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Trial Lawyers Karen Dunn and Bill Isaacson Join Paul, Weiss

June 11, 2020 Read the press release

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that Bill Isaacson and Karen Dunn are joining the firm as partners in the Litigation Department, resident in the Washington, D.C. office. Both are nationally recognized trial lawyers who have tried and won numerous high-stakes cases for some of the nation’s largest companies.

With decades of experience leading complex commercial litigation and arbitrations, Mr. Isaacson is also known for his antitrust expertise on both the plaintiff and defense sides. Ms. Dunn came to private practice following service in all three branches of government; in addition to her trial wins, she has earned recognition for her crisis management expertise, helping individuals and companies navigate government investigations, congressional inquiries and media scrutiny.

“We are thrilled to add to our partnership two of the country’s most renowned trial lawyers in ‘bet the company’ matters,” said Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad S. Karp. “Not only are Karen and Bill extraordinary talents with a national following, but they also share our deep commitment to social justice, collaboration and collegiality. This is a transformative opportunity for our firm.”

“Our clients depend on us to deliver exceptional results in complex and hard-fought cases and trials,” said Mr. Isaacson. “Together with the many accomplished trial lawyers at Paul, Weiss, we will continue to focus on delivering successful outcomes to clients.”

“I look forward to joining the extraordinary team of lawyers at Paul, Weiss,” said Ms. Dunn. “Having spent my professional life in law, politics and government, I feel most at home working side by side with energetic, creative and mission-driven colleagues.”

Ms. Dunn has won numerous courtroom victories on behalf of major technology companies. Most recently, she secured a multibillion-dollar summary judgment for her client in one of the world’s highest-value IP and technology disputes and won a complete defense victory in a $750 million case in which she was brought in to try the case just six weeks before trial. Top executives and public figures seek her counsel to navigate their highest-profile and most challenging matters.

In addition to her private practice, Ms. Dunn has held many public service roles. She served as a law clerk to Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court; as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia; as Associate White House Counsel under President Barack Obama; and as Communications Director to then-Senator Hillary Clinton. She also led presidential debate preparations for President Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton during her 2016 Presidential campaign. Ms. Dunn has also dedicated significant time to social impact work, currently serving as co-lead counsel in a lawsuit against the leaders of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement responsible for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Mr. Isaacson is a trial lawyer recognized many times over for successfully representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Of the dozen federal antitrust class actions that have gone to trial and judgment in this century, he tried five of them, winning verdicts in each case. Mr. Isaacson won a precedent-setting antitrust victory on behalf of NCAA athletes in O’Bannon v. NCAA, and led antitrust cases recovering over $1.5 billion in settlements. In 2015, Mr. Isaacson also led, along with Ms. Dunn, a three-week jury trial in a copyright case that resulted in a $124 million judgment. Mr. Isaacson is also active in pro bono and community service focused on the District of Columbia; his pro bono work has been featured in the Washington Post.

 

“Karen and Bill are two of the best-known and most widely respected litigators in the country,” said Kannon K. Shanmugam, managing partner of the Paul, Weiss Washington office. “Their addition confirms that we have one of the top all-around litigation practices in the nation’s capital.”

 

The American Lawyer named Ms. Dunn a “Litigator of the Year,” and Law360 has recognized her as a “Trials MVP” and a “Technology MVP.” She was named one of the National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers,” one of Benchmark Litigation’s top 10 female litigators and one of Elle’s “Most Compelling Women” in Washington, D.C. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. from Brown University.

Mr. Isaacson has been named an American Lawyer “Litigator of the Year,” a two-time Law360 “Competition MVP” and a Law360 “Trial Ace.” A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he is one of 31 lawyers listed in the Lawdragon 500 for each of the last 10 years. Mr. Isaacson clerked for the Hon. Harrison Winter, Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He earned his B.A. from the University of the Redlands and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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