Ohio Fellow Lynnette Ballato Dinkler, founding partner of DINKLER PREGON LLC, focuses her practice on representing both public and private employers, their officials and employees, in discrimination (age, gender, race and disability), sexual harassment, retaliation, Family Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, defamation, negligence, contract, and product liability claims. Lynnette has defended public and private employers in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ohio Civil Rights Commission. She has defended civil rights claims unique to public employers, including police brutality and false arrest, free speech, political advocacy, zoning, eminent domain, and separation of church and state constitutional claims. She has defended public employers against state issues unique to them, including administrative appeals, school violence claims, and Sunshine Law and public records compliance claims. She also provides general counsel advice to municipalities and school boards on a variety of issues.
Over the course of Lynnette’s career, she has tried approximately 50 civil and criminal cases. Her appellate practice has included an appearance before the United States Supreme Court on a police excessive force case – a case successfully defended. She has briefed and argued four cases before the Ohio Supreme Court. She appears regularly before the United States Courts of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit and various District Appellate Courts in Ohio.
Lynnette’s work for Ohio’s public entities has culminated in several leading cases advancing protection from suit for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, municipalities, city managers, school boards of education (including boards of mental retardation and development disabilities and educational service centers), school administrators, teachers, and other entities such as agricultural societies and E.M.S. districts.
Working with and getting to know each client while learning and appreciating the facts and circumstances involved in each case, to best represent the client from the first deposition through the final moments of motion practice, trial, or appeal, is what Lynnette enjoys most in her practice. Before opening her own firm, Lynnette was a named shareholder with a local defense firm for several years. She also served as an assistant public defender upon graduating from law school, an experience that complements the work she now does for law enforcement clients.
Her peers named her to Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2005-2009, an honor given to just 2.5% of Ohio attorneys. And, in 2006, Lynnette was selected as a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers and is by invitation only. She serves as a member of the Governmental Liability Section of the Defense Research Institute. This year Lynnette was asked by DRI to present at the annual Civil Rights Seminar on Fourth Amendment law. She also serves as moderator for the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys. She holds memberships in several state professional associations, including the Ohio School Boards Association.
The Ohio School Board Association has invited Lynnette to speak to its administrators regarding liability issues and privacy concerns under the Family Education Rights and Practice Act. She participated in trying a mock jury trial on housing civil rights issues for the Dayton Board of Realtors. She has presented to her peers on the issues of sovereign immunity for governmental entities and legal ethics and professionalism. She has also volunteered her time to write amicus briefs in support of Ohio’s public entities.
Lynnette currently volunteers in her community by serving as a board member for the Downtown Dayton YMCA. In past years, she has chaired the association’s fundraising campaign, which provides summer camp opportunities for children, and has chaired the childcare committee. In 2004, the YMCA of Greater Dayton awarded Lynnette, Volunteer of the Year, in recognition of her service. Before becoming involved with the YMCA, she volunteered as a Big Sister in the United Way Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and coached the Sidney High School Ohio Mock Trial Team.