Jessica E. Schwie
Paralegal: Mai Thao
Jessica Schwie is a partner with Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P. and chair of the firm’s Appellate Law group. She joined the firm in 2001 and practices principally in the areas of:
- Employment Law
- Government Liability Defense
- Appellate Law
- Insurance Defense
With more than thirteen years of civil litigation experience and success, Jessica has developed a solid reputation amongst her clients and in the community as a can do litigator, investigator, and pre-litigation advisor that is able to manage difficult situations, and, oftentimes, public matters.
Employment Law. Jessica represents private and public employers in a wide range of industries, on a trouble-shooting basis as well as against specific claims, litigation, and class actions, involving issues such as:
- Discrimination and harassment
- Negligent hiring, retention, and/or supervision
- Invasion of privacy, assault and battery, and defamation
- Investigation, discipline, post-discipline proceedings, and severance agreements
- Contractor status, contract disputes, and/or non-compete agreements
- Medical record management, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), disability accommodation, and the intertwining of Workers Compensation.
- Unemployment, vacation, sick pay, PTO, and retirement benefits
- Wage and hour and payment of wages
The nature of her practice requires her to appear frequently in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
Government Liability Defense. A large component of Jessica’s practice involves representing government bodies (school, towns, counties, cities, etc.) in sensitive matters and in the defense of claims filed against them involving a variety of issues, including:
- Employment practices (§1983 liability for violations of first amendment rights, search and seizure, procedural due process, liberty interest, equal protection, etc.)
- Data practices and open meeting law violations
- Discrimination, harassment, and lack of accommodation in the provision of public services and housing
- Civil rights and police practices
- Property, construction, land use, and cartways
- Personal injuries, contract disputes and tortious interference with contacts.
Appellate Practice. Jessica is also an Appellate Practice Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, chairs the firm’s Appellate Law practice group, and serves as the Minnesota Defense Lawyer Association Board Member Liaison to the Amicus Subcommittee which submits brief on issues affecting civil litigation. She represents clients on appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Jessica became familiar with the nuances of appellate practice when she studied under former Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Marianne Short and served as a law clerk to former Minnesota Court of Appeals Chief Judge, Edward Toussaint., Jr. She has successfully handled over two dozen appeals, including numerous appearances before the Minnesota Supreme Court and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior Pertinent Experience. Prior to entering law school, Jessica studied and worked in areas of sales, management, and economics/financial forecasting. While in law school, she gained valuable experience working for three years as a law clerk at the League of Minnesota Cities and externing for Hennepin County Judge Allen Oleisky.
Jessica is married to a member of law enforcement, has two children, and is active in autism and special needs advocacy. Together with her family, she is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys good food, drinks, and reading.
The following is a list of representative cases in which Jessica was involved:
- Wood v. SatCom Marketing, LLC, 705 F.3d 823 (8th Cir. Feb. 2013)
An employee claimed that she had been terminated in retaliation for reporting that the employer had engaged in unlawful employment practices JLO, representing the employer, successfully obtained dismissal of the claims under Title VII, MHRA, FLSA, Minnesota Whistleblower Act, and common law. The Court concluded that the employee’s reports were not protected and the employee was legitimately terminated for reasons related to her performance.
- County of Wash. v. City of Oak Park Heights, 818 N.W.2d 533 (Minn. 2012)
The City of Oak Park Heights provides water service to the Washington County Government Center. Believing that it had been overcharged, the County requested a refund. City staff and the City Council denied the refund request. The County filed suit and Jessica and other members of Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P. represented the City. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the County’s claim, holding that in this instance, the only manner of appealing the City’s denial of the refund was to file a Writ of Certiorari.
- Anderson v. Anoka Hennepin Indep. Sch. Dist. 11, 678 N.W.2d 651 (Minn. 2004)
A parent filed a negligence action against a school district and its employee after his son was injured in a woodworking class. The son amputated one of his fingers when he failed to use a blade guard on a Delta table saw. It was school policy to have students make rip cuts of less than four inches with the blade guard removed. Jessica and other members of Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P. successfully obtained dismissal of the negligence claim on the basis of immunity.
- Prokop v. Indep. Sch. Dist. #625, 754 N.W.2d 709 (Minn. Ct. App. 2008)
A father was injured while pitching to his son behind an L-screen during batting practice for a private team. The team had leased a school’s grounds to conduct practice. The father claimed that he was injured because of holes in the L-screen. The Court of Appeals dismissed the claims against the school on the basis of recreational immunity.
- Lindsay v. St. Olaf College, 2008 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 106 (Minn. Ct. App. 2008)
A science student and intern was severely burned when a flask that contained an unknown chemical compound exploded. At the time of the explosion, the flask was located under a fume hood created by the manufacturer and distributed by the distributor. Jessica and other members of Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P. represented the installer of the ventilation system. The claims against the installer were dismissed on summary judgment. The court held that there was no evidence showing that a defect in the design or installation of the fume hood caused the flask to explode.
- Minnesota (1999)
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (2001)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (2009)
- Lower Sioux Community, Minnesota Tribal Court (2005)
- Hamline University School of Law, J.D., (1999)
- Hamline University, B.A., cum laude, International Management and Economics, Certificates of Proficiency French and Spanish (1994)
- Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2010)
- Selected for inclusion in the 2002 and 2003 Minnesota Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers®, a Thompson Reuters business
- National Dean’s List (1998-1999)
- Law Journal: Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy (1997 – 1999)
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA)—Board Member, MSBA Assembly Representative, Board Liaison to Government Liability Subcommittee and Amicus Subcommittee, Long-Range Planning Committee
- Federal Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)
- Minnesota Women Lawyers
- Court Equality and Justice Committee, Disability and Gender Subcommittees
- CIVJIGS, Employment Law Committee
- MDLA 50 for 50 Club, providing pro bono services
- Volunteer, Haitian Asylum Project, Miami, Florida (1998)
- You Came to Work Dressed Like That?, co-author, Minnesota Defense, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (January 2011)
- Defending Against a FMLA Claim, co-author, Minnesota Defense, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (October 2009)
- Governmental Immunity Update, Minnesota Defense, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (January 2008)
- Safety and Procedures for Ice Arenas, contributing author, League of Minnesota Cities Loss Control Workshop (2000)
- Fluffy, Fido & Egor, Animal Control Ordinances, contributing author, League of Minnesota Cities Loss Control Workshop (1999)
- Zoning and Manufactured Homes, League of Minnesota Cities Magazine, Vol. 82, Issue 12 p. 19 (December 1997)
- Employment Law Update (Annual City Attorney Conference Feb. 2013)
- Social Media (LMC Annual Conf. 2012)
- Federal Practice (NBI Nationwide Webinar July 2012)
- Government Immunity (NBI Nationwide Webinar Nov. 2011)
- Elected Officials as Employees (MATIT August 2011)
- Managing Student Records (NBI St. Cloud, MN Sept. 5, 2010)
- Handling Employment Related Claims under a CGL Policy (MCMA Feb. 2, 2010)
- Working with Translators, Interpreters, and Non-English Speaking Witnesses (MDLA Dec. 9, 2010)
- Local Government and the Law (NBI Bloomington, MN July 24, 2007)
- So, You Want to Settle with the Government? (MDLA Jan. 22, 2008)
- Cell Tower Litigation–An Update (MATIT August 2006)
- Meet & Confer–The Duty to Preserve (MATIT August 2008)
- Legislation Update for the Government Litigator (MDLA August 2010)
- Public Employment Update (MDLA June 2009)