Katherine A. Petti is a Partner with Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien LLP.
Katherine focuses on complex civil litigation, especially in the area of media law, including the defense of two national television news organizations in two of the most significant defamation cases to advance to trial in the last decade. She has also worked in the areas of employment defense, products liability, trade secrets litigation, securities matters, FDCPA law, and government contracts. She has practiced in the trial and appellate levels of state and federal courts, as well as in domestic and international arbitration proceedings.
Katherine has significant state and federal experience in all aspects of litigation and arbitration, from motions to dismiss, to fact development, through the trial stage of litigation (including a multi-billion-dollar jury trial and multi-billion-dollar patent arbitration), and finally, to the appellate level and cert-stage and merits stage of the Supreme Court.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Katherine graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Following graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Judge Raymond Kethledge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She started her work in private practice at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C.
Katherine was selected to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women of Influence: Attorneys” issue in 2022 and named to the Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list by Super Lawyers from 2018 through 2020, and to the California “Rising Stars” list by Super Lawyers in 2023. For her work at the Supreme Court, Katherine was part of the team named “Legal Lions” by Law360 after a win at the Supreme Court in Midland Funding v. Johnson.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Katherine’s experience includes:
- Successful defense of national media organization and against defamation claim for more than a billion dollars at the motion for summary judgment stage, which was then affirmed on appeal
- Successful defense of national media organization and its on-air talent against $250 million defamation claim, securing a victory both at the MTD stage and preserving that victory on appeal
- Defense of national media organization and national television network in various defamation and related claims
- Defense of national television news organization in defamation and product disparagement lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion
- Defense of a major pharmaceutical corporation in a securities class action
- Representation of Midland Funding in a case regarding the FDCPA and Bankruptcy Code, in the Supreme Court in OT 2016 (Midland Funding v. Johnson)
- Selected to California “Rising Stars” list, Super Lawyers, 2023
- Selected to the Los Angeles Business Journal‘s “Women of Influence: Attorneys” special issue for 2022
- Selected to Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list, Super Lawyers, 2018-2020, Trial & Appellate Practice
- Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2013
Senior Executive Editor, Harvard Business Law Review; President, Harvard Association for Law and Business
- Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 2010
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin