Littler Mendelson Expands Kansas City Presence, Adds Four Shareholders

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 3, 2010) – Littler Mendelson, P.C. (Littler), the nation's largest employment and labor law firm representing management, today announced the arrival of four new shareholders to its Kansas City, Missouri office — Denise K. Drake, Daniel B. Boatright, Jeannie M. DeVeney, and Jeffrey M. Place, formerly with the Midwest law firm Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP. These additions significantly strengthen Littler's presence in the area.

"I am very pleased to welcome this accomplished group of individuals to the Firm," said Littler shareholder, Erin Webber. "Their combined experience, knowledge and reputations greatly enhance our office's ability to serve our growing client base in both the city and region."

Drake, Boatright and DeVeney are experienced employment litigators with an emphasis on complex cases including class and collective actions, wage and hour litigation, multi-plaintiff and multi-defendant cases. They also defend employers in a wide range of cases involving matters such as alleged harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, contract matters, and Family and Medical Leave Act violations. They have a proven track record in all venues (state and federal court, state and federal administrative hearings, "private" arbitrations, etc.), and have successfully tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts.

Place focuses his practice on traditional labor relations. He has extensive experience handling collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, counter-union campaigns, administrative matters before the National Labor Relations Board, and related litigation in both the federal and state courts. Place also advises employers on subjects such as responses to union handbilling and picketing, and positive employee relations strategies.

All four attorneys devote significant time to working proactively with employers to avoid workplace problems. They regularly counsel and train employers on day-to-day employment law issues, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and discrimination / harassment laws. They frequently advise employers on personnel policies, reductions in force, non-competition agreements, and risk management protocols (including mandatory arbitration).

Denise K. Drake, Office Managing Shareholder. Drake previously served as Spencer Fane's Director of Litigation & Advocacy and is a recognized leader in the local, regional, and national legal community. She is included in Best Lawyers in America®, Best of Bar in Kansas City, and the Chambers USA Guide. Drake has been specially recognized as a "Legal Leader in Kansas City," and as one of the "Forty Under 40 Leaders in Kansas City." Drake holds leadership positions in the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section's Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, as well as various other legal and community entities. She serves on the Eighth Circuit Civil Jury Instructions Committee and is a professional speaker, addressing cutting edge employment law topics nationally and internationally.

Daniel B. Boatright is a frequent writer and speaker on employment issues. He serves on the Eighth Circuit Civil Jury Instructions Committee, is a co-chair of the Complex Litigation Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, and is a member of the Global Alliance of Hospitality Attorneys.

Jeannie M. DeVeney is a past president of the Kansas Bar Association's Labor & Employment Law Section. She is active in the National Retail Federation's Employment Law Committee and speaks regularly on a broad array of employment law topics.

Jeffrey M. Place is a member of the ABA Labor & Employment Section's Committee on the Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act, and is a Chapter Editor for the leading treatise on U.S. labor relations law, The Developing Labor Law. He is also a member of the Associated General Contractors' Labor and Employment Law Council, and is a frequent lecturer on labor relations matters, both locally and nationally.

About Littler Mendelson

With more than 750 attorneys and 48 offices, Littler Mendelson is the largest U.S.-based law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in employment and labor law matters. As the only U.S. member of the Ius Laboris global alliance, Littler has extensive resources to address the needs of multi-national clients, from navigating international employment laws and labor relations issues to applying corporate policies worldwide. Established in 1942, the Firm has litigated, mediated and negotiated some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record. For more information, visit