de Leon

Peter H. Tanella



Program Dates

Tuesday, April 5 - 1:00 to 6:00 pm ET 
Thursday, April 7 - 1:00 to 4:15 pm ET 

Registration Fees

VHMA Members
$425 first per person
$99 each additional person

$605 per person (rate includes VHMA membership for 2022)
$99 each additional person

Need help presenting the meeting expenses and value to your employer? Start with VHMA's Employer Justification Letter.

Continuing Education

A total of 7.5 hours of continuing education hours are available.

Digital Access     

Full access to the recordings in VHMA's On Demand Catalog will be provided complimentary to registered attendees. 


For cancellations received in writing one week prior to the event, all fees, other than a $25 processing fee, will be refunded. After the one-week deadline, no refunds will be issued.

For sponsorship opportunities contact VHMA staff.