Gretchen Freeman Cappio
Top rated civil litigation attorney in Seattle, WashingtonKeller Rohrback L.L.P.
Gretchen Freeman Cappio leverages the power of litigation to make people’s lives better.
With a passion for strategic advocacy that achieves meaningful change, Gretchen represents clients in many well-known consumer protection, public health, environmental, and data privacy cases. Remaining true to her southern roots, she brings civility and a sense of humor to her practice. Gretchen’s colleagues at Keller Rohrback recognize her skill and natural ability to lead, electing her to the firm’s six-member Executive Committee—the third woman elected in the firm’s 100-plus-year history.
Gretchen has played a key role in many of Keller Rohrback’s consumer protection and automotive cases, among others. In the multibillion-dollar Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” case, Gretchen served on the Plaintiffs’ Settlement Team. During the rapid-fire negotiations, she drafted settlement documents and supervised notice in three separate, complex settlements. She also served as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Settlement Team for In re Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep EcoDiesel, MDL 2777 (N.D. Cal.). In Jabbari v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 15-2159 (N.D. Cal.), where employees unlawfully took customers’ data to set up unauthorized accounts, Keller Rohrback served as sole plaintiffs’ counsel. Gretchen helped negotiate an innovative $142 million settlement.
Courts across the country have recognized Gretchen’s leadership abilities. Recently, she was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in In re: ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2905 (C.D. Cal.), a complex case against several auto manufacturers and parts suppliers regarding defective airbags, and Won et al. v. General Motors, LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-11044 (E.D. Mich.), a class action concerning defective vehicle transmissions. Judge Childs also just appointed Gretchen Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: Blackbaud, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL 2972 (D.S.C.), in which plaintiffs seek to hold Blackbaud accountable for failing to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices to protect individuals’ and businesses’ private information against unauthorized access by third parties.
Gretchen’s advocacy extends to government clients in major public health cases. As part of the Keller Rohrback team working to hold opioid defendants accountable in the Opioid MDL, Gretchen serves as the lead client contact for the fourth largest county in the country, and was a chief negotiator of the One Arizona Memorandum of Understanding to allocate millions in opioid settlement funds, signed by the state, all counties, and nearly all of the 90 cities and towns in Arizona. Similarly, in In re: EpiPen, MDL 2785 (D. Kan.), in which Keller Rohrback’s Managing Partner Lynn Sarko is Co-Lead Counsel, Gretchen leads the firm’s contributions to the coordination of counsel, including directing PSC meetings, briefing and discovery, resulting in the certification of a nationwide RICO class.
Gretchen’s leadership and devotion to justice drive her legal work and personal time. In 2021, Gretchen was elected Board Chair of the Global Justice Center, a nonprofit promoting gender equality worldwide. She is also a founding board member of the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMA), an organization supporting mothers in the legal profession, now with nine chapters across the United States.
Practice areasCivil litigation: plaintiff, Class action/mass torts: plaintiff, Consumer law, Environmental litigation
First Admitted: 1999, Washington
Professional Webpage: http://www.krcomplexlit.com/attorney/gretchen-freeman-cappio...
- Dartmouth College – B.A., magna cum laude, 1995Religion, Environmental Studies Certificate, Phi Beta KappaForeign Studies – 1992 Germany; 1994 Kenya, 1995
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
- Michigan, 2020
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2011
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2011
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2009
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2000
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2008
- Washington, 1999
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 2015
- Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims at Emory University School of LawEmerging Leaders Board of Advisors, Inaugural MemberClass Action Roundtable, Reporter, 2017
- Practising Law Institute 22nd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, 2017
- Presenter, National Consumer Law Center NCLC Consumer Class Action Symposium, Effectively Persuading Your Judge, November 18, 2017
- Presenter, HarrisMartin MDL Conference, Opioid, Equifax & Talcum Powder, Equifax Data Breach: What Happened? Who Was Impacted? What Are the Damages?, November 29, 2017
- Presenter, HarrisMartin, Causation and Science HarrisMartin’s Plaintiff Opioid MDL Conference, January 8, 2018
- Presenter, Law Seminars International 14th Annual Litigation Conference, Consumer Protection and the Opioid Crisis; Opioids as a case study of the interplay between government regulatory activity and consumer protection class actions, May 10, www.lawseminars.com/seminars/2018/18CLASSWA.php, 2018
- Presenter, Law Seminars International 14th Annual Litigation Conference, Corporate Fraud Against Consumers; Lessons from Diesel Gate, Wells Fargo fake accounts, Apple battery degradation, and other cases involving purposeful misconduct, May 10, www.lawseminars.com/seminars/2018/18CLASSWA.php, 2018
- Presenter, Law Seminars International 14th Annual Litigation Conference, Settlement Strategies for Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation; Best practices for designing a settlement that the courts will approve; when not in court, adapting stragies for madimum success in ADR; tips for more effectively administering settlements once approved, May 11, www.lawseminars.com/seminars/2018/18CLASSWA.php, 2018
- Presenter, ABA Section of Litigation, Discovery and Ethical "Rules of the Road" for Working with Expert Witnesses, July 19, https://form.jotform.us/81426608125151, 2019
- Practising Law Institute 22nd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, Presenter, 2016
- Panelist, Settlement Strategies for Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation Law Seminars International 13th Annual Conference on Litigating, April 28, www.lawseminars.com/seminars/2017/17CLASSWA.php, 2017
- HarrisMarting Pharmaceutical and Environmental Mass Tort Litigation Class Action and Data Breach Litigation, March 30, Panelist, https://harrismartin.com/conference/agenda/896/, HarrisMartin, 2016
- Data Security & Privacy Issues Practising Law Institute Consumer Financial Services Institute , Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, 2016
- VW Diesel Emissions Litigation: A Case Study of the Interplay Between Government Regulatory Activity and Consumer Fraud Class Actions Law Seminars International, May 6 , Panelist, Law Seminars International, 2016
- Current State of the Law on Ascertainability and Standing Bridgeport Consumer Class Action Litigation Conference, January , Panelist, 2016
- Dissecting the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins American Association for Justice webinar, May 26 , Panelist, https://www.justice.org/CLE, American Association for Justice, 2016
- Settlements in Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation HarrisMartin MDL Conference, July 27, Panelist, HarrisMartin MDL Conference, 2016
- The Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims EmoryLaw NextGen Conference and EmoryLaw Federal Juducial Center and JPML Program, December 14 - 16, Panelist, law.emory.edu/faculty-and-scholarship/centers/institute-for-complex-litigation-and-mass-claims.html, Emory Law, 2016
- Gretchen was a key member of the Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account class action litigation and settlement team that achieved an $142 million settlement on behalf of class members who had accounts opened by Wells Fargo. The settlement has achieved preliminary approval in the Northern District of California, 2017
- Gretchen served on behalf of the class on the Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche "Clean" Diesel Class Action settlement team that secured a record-breaking approximately $16 billion settlement on behalf of owners and lessees of affected vehicles, 2016
- Participate in and record meetings with judges and fellow attorneys to discuss best practices in managing Complex Litigation and Mass Claims., Class Action Roundtable Reporter, Emory School of Law Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims, 2017
- Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2022
- Rising Stars: 2002, 2009 - 2012