Throughout her career, Kate has been praised for her ability to translate even the most complicated cases into clear and compelling stories and arguments—a strategy for winning appellate briefs.

Kate has been certified as an appellate specialist by the California State Board of Legal Specialization.  Her practice has involved civil appeals and writ petitions in a wide range of substantive areas, including wage and hour class actions, arbitration disputes, intellectual property, entertainment, employment discrimination, family law, trusts and estates, real estate, contract interpretation, bankruptcy, constitutional law, criminal law, and complex business disputes.

Kate also has extensive experience litigating cases at the trial court level and regularly advises clients and lawyers on legal strategy issues that arise in pre-trial and trial court litigation, including assisting on case-dispositive and post-trial motions, counseling on how to preserve issues for appeal, and advising on interlocutory appeals and writs.

Kate began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  After clerking, Kate practiced litigation and appellate litigation at Irell & Manella LLP and then in the appellate practice group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 2003. Robert McKay Scholar, Annual Survey of American Law, Judge Abraham Lieberman Prize (for best paper on criminal law).
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., Classics and Government double major, 1998.

Bar Admissions

  • California 2005
  • New York 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Council of Appellate Lawyers (Chair-Elect, 2016; Executive Board, 2013-2016)
  • Appellate Judges Education Institute Education Committee (2016, 2014)
  • The Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, Board of Directors (2014-present)
  • California Supreme Court Historical Society, Board of Directors (2016-present)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Appellate Courts Section

Select Cases

  • Represented plaintiff real estate investment companies, the borrowers on a $62 million promissory note, in the California Court of Appeal in the successful reversal, after oral argument, of the trial court’s ruling on defendants’ demurrer and summary judgment.
  • Represented individuals in the California Court of Appeal in the successful reversal, after oral argument, of an over $80 million judgment in action to enforce a guaranty agreement in a real estate transaction. U.S. Bank National Association v. Yashouafar, 232 Cal. App. 4th 639 (2014).
  • Represented a major grocery chain in a putative wage and hour class action in which the Ninth Circuit reversed an order remanding the case to state court on account of defendants’ alleged failure to prove to a legal certainty that the claims satisfied the jurisdictional threshold of the Class Action Fairness Act.
  • Represented a large accounting firm in the Ninth Circuit, and in the successful opposition to a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in a putative class action brought by employees and obtained the reversal of an order denying the employer’s motion to compel individual arbitration and the decertification of the class. Richards v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 744 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 135 S. Ct. 355 (2014)).
  • Represented a large accounting firm in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a putative class action challenging accounting firm’s classification of junior accountants as exempt from overtime and obtained reversal of order denying employer’s motion to compel individual arbitration, resulting in dismissal of class action claims. Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP, 726 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 2013).
  • Represented a large retail company in New York Court of Appeals and the Second Circuit in two class action suits challenging company’s policy regarding the sharing of tips among its hourly employees, in which New York Court of Appeals held company’s policy was consistent with New York law and the Second Circuit affirmed judgment in favor of employer in both cases. Barenboim v. Starbucks Corp., 21 N.Y.3d 460 (2013).
  • Represented family trust in breach of fiduciary duty case in the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court, which resulted in the affirmance of an approximately $100 million judgment in favor of client and against trustee. Uzyel v. Kadisha, 188 Cal. App. 4th 866 (2010).
  • Represented research hospital in California Supreme Court in a case concerning intellectual property royalty payments and contract interpretation, which resulted in the California Supreme Court affirming a $300 million damages award in favor of client. City of Hope National Medical Center v. Genentech, Inc., 43 Cal.4th 375, 380 (2008).


  • ABA Roundtable, “Appellate Practice: How to Grab, Keep, and Kill the Panel’s Attention During Oral Argument” (June 22, 2016)
  • 11th Annual Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit (Dallas, Texas), “Arbitration Hot Topics for Appellate Lawyers” (November 14, 2014)
  • 10th Annual Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit (San Diego, California), “Hiring Outside Appellate Counsel: The In-House Perspective” (November 17, 2013)



  • The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Law (2016-present)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars (five years)