Kearney W. Kilens

Kearney is an experienced litigator concentrating in the defense of management in labor and employment matters. She has tried several cases to verdict, including suits for retaliatory discharge and various tort and contract claims. Additionally, she has authored and argued many successful motions for summary judgment and appeals in federal and state courts as well as successfully defended charges of discrimination with the EEOC, IDHR, Chicago Commission on Human Rights, and comparable agencies in other states. Kearney also has experience defending ERISA matters, wage and hour claims, OSHA matters, and employment-related coverage issues as well as complex commercial litigation including executive and professional liability matters for a wide range of businesses, industries, health care entities, financial institutions, and non-profit associations. She also has experience handling fidelity and construction-related claims. In addition, her practice includes client counseling, policy drafting, and in-house training to develop and implement effective employment practices. She serves as Assistant Managing Partner of Litchfield Cavo LLP.

Kearney has been published by BNA, the Practicing Law Institute, the Employee Relations Law Journal and IICLE and lectures extensively at various conferences on topics including employment practices liability insurance, employer insurance coverage for employment litigation, In-House Counsel as Whistleblower, Lawyers as Employees: Rights and Remedies, and sexual harassment. She has also led various trade group seminars and client training sessions on effective employment practices. Kearney has been rated an AV® Preeminent™ lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, representing the recognition of the highest level of professional excellence by her peers as well as a Leading Lawyer in the field of Employment Law: Management.

Kearney served as a panelist for the November 2009 Ms. J.D. Conference in Chicago and as a Judge for the 2007 Arlyn Miner Moot Court Competition at Northwestern University College of Law in 2007.

Kearney is actively involved at Grace Lutheran Church in LaGrange, IL, where she sings in the contemporary band.  She recently completed a long association with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 51 of Clarendon Hills, Illinois, where her sons earned the rank of Eagle Scout and is an avid supporter of the music programs at St. Olaf College and the Club Gymnastics program at Miami University (Ohio).


  • DePaul University College of Law, JD, 1985; Moot Court Society, AmJur Award-Commercial Paper
  • Denison University, BA, 1982; Dean’s List, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary, University Judicial Board, Delta Gamma Sorority


  • Illinois
  • United States District Courts: Northern District of Illinois, Central District of Illinois, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Indiana, Northern District of Indiana
  • United States Court of Appeals: Seventh Circuit

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Representative Reported Cases

  • Krezcko v. Triangle Package Machinery Co, 1-15-1762 (Ill. App. Ct. May 3, 2016)
  • Abioye v. Sundstrand, 164 F. 3d 364 (7th Cir.)
  • Chapman v. Crown Glass Corp., 197 Ill.App.3d 995, 1005, 557 N.E.2d 256, 262 (1st Dist. 1990)