Judith A. Williams-Killackey, Partner


Judith Williams-Killackey is a partner in the law firm of Quarles & Brady and chairs the labor group’s National Labor Relations Act Team. Ms. Williams- Killackey practices in the area of labor and employment law, with a focus on representing management. Her practice includes an emphasis on litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies, traditional labor law, counseling employers on various employment related issues and investigating complaints made by former and current employees and representing employers who are litigating whistleblower claims. Ms. Williams-Killackey also has experience in defending employers in class action litigation.

Representative Industry Experience

  • Manufacturing.
  • Construction.
  • Health care.

Recent Counseling Experience

  • Negotiating and drafting employment agreements.
  • Negotiating and drafting severance agreements.
  • Advising companies regarding the proper scope of an investigation and strategy relating to conducting an investigation of claims that the company violated the law.
  • Advising a construction company regarding an audit performed by the United States Department of Labor.
  • Advising a services company regarding an audit performed by the United States Department of Labor.
  • Conducting sexual harassment investigations.
  • Drafting releases and disclosure lists for large reductions in force, including reductions in force resulting from multibillion-dollar joint venture.
  • Drafting, revising, and providing advice on employment handbook policies, including anti-discrimination, absence and attendance, discipline, FMLA, sick leave, vacation, and privacy policies.

Representative Labor Experience

  • Advising union employers on double-breasting issues.
  • Obtaining dismissal of charge alleging manufacturer engaged in unfair labor practice by unilaterally implementing policy changes.
  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreement involving musicians.
  • Simultaneously negotiating collective bargaining agreements for multiple bargaining units at one employer.
  • Filing unfair labor practice charges against unions for prohibited activities.

Representative Litigation Engagements

  • Obtaining summary judgment on claim that company breached employment agreement by refusing to pay certain compensation. Decision was upheld on appeal to Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
  • Obtaining summary judgment regarding claims of race discrimination and retaliation brought by the EEOC.
  • Obtaining a favorable settlement for a construction company regarding class claims of failure to pay required wages to employees.
  • Obtaining summary judgment regarding claims of age discrimination by a former employee.
  • Obtaining dismissal of claims of disability discrimination and retaliation after multi-day hearing on the merits before the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division.
  • Obtaining dismissal of claims, based on existence of release agreement, that a manufacturing company terminated employee in violation of the FMLA, ADA, and Title VII.
  • Litigating claims involving termination or reduction of retiree health benefits.
  • Defending a manufacturing concern in a putative class action regarding Title VII claims.
  • Defending a government entity in a putative class action regarding employee benefits.
  • Obtaining dismissals of claims before the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
  • Obtaining dismissal of whistleblower claims.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, Certificate, Quarles & Brady Leadership Program (2016)
  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1997)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Wisconsin Law Review
  • Marquette University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1994)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 1997

Professional and Civic Activities

  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Chair: Labor and Employment Section)
  • Wisconsin Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member)
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (Member)

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2018–present: Litigation - Labor and Employment)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin – Pro Bono Honor Society (2015)
  • Listed in Chambers USA® (2009: Labor & Employment)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Super Lawyers®–Rising Stars 2007, 2012 Editions (Employment & Labor)