dnm1DANIELLE N. MALATY
Associate
Chicago, IL
P: 312.782.9920
F: 312.782.9965
dnmalaty@kopkalaw.com

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Danielle concentrates her practice on premises liability, product liability, employment law, municipal/public entity, construction, commercial transportation, contract breach, professional liability, and general insurance defense. Her clients include retailers, restaurants, property management companies, hardware stores, product manufacturers, cooperative business organizations, grocery stores, shopping centers, general contractors, sub-contractors, police departments, municipalities, and trucking/transportation entities. Throughout her career with Kopka Pinkus Dolin, she has worked closely with partners Robert Kopka, Gene Pinkus, Tim Palumbo, Joel Groenewold and Sheri Bradtke McNeil.

Danielle is also a dedicated member of the firm’s Employment Practice Group and has developed an expertise in the defense of municipalities against discrimination-based claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act.

Danielle prides herself in working closely with her clients from the inception of a lawsuit. She approaches her files with attentiveness maintains a commitment to resolution. As a skilled litigator with extensive experience in motion practice, Danielle is dedicated to identifying issues that allow her to zealously advocate for her clients while protecting the best interests of the insured. Danielle has achieved victories for her clients at the Circuit Court level and in Federal Court. Danielle has achieved numerous successes through dispositive motions, trials, and appeals.

Prior to joining Kopka Pinkus Dolin, Danielle practiced at a premier insurance defense firm in the Chicago Loop, where she gained substantive, high-level experience in insurance defense litigation. Danielle has worked closely with partners at all stages of litigation, up to trial.  During law school, Danielle was a successful member of the National Trial Advocacy Team and received recognition for her trial skills and effective, ethical and professional advocacy.

CASE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Danielle recently prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in McLean County Circuit Court for a property management company in a matter involving excessive damages. The Circuit Court granted Danielle’s motion and ruled that the plaintiff failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact for jury consideration on the issue of duty. Further, the Court ruled that the hazardous condition on which the Plaintiff fell was open and obvious and that the deliberate encounter exception did not apply. Plaintiff filed a Motion to Reconsider, which Danielle defeated. The matter is currently pending in the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth Judicial District.
  • Danielle obtained a Cook County jury verdict in an amount that was less than half of the award previously obtained by the Plaintiff at arbitration.
  • Representing a national retailer in a premises liability case, Danielle obtained a dismissal after persuading Plaintiff that the subject premises fell outside the scope of her client’s control, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the contract that controlled the shopping mall.
  • Danielle successfully mediated a property damage case for a national department store by defending the terms of her client’s warranty and contract. By establishing that the damage claimed fell outside the scope her client’s coverage, she was able to obtain a dismissal order one week after it was filed.
  • In a recent Cook County case that was set to proceed to trial, just moments before voir dire, Danielle achieved a settlement for 50% of a rejected arbitration award.
  • Danielle recently prevailed over an appeal in the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District. Justice P. Scott Neville of the Appellate Court affirmed the Circuit Court’s order granting Defendant’s motion to transfer a matter to McHenry County based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. With Justice Hyman and Justice Pierce concurring, the Appellate Court determined that the Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when granting Defendant’s motion.
  • Representing a police department charged with an ADA based claim, Danielle obtained a finding of no discrimination, arguing in her brief that the claimant was not removed from consideration as an officer because of an alleged condition; rather, he was removed from consideration due to numerous documented failures to meet threshold requirements set forth by the department to serve as an officer.
  • Danielle obtained a non-suit in a lawsuit against a Defendant who was 100% at fault. After prevailing over Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Allege Willful and Wanton Conduct and a subsequent Motion to Dismiss, granted in part, Danielle conducted a thorough investigation into Plaintiff’s medical history, including a lengthy evidence deposition of Plaintiff’s treating physician. Danielle uncovered evidence that left Plaintiff with no choice but to non-suit the case.
  • Danielle recently settled a commercial transportation case for nuisance value after it was initially treated as a fraud investigation.

PUBLICATIONS

• Chapter on Evidence: Age Discrimination in Employment Law Treatise, Second edition, 2017 (BloombergBNA/ American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law)

MEMBERSHIPS

American Bar Association (2017-2018 Vice Chair of Self-Insurers and Risk Managers General Committee for the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section)
Chicago Bar Association
Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Defense Research Institute (DRI) (DRI Employment & Labor Law Committee)
Illinois State Bar Association
Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA)

ADMISSIONS

Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

EDUCATION
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D.
University of Southern California, B.A.