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VOL. 126 | NO. 161 | Thursday, August 18, 2011

Krupicka to be Honored For Labor, Employment Work

By Houston Cofield

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Growing up with a mother who pursued the field of law for more than 40 years, Lisa Krupicka, a member at Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, wanted nothing more than to follow her mother’s footsteps to pursue law work.


(Photo: Lance Murphey)

“I was around it pretty much all my life,” Krupicka said. “Sometimes my mother would bring me to the office, so I spent a fair amount of time around other attorneys, and I knew by the time I was in high school I wanted to be a lawyer.”

Krupicka recently was nominated as a fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. She will be inducted in November as part of the Class of 2011.

“To be recognized by the members of the college, some of them having a national reputation, is quite an honor,” she said.

Krupicka attended Rhodes College for her undergraduate degree then went on to Duke University School of Law, where she graduated with her law degree with high honors. After graduating from law school, she was a law clerk for two years for Judge Julia Gibbons of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Krupicka joined Burch, Porter & Johnson in 1987 and has been a member of the firm since 1995. Her primary practice areas are labor and employment law, in which she represents employers in disputes, and lawsuits involving major discrimination laws covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Krupicka said she has another practice devoted to consulting with and advising her clients to prevent issues before they turn into a lawsuit.

“I do a lot of litigation work, but I actually have a practice where I can try and prevent the train wreck rather than trying to pick up the pieces after the train wreck occurs,” she said.

Business consulting and advising her clients has been something that has drawn her to focus on those specific practices, Krupicka said. She said it makes her feel good to take the worry off clients and help them determine what they need to do.

Along with consulting employers, she also deals with many discrimination cases.

“As far as trends in the law, I have noticed that sexual harassment cases have continued to be dominant, and I think those are the ones I tend to defend the most,” Krupicka said.

Since the economic recession, Krupicka said she has also had more cases dealing with layoffs than ever before.

Krupicka has learned a lot from being in the law industry for more than 20 years, and she attributes most of her knowledge to her mother, Gibbons, Judge Holly Kirby of the Tennessee Court of Appeals and fellow Burch, Porter & Johnson attorney Jef Feibelman.

“My mother and Judge Gibbons taught me how to achieve a work and life balance because they both held important jobs, but they managed to have children and be good mothers,” Krupicka said. “Jef and Holly are also two of the best lawyers I’ve ever known, and they have really set an example for me.”

She said one of the major things that attracted her to work for Burch, Porter & Johnson is the genuine friendships among the firm’s attorneys. Lucius Burch, former leader of the firm, always encouraged his employees to be involved in the Memphis community.

“Lucius Burch set the philosophy for the firm by saying, ‘Always do your best work, and get out in the community because you can’t be a good lawyer if all you do is practice law,’” Krupicka said.

Burch, Porter & Johnson has a deep history of being devoted to the civil rights movement. The firm represented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike in 1968, and members of the firm were in court on behalf of King after his assassination at the Lorraine Motel.

Krupicka joined the board of the National Civil Rights Museum in 2005.

“It is a great institution, and it is inspiring just to sit in on the board meetings,” she said. She added she has had the privilege of working with Maurice Wexler, a shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, through serving on the museum’s board and has gained a lot from getting to know him.

When Krupicka is not doing law work, she enjoys spending time with her 16-year-old daughter as well as gardening and reading.

Krupicka said she also likes to travel; her grandfather was from the Czech Republic and her grandmother was from Italy.

“I’m very drawn to Europe,” she said. “I don’t get to back as often as I’d like, but I do like to explore my roots.”

After working for Burch, Porter & Johnson for 24 years, Krupicka has continued to follow Burch’s philosophy by being involved in the community.

“I am just grateful to have been associated with Burch, Porter & Johnson for all of these years and to have all these lawyers here to help and inspire me,” she said.

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064