It is with the utmost sadness and grief that I advise you that my very good friend, colleague and revered mentor, Ernie Hadley, passed away quite suddenly. I have said innumerable times that in my professional life, the single most enjoyable aspect has been the many, many times I have shared the podium with Ernie. There was no second most enjoyable aspect, as the time with Ernie eclipsed every other professional experience.
His wonderful wit and insight into the practice of law made every moment with him an immeasurably rewarding experience. His optimism and professionalism were contagious. He was generous with his time and served as a mentor to many of the lawyers in the firm as he was one of the finest legal writers I have ever known. Perhaps his years as a journalist prior to turning to the law accounts for his remarkable ability to say in a few pages of a brief that which most of us required far more verbiage.
He was a founding director of the Federal Employment Law Training Group, author of numerous publications (including the bible of federal sector employment law, A Guide to Federal Sector Equal Employment Law and Practice) and among the most talented and entertaining presenter at conferences. Ernie presented more than a thousand seminars, trainings, speeches and other presentations on various aspects of employment discrimination law and workplace rights and responsibility, including on the topics of prevention of workplace harassment, understanding the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with a disability, creating and maintaining the workplace free from discrimination, and many other topics.
Most importantly, he was a friend to everyone who knew him and was generous with his time and advice to up and coming EEO practitioners. In recent years, Ernie mostly retired from the practice of law (although he still did seminars with us and helped lawyers in the firm as needed) and moved to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where he and his wife, Annie opened a small publishing firm, Nevermore Press, that concentrated on publishing the works of local fiction and nonfiction authors. His friendship is something I will always cherish. I will miss you greatly, Ernie. – – Gary Gilbert