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Gretchen Freeman Cappio

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in Seattle, WA

Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-428-0616
Fax: 206-623-3384
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2021
Selected to Rising Stars: 2002, 2009 - 2012
Licensed in Washington Since: 1999
Practice Areas: Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (40%), Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (30%), Consumer Law (20%), Environmental Litigation (10%)
Attorney Profile

Gretchen Freeman Cappio advocates for her clients in well-known data privacy and consumer protection lawsuits.

Gretchen’s passion lies in achieving meaningful change through litigation. Gretchen ably coordinates and persuades diverse groups of individuals to reach a common goal, and true to her southern roots, she never loses sight of courtesy and a sense of humor. Guided in litigation by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1, she uses her negotiation skills to achieve strong outcomes, and her creative pragmatism ensures that class members receive real benefits following successful litigation.

Gretchen has played a key role in many of Keller Rohrback’s privacy and consumer protection cases like Corona v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., No. 14-9600 (C.D. Cal.), where she worked with data security experts to fashion a multi-million-dollar settlement to provide important injunctive and monetary relief. Gretchen’s long-standing commitment to data security is exemplified by her early leadership in Krottner v. Starbucks, 628 F.3d 1139 (9th Cir. 2010), a major early victory for plaintiffs. As Class Counsel 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 in sessions mediated by The Hon. Layn Phillips (ret.).

In the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” case, Judge Breyer appointed Special Master Robert S. Mueller to supervise rapid-fire negotiations for which Gretchen served on the Plaintiffs’ Settlement Team, 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 which Ken Feinberg was appointed Special Master. 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 in Francis et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 19-cv-11044 (E.D. Mich.), a class action concerning defective vehicle transmissions.

Gretchen’s advocacy also 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. Her colleagues at Keller Rohrback recognized these skills by electing her to the firm’s six-member Executive Committee, the third woman elected in the firm’s 100-plus year history. In 2021, she was elected Board Chair of the Global Justice Center, a nonprofit promoting gender equality worldwide. Gretchen is 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.

About Gretchen Freeman Cappio

First Admitted: 1999, Washington

Professional Webpage: http://www.krcomplexlit.com/attorney/gretchen-freeman-cappio...

Educational Background

  • Dartmouth College – B.A., magna cum laude, 1995Religion, Environmental Studies Certificate, Phi Beta KappaForeign Studies – 1992 Germany; 1994 Kenya, 1995

Bar/Professional Activity

  • 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

Pro bono/Community Service

Other Outstanding Achievements

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • 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

Verdicts/Settlements

  • 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

Honors/Awards

  • 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
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Office Location for Gretchen Freeman Cappio

1201 Third Avenue
Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98101

Last Updated: 4/15/2021

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