Kate E. Jones

(402) 231-8736
Partner
(402) 346-1148 Fax
Kate.Jones@KutakRock.com

Ms. Jones, a partner in the firm’s Omaha office, concentrates her litigation and appellate practice on employment law and ERISA matters. She represents employers in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Her experience includes defending Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and midsize employers in litigation and agency matters.

Ms. Jones defends employers against discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge and breach of contract claims under state and federal law, including Title VII, the ADEA, the FMLA, the ADA and other statutes. In addition to her employment litigation experience, Ms. Jones represents clients in connection with administrative proceedings, including those involving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state fair employment agencies. Outside the litigation context, Ms. Jones counsels clients on day-to-day personnel issues.

Ms. Jones also has experience in high-stakes litigation involving temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in connection with restrictive covenants (non-compete, non-solicit and confidentiality agreements) and claims of tortious interference with business relations, trade secret misappropriation and conversion. She prosecutes and defends cases involving breach of restrictive covenants, as well as related tort claims of breach of fiduciary duties and duty of loyalty.

As a chair of the firm’s ERISA Litigation Practice Group, Ms. Jones devotes a significant portion of her practice to ERISA litigation matters. She represents employers, fiduciaries and plan administrators in defense of ERISA claims, including denial of benefits, improper claim processing and breach of fiduciary duty.

Ms. Jones was selected to Great Plains Super Lawyers® in 2016 and 2017 and a Great Plains Super Lawyers® Rising Star in 2015. Each year, no more than 5% of attorneys in the state are named to the Super Lawyers® list; no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. The states of Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are included in the Great Plains listings.

Before joining Kutak Rock LLP, Ms. Jones served as a law clerk to the Honorable William J. Riley, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and the Honorable Linda R. Reade, Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

  • Litigated employment cases through successful summary judgment motions and motions to dismiss.
  • Obtained “no reasonable cause” findings by the EEOC and state administrative agencies.
  • Achieved favorable settlements through alternative dispute resolution, including court-sponsored settlement conferences and private mediation.
  • Obtained summary judgment victories in ERISA cases.

Presentations:

  • “Records Retention, Destruction, and Reporting” – Sterling Education Services – March 23, 2017.
  • Panelist, Electronically Stored Information (ESI) – When Worlds Collide: The Intersection of Employment Law and Other Areas of Federal Practice – Nebraska State Bar Association Federal Law Section and Nebraska Chapter of the Federal Bar Association – February 17, 2017.
  • “Records and Data Compliance: Sorting Through The Pieces” – Kutak Rock Employment Law Seminar – November 10, 2016.
  • “What’s Trending in Your Newsfeed: Social Media Law Update” – Kutak Rock Employment Law Seminar – November 19, 2015.
  • “Crossing the Finish Line: Tips for Avoiding Post-Termination Stress Disorder (PTSD)” – Kutak Rock Employment Law Seminar – November 20, 2014.
  • “Privacy and Social Media in the Workplace” – Sterling Education Services – July 15, 2014.
  • “Retaliation Claims by Former Employees and Job Applicants” and “BYOD Rewards, Risks and Best Practices” – Kutak Rock Employment Law Seminar – November 6, 2013.
  • “Privacy and Other Workplace Issues” – Sterling Education Services – May 9, 2013.
  • “Top Ten Legal Traps Exposed: Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Employers Make When Terminating Employees” – Kutak Rock Employment Law Seminar – November 8, 2012.
  • "Overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act" – Lorman Seminar – August 16, 2012.

 Cases of Interest:

  • Jahnke v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kan., Inc., 353 P.3d 455 (Kan. Ct. App. 2015) (obtained reversal of judgment entered by district court).
  • Kehr v. Principal Life Ins. Co., 427 F. App’x 544 (8th Cir. 2011) (affirmance of district court’s grant of summary judgment to employer in disability-discrimination action).
  • Woodmen of World Life Ins. Society v. J.R.Y., 320 F. App’x 216 (5th Cir. 2009) (obtained reversal of district court’s order denying motion to compel arbitration).
  • Estate of Blume v. Marian Health Center, 516 F.3d 705 (8th Cir. 2008) (obtained reversal of jury verdict where hospital was immune from physician’s claim under immunity provision of bylaws).
  • Shultz v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kan., Inc., No. 09-1220-WEB, 2011 WL 1118842 (D. Kan. March 28, 2011) (obtained summary judgment in action alleging wrongful denial of benefits under ERISA plan).
  • Chubiz v. Newmont Gold Co., No. 2:10-cv-00987, 2011 WL 705397 (D. Nev. Feb. 18, 2011) (obtained dismissal of action against ERISA plan administrator alleging breach of fiduciary duty involving distribution of plan proceeds).