Valparaiso University School of Law, J.D., 1994, summa cum laude
Franklin College, B.A., 1991, summa cum laude
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
Debbie grew up watching her father practice law and saw how he helped people resolve their problems. He inspired her to become a lawyer and he still inspires her today more than 20 years into her own career.
Debbie advises and defends clients in various industries, including financial institutions and health care. With a particular focus on employment litigation and counseling, Debbie represents management in a variety of matters, including defending clients in administrative proceedings and against discrimination, wage and hour violations and retaliation claims. She has obtained numerous favorable summary judgment rulings in such cases. She also prosecutes and defends claims involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other forms of unfair competition. She defends collective and class actions, including FLSA collective actions.
Debbie also assists employers with compliance and employment issues under federal, state and local law, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA, and WARN. She counsels and assists employers in investigations stemming from employee misconduct and employee complaints under federal and state statutes. She regularly reviews, revises and drafts employee handbooks, employment policies and procedures, employment agreements, severance and retention agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and other employment related documents.
Debbie has handled numerous appeals before state and federal courts. She is the author of a number of published appellate opinions and has presented oral argument to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She represents employers in proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, among other agencies.
- Selected to the Indiana Super Lawyers "Rising Star" List: 2009
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
Memberships & Involvement
- Member: Hancock County Bar Association; Indiana State Bar Association; Indianapolis Bar Association; Indianapolis Law Club
- Lead plaintiff's counsel, representing a large financial institution, in a week long trial in bankruptcy court. Obtained a non-dischargeability finding on a multimillion dollar judgment after establishing that the borrowing base certificates submitted by the defendant were fraudulent
- Lead counsel in complex litigation matters involving closely-held businesses, representing the business entities as well as the members or majority shareholders
- Lead counsel in various employment litigation matters, defending employers against Title VII, ADA, FMLA, and ADEA discrimination and retaliation claims
- Lead counsel in numerous litigation matters involving insurance coverage issues; successful representation of both the insurance company and the individual insureds
- Lead counsel in business litigation disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, defamation, unfair competition and other torts
- Won a Federal Court multi-million dollar judgment in favor of a large financial institution after successfully obtaining a finding of nondischargeability in a bankruptcy proceeding where the borrower was found to have submitted fraudulent borrowing base certificates
News & Press Releases
- September 2016
- May 10, 2016
Contributing Author, SmithAmundsen's Labor & Employment Law Update, a labor and employment advisory blog.
Contributing Author, Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Chamber Dispatch, an HR advisory blog.
- The Indiana Bankers Association's Hoosier Banker, November/December 2017
- SmithAmundsen, December 16, 2016