Vildan Teske Honored by Minnesota Lawyer for Her Work Toward Improving Diversity & Inclusion in Legal Profession

We are excited to announce that TKKR partner Vildan Teske was selected as a 2018 Minnesota Lawyer Diversity and Inclusion Honoree for her efforts toward improving diversity and inclusion within the legal community and the legal profession.  Ms. Teske is being recognized in part for her work as co-chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Diversity Committee along with her co-chair, Danielle Mair of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

 Minnesota Lawyer created the awards to honor “those in the legal profession that go above and beyond in their efforts to effectuate a more diverse and inclusionary community.” The selection criteria were:

  • Contributions resulting in a significant impact on diversity and inclusion in the legal community
  • Leadership in diversity initiatives within the firm or community
  • Participating in newsworthy events in the legal community
  • Legal Professionals implementing new and innovative techniques to solve the issues of today’s society and workplace.
  • In-house counsel implementing significant diversity and inclusion initiatives within their organization
  • Commendable cases in which diversity and inclusion have played a major role are also considered

The second annual event was held on October 3, 2018 at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

Ms. Teske has been active in diversity and inclusion efforts through a variety of leadership roles in several legal organizations over the last decade.

Phillip Kitzer Participates on #MeToo Panel at FBA National Conference

On September 14, 2018, TKKR Employment Attorney Phillip Kitzer spoke on a panel sponsored by the Labor & Employment Section of the FBA at the Federal Bar Association’s National Conference in New York City. The panel, titled “#MeToo: Implementation and Administration of an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy,” discussed various legal issues arising out of the #MeToo movement, including addressing complaints in the workplace, effective training of employees and management, responding to EEOC charges, and recent tax law changes involving settlements of claims involving sexual harassment and abuse. The panel was moderated by Donna Currault of Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett LLC in New Orleans, LA, and included the Hon. Lisa M. Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, and Mary A. Smith, Principal at Jackson Lewis, P.C. 

All Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Lawyers Again Named to Super Lawyers/Rising Star List; Micko Named as Top 100 Minnesota Lawyers

For the third year in a row, all of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s attorneys have been named to the annual  Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Additionally, Doug Micko has again been named as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Minnesota, a high distinction reserved for the top attorneys under the Super Lawyers rating system. Minnesota has over 20,000 practicing attorneys.

Vildan Teske was named a Super Lawyer and Marisa Katz was named a Rising Star, both in the “Class Action/Mass Torts” category.  Doug Micko was named a Super Lawyer and Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were named Rising Stars, all in the “Employment Litigation: Plaintiff” category.

 Each year, only a select few attorneys are honored as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars. Only 5% of the attorneys in Minnesota are recognized as Super Lawyers, and only 2.5% of attorneys are named as Rising Stars (for attorneys in their first 10 years of practice or under the age of 40). The award is based on a combination of objective criteria,  peer nominations, and a blue ribbon panel review.

For individual profiles and to see Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s firm profile, visit the Super Lawyers website. To view the full digital Super Lawyers magazine with the complete list, click here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud of all of its attorneys and grateful to the legal community for this recognition.

Tags: Brian Rocheldoug mickomarisa katzphillip kitzerRising StarSuper LawyersVildan Teske

Brian Rochel Named to 2017 Up and Coming Attorneys List

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud to announce that partner Brian Rochel has been named to Minnesota Lawyer’s list of 2017 Up & Coming Attorneys. Mr. Rochel was among one of only 23 honorees this year, all chosen by an outside panel consisting of past Honorees. Attorneys were selected based on their professional accomplishments, leadership and service to their community and profession, and achievements in their first 10 years of practice.

Mr. Rochel practices on behalf of employees in employment-related legal disputes. He has held numerous leadership roles in the legal community, including Vice President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), a board member of the 8th Circuit NELA Chapter, a board member of the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) national Younger Lawyers Division, and co-chair of the FBA Labor and Employment Section’s Publications and Public Relations Committee. Mr. Rochel has written and spoken on a wide variety of topics in employment law and has been instrumental in organizing several employment law conferences throughout the country. Mr. Rochel also contributes to his community by serving as a volunteer facilitator and board member of the Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership since 2011. This program is a pioneering non-profit organization that utilizes restorative justice to address the harm caused by juvenile offenders through South Minneapolis by facilitating meetings between victims and offenders as an alternative to traditional juvenile justice. Mr. Rochel has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers every year since 2012, and most recently was selected as “Author of the Year” by the Federal Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section for his outstanding work.

Please join Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel in congratulating Brian on this wonderful achievement! If you would like to consult with Brian or another of our attorneys, please contact us ( today.



Phillip Kitzer Moderates Panel on Race and Religious Discrimination at Federal Bar Association National Conference

On September 16, 2016, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorney Phillip Kitzer moderated a panel on discrimination at the Federal Bar Association’s annual national conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  The program, entitled “Race and Religious Discrimination in the Workplace,” addressed the history of race and religious discrimination claims over the past 40 years. The panelists also discussed Nobach v. Woodland Village Nursing Home Center, Inc. one of the first religious discrimination cases to reach an appellate court after EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores.  Finally, the panel discussed the various types of discrimination currently faced in the workplace by the American Muslim community.  The panel included attorney Danielle Brewer, The Brewer Law Firm, Craig Cowart, Jackson Lewis, and Roula Allouch, the current chair of the board of directors for the Council For American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”).


If you believe you have experienced race or religious discrimination at work, please contact our firm to learn about your rights. 

Doug Micko Presents at Federal Bar Association “Employment Law in a Nutshell” Seminar

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Doug Micko was invited to speak to a group of attorneys and law students as a part of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s “Employment Law in a Nutshell” series of continuing legal education courses. The half-day course was designed to provide basic information about federal and state employment law to attendees. Micko was selected to present on federal anti-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation laws. Also speaking were attorneys Betsy Chestney, who presented on Wage and Hour law, as well as employee leave rights, and Barb D’Aquila and Tom Marshall, who gave a panel presentation on Minnesota employment law. “The FBA put together a fantastic series of presenters,” said Micko, “and the mix of attorneys representing employees and employers really led to a great discussion of the law.”

 If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, contact Doug Micko or one of our other attorneys to discuss your rights.IMG_4222_clipped_rev_1

Doug Micko, former Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner.

Supreme Court OKs Use of Averages and Statistical Analyses to Assess Class-Wide Injury

The Supreme Court ruled today in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, one of several major class action cases that are being decided in the Court’s current term. The issue in this case was whether differences among individual class members may be ignored and a class certified under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (or a collective action certified under the Fair Labor Standards Act), where liability and damages are determined with statistical techniques that presume all class members are identical to the average observed in a sample. A second issue facing the Court was whether a class action may be certified or maintained when the class contains hundreds of members who were not injured and have no legal right to any damages.

In a 6-2 win for class actions, Justice Kennedy, writing for the Court’s majority, held that “This case presents no occasion for adoption of broad and categorical rules governing the use of representative and statistical evidence in class actions.” The court did not, however, decide the second issue as to whether a class can be certified where not every member has suffered damages. It said, “That question is not yet fairly presented by this case.”

Overall, this is a great result for the long-term viability of class action litigation, since the majority of class action cases are made up of class members who have varying individual damages. Statistical samples taken to determine average damages incurred per class member are commonplace, particularly in cases where there are tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of class members. Today’s decision upholds the long-held notion in class action jurisprudence that class cases are maintainable, even when damages incurred by individual class members are not identical.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Open House

On August 5, 2015, the law firm of Teske, Micko, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel invited its colleagues, family, and friends to join them at an open house. “We’ve had some great changes in the last year—a new name, new partners, and new space—and we really wanted to celebrate these developments together with people we respect and admire,” said Vildan Teske.   

Partygoers enjoyed the great views, food, and company at the open house, pictures of which are available at Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s Facebook page, found here