Best Lawyers 2020 Badge for Fox & Fox, S.C.

Mary E. Kennelly

Selected in 2020

Thomson Reuters

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    Mary E. Kennelly

    Ms. Kennelly has extensive experience litigating claims of whistleblower retaliation, age, race and sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws. She represents employees in state and federal court and before the EEOC and state fair employment agencies. She has consistently obtained favorable jury verdicts, court rulings and private settlements for her clients. She has been recognized in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for her work in labor and employment law. She was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for Employment Law – Individuals, Madison 2017. She was a recipient of the Wisconsin Law Journal’s “Women in the Law” in 2013. Her case results include:


    • Verdict awarding $1.56 million for claims of race discrimination and retaliation
    • $2.65 million recovery for employees’ claims of age discrimination
    • $1.3 million recovery and apology in a jail death case
    • $1.8 million recovery for claims of age discrimination in termination
    • Verdict awarding $1.1 million on claim of willful age discrimination
    • $1.5 million recovery for patient’s death in county treatment facility

    Published Decisions

    • Hudson v. Lands’ End, Inc., 928 F.Supp.2d 1045 (W.D.Wis. 2013)
    • Blue v. IBEW Local 159, 676 F.3d 579 (7th Cir. 2012)
    • Ashman v. Barrows et al, 438 F.3d 781 (7th Cir. 2006)
    • Culver v. Gorman, 416 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2005)
    • Cleary v. Federal Express Corp., 313 F.Supp.2d 930 (E.D. Wis. 2004)
    • Bicknese v. Sutula, 2003 WI 31, 260 Wis.2d 713, 600 N.W.2d 289
    • Stalter v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 195 F.3d 285 (7th Cir. 1999)
    • Price v. Marshall Erdmann, Inc., 966 F.2d 320 (7th Cir. 1992)
    • Shager v. Upjohn Co., 913 F.2d 398 (7th Cir. 1990)

    Areas of Practice

    • Employment Law-Employee
    • Whistleblower Retaliation
    • Employment Discrimination
    • Sexual Harassment

    Bar Admissions

    • Wisconsin
    • U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
    • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit


    • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
      • J.D.
    • University of Massachusetts
      • B.A.


    • Sexual Harassment: Recognizing, Preventing and Litigating Claims, Plaintiff’s Perspective, Wisconsin State Bar, January 2014
    • The New ADAAA, Key Impacts on Employers, Wisconsin State Bar, October 2012
    • Developments in FMLA Compliance, Sterling Education Services, January 2007
    • Proving Vocational Loss in Employment Cases, Wisconsin State Bar, November 2006
    • The Professional Judgment Standard in §1983 Litigation, Wisconsin State Bar, April 2005
    • Americans with Disabilities Act: You be the Judge, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, Inc., April 2000
    • Summary Judgment and Case Planning Considerations, Wisconsin State Bar, March 1997
    • The Qualified Immunity Defense in §1983 Litigation, Wisconsin State Bar, September 1991

    Honors and Awards

    • Best Lawyers: 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” for Labor and Employment in Madison, Wisconsin
    • Best Lawyers: 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law – Individuals, Madison, Wisconsin
    • Best Lawyers: Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2008 – present
    • Super Lawyers: Employment Litigation, 2014 – present
    • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association Pro Bono Recognition, 2011
    • Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association Pro Bono Recognition, 2002