Michele L. Slachetka is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group and ERISA Practice Group.
As part of her civil litigation practice, Ms. Slachetka has represented individuals and public and privately-held companies in the transportation, defense, financial, telecommunications and aviation industries in sensitive internal and government investigations and in federal and state court litigation, including matters involving the False Claims Act (FCA), breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud claims. Ms. Slachetka has experience representing employers, plan sponsors, and individual fiduciaries in Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation. She recently served on the team that successfully defended an employer and plan sponsor in a putative class action for alleged ERISA violations relating to the selection, monitoring, and performance of actively-managed investment options for a 401(k) defined contribution plan. Ms. Slachetka has also served as counsel for the chapter 7 Trustee in numerous bankruptcy litigation matters relating to the collapse of five related hedge funds with more than $1.5 billion in assets under management, including litigating avoidance actions and actions against the funds’ third-party professionals. She previously was a member of the team that represented a privately-held company in a class action lawsuit in which a federal district court judge granted summary judgment dismissing all EEOC claims against the company and awarded over $4.5 million in attorneys’ fees.
Ms. Slachetka has significant experience in the area of attorney-client privilege and is Co-Editor of the firm’s privilege outline, Protecting Confidential Legal Information: A Handbook for Analyzing Issues Under the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work-Product Doctrine, and an Author of Testimonial Privileges, a ten-chapter, two-volume treatise published annually by Thomson Reuters.
Ms. Slachetka maintains an active pro bono practice focusing primarily on immigration matters. She has successfully represented clients in affirmative asylum applications before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in defensive asylum proceedings in Immigration Court, and on appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2014, Ms. Slachetka was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) for her commitment to ensuring access to justice for immigrants. She currently serves on the NIJC Leadership Board.
From 2012 to 2013, Ms. Slachetka served as a law clerk to the Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.