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Lynette M. Petruska

Partner

Lynette Petruska brings 30 years of litigation experience to each case. She not only brings experience as a litigator but as a litigant, having sued a former employer for discrimination and retaliation in a case that challenged what is known as the ministerial exception to Title VII. She knows what you are going through as you deal with the stress and uncertainty of litigation. She has spent her life fighting for the underdog, working to vindicate the rights of individuals treated wrongly and to bring about systemic change.

Lynette practices both civil and criminal law in state and federal court. She represents employees who are being discriminated against and harassed, whistleblowers, and employees who are being terminated. She also represents those whose civil rights have been violated when police use excessive force or falsely arrest/convict someone. She has given national presentations on pursuing school bullying cases because of her successful pursuit of these difficult cases. She helps clients who have been injured as a result of others’ negligence, as well as those accused of criminal wrongdoing, in a diverse litigation practice.

Lynette is known for bringing creativity to complex legal issues. She has obtained millions of dollars for her civil clients.

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania (1988)
  • Missouri (1990)
  • Illinois (1991)
  • United States District Court – Eastern District of Missouri (1992)
  • United States District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania (2003)
  • United States District Court – Western District of Missouri (2005)
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (2006)
  • United States District Court – Southern District of Illinois (2009)

Education

  • Washington University, St. Louis, J.D. – Valedictorian 1988; Order of the Coif; Hornbook Award, and Corpus Juris Secundum Award for academic excellence, 10 American Jurisprudence Awards for highest grade in subject.
  • St. Louis University, B.A. English and Political Science. Summa cum laude.

Publications & Presentations

  • Author & Presenter, “Prosecuting and Defending School Bullying and Cyberbullying Cases” for myLawCLE (national presentation).
  • Author & Presenter, “Litigating School Bullying and Cyberbullying Lawsuits” for National Business Institute (national presentation).
  • Presenter, “Handling the Police Liability Claim” for National Business Institute.
  • Author, “Self-Defense, Defense of Others, Home, Property, Battered Spouse Syndrome,” in Proving Criminal Defenses, Matthew Bender.
  • Author & Presenter, “Criminal Law Update” and “A New Look at Habeas Corpus Practice” for Fall Criminal Practice Institute presented by the Missouri Bar Association and the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
  • Editor, Brief Cases, a compilation of cases and issues of interest to law enforcement officers.

Civic Engagement

  • Board of Directors, CALL (Congregational Action to Life with Love), an ecumenical social justice organization affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation (1998- 2003).
  • Board of Directors, Erie DAWN (Dwellings and Advocacy for Women in Need), a long-term transitional housing program that empowers women to achieve economic independence (1993 – 1998).
  • CARE, Citizens Against Racism in Erie (1997 – 2000).
  • Parish Council, Holy Innocents Parish, St. Louis, Missouri (1991- 1992).

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