Denise’s employment law practice is a mix of litigation and client counseling. She regularly defends employers in state and federal cases alleging harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims and offers guidance and training to help employers minimize the risk of workplace misconduct.
Denise also handles cases involving catastrophic injuries, primarily in premises liability, product liability and transportation matters. She frequently represents businesses of all sizes, including product manufacturers, truck lines, property owners, and real estate agencies. Denise is a valued business partner for every client. She is an aggressive litigator, but takes a cost-effective approach and understands when disputes are best suited to compromise. A farmer’s daughter, Denise applies her farming work ethic to the practice of law and the diligent representation of her clients.
In addition to her skills as a litigator, Denise is experienced in effective dispute resolution alternatives and regularly represents clients in mediations and arbitrations. A lifelong resident of central Illinois, Denise serves as an arbitrator in the St. Clair County and Madison County, Illinois, mandatory arbitration programs. She is on the firm’s employee and personnel committee and is the co-founder of the Fifth Friday Initiative to increase retention and promotion of women in the firm.
Successful Recent Case Results
- Secured dismissal during trial in favor of a third-party defendant employer of the plaintiff truck driver in a case against a scrap metal operator. Plaintiff’s injuries occurred on the defendant’s property and included a partial amputation of the plaintiff’s foot. Our client was dismissed during trial, which ensures the workers’ compensation carrier will recover its substantial lien from the $3-million plaintiff’s verdict.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of employer correctional healthcare company in lawsuit brought by physician alleging racial discrimination and retaliation.
- Obtained summary judgment for employer for retaliation claims under Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
- Secured defense jury verdict in auto accident wrongful death case involving commercial motor vehicle owned by a pool installation company.
- Obtained dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit filed against automobile dealership under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.
- Obtained defense arbitration award in professional liability real estate matter in favor of agent and broker based on alleged failure to disclose mine subsidence.
Prior Legal Experience
Law Clerk, Hon. Lewis M. Blanton, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (1998-2000)