For the past two decades, Debra has focused her practice in the area of employment litigation and counseling, where she regularly assists employers with all aspects of employment matters. She helps employers navigate through the complicated and often-technical myriad of state, federal and local statutes and laws impacting employment decisions from the hiring process to performance evaluations, discipline, and separations, as well as litigation arising from all of those stages. Debra also devotes a substantial part of her practice to financial and real estate professional litigation and advising.
Employment Defense and Advising
Debra understands that business decisions are not always made in the courtroom and works diligently to design practical solutions that balance a company’s legal compliance issues with its business objectives and goals in an evenhanded and creative manner. She also counsels companies and individuals on non-compete, non-solicitation, and trade secret matters, with a focus on the financial services industry and application of the “Protocol for Broker Recruiting.” She frequently appears in court to move for or defend against motions for temporary restraining orders and injunctions seeking to enforce non-compete and other post-employment restrictive covenants.
She is well-equipped to assist you with:
- Litigating all facets of employment matters, including discrimination and harassment issues, in state and federal courts
- Handling administrative charges before state and federal agencies
- Counseling and advising employers on employment issues
- Prosecuting and defending non-compete agreements on behalf of companies and employees
- Conducting independent investigations of allegations of inappropriate employee behavior running the gamut of workplace issues including discrimination, harassment and improper business practices
- Asserting and defending defamation claims, whistleblower claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act cases, employee privacy issues, and wage and hour matters
Debra’s employment practice also extends to educational institutions, where she has represented public school teachers, private schools, public schools, online schools, and charter schools in a myriad of issues, including, but not limited to, harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, violation of data practices act and related issues. She also regularly serves as a hearing officer for expulsion matters around the Twin Cities and Minnesota. She has spoken at school law conferences in the past on employment and school-related topics as well.
FINRA and Securities Litigation Department
As Chair of the firm’s FINRA and Securities Litigation Department, Debra defends broker-dealers, registered representatives, and financial advisors in financial securities fraud and investment-related claims brought by customers in arbitration proceedings before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, formerly NASD). She defends clients in customer disputes involving claims of unsuitability, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and federal securities laws. These cases involve claims of securities and common law fraud, churning, negligence, and due diligence. She also represents insurance companies and agents facing claims arising from the sale of life and disability insurance and annuity products.
In addition, Debra counsels financial professionals on the Broker’s Protocol in their transition from one brokerage to another, providing consultation on non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and defending those actions that result in litigation.
A leader in the firm, Debra serves as Co-chair of Meagher + Geer’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. In addition, she is charged with leading the firm’s Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification process. Debra also serves as the firm’s Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP) Member Representative, overseeing the firm’s participation in the TCDIP First Year Summer Rotation Clerkship Program.
- Hamline University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1998
- University of Wisconsin – Madison, B.A., cum laude, 1995