Danessa P. Watkins

Partner
Danessa Watkins, SmithAmundsen LLC Photo

Overview

Danessa likes to win, whether she is playing a recreational sport or arguing a motion in court. Her clients appreciate her competitive spirit and commitment to helping them achieve their goals.

Through years of representing a diverse clientele, ranging from small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, Danessa appreciates that legal representation is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. She dedicates time to understanding her clients’ long- and short-term goals. She then analyzes and explains the options available to her clients before making a recommendation on how to best proceed. Danessa’s professional success is a direct result of her ability to add a personalized touch to her client advocacy.    

As a member of the firm’s Business Litigation Service Group, Danessa defends clients in matters relating to business disputes, computer fraud, products liability, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, she recognizes how disruptive a legal battle can be to daily life and business operations. Danessa is effective in securing swift resolutions for her clients through her meticulous motion writing and creativity in negotiating settlements.

As a member of the Entertainment & Media Service Group, Danessa represents the free speech rights and reputational interests of media clients, businesses and individuals. The continuous advancements in technology and global access present unique challenges for journalists and news outlets in presenting accurate information and protecting their sources. Danessa stays current on the ever-evolving area of First Amendment law and defends the media against libel suits and intrusive subpoenas. The niche areas of defamation, false light and right to privacy also present unique challenges for companies and individuals looking to promote and protect their products, services and image. Danessa counsels clients on how to minimize risk in their publications and advertising. When litigation does arise, her clients value her thorough evaluation of potential exposure and tenacity in defending their reputational interests.

When she is not in the office, Danessa enjoys traveling, hiking and exploring Chicago’s restaurant scene. She participates in the annual Le Tour de Shore 100 mile charity bike race that starts in Chicago and ends in New Buffalo, Michigan. She is also actively involved in local organizations that foster the collaboration and advancement of women business owners.

Experience

Membership & Involvement

  • Member: Chicago Bar Association; Women’s Bar Association of Illinois; ABA Forum on Communications Law
     

Resources & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Firm News

Education

Boston University School of Law, J.D., 2013

Northeastern University, B.S., 2010 

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
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