Attorney Whitney Wood
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s New Albany office. While she represents clients in a myriad of civil litigation matters in both Indiana’s and Kentucky’s state and federal courts, her litigation practice is primarily focused on representing regional and local employers on responding to claims of discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination, wage and hour disputes, and employment breach of contract, and other labor and employment issues. Whitney also counsels her clients on how to take steps to proactively minimize the potential for future costly litigation. Whitney is committed to providing her clients with the best possible outcome, whether that outcome is in the form of a favorable settlement, successful judgment, successfully navigating complex statutes and regulations, or simple advice.
One of Whitney’s greatest strengths as a litigator is her ability to craft creative and thoughtful legal arguments by extensively researching and mastering the relevant law and applying it to her clients’ cases. In doing so, she has regularly and drastically reduced plaintiffs’ demands by presenting legal argument to opposing counsel and mediators, and in many cases, worked with her co-counsel to obtain outright dismissal of all or many claims against her clients, including in the following representative matters:
- A federal court dismissed claims of religious discrimination against a county clerk after a former employee alleged she was terminated for refusing to perform her ministerial job duty of performing data entry in relation to the processing of same sex marriage licenses in violation of her religious freedoms under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- A federal court dismissed claims of disability discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and promissory estoppel, against a City and various police officers after a former police officer sued alleging he was unlawfully terminated (as opposed to being placed on light duty) after a non-work related injury caused him to exhaust all his sick, personal and vacation days and after he’d been given an additional 90 days of paid leave and 180 days of partial temporary disability pay.
- A state court dismissed claims of religious and racial discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Kentucky Civil Rights Act asserted by a former employee a physician and his practice after she was terminated for poor behavior toward co-workers and gossip.
- A state court dismissed claims of retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act after a former employee alleged he was terminated by his former employer for scheduling a meeting with human resources to report he was being discriminated against for prior drug use.
- A federal court dismissed a claim of retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act after a former employee argued he was unlawfully terminated for seeking an accommodation of a less strenuous job assignment.
- In a federal case, Whitney strategically obtained dismissal of negligent hiring, entrustment, retention and supervision claims, as well as claims for punitive damages, against her employer client, resulting in a reduction not only in the amount of damages Plaintiff was able to seek at trial, but also resulting in prejudicial evidence being inadmissible at trial, such that she was able to settle the case for millions less than Plaintiff’s final demand at the federal settlement conference.
- A state court dismissed claims of defamation and defamation per se against a city councilman which arose out of statements he allegedly made at a Redevelopment Commission Meeting.
- A federal court dismissed all claims all against a probation officer, circuit court and county after a mother sued alleging the handling of her daughter’s juvenile court matter violated the Indiana and U.S. Constitutions.
- A federal court dismissed all claims against a City, a Chief of Police and a police officer after two individuals sued alleging a search of their properties and subsequent arrest violated the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and constituted false arrest and defamation.
- A federal court dismissed all claims filed by numerous ex-drug court participants which asserted that a county, a chief probation officer and a county sheriff violated their 4th , 5th, 8th and 14th Amendment rights via their alleged roles in said participants’ detentions.
- A federal court dismissed all claims filed by various ex-work release participants which asserted a county, a circuit court clerk, probation officer and county sheriff violated their constitutional rights through their roles in the revocation of their work release rights and subsequent detentions.
- A federal court dismissed claims of breach of contract, breach of implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, breach of express warranty and negligence against an engineering and manufacturing firm after a failure of a refrigeration system resulted in substantial damages to a commercial customer’s inventory.
In addition, Whitney has served as both lead and co-counsel in various bench and jury trials in which verdicts were obtained in favor of her client, including the following employment law matters:
- A jury found in favor of Whitney’s physician client after a former employee sued alleging she was terminated in retaliation for her refusal to participate in non-mandatory morning prayer sessions (as opposed to issues with insubordination).
- A jury found in favor of Whitney’s small business client after a former employee sued alleging he was discriminated against and subsequently terminated due to his past drug addiction in violation of the Americans with Disabilities (as opposed to attendance and tardiness issues).
- Whitney has also successfully defended various individuals and businesses in general liability matters in bench trials.
While Whitney resides in Goshen, Kentucky with her husband and their two young children, she has spent the majority of her career as a civil litigator handling depositions, hearings and trials at a large Indiana-based firm and loves enjoying all the Kentuckiana community has to offer on both sides of the river.
Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Univ. of Louisville
- Juris Doctor, cum laude
- Juvenile Justice Top Grade Award, Fall 2013
- Robert & Sue Ellen Ackerson Law Clinic, Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Louisville Metro Public Defender Externship, Limited License Attorney
- Journal of Law and Education
- Academic Success Fellow
- A., Economics
- International Economic Honor Society
- Varsity Soccer 2006-2010, All-conference awards
- Morrison Scholar
- Seville, Spain, semester study abroad
Kentucky – 2014
United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky – 2014
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky – 2014
Indiana – 2015
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana – 2015
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals – 2017