about1Heather Gilbert is the President and Managing Attorney of Gilbert Law PLLC.  Ms. Gilbert is a Plaintiff’s attorney representing individuals of protected classes, primarily individuals with disabilities, with discrimination claims against employers, public accommodations, government entities, and/or other organizations.  She has argued and represented Plaintiffs in state, federal and appellate courts around the country.

Ms. Gilbert is the only attorney in Minnesota that is also a court-certified sign language interpreter and is well-versed in working with deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind and hearing-impaired clients.  Gilbert Law does not hesitate to take on the largest of defendants to represent individuals that have been treated disparately because of who they are.  She has represented clients in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Florida, New York, Maryland, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. She is admitted to practice in both Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin federal courts.

In addition to practicing law, Ms. Gilbert is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law teaching from time to time the following courses: Lawyering as a Business Owner, Deals and Dispute Resolution, Transactions and Settlements, Advanced Advocacy and the Expert Witness Academy.  She is a frequent CLE presenter for Minnesota attorneys, and was nominated by her peers in 2014 to 2019 to the Super Lawyer’s Rising Star List.  Ms. Gilbert lectures and teaches for the National Institute of Trial Advocates (NITA) on depositions and trial skills.  She is not just all business though–she resides in Little Canada with her husband and three school-aged kids and enjoys performing in theater, dance, and watching Notre Dame football games.

Select Representative Cases:

Minnesota Human Rights Act or American With Disabilities Act Title I (Employment Discrimination)

Pagenkopf v. United Parcel Services, Inc. No. CIV. 17-01081 DWF/SER Deaf employee with discrimination claims against UPS for failure to promote to delivery driver prevailed on a denial of UPS’s motion for summary judgment. 2019 District of Minnesota decision.

Burnell v. Tealwood Care Centers et. al. No. CIV. 16-03001 MJD/KMM Temporarily disabled nursing home director prevailed on a denial of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on her state and federal disability discrimination claims. 2018 District of Minnesota decision.

Minnesota Human Rights Act or American With Disabilities Act Title II and III (Discrimination at a Public Service or Public Accommodation)

Saunders et. al. v. Mayo Clinic, No. CIV. 13-1972 JNE/HB, 2015 WL 774132 (D. Minn. Feb. 24, 2015); Deaf patient and her Deaf companion prevailed on a denial of Mayo Clinic’s motion for summary judgment.

Nathanson et. al. v. Spring Lake Park Panther Youth Football Ass’n, 129 F. Supp. 3d 743 (D. Minn. 2015). Deaf parents and their two Deaf sons prevailed on a denial of football association’s motion to dismiss.  The matter was settled for monetary damages and corrective action requiring football association to provide ongoing effective communication for all future deaf football players and their deaf parents.

Read v. City of Oakdale, Before the Department of Human Rights, Probable Cause Finding of Disability Discrimination, $30,000 Settlement and Corrective Action Procedures to Provide Effective Communication for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Detainees.

Letourneau v. Bank of America, Before the Department of Human Rights, $150,000 Settlement and Corrective Action Procedures to Provide Effective Communication for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Customers.

Zimmerman et. al. v. Essentia Health,  15-CV-02441 United States District Court of Minnesota, $129,000 Settlement and Corrective Action Procedures to Provide On-Call ASL Interpreters for Deaf Patients and Companions.

Admitted:

State Court of Minnesota, 2012

United States District Court, District of Minnesota, 2012

United States District Court, District of North Dakota, 2016

United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2019

Certifications:

Certificate of Mediation, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 2011

Specialist Certificate: Legal, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 2009

Certificate of Transliteration, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 2005

Certificate of Interpretation, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 2004

EDUCATION:   

Juris Doctor, cum laude                   

William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN  2012

Selected Activities: American Association of Justice Mock Trial Competition, National William McGee Civil Rights

Moot Court. CALI Award for Pre-Trial Litigation

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude

Bethel College, Mishawaka, IN  2002

Major: Sign Language Interpreting/Translating English

Minor Concentrations: Dance, Biblical Literature and History

PRESENTATIONS:

“Law Firm Staffing: Practical Perspectives” Minnesota CLE Webinar, December 2019.

“Staffing a Law Firm: Contractors, Employees, and Partnerships” Minnesota CLE Business of Law Institute, November, 2019.

“Running a Solo Litigation Firm: Alternative and Efficient Solutions For Success” Minnesota CLE Solo/Small Firm Institute, Duluth, MN, August 2019.

“Staffing a Law Firm: Ethical Considerations” Minnesota CLE Solo/Small Firm Institute, Duluth, MN, August 2019.

“Investigator Training: Medical Records in Employment; When An Employer Goes Too Far” MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section, April 2019.

“Effective Communication Across Languages And Cultures Through Interpreters” MSBA Criminal Law Section; April 2019.

Keynote Speaker, Minnesota Registry of Interpreters For the Deaf State Conference, October 2018.

“Working with Deaf Clients and Interpreters” MINNESOTA CLE, May 2016.

“Working with Deaf Clients and Interpreters” RAMSEY COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION, May 2016.

“12 Tips: Advising Closely Held Businesses” MINNESOTA CLE, February 2016.

“Ask the Lawyer: What Are My Rights to Communication Access?” Eau Claire, Wisconsin, February 2016.

“Ask the Lawyer: What Are My Rights to Communication Access?” Repeat locations in Minnesota, Spring 2015.

“Ask the Lawyer Chat: What Happens to My Stuff and My Family When I Die?” St. Catherine University, February 2015.

“Working with Deaf Clients and Interpreters” William Mitchell College of Law Alumni CLE Series, November 2014.

“Accommodating to Your Client’s Disabilities and Special Needs” Ramsey County Bar Association CLE, September 2013.

“Working with Deaf Clients and Interpreters” Ramsey County Bar Association CLE Elimination of Bias, November 2012.

“Interpreting for Legal Conversations and Depositions” ZVRS Interpreter Continuing Education, November 2012.

“Interpreting for Legal Depositions” MRID Fall Conference Interpreter Continuing Education, October 2012.

“Legalese for the VRS Interpreter” ZVRS Interpreter Continuing Education, July 2012.

“Legalese for the Non-Legal Interpreter” Dynamic Communications Interpreter Continuing Education, May 2012.

“Social Media and Your Privacy” MADC State Conference, July 2011.

“Deaf Culture and Communication” Minnesota CLE, October 2009.

 

INVOLVEMENT:

  • Ramsey County Bar Association: Board Member 2019 to present. Committees: Solo/Small Firm Section.
  • Minnesota State Bar Association: Practice Management Section, Council Member. Member: Civil Litigation Section, Labor and Employment Section.
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers: Solo/Small Firm Affinity Group.
  • National Employment Lawyers Association–Minnesota Chapter: Member.
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: National and Minnesota Chapter; Member.
  • Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens: Member.
  • United Blind Association: Member.
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law: Alumni Mentor and Student Externship Site.

HONORS/AWARDS/DISTINCTIONS:

2019   Super Lawyers Rising Star, Appointed to Ramsey County Bar Association Board

2018   Super Lawyers Rising Star

2017    Super Lawyers Rising Star, “Access Award” by the Minnesota Commission Serving Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing

2016    Super Lawyers Rising Star

2015    Super Lawyers Rising Star

2015    Ramsey County Bar Association:  Solo/Small Firm Section Co-Chair

2014    Super Lawyers Rising Star

2014    Ramsey County Bar Association:  Solo/Small Firm Section Co-Chair

2012    CALI Award recipient: Pre-Trial Litigation

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