Mary Kennelly has extensive experience representing individuals before the EEOC, state fair employment agencies and state and federal courts in cases that involve employment discrimination and other denials of employee rights, whistleblower retaliation, and government denial of constitutional civil rights. She has consistently obtained favorable results for her clients through jury verdicts and private settlements. She has lectured and taught on the subjects of employment law and civil rights. She is recognized in Best Lawyers: Employment Law – Individuals and Litigation – Labor and Employment.
Seminars and Presentations
- “The New ADAAA: Key Impacts on Employers”, 2012 Annual Employment Law Update, State Bar of Wisconsin (October 18, 2012)
- “Developments in FMLA Compliance”, Employment Law Update-Madison, Sterling Education Services (January 31, 2007)
- “Proving Past and Future Vocational Loss”, The Nuts and Bolts of Proving Damages in Civil Rights and Discrimination Cases, State Bar of Wisconsin (November 10, 2006)
- “The Professional Judgment Standard”, The Complexities of Section 1983 Litigation, State Bar of Wisconsin Individual Rights Section (April 1, 2005)
- “Americans with Disabilities Act: You be the Judge”, Wisconsin Rehabilitation and Transition Training Conference, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, Inc. (April 5, 2000)
- “The Pitfalls Old and New of Being an Employment Law Practitioner”, Legal Association for Women, Guest Speaker (January 12, 2000)
- “Summary Judgment Standards and Case Planning Considerations”, Annual Civil Rights Seminar: All Rise for the Jury, State Bar of Wisconsin (March 7, 1997)
- “Wisconsin Employment Law”, Introductory Chapter, State Bar of Wisconsin CLE publication (1995)
- “The Qualified Immunity Defense”, Section 1983 in State Court: A Start to Finish Demonstration, State Bar of Wisconsin Individual Rights Section (September 27, 1991)
Verdicts and Reported Cases
- Blue v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 676 F.3d 579 (7th Cir. 2012). Upholding jury verdict finding union retaliated against employee for opposing racially discriminatory hiring practices.
- Elestwani v. Nicolet Biomedical (W.D. Wis. Case No. 04-947). Jury verdict finding race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and Section 1981. Awarding 1.56 million in damages plus reinstatement.
- Vike v. Rock County (W.D. Wis. Case No. 08-486). Jury verdict finding that employee was denied reasonable accommodation under the ADA, as well as due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- Ashman v. Barrows et al, 438 F.3d 781 (7th Cir. 2006). Ruling for employee reversing district court grant of summary judgment on her First Amendment retaliation claim.
- Culver v. Gorman, 416 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2005). Ruling for employee reversing district court grant of summary judgment on her Title VII retaliation claim.
- Cleary v. Federal Express Corp., 313 F. Supp.2d 930 (E.D. Wis. 2004). Holding that employee was entitled to a jury trial on his disability discrimination claim under the ADA.
- Bicknese v. Sutula, 260 Wis.2d 713, 600 N.W.2d 289, 295 (2003). Affirming jury verdict on promissory estoppel claim, holding UW official was not entitled to discretionary immunity.
- Johnston-Rodriguez v. Mickelson et al (W.D. Wis. Case No. 01-215). Jury verdict finding retaliation in violation of public employee’s First Amendment rights.
- Jablonski v. Vilas County, (W.D. Wis. Case No. 01-373). Jury verdict finding that Vilas County failed to reasonable accommodate road crew worker’s disability in violation of the ADA.
- Wilson v. UW Board of Regents, 2000 WL 34239107 (W.D. Wis.). Granting summary judgment in favor of professor who claimed she was sexually harassed and ordering a jury trial on damages.
- Zaremba v. Wisconsin Dept. Veteran Affairs (W.D. Wis. Case No. 99-150). Jury verdict finding disability discrimination in violation of the ADA.
- Stalter v. Wal-Mart, 195 F.3d 285 (7th Cir. 1999). Ruling for employee reversing district court grant of summary judgment on his race discrimination claim under Title VII.
- Ready v. UW Board of Regents (W.D. Wis. Case No. 97-310). Jury verdict finding race discrimination in hiring decision and court order finding failure to follow affirmative action plan.
- Brown v. City of Edgerton Disciplinary Committee, 97 F.3d. 969 (7th Cir. 1996). Ruling in favor of volunteer firefighter, defining broad parameter for issues of public concern under the First Amendment.
- Feldmann et al v. McCaughtry et al (W.D. Case No. 95-571). Jury verdict in favor of six correctional officers finding willful violations of their First Amendment rights.
- Roidt v. American TV (W.D. Wis. Case No. 94-384). Jury verdict finding age discrimination with regard to termination.
- Price v. Marshall Erdman, 966 F.2d 320 (7th Cir. 1992). Affirming jury verdict for employee on claim of willful age discrimination and establishing standard for evaluation of front pay awards.
- Shager v. Upjohn, 913 F.2d 398 (7th Cir. 1990). Ruling for employee reversing summary judgment in an age discrimination case. Introducing “cat’s paw” theory of employer liability.
Professional Honors and Associations
- Best Lawyers – Employment Law 2008-2013
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- Pro Bono Recognition – Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association 2011
- Pro Bono Recognition – Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association 2002
- American Bar Association, Labor and Employment
- Dane County Bar Association
Bar and Court Admissions
- Wisconsin Bar
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
- United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin
- University of Wisconsin Law School J.D. 1986
- University of Massachusetts B.A. 1986