AttorneyContact Dana Kurtz
Dana L. Kurtz is the founding President of Kurtz Law Offices, Ltd., a law firm of aggressive trial attorneys located in downtown Hinsdale, Illinois.
Ms. Kurtz is a trial lawyer.
I tried my first case, pro se, when I was sixteen years old and fell in love with it. – Dana
"I analogize the adrenaline rush of a trial to skydiving, which is a passion of mine, and as crazy as it sounds, my form of relaxation and getting a perspective on the world. Skydiving reminds me that I can do anything". Ms. Kurtz has successfully litigated pattern and practice and class action cases, cases for individuals, as well as employers. She has tried and litigated cases involving civil rights, police misconduct, political corruption, employment discrimination and retaliation, sexual harassment, RICO, the False Claims Act (Qui Tam), breach of contract and various other state law issues.
Ms.Kurtz is experienced in handling cases for individual and multiple plaintiffs and for large billion dollar corporations and small family owned businesses. She works tirelessly for her clients in preparing their cases for trial, and has obtained multi-million dollar jury awards.
Ms.Kurtz is also a tough negotiator and has been successful in obtaining six figure settlements, including many over $1 million.
“As a business owner, I also understand the importance of teamwork in small and large businesses. My experience as a plaintiff’s lawyer gives me a perspective in the business world that most big firm lawyers do not have. I know how to keep my business clients out of litigation and save them money. I also bring unique knowledge to defending our business clients that has resulted in victories for them at trial.”
Ms. Kurtz has also successfully argued before the Seventh Circuit in numerous cases, including Jacobs v. City of Chicago,
215 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2000), on issues of qualified immunity and unlawful search and seizure. In Jacobs, the Seventh Circuit reversed the district courts grant of a motion to dismiss on qualified immunity grounds. Jacobs is often cited in Section 1983 cases on qualified immunity issues. Ms. Kurtz also successfully appealed and argued Lewis v. City of Chicago, 496 F.3d 645 (7th Cir. 2007) and Valentino v. South Chicago Heights, 575 F.3d 664 (7th Cir. 2009), in which the Seventh Circuit reversed the lower courts granting motions for summary judgment. Both cases are often cited by the district courts on precedential legal issues.
Ms. Kurtz externed for Honorable Judge Ann Claire Williams in the District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Fall 1996 and 1997. Honorable Judge Williams was later appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Kurtz is admitted to practice in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Colorado courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar; Oklahoma Supreme Court; United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma; Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States District Court for the Northern District of Colorado. Ms. Kurtz is also licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. Kurtz has been invited to speak in various forums on protecting employees’ constitutional rights, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment for both private sector and municipal employers.
Ms. Kurtz has authored articles for the Illinois Advocate, Newsletter for the National Employment Lawyers Association,
Ms. Kurtz received her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois in 1998. She was an Earnest &
Ruth Turk Honors Scholar for Minority Status and Academic Excellence. She graduated with Honors in Legal Writing, CALI Award Legal Writing I and II. As a Moot Court Honor, she received 3rd Place Overall in the Brooklyn Prince Evidence national competition. She was also a finalist in the Charles Evans Hughes moot court competition.
Ms. Kurtz traveled and studied law abroad in Zimbabwe on International Human Rights. Ms. Kurtz also studied International Women’s Rights in Poland, Netherlands, Great Britain, and Germany, Antioch Women’s Studies in Europe.
Ms. Kurtz received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois in June 1993. At Knox she was honored with the Dean Deborah Wing Award for the Advancement of Women’s Rights on Campus. She was President of Psi Chi, National Honors Society in Psychology, and Mortar Board treasurer.
- Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary to the United States Air Force, Legal Officer
- National Employment Lawyers Association, Illinois, Member
- Former Executive Board Member
- American Association of Justice, Member
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Chicago Bar Association, Member
- Illinois Bar Association, Member
- Chicago Women’s Police Association, former Member
- Native American Law Society, former Member
- Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, former Executive Board Member
- Civil Rights Committee for the Chicago Bar Association, former Co-Chair
- Scuba Diving
- Martial Arts
Heidi Karr Sleper joined Kurtz Law Offices, Ltd. as an Associate attorney in 2007. Ms. Sleper specializes in reproductive rights, employment discrimination and enforcement of individual’s Constitutional rights. Ms. Sleper also specializes in representing families in wrongful death actions against government institutions that failed to protect their loved ones.
“Ms. Sleper’s tireless dedication to our clients and ability to juggle her career and family amazes all of us. She is an excellent trial lawyer, compassionate, and works to ensure that our clients receive justice.” dlk
Ms. Sleper has won several trials for our clients, including on issues involving Family Medical Leave Act violations, sexual harassment, and political retaliation.
Ms. Sleper has also argued successfully before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Sleper received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law during which she was honored as being the top of her class in Native American Law. Ms. Sleper was also involved in the Women’s Law Caucus and Equal Justice Society. Ms. Sleper received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in English also from the University of Nebraska.
Ms. Sleper is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. Sleper is the proud mother of two young children. The love for her children has inspired her to expand her practice to help others create families of their own, which include representing the legal rights of intended parents, egg donors, sperm donors, parties in surrogacy arrangements, and fertility clinics.
Ms. Sleper is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and its Illinois chapter, the Chicago Bar Association, the American Bar Association, its Family Law Section and the Genetic and Reproductive Technology Committee.
James G. Vanzant joined Kurtz Law Offices as an attorney in 2014, following nearly four years of service as a judicial clerk on the Illinois Appellate Court. Mr. Vanzant concentrates his practice on criminal defense, civil rights, and appeals. He is also an adjunct professor of law at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches Appellate Technique. Based on these experiences, Mr. Vanzant has developed a specialized appellate practice.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Mr. Vanzant received his J.D. summa cum laude from the DePaul University College of Law in 2010. Mr. Vanzant earned numerous fellowships, honors, and awards during law school, which included serving as Executive Editor of the DePaul Law Review, being named to the Dean’s List each semester, and earning the Order of the Coif. Mr. Vanzant also earned the CALI Award for Excellence, which is awarded to the student with the highest grade in each course, in Legal Writing I & II, Constitutional Process I, Civil Procedure, Section 1983, Public International Law, Advanced Criminal Procedure: Trial, Litigation Strategy: Civil, Trial Advocacy II, and Forensic Evidence.
Mr. Vanzant developed a deep interest in criminal law during law school, which culminated with his year-long service as a Rule 711-licensed law clerk with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. It was through this work that Mr. Vanzant honed his trial skills. He was successful in obtaining acquittals for individuals that were falsely accused of felonies and other crimes.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Vanzant served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Vanzant was deployed to Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, where he served in Fallujah in 2004 and in western Anbar province in 2005. He now specializes part of his practice in representing Military Service members who have been discriminated against.
Mr. Vanzant is licensed to practice law in Illinois. He is admitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Trial Bar of the Northern District of Illinois. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago National Police Accountability Project, the National Police Accountability Project, and the Appellate Lawyers Association.
Valerie Espinili joined Kurtz Law Offices in 2004. She has been a litigation paralegal for over 12 years and is the Senior Paralegal at Kurtz Law Offices. She stands ready to apply her skills and experience to your case by working on all stages of a case, from inception to discovery and through trial. Ms. Espinili has an excellent reputation and experience with many federal and state courts in Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado. She also has extensive experience in appellate briefs and proceedings in both State and Federal appeals. Ms. Espinili is invaluable to the attorneys at Kurtz Law Offices in all areas of work on our cases. Her ability to review case files and retain information and her attention to detail has been an asset that has ultimately assisted in finding key information that has made a substantial difference in the resolution of numerous clients’ cases. Clients often speak of how impressed they are with Ms. Espinili’s work ethic and tireless dedication to their case during its progress and particularly at trial. Ms. Espinili often receives compliments from opposing counsel and court personnel for her trial skills as a paralegal. Ms. Espinili has provided such superior support in the preparation and participation in over ten complex jury trials. She enjoys the challenge of learning new things and prides herself on going above and beyond.
Beverly McPherron joined Kurtz Law Offices in 2006. She is our bookkeeper and office manager. Beverly’s over 35 years of experience in banking, real estate closings & title insurance underwriting, and office management contribute to her sense of detail and organization that are an asset to our firm.