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Danielle W. Fitzsimmons

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Danielle W. Fitzsimmons

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Practice Groups

Commercial Litigation, Employment

Industry Groups

Construction Industry, Financial Services Industry, Health Care Industry, Insurance Industry, Non-Profit Organizations Industry, Real Estate and Residential Property Management Industry, Technology Industry

Overview

Ms. Fitzsimmons is Co-Chair of the Bassford Remele Employment Law Practice Group. She focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling, representing employers in managing risk, creating and implementing employment policies and agreements, and defending claims arising out of employment relationships.

Employment Litigation

Ms. Fitzsimmons works with employers on a wide variety of employment disputes and litigation. She represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before state, federal and local agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and various city human rights commissions. Ms. Fitzsimmons defends employers facing allegations of violations of employment statutes, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. She also represents employers seeking to enforce employment contracts, including non-compete agreements, and defends employees against restrictive covenant claims.

Employment Counseling

Ms. Fitzsimmons counsels clients on day-to-day employment matters, including hiring, promoting, disciplining, terminating, implementing workforce reductions, determining reasonable accommodations, and ensuring compliance with state and federal wage, hour, and leave requirements. Ms. Fitzsimmons also represents clients in drafting, negotiating and enforcing all types of employment agreements, including executive, inducement, severance, separation and change in control agreements.

Workplace Investigations

Ms. Fitzsimmons assists employers in conducting and managing all phases of the internal investigation process, including witness interviews, data and document collection, engagement of independent investigators, preparation of oral and written findings, and formulation of employment recommendations and action items.

Restrictive Covenants

Ms. Fitzsimmons works with employers to draft, implement and enforce all types of restrictive covenants, including confidentiality, trade secret, non-solicitation and non-competition provisions.

Ms. Fitzsimmons also prosecutes claims for breach of restrictive covenants, misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference, and defends against the same.

Commercial Litigation

Ms. Fitzsimmons represents businesses in all phases of general commercial litigation, involving claims for breach of contract, tortious interference, fraud, negligence, defamation, deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, aiding and abetting, false advertising, product disparagement, promissory estoppel, good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment.

EDUCATION & ADMISSIONS

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2010
    • Journal of the National Security Forum, Executive Editor
    • William Mitchell Law Review, Assistant Editor
  • Miami University of Ohio, B.A., 2007

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • Minnesota

Judicial Clerkships:

  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, The Honorable John R. Tunheim, Externship, 2009
  • United States Attorney’s Office, Externship, 2010

EXPERIENCE

Representative Cases

Counseled and defended numerous clients regarding claims that company’s websites, mobile applications and store fronts did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. (ADA Public Accommodations)

Prosecuted breach of contract claims on behalf of airline against ground handling company. (Commercial Litigation)

Successful arbitration: arbitrator found brewery liable for breach of contract after client’s beverages spoiled. (Commercial Litigation)

Defended hydraulic fracking company in breach of contract dispute. (Commercial Litigation)

Successful jury trial: obtained total defense verdict on local artist’s claims of fraud and unjust enrichment brought against advertising firm. (Commercial Litigation)

Defended national bank by obtaining Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals on homeowners’ claims that bank violated several statutory and common laws by not giving homeowners loan modifications. (Commercial Litigation)

Successful jury trial: initially obtained injunction, enforcing insurance company’s non-competition agreement. At trial, jury found former sales employee breached his employment contract and was not entitled to deferred compensation. Court ordered former employee to pay $189,000 in attorneys' fees to employer and ordered former employee to return all company documents in his possession. (Employment)

Successful jury trial: obtained complete defense verdict for international food company, as well as a $90,000 judgment against plaintiff in employment discrimination lawsuit. (Employment)

Defended biotech company against former employees’ claims for age discrimination, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, fraud, civil conspiracy, and tortious interference. (Employment)

Defended broadcasting company against current employee’s claims for sex discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act. (Employment)

Defended dental supply company against claims of age and sex discrimination, reprisal, and violation of the Equal Pay Act. (Employment)

Defended hospice care provider against claims for breach of non-competition agreement and misappropriation. (Employment)

Defended insurance company by obtaining Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal on former employee’s claims for tortious interference and defamation. (Employment)

Defended international food company against claims for sex-plus discrimination, reprisal and marital status discrimination. (Employment)

Defended employer and its owner against claims of disability discrimination, reprisal, aiding and abetting discrimination, violation of Minnesota's whistleblower statute, negligence and intentional interference with economic advantage. (Employment)

Defended philanthropic organization against former employee's allegations that he was wrongfully discharged in violation of the parties' lifetime employment agreement. (Employment)

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC

Bar Associations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Hennepin County Bar Association

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers

ACCOLADES

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Employment Law - Management; Labor and Employment Litigation, 2023-present

Publications

  • Employment Disputes at Law Firms: Why External Aid Trumps an Internal Crusade, author, Attorney at Law, Vol. 12, No. 5, May 2023
  • Mental Health Conditions and Chemical Dependency, co-author, The ADA Handbook, revised 2nd Ed. 2020, Minnesota State Bar Association CLE
  • Mental Health Conditions and Chemical Dependency, co-author, The ADA Handbook, 1st Ed. 2013, Minnesota State Bar Association CLE

Seminars

  • Advanced Leave Topics: Requirements for 2 Special Situations, co-presenter, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, January 31, 2024