Trisha A. Thelen, Partner
With a passion for what she does, Ms. Thelen focuses on achieving optimal results for her clients. Ms. Thelen’s practice is divided between commercial and employment litigation, as well as counseling employers on how to avoid or resolve disputes with employees. She has represented clients in industries ranging from aviation, oil and gas, construction, product manufacturers and retail businesses.
In her 25-plus years of trial practice, Ms. Thelen has litigated cases in both state and federal courts as well as several AAA arbitrations. She also has extensive experience in class actions. Ms. Thelen works with her clients in a team effort. To this end, she emphasizes both strategic case planning that takes each client’s objectives into account and cost-effective discovery management that is aligned with those objectives.
Ms. Thelen advises clients on best practices for the retention and production of e-mail and electronic files. A frequent speaker, Ms. Thelen has made presentations on cutting edge electronic discovery issues as well as a range of employment and litigation issues.
Ms. Thelen enjoys Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory’s highest “AV” rating for lawyers and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® list, and Chambers USA as a leading employment law attorney in the United States.
Professional Memberships, Affiliations, and Honors
Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Employment Law – Management, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Construction, and Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2003-2017
Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® List, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 (a Thomson Reuters business)
Identified by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the United States in the area of Labor & Employment, 2011-2016
American Bar Association
Kansas Bar Association Use of Foreign Language Interpreters Subcommittee, 1996-97
Wichita Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1990-94; Civil Practice Committee, 1994-97; Public Relations Committee, 2001-02
Kansas Association of Defense Counsel
Defense Research Institute
Electronic Discovery Committee, Firm Chair, 2006-2013
Kansas Women Attorneys Association
Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Doc. Retention & Prod. 2009
Task Force on Use of Interpreters in State and Federal Courts Subcommittee, Chairman, 1994-95
- Urban League of Kansas, Board Chair, 2009-10; Board of Trustees, 2006-10
- United Way of the Plains – Leadership Giver
- Communities in Schools Volunteer
Successfully obtained summary judgment on age and ERISA class claims. See, Apsley, et al. v. Spirit, et al., 691 F.3d 1184, 1210 (10th Cir. 2012).
Successfully obtained dismissal of 26 individual age discrimination claims. See, Apsley, et al. v. Spirit, et al., Case No. 05-1368-EFM (D. Kan., January 7, 2015).
Defense counsel in gender discrimination class action cases against The Boeing Company in the federal courts of Kansas and Oklahoma. See, e.g., Carpenter, et al. v. Boeing, No. 02-1019, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24296 (D. Kan. Feb. 24, 2004); Anderson, et al. v. Boeing, No. 02-1096, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76964 (N.D. Okla. Oct. 18, 2006). Ms. Thelen is currently counsel in an age discrimination and ERISA class action. See, Apsley, et al. v. Boeing, et al., No. 05-1368.
Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of employers in a variety of employment claims. See e.g., Carrasco, v. Boeing Co., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40495 (D. Kan., May 9, 2005); 10 Fed. Appx. 650 (10th Cir. 2006).
Represented architects, engineers and contractors in claims arising out of a wide variety of construction projects, including representing architects responsible for the addition and alteration to the Farrell Library at Kansas State University.
Plaintiff’s counsel in commercial contract arbitration before AAA arbitrators in Chicago ‒ $1.8 million award for plaintiff Anthros Medical Group (1997).
Plaintiffs’ counsel for working interest owners in claim against large oil and gas company for breach of contract and fiduciary duty ‒ judgment in Sedgwick County District Court for $650,000 actual damages and $5,000,000 punitive damages (1997).
- “My Boss is Stressing Me Out” and Other Legitimate and Illegitimate Reasons Employees Request Time Off (Foulston Siefkin LLP, Employment Law Seminar)
- Practical Matters Involving ESI (Wichita Bar Association, Technology and the Law)
- Proportionality, Cooperation, and Specificity … Oh My! Interpreting and Implementing the Revisions to Rule 26 (KADC, Annual Conference)
- Social Media and the Workplace 2.0: Employee Privacy, the NLRB, and You (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
- Meeting FMLA Deadlines: Notification, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims (BLR®, FMLA Master Class)
- All Together Now: Coordinating FMLA with ADA, Workers’ Comp, and State Family Leave Laws (BLR®, FMLA Master Class)
- Knowing What You Don’t Know: The Challenge of Complying with Rule 1.1’s Technology Competence Requirement (Foulston Siefkin, Foulston Siefkin Ethics Seminar for Corporate Counsel, and County Counselors Association of Kansas)
- Sexual Harassment in the Technology Era (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
- Managing Injured and Sick Employees (2011 Management Development Institute)
- Dangers of Social Media in the Workplace (KHHRA Spring Conference)
- Handling Ill or Injured Employees Under FMLA/ADA (KHHRA Spring Conference)
- Preserving Electronic Evidence (KHHRA Spring Conference)
- Social Media in the Workplace (Wichita American Marketing Association)
- Employer Strategies Under the ADAAA (Kansas SHRM Conference)
- Too Much Information: The Dangers of Twitter, Facebook, and Other Social Media for the Workplace (Foulston Siefkin, Employment Law Seminar - Wichita)
- Preserving Electronic Evidence for Employment Claims: Why, When, and How (Foulston Siefkin, Employment Law Seminar - Wichita)
- Is Facebook Two-Faced? Is Twitter a Trap? (Kansas Bar Association Media and the Law CLE)
- Ethical Issues Associated with Duty to Preserve ESI (Foulston Siefkin Ethics Seminar for Corporate Counsel)
- E-Discovery: Maneuvering Through Speed Bumps (Kansas Bar Association Litigation CLE)
- Ethical Issues Associated with Duty to Preserve Electronically Stored Information (ESI) (Foulston Siefkin Kansas Ethics Seminar for Corporate Counsel)
- Disability Accommodation Revisited (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
- Preserving Electronic Evidence for Employment Claims: Why, When, and How (Kansas Human Rights Commission Employment Law Seminar)
- New FMLA Rules for Soldiers’ Relatives (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
- Avoiding "Caregiver" Discrimination Claims (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
- Hot Topics in Employment Law (Kansas Hospital Association Spring Convention)
- FLMA Changes and Other Hot Topics (American Payroll Association)
- Is EPLI the Answer to Your Problems?
-Kansas Employment Law Letter
- Evaluation = Defamation! How Can That Be?
-Kansas Employment Law Letter
- Does Doing a Good Job Make an Employment Contract?
-Kansas Employment Law Letter
- Liquidated Damages and Statute of Limitations under the Willful Standard of the Fair Labor Standards
-24 Washburn Law Journal 3
- Insurance: Apportionment of Loss Between Conflicting Excess/Other Insurance Clauses in Automobile Liability Insurance
-23 Washburn Law Journal 1