Kathryn M. Barber Partner

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As a member of the firm’s Appeals and Issues group, Katie focuses her practice on appellate advocacy, high-stakes dispositive motions, and complex litigation. Katie previously clerked at every level of the federal judiciary: for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge John B. Owens of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Katie has briefed and argued appeals and motions in federal and state appellate and trial courts on a broad range of issues. She has also successfully defended clients against putative class actions and other high-dollar disputes in federal trial courts.

Katie earned her law degree from the University of Virginia, where she served as a notes editor on the managing board of the Virginia Law Review and was honored as a member of the Raven Society and Order of the Coif.


Federal Courts of Appeals

  • Ayala v. Nissan North America, Inc., 2024 WL 489723 (11th Cir. 2024).  Won affirmance of grant of summary judgment based on plaintiffs’ failure to establish joint employment relationship in Fair Labor Standards Act putative collective action.
  • Escalon v. Trafigura Trading LLC, 2023 WL 7295177 (5th Cir. 2023).  The Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the complaint based on plaintiffs’ lack of any timely-acquired claim to confiscated property and resulting failure to state a claim under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.
  • Adkins v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 70 F.4th 785 (4th Cir. 2023) The Fourth Circuit affirmed grant of summary judgment for our client, agreeing that the plaintiffs failed to create a genuine dispute as to pretext for their retaliation and discrimination claims and failed to establish the prejudice element of their FMLA interference claims.
  • Ham v. Breckon, 994 F.3d 682 (4th Cir. 2021).  Defended district court’s decision with briefing and oral argument as court-appointed amicus counsel. In a published opinion, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of successive habeas petition.
  • Castillo v. Bank of America, 980 F.3d 723 (9th Cir. 2020). After oral argument, the Ninth Circuit affirmed denial of class certification for lack of predominance.

U.S. Supreme Court

  • Gonzalez v. Google LLC, 143 S. Ct. 1191 (2023): Represented the NYU Stern Center as amicus in case concerning Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

State Appellate Courts

  • Hughes, on Behalf of Estate of Hughes v. Bank of America Nat’l Ass’n, 2024 WL 174339 (S.C. 2024): With briefing and argument in related appeals before the Supreme Court of South Carolina, obtained affirmance of decision dismissing time-barred and claim-precluded action and remand to consider sanctions motion.

Civil Litigation

  • Pursued breach of contract claim for energy industry client in Virginia circuit court.  Defeated demurrer and won over $6 million judgment on summary judgment.
  • Won motion to dismiss suit seeking to hold commodity trading company liable for alleged “trafficking” under Title III of the Helms Burton Act.
  • Represented major telecommunications provider in defeating class certification in TCPA “junk fax” case.
  • Successfully defended Fortune 100 financial services company in multiple putative class actions related to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, defeating plaintiffs’ attempts to create an MDL and obtaining dismissal of first-impression claims seeking “agent fees.”
  • Won dismissal with prejudice of putative class claims against a major financial institution related to refunds for flights cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pro Bono

  • Successfully petitioned for custody order and factual findings necessary to support client’s application for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for pro bono client in Hague Convention child abduction case in the Eastern District of Virginia.