Briggs and Morgan Announces New Shareholders

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August 17, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – Briggs and Morgan announces the election of four new shareholders: Danielle Fitzsimmons, Knapp Fitzsimmons, Claire Joseph and Kodi Verhalen. All were associates with the firm.

Danielle Fitzsimmons is a member of the Employment, Benefits and Labor section and practices in the areas of employment litigation, employment counseling, non-compete agreements and restraining orders, and business litigation. She works with employers in a wide-variety of employment litigation and counseling matters. Fitzsimmons represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before state and federal agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She defends employers facing allegations of violations of numerous 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, namely non-competition agreements, and defends employees against claims regarding restrictive covenants.

W. Knapp Fitzsimmons is a member of the Business Litigation section, Construction Law practice group, Banking Litigation practice group and Environmental and Natural Resources Law practice group. His construction practice includes representing construction, real estate development and engineering companies and owners in disputes involving alleged construction defects, contractual disputes and mechanic’s lien actions. Fitzsimmons also has extensive experience counseling clients on transactional matters and drafting construction-related agreements. In his banking and creditors’ rights practice, he has successfully represented numerous banks and lending institutions in pursuing both monetary and foreclosure remedies, including resolving title and priority disputes. His real estate and landlord/tenant practice includes prosecuting and defending actions between commercial landlords and tenants, representing sellers and purchasers of real property, and representing condominium and homeowners associations in various matters. In his environmental litigation practice, he has represented large, multi-national corporations regarding asbestos liability, defended a large, multi-national manufacturer in connection with a superfund site and potential CERCLA and related liability under state environmental laws, and counseled clients regarding officer/director liability under CERCLA and related state laws in numerous jurisdictions.

Claire Joseph is a member of the Business Litigation and Employment, Benefits and Labor sections. She currently serves on the firm’s recruiting and diversity committees and is a founding member of the firm’s LGBT group. She represents telecommunications clients in state public utilities commissions, as well as federal and state courts. Her practice includes intercarrier compensation disputes, such as disputes regarding traffic pumping, wireless traffic and VoIP traffic. In addition, she has assisted clients with telemarketing matters, including state and federal laws and regulations on "robocalls" and the use of automated-dialing machines. Joseph also works with employers in a variety of employment litigation and counseling matters and has experience with issues related to Title VII, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. In addition, she has experience representing employers in matters relating to non-competition agreements. Beyond litigation, Claire has experience providing employment counseling regarding competition agreements, sexual harassment policies, privacy concerns and communications with insurers.

Kodi Verhalen is a member of the Energy section. She is a licensed engineer in Minnesota and serves as the 2016-2017 president of the National Society of Professional Engineers – a 31,000-member organization. Although she primarily serves clients in the areas of energy and the environment, her practice also involves assisting clients with general legal issues, including confidentiality and conflicts of interest for engineering firms. She is a qualified neutral under Minnesota Practice Rule 114 and serves as a mediator for the Hennepin County Court Pro Bono Mediation Project. Verhalen’s work includes environmental due diligence as part of mergers and acquisitions, obtaining state certificates of need and route permits from the Public Utilities Commission for transmission lines and generation facilities, obtaining other regulatory approvals from the Public Utilities Commission for energy companies, counseling clients on various real estate, environmental and natural resources matters, and assisting clients in obtaining state and federal permits, licenses and approvals for electric transmission projects.

In addition, lateral attorney Anissa Mediger was promoted to Class A shareholder status.

Anissa Mediger is a member of the Business Litigation section and practices primarily in products liability, mass toxic torts, environmental litigation, insurance litigation and construction defect litigation. Since 2001, she has successfully tried cases to verdict, and has also served as national coordinating counsel for corporations facing claims in multiple jurisdictions. Her broad litigation experience ranges from heavy farm and industrial equipment to motor vehicle components and electrical service. Mediger has defended manufacturers and suppliers of industrial chemicals facing allegations of environmental contamination and fuel emissions, construction industry and service-related providers and product manufacturers accused of causing catastrophic injury. She is routinely called upon to defend corporations facing significant settlement demands. With an educational background in science, Mediger is a frequent speaker in toxic torts, and has provided counsel and represented clients in litigation involving asbestos, silica, talc, benzene, and environmental pollution claims. She has spoken as a panelist at the ABA toxic tort and environmental law seminars, and presented on evidentiary requirements of product and material testing results.

About Briggs and Morgan
Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, Affirmative Action Employer, is a trusted name in business law and litigation services. With offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, the firm’s attorneys are committed to providing superior client service and sound legal counsel to clients nationwide. Briggs and Morgan ranks among The NLJ 500 as one of the nation’s largest firms and has received numerous accolades, including recognition by Corporate Counsel and top clients as a Go-To Law Firm® in the areas of Torts Litigation, Securities and Labor and Employment. The firm and its attorneys have also been selected for publication in The Best Lawyers in America© and Chambers USA. For more information, visit