DANIELLE N. MALATY
Danielle concentrates her practice on premises liability, property damage, employment discrimination, commercial litigation, product liability, municipal liability, general insurance defense and transportation/railroad litigation. Her clients include retail and restaurant companies, property management companies, hardware stores, grocery stores and shopping centers, as well as construction, transportation and railroad companies. Throughout her career with Kopka Pinkus Dolin, she has worked with partner, Joel Groenewold, representing several large commercial clients.
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 approaching her files with the highest level of attentiveness, empathy and commitment to protecting the best interests of her insureds. Clients can rely on her to close files efficiently with favorable results for the defense through zealous advocacy. Danielle also appreciates that, in order to find the best resolution for her clients, she must cultivate cooperation with opposing counsel while still prioritizing her personal commitment to her clients. She has successfully resolved numerous cases with favorable results for the defense since joining Kopka Pinkus Dolin.
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.
- Obtained a finding of no discrimination for a police department charged with an ADA based claim, 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.
- Obtained an order granting a Motion for Summary Judgment in McLean County Circuit Court for a property management company in a case where the settlement demand was in excess of half a million dollars. Based upon the arguments made in her brief and responsive pleadings, and after lengthy but very successful oral arguments, Judge Lawrence 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, Judge Lawrence ruled that a large pile of snow and ice on which plaintiff fell was in fact an open and obvious condition that a reasonable person would have appreciated and recognized and that the deliberate encounter exception did not apply to the facts of the case.
- 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.
- Obtained a voluntary dismissal in a case just weeks after the complaint was filed in a premises liability case by working directly with plaintiff’s counsel. She successfully established the absence agency between her client and the location where plaintiff sustained his injuries, shielding her client from liability in a case where the injuries approached half a million dollars.
- Successfully mediated a premises liability case resulting in zero liability for her client. Danielle was able to argue that, although the plaintiff’s injuries occurred on her client’s property, the standard of care was met and her client did not breach their duty to the plaintiff, who was contributorily negligent.
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)
Illinois State Bar Association
Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA)
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D.
University of Southern California, B.A.