Kristen is the practice managing partner of the Business Litigation Practice and Public Policy Practice groups. Her practice focuses exclusively on representing companies on a national scale, both in federal and state courts, in a wide range of business, commercial and employment matters. She represents clients working in industries as diverse as retail and web services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical devices, financial services, technology and telecommunications, design and construction and higher education. She has extensive experience in breach of contract, fiduciary duty, wage and hour, whistleblowing, unfair competition, discrimination and harassment, trade secrets and retaliation disputes, successfully litigating business and employment cases throughout the country for her corporate clients.
In addition, Kristen helps clients with complex litigation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution needs, and frequently handles class and multiplaintiff actions. She also is well-versed in the intricacies of eDiscovery and has prevailed in many contentious discovery disputes. Kristen believes the key to efficient resolution of litigation is to use strategic early decision-making, deposition and motion practice to position the case for a favorable outcome.
Beyond her trial practice, Kristen is an effective and efficient advocate throughout the litigation process, securing summary judgment dismissals, discovery victories and favorable settlements for her clients. She also helps clients navigate administrative processes and address challenging personnel and employment policy matters. Human Resource Executive magazine and Lawdragon named Kristen one of the nation's "Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" and Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers recognized her as a "Rising Star." Her pro bono work has also been featured in The Kansas City Star.
Kristen has represented clients—including Cerner, Foot Locker, GlaxoSmithKline, Grundfos, Philip Morris International, Auto Club, HNTB, Optiv and O'Reilly Auto Parts—in a variety of litigation, pretrial and ADR matters.
- Defended retailer in high-stakes disability and age discrimination jury trial in California federal court, securing a complete defense verdict.
- Won early dismissal of class action allegations in a nationwide ADA accessibility case in Washington federal court.
- Represented a hospital in a whistleblower and retaliation jury trial in Missouri state court, winning a complete defense verdict.
- Obtained full summary judgment dismissal in sexual harassment case in Missouri federal court.
- Secured dismissal with prejudice of FLSA and fraud suit against an insurer through strategic early motion practice in Minnesota federal court.
- Successfully compelled arbitration in FMLA retaliation case for financial services company.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal of age and national origin discrimination case and successfully defended the dismissal before the Missouri Court of Appeals.
Presentations and Publications
Co-Presenter, COVID-19: California and Federal Employment Law Considerations, Shook and the Association of Corporate Counsel of Southern California, April 7, 2020.
Employment Update and Hot Topics, Teleconference, October 18, 2018 (with Bill Martucci, Andrew Chang, Erin Leffler, Riley Mendoza and Terri Parker).
Employment Law Trends, Update of the Law CLE, Kansas City, Missouri, June 22, 2017 (with Bill Martucci and Carrie McAtee).
Co-Author, High-Stakes EEOC Class Action Litigation in America, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment and Labour Law 2015 (Global Legal Group Ltd, London).
Co-Author, High-Stakes EEOC Class Action Litigation in America, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment and Labour Law 2013 (Global Legal Group Ltd, London).
Co-Author, The EEOC’s Systemic Initiative And High-Priority Enforcement Areas: Compliance Strategies For Employers, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, September 2012.
Co-Author, Employment Class Actions in America – Implications for the Global Employer, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment and Labour Law 2012 (Global Legal Group Ltd, London).
Co-Author, Employment Class Actions in America – Implications for the Global Employer, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Employment and Labour Law 2011 (Global Legal Group Ltd, London).
Co-Author, Winning In Wage And Hour Litigation: Compliance, Experts And The Certification Process, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, October 2011.
Co-Author, Social Networking in the Workplace, Employment Law Strategist, December 2009.
Returning to the Workplace, In Re KCMBA, Podcast, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, July 7, 2021 (with Sam Wendt and Wendy Hill).