The Troester Sharpe Team

Attorney Biographies and Direct Access

Here is a quick access contact tool for our full team of attorneys. In addition to names, direct line phone numbers and email address, you can read individual attorney biographies.

Susan M. Troester, Partner

(847) 786-2503

stroester-240x300Ms. Troester focuses her practice exclusively on defending and counseling the firm’s small business, not-for-profit and public organization clients on a full range of employee related issues. Much of her practice is devoted to proactive counseling with the aim of helping the employer achieve their business goals and organizational mission, while at the same time creating the optimal work environment for employees. Ms. Troester assists employers nationwide in responding to age, race, national origin, gender and disability discrimination claims and defends Illinois employers in claims in state and federal court, as well as the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Some of Ms. Troester’s recent successful litigation matters include serving as second-chair trial counsel defending a national corporation in a Title VII gender discrimination trial in the Northern District of Illinois. She also successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of one of the nation’s largest hospice organizations in two separate state court discrimination cases.

In addition, Ms. Troester worked for ten years in managing not-for-profit organizations and raising funds to support legal services and law student scholarships. As Director of Operations and Director of Development for Life Span, an agency serving domestic violence victims throughout Cook County, Ms. Troester oversaw the provision of legal services to 4,500 victims annually. She assisted the Executive Director and Board of Directors in raising $3 million each year to support a staff of thirty lawyers, paralegals and social workers. She also ensured compliance with the agency’s private and government funder requirements, and oversaw all aspects of fiscal planning, human resources and board development.

Ms. Troester received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University, summa cum laude, and her J.D. degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, with high honors, in 1996. She was awarded the Order of the Coif, served as a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, and chaired a foundation that funded public interest law organizations. Ms. Troester is a member of the Chicago Bar Association.

Brian J. Sharpe, Partner

(847) 786-2505

bsharpe-240x300Brian Sharpe received a B.A. with Distinction from Purdue University, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law. While attending law school, Mr. Sharpe served as a teaching assistant in the legal writing department for two years. As a student-attorney under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711, Mr. Sharpe worked at the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he participated in several bench trials. Prior to and during law school, Mr. Sharpe worked in video production, creating and editing content for several cable networks, including HGTV, DIY Network and Fine Living.

Mr. Sharpe focuses his practice exclusively on defending and counseling management on a full array of employment-related issues. Mr. Sharpe assists employers nationwide in responding to age, race, national origin, gender and disability discrimination claims, and he defends Illinois employers in state and federal court, as well as in the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Victoria L. Gray, Senior Counsel

(224) 326-2103

Ms. Gray focuses her practice on counseling employers on a wide range of labor and employment matters, including state and federal court litigation, grievance arbitrations, labor board proceedings, and proceedings before various administrative agencies. She advises and represents clients regarding employment discrimination, harassment, and in matters related to:

•  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
•  The Americans with Disabilities Act
•  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
•  The Family and Medical Leave Act
•  The Illinois Human Rights Act

Ms. Gray has experience in conducting confidential internal investigations involving allegations of employee misconduct and providing employers with recommendations including appropriate personnel decisions to ensure compliance with labor agreements and with federal and state law. She formerly served as an assistant state’s attorney, where she obtained first chair bench and jury trial experience in both civil and criminal matters. Ms. Gray also served as chief in house labor and employment counsel for a mass transit agency and has practiced employment and labor law in the Chicago area for over 14 years. Ms. Gray served as a federal judicial law clerk for the Hon. Sharon Johnson Coleman in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Ms. Gray received her Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University, and her J.D. degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, with high honors, in 2007. She was awarded the Order of the Coif and served as a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Ms. Gray is licensed to practice in both Illinois and Florida and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Law Clinic for DePaul University College of Law.

Samantha Damewood, Associate

(224) 326-2101

Samantha Damewood focuses her practice on defending and counseling management nationwide on a wide variety of employment-related matters. Ms. Damewood represents employers in responding to charges of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state administrative agencies and in arbitration and state and federal court. Ms. Damewood advises human resource professionals, business owners and managers through Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) helplines, with an aim toward identifying and mitigating exposure for an array of employment, labor and wage and hour issues.

Ms. Damewood graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Informatics. She earned her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Labor and Employment Law Certificate. While in law school, Ms. Damewood served as a Junior Associate for the Chicago-Kent Law Review and as a Student Editor for the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal.

Piotr (Peter) Krypciak, Associate

(847) 786-2109

Piotr Krypciak has broad experience advising and defending employers in all aspects of labor and employment law including employee discipline, workplace investigations, contract disputes, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour, labor relations, and federal and state employment discrimination matters. Mr. Krypciak has handled complex litigation matters before federal and state courts as well as administrative agencies including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and local human rights agencies.
Before joining Troester Sharpe, Mr. Krypciak worked at a boutique law firm where he litigated securities and employment law matters. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dominican University. During law school, Mr. Krypciak was the Selections Editor for the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law and worked as a student attorney in the Veterans Legal Clinic, where he represented military veteran in civil litigation.
Mr. Krypciak is licensed to practice law in Michigan and speaks fluent Polish.

Gabriel (Gabe) Kahn, Associate

(224) 326-2102

Gabriel Kahn focuses his practice on defending and counseling employers on a wide array of labor and employment matters, specifically Title VII, ADA, ADEA, retaliation, and the FLSA. He has experience representing clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and other state administrative agencies across the country. Mr. Kahn also advises employers on various issues regarding compliance with federal and state employment laws.

Mr. Kahn received his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Minnesota and received his J.D. degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2021. While attending law school, Mr. Kahn served as President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and as a Student Bar Association Representative. He also captained Chicago-Kent’s Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Competition (TIBAC) teams in 2020 and 2021. In his free time, he coaches a high school aged baseball team in Oak Park, IL. Before law school, Mr. Kahn worked as an IT change management business analyst and IT Intern Program Director for a large global manufacturing company.

Abigail (Abby) Cabanin, Associate

(847) 786-2502

Abigail represents employers of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies in litigation and administrative agency actions. She focuses her practice on discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability accommodations, and wage and hour cases. She also counsels clients on decisions regarding hiring, accommodations, discipline, and wage issues and drafts a wide array of employment policies tailored for compliance with local, state and federal law.

Before joining Troester Sharpe, Abigail was a law clerk for Honorable James E. Snyder in the Law Division of Circuit Court of Cook County. As a clerk, she assisted in many complex business law and civil law cases.

Abigail earned her Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from Northern Illinois University College of Law where she completed her B.S. degree in political science and her Juris Doctor degree in six years through the university’s 3+3 accelerated law degree program. In law school, Abigail was an Associate Editor and a Notes and Comments Editor for the Northern Illinois University Law Review Journal. She also worked as Graduate Assistant for her law school’s Academic Success Program, providing tutorship and mentorship to first year law students enrolled in Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law. Abigail is admitted to practice in the State of Illinois.