GessnerLaw, PLLC focuses on providing “outside” general counsel and litigation management services to companies of all sizes, practicing labor and employment law, and serving as a certified mediator in a variety of disputes.
One of the few practicing female attorneys in the Charlotte, North Carolina area who has both Big Law and Big Company experience, Michelle possesses a deep understanding not always found in every lawyer when it comes to delicate cases such as sexual harassment and gender pay inequality as well as the many challenges companies and employees face dealing with wage and hour issues. Being the first in a blue-collar single-parent family to achieve a college degree, Michelle’s appreciation for hard-working employees, as well as entrepreneurs who put their heart and soul into their businesses, gives her an altruistic perspective and purpose when she provides counsel, litigation, and/or advocacy services for her clients.
Prior to its formation, Michelle gained extensive experience in all legal issues facing the retail, restaurant, and hospitality industries by serving as the Chief Litigation and Employment Law Counsel for Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO), Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) and Big Lots Stores, Inc. (BIG). Michelle also served as the SVP, General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer for Ovation Brands, a privately held $1 billion restaurant company.
Michelle has extensive experience in managing large portfolios of litigation and disputes. Michelle’s career embodies a strong focus on employment law and labor relations, with particular emphasis on wage and hour and compensation disputes. A successful litigator in all venues, she has managed the strategy development — as well as some of the best lawyers in the country — in matters pending in federal courts nationwide, including managing multi-district litigation.
Michelle has the privilege of being the mother of three amazing children – Isabell, Jack, and Bobby – and spends most of her free time at their swim meets, soccer, and football games. She also enjoys Crossfit, running, and playing golf (or at least attempting to).