Debra K. Zahalsky Of Counsel




Debra Zahalsky maintains a diverse practice as a dedicated, hands-on legal specialist with extensive experience in product and premises liability, toxic tort, personal injury, intellectual property and class action civil litigation. She litigates a variety of civil matters, assisting clients in defending their rights through comprehensive research, a working knowledge of the business arena and application of her well-honed skills. 

Over her nearly 20-year career, Debra has successfully represented national clients in class actions and complex, high-value cases. She has written briefs for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on intellectual property procedural issues, and written and argued before the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District on third-party settlement issues.  

Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Debra worked at a civil litigation, criminal litigation and federal practice firm in Edwardsville, Illinois. She clerked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in St. Louis and at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In a previous career as vice president of marketing, Debra researched and acquired land for residential, apartment, office and mixed-use development projects, conceived and constructed in multiple states.

Areas of Focus

Toxic Tort
Debra has managed more than 3,500 toxic tort matters for a national client and hundreds of matters for clients with fewer than 100 cases. As with all her cases, from the initial filing of a lawsuit, she works with clients to formulate aggressive defense strategies and prepare complex motions and memoranda of law. She has taken and defended thousands of depositions of parties, fact witnesses, experts and corporate representatives; conducted settlement negotiations; and created programs for periodic reports to clients, all while effectively keeping clients away from the courthouse.