Torrey is a trial attorney and chair of the firm’s employment practice group. She assists clients in navigating complex issues to manage risk and achieve their goals to avoid claims, throughout discovery, in settlement, and during trial if necessary. With a foundation in insurance defense litigation, she represents individuals, political subdivisions, business clients, and professionals in employment, professional malpractice, municipal/political subdivision litigation, premises liability, and other tort claims. Her practice focuses on employment litigation defense and counseling, business litigation, and professional liability defense.

Torrey’s employment practice includes advising, workplace investigations, and litigation defense for public and private employers. She regularly represents and advises public entities as to the legal requirements applicable to them, including open meetings and public records laws, and constitutional protections and due process considerations for public employees. She counsels employers on compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, leave management, executive employment agreements, business torts, wage, contract, non-compete and misappropriation issues. Both before and after issues arise, she provides practical advice for implementing employment policies and legal compliance in employee performance and termination decisions. She conducts and provides guidance during workplace investigations in order to identify and address compliance issues, avoid claims, and address the unique considerations that often arise in litigation. Torrey also defends employers in various industries against charges of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, contract, and wage matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

In her professional liability practice, Torrey represents lawyers, real estate, and other professionals in responding to claims, evaluating ethical considerations, responding to subpoenas, and defense in litigation and ethics proceedings.

Torrey also serves as a Co-Chancellor, or Co-General Counsel, to The Great Plains Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and its Bishop. In this capacity, she regularly handles and coordinates representation on matters of employment, corporate governance, and risk management.

Torrey was raised on a family farm in Eustis, Nebraska. In her free time, Ms. Gerdes enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and traveling.

Admitted to practice in: State of Nebraska; State of Iowa; United States District Court, District of Nebraska; United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Juris Doctor, with distinction, University of Nebraska College of Law, 2008
Bachelor of Journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2004

Professional Affiliations

  • Nebraska State Bar Association, Labor Relations and Employment Law Section, Executive Committee member
  • Nebraska State Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Lincoln Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF)
  • Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court, alumni member
  • Nebraska Defense Counsel Association

Special Distinctions

  • Elected to Judicial Nominating Commission for the Nebraska Supreme Court, First Judicial District, 2021-2025
  • Selected to Super Lawyers’ Great Plains Rising Star, Employment Litigation Defense, 2018
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. Frankie J. Moore, Nebraska Court of Appeals, 2008-2010
  • Robert Van Pelt Inn of Court Alan L. Plessman Student Award recipient, 2008
  • Nebraska College of Law Moot Court Board, 2006-2008

Community Involvement

  • 100s of Women Who Care Lincoln
  • University of Nebraska Alumni Association, Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network (formerly Cather Circle)
  • Kappa Delta Sorority, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chapter Advisory Board
  • Kappa Delta Sorority, Lincoln Alumnae Chapter, President, 2010-2011
  • Attorney Coach, Eustis-Farnam High School Mock Trial Team, 2008

Publications and Presentations

  • Invited Speaker: The United Methodist Church Chancellors Association, Annual Meeting, Panelist: People Management in the Era of Politics, COVID, and Everyday Challenges, April 2022
  • Issue Editor, NSBA Nebraska Lawyer magazine, Employment Law Issue, Nov./Dec. 2021
  • Westlaw Practical Law, Employment Claims in Release Agreements: Nebraska; T. Gerdes, C. Schmidt, S. Foster, M. Hawker-Boehnke (West 2019-2023)
  • Seminar Presentation: Vaccines at Work: Considerations for Employers, January 2021
  • Seminar Presentation: Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace, T. Gerdes, S. Foster, C. Schmidt, K Martz, March 2020
  • Seminar Presentation: Untangling ADA and FMLA Leave, T. Gerdes, S. Foster, September 2019
  • Invited Speaker: Lincoln Commission on Human Rights; Civil Rights Conference, Panelist: Employment Best Practices: Creating and Managing a Diverse Workforce, April 2019
  • Invited Speaker: University of Nebraska College of Law; Accelerate 2018: Grow. Rise. Lead. Conference, Panelist: Negotiate like a Boss, November 2018
  • Seminar Presentation: Intersection of Workers’ Compensation and Employment Law, D. Jones., T. Gerdes, C. Schmidt; April 2018
  • Seminar Presentation: Addressing #MeToo and #TimesUp in the Workplace: Sexual Harassment Training, Reporting, and Investigations, T. Gerdes, G. Perry, S. Vanous, April 2018
  • Seminar Presentation: Termination Tips: Documenting and Executing Employee Separations, T. Gerdes, G. Perry, October 2017
  • Invited Speaker: NSBA Annual Meeting, Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act Defenses, October 2012
  • Martensen v. Rejda Bros., Inc.: A General Defense Litigation and Workers’ Compensation Perspective, Baylor Evnen Newsletter, July 2012
  • New Law Affects Court-Approved Settlements with Minors in Nebraska, Baylor Evnen Newsletter, January 2012
  • A Tale of Two Cases: Opportunities for Success in Nebraska Tort Cases, Baylor Evnen Newsletter, April 2011
  • No Prejudice Showing Required to Deny Coverage for Late Notice Under Claims-Made Policies, Baylor Evnen Newsletter, April 2011

Area(s) of Practice
Civil Litigation
Employment Law
Political Subdivision Tort Claims
Professional Liability Defense
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
Business Litigation
Premises Liability Defense
Administrative Law

Contact Info
Email Torrey

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