ProfessionalsKaren L. Dunn
Karen Dunn is one of the nation’s top trial lawyers, widely recognized for securing courtroom victories in difficult cases. Karen is also highly skilled at crisis management, advising political figures, C-suite executives and boards of directors as they navigate reputation-threatening investigations, congressional inquiries and media scrutiny—often all at the same time. She was recently named a “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer for her role in “high-stakes, high-profile and hard-fought” cases.
Karen has successfully led many of the largest and most important trials in recent years. She recently won an historic trial victory and a $26 million damages award in a groundbreaking pro bono lawsuit, Sines v. Kessler, brought against the leaders of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements in America who conspired to commit racially motivated violence in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Her recent trial wins for her commercial clients include Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc., the hotly contested trade secrets “battle royale,” which settled favorably for Uber shortly after Karen’s examination at trial of former CEO Travis Kalanick; Malden Transportation, Inc. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., where she delivered a complete defense victory in a $750 million dispute after being brought in to lead the trial team just six weeks before trial; Zehn-NY LLC v. The City of New York, representing Uber in its challenge to New York City’s so-called “cruising cap,” which was struck down as arbitrary and capricious; Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., the high-stakes challenge to the App Store by the makers of Fortnite, which ended in victory for Apple following a three-week trial; Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Incorporated, where she secured a $4 billion summary judgment win for Apple in the lead-up to trial; the Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, a billion-dollar class action, which ended in a complete defense jury verdict; Amazon in the recent testimony before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary; Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc., a copyright infringement and computer fraud dispute, winning a jury verdict of $50 million, later increased to $124 million; Monster, LLC v. Beats Electronics, LLC, winning summary judgment for Beats on the eve of trial; and Council of the District of Columbia v. Gray, a two-year pro bono battle in local and federal court where she secured budget autonomy for the District of Columbia.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Karen is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in General Commercial Litigation and in the “Spotlight Table” for Crisis Management. Chambers reports that Karen’s clients call her “one of the best lawyers on the planet,” “a passionate advocate” with “a great ability to think on her feet” and that she has “attained an ‘amazing reputation’ for her role assisting corporate clients with some of their most high-profile crises.” Karen has been named a “Litigator of the Week” five times by The American Lawyer as well as “Litigator of the Year”; one of the National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers”; one of Elle Magazine’s “Most Compelling Women in Washington Now”; and one of Benchmark Litigation’s “Top-10 Women in Litigation”, “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” and “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” Additionally she has been recognized by Law 360 as both a “Trials MVP” and a “Technology MVP.”
Karen has served in all three branches of government, including as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia; Associate White House Counsel under President Barack Obama; and Senior Advisor and Communications Director to former Sen. Hillary Clinton. Karen also led presidential debate prep for President Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Vice President Kamala Harris in 2020. Earlier, she served as a law clerk to Judge Merrick B. Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.