Overview

Denise K. Drake represents management in employment lawsuits, including collective, multi-plaintiff and multi-defendant employment actions, as well as in arbitration and mediation. She has obtained jury verdicts on behalf of management in cases involving:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Race discrimination
  • Disability discrimination
  • Age discrimination
  • Retaliation cases

Additionally, Denise has successfully obtained dismissals or summary judgments (upheld on appeal when challenged) in many cases filed across the nation. She has successfully defeated nationwide certification of several wage and hour collective actions; convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss approximately 30 actions; and advantageously used offers of judgment, questionnaires and other strategic tools to appropriately position cases for efficient and successful resolution.

She appears before:

  • Federal and state courts
  • The United States Supreme Court
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • The Missouri Commission on Human Rights
  • The Nebraska Employment Opportunity Commission

Denise also helps management avoid litigation by providing proactive advice before issues become problematic, working with in-house counsel and managers to resolve day-to-day issues, and training managers and employees regarding their employment rights and responsibilities.

Prior to joining Littler, she was a human resources manager at an investment company. In law school, she was editor of the Kansas Law Review.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Management Chair

Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Management Chair

Privacy, Membership, Trial Advocacy and Legislative Developments subcommittees - Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Management Chair

Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Administrative Chair

Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Program Chair

Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Member, Executive Board

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Former Legal Advisor

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Former Chair

Labor and Employment Committee

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Former Chair

Federal Courts Committee

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Recognition

Named, Who's Who in American Law

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Named, The Best Lawyers in America©

2016

Named, Top 250 Female Litigators in America

Benchmark Litigation

Named, Lawyer of the Year

Litigation - Labor & Employment, Kansas City

The Best Lawyers in America©

2013

Named, International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyer

Who's Who Legal

2015

Named, America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Chambers USA

Named, Litigation Star

Benchmark Litigation

Named, Super Lawyer

Missouri and Kansas

Named, Best of Bar

Kansas City Business Journal

Named, Top Lawyers

Corporate Counsel

Named, Legal Leader

The Daily Record Kansas City

Recipient, Forty Under 40 Award

Ingram's Magazine

Order of the Coif

Recipient, C.C. Stewart Award

University of Kansas School of Law

Recipient, Appellate Advocacy Awards

University of Kansas School of Law

Recipient, Outstanding Contributions Award

Webster University

Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating

Martindale-Hubbell

Publications & Press

Speaking Engagements

Employment Law Update

Overland Park, KS

May 22, 2014

National Sarbanes-Oxley and sexual harassment retaliation mock trial co-chair (Simone Harlow v. GPS Micro-Systems, Inc., demonstrating effective communication techniques with jury and use of courtroom technology)

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee and Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Employment Law Basics

National Satellite Television, ABA and American Law Network

Family Responsibilities Law

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Unique Issues When Dealing with Business Executives

Law Education Institute, ABA-BNA

Who's Peeping? Privacy in the Workplace

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Between You, Me & the Internet: Employment Privacy Rights

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Romance in the Workplace

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Off-Duty Employee Conduct

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Mock Trial and Trial Techniques Discussion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Who Are You? An Update on Hiring Laws

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

A Multi-National Comparison of Employment Laws

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Identity Theft In The Workplace

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Employment Policies, Procedures, and Practices and Sexual Harassment Update

Law Education Institute, ABA-BNA

Employment Law Privacy Rights and Trial Demonstration

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense ("Get Busy Early")

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, and Other Employer-Protected Assets

Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Employment Law Privacy Rights

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Collective Actions: Perspectives, Strategies, and Realities

National Employment Law Institute

Family-Friendly Employment Laws

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Sexual Harassment Investigations

National Law Institute and ABA

Collective Actions on the Rise

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Employment At-Will Update

Law Education Institute, ABA-BNA

Job Reference Immunity Statutes

Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee, Labor & Employment Section - American Bar Association

Education

  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law First in Class - C.C. Stewart Award
  • M.S., Webster University With Honors
  • B.S., Iowa State University With Honors

Bar Admission

Missouri
Kansas
Iowa
Nebraska

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska