Debra Katz

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Debra Katz
Education Union College, New York (BA)
University of Wisconsin, Madison (JD)
Occupation Attorney
Known for Founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks

Debra S. Katz is a civil rights and employment lawyer and a founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks in Washington, D.C.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Katz was raised in a Jewish family on Long Island[2] and graduated from George W. Hewlett High School. In 1980, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Union College and in 1984, a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School where she was a member of the Wisconsin Law Review and as Articles Editor of the Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal.[1]


After law school, Katz clerked for Judge William A. Bablitch on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and held a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center.[1]

Notable clients[edit]

Irwin Reiter[edit]

Katz is representing Irwin Reiter, a longtime Weinstein Company executive, who reportedly objected to Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment of a front desk assistant.[3]

Chloe Caras[edit]

Katz represented Chloe Caras, a former Director of Operations for Isabella Eatery in her sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against celebrity chef Mike Isabella, Mike Isabella Concepts, and four of his business partners.[4] The lawsuit was settled in May 2018. The financial terms of the settlement remain confidential, but included is a binding agreement requiring the restaurant company to implement harassment training and stronger policies to prevent future sexual harassment.[5]

Christine Blasey Ford[edit]

Katz represents Christine Blasey Ford, professor at Palo Alto University, who in September 2018 alleged that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s, when they were both teenagers.[6][7]

Notable cases[edit]

University of Colorado, Boulder[edit]

Katz and Lisa Banks brought a Title IX claim on behalf of a graduate student at the University of Colorado alleging retaliation. Katz, Marshall & Banks alleged that CU-Boulder violated Title IX by exposing the student to a sexually hostile academic environment and to retaliation by a tenured Professor in the Department after her Title IX claims were validated by the University’s Office of Discrimination and Harassment. The case settled for $850,000 plus various non-monetary provisions, including a public statement from the University Chancellor stating that settling the claims was "the right thing to do."[8]

United States of America ex rel. James Gordon v. ArmorGroup North America, 1:09-cv-01547-RCL [edit]

In July 2011, ArmorGroup North America and its affiliates paid $7.5 million to resolve allegations that AGNA submitted false claims for payment on a State Department contract to provide armed guard services at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The settlement resolves U.S. claims that in 2007 and 2008, AGNA guards violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) by visiting brothels in Kabul, and that AGNA’s management knew about the guards’ activities. The settlement resolves a whistleblower suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under seal by James Gordon against AGNA, ArmorGroup International plc, G4S plc and Wackenhut Services Inc. under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.[9]

Barrett v. Chreky, 634 F.Supp.2d 33 (D.D.C. 2009)[edit]

A jury in the District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Ronnie Barrett $300,000 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages in her sexual harassment and retaliation suit against Andre Chreky and the Andre Chreky Salon, one of the top-rated salons in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chreky was the hairdresser to former First Lady Laura Bush. Barrett was a former hair colorist at the salon.[10]

Blanton v. Biogen Idec, Inc., Case No. 2006-SOX-4, DOL OALJ (April 18, 2006)[edit]

In a whistleblower case brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Katz successfully defeated a motion for a protective order filed by the defendant to prevent the plaintiff from deposing Biogen Idec’s CEO, James Mullen. Mr. Blanton alleged that the Boston-based pharmaceutical fired its chief reimbursement expert in retaliation for complaints about illegal kickbacks to physicians.

Roger Barnes v. Fannie Mae (October 2004)[edit]

The Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed allegations made by Roger Barnes, a former Fannie Mae accounting manager, that the mortgage-finance giant cooked its books and retaliated against him for complaining about it. The SEC further concluded that Fannie Mae manipulated its earnings through "cookie jar" accounting and ordered Fannie Mae to restate its earnings. As a result of Mr. Barnes' disclosures, Fannie Mae's management team, including Fannie Mae’s CEO and other top executives, were removed from their positions. Ultimately, Fannie Mae's restatement of earnings was one of the largest in U.S. history. Additionally, Barnes received a sizable settlement.[11]

Estes v. Georgetown University, 231 F. Supp. 279 (D.D.C. 2002)[edit]

Jury verdict of $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages for claims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.[12]

Sexual harassment cases[edit]

Katz is representing women who allege NPR former news executive Michael Oreskes is guilty of sexual harassment.[13] She is counsel to Irwin Reiter in the Harvey Weinstein scandal.[14]


Katz is vice chair of the board of directors of the Project On Government Oversight.[15] She has contributed articles to Ms. Magazine.[16]

Honors and awards[edit]

Katz is a Fellow at The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a Member of the International Women's Forum, and a Fellow of the American Bar Association.


  1. ^ a b c "Profile". Katz, Marshall & Banks. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  2. ^ Mullins, Luke (June 14, 2018). "Meet DC's Leading #MeToo Lawyer - Attorney Debra Katz is a key advocate in the fight against sexual harassment". Washingtonian.
  3. ^ "Veteran DC Whistleblower Lawyer Says She Reps 'Good Guy' in Weinstein Scandal | National Law Journal". National Law Journal. ALM Media Properties. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ Paquette, Danielle (19 March 2018). "Lawsuit accuses celebrity chef Mike Isabella of 'extraordinary' sexual harassment". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  5. ^ Judkis, Maura; Carman, Tim (7 May 2018). "Mike Isabella settles federal lawsuit with employee who alleged sexual harassment". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct with a woman in a letter that's been passed to the FBI: Report". Newsweek. 13 September 2018.
  7. ^ Brown, Emma (September 16, 2018). "California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  8. ^ "CU-Boulder moves to fire professor accused of retaliating against sexual assault victim". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  9. ^ "Armor Group North America and Its Affiliates Pay $7.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations". US Department of Justice. July 7, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ "D.C. hairstylist Andre Chreky settles harassment lawsuit for $7 million". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  11. ^ Dash, Eric (2004-10-07). "A Whistle-Blower Is Kept in the Wings at the Hearing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  12. ^ "Estes v. Georgetown University, 231 F. Supp. 2d 279 –". CourtListener. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  13. ^ Raphelson, Samantha (November 15, 2017). "Legal Landscape Shifts As More Sexual Harassment Allegations Surface Online". Here & Now. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  14. ^ Barber, C. Ryan (October 12, 2017). "Veteran DC Whistleblower Lawyer Says She Reps 'Good Guy' in Weinstein Scandal". National Law Journal. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  15. ^ "POGO's Board of Directors". Project On Government Oversight. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  16. ^ "Debra Katz, Author at Ms. Magazine Blog". Ms. Magazine Blog. Retrieved 2018-01-12.

External links[edit]