Law Star Karen Dunn – Multifaceted Legal Career Sees Her From House of Cards to White House And More

Law Star Karen Dunn - Multifaceted Legal Career Sees Her From House of Cards to White House And More 2

Paul Weiss partner Karen Dunn is widely regarded as one of America’s top trial lawyers, having acted for some of the world’s largest companies across a range of complex and difficult trials.

But – perhaps more significant – she has had a relatively short career with a hugely impressive variety of legal and legally-related roles working with the most powerful people in America.


Named ‘Litigator of the Year’ by American Lawyer she has a raft of awards and nominations for her trial abilities, as well as her work handling crises from government and congressional inquiries and media investigations that see her placed as a uniquely experienced and effective crisis manager.


Chambers and Partners have named her as one of the ‘best lawyers on the planet’ and the accolades for her work continue as she works across multiple complex cases and briefs with unique ability.

  • Born – New Jersey, 1976
  • Education – Yale Law School
  • Law Firms – Boies Schiller & Flexner 2013; Paul Weiss Rifkind
  • Awards – American Lawyer ‘Litigator of the Year’; ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in General Commercial Litigation and in the “Spotlight Table” for Crisis Management. Named “Litigator of the Week” four times, ; one of the National Law Journal’s “Outstanding Women Lawyers”; one of Elle Magazine’s “Most Compelling Women in Washington Now”; and one of Benchmark Litigation’s “Top-10 Women in Litigation”, “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” and “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” Additionally she has been recognized by Law 360 as both a “Trials MVP” and a “Technology MVP.”

Major Cases – 


Karen Dunn has successfully led many complex and significant cases and crisis management issues in recent times, including Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc., the trade secrets “battle royale,” which settled favorably for Uber shortly after her examination at trial of former CEO Travis Kalanick; Malden Transportation, Inc. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., where she won in a $750 million dispute after being brought in to lead the trial team just six weeks before trial; Zehn-NY LLC v. The City of New York, representing Uber in its challenge to New York City’s so-called “cruising cap,” which was struck down as arbitrary and capricious.

In Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., she represented Apple in the challenge to the App Store by the makers of Fortnite, which ended in victory for Apple following a three-week trial; Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Incorporated, where she secured a $4 billion summary judgment win for Apple in the lead-up to trial; the Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, a billion-dollar class action, which ended in a complete defense jury verdict; Amazon in the recent testimony before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary; Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc., a copyright infringement and computer fraud dispute, winning a jury verdict of $50 million, later increased to $124 million;

In Monster, LLC v. Beats Electronics, LLC, winning summary judgment for Beats on the eve of trial; and Sines v. Kessler, a lawsuit brought under the Ku Klux Klan Act against the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

Personal & Professional Life –

 Supreme Court to the White House 


Karen Dunn has been a lawyer who has managed to compress a great deal into her professional life.  Prior to joining Paul Weiss she had worked in just about every branch of government, ranging from the Senate (as communications director for Hillary Clinton), as a Supreme Court clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer and as associate counsel to President Barack Obama.

Married with three children, she lives in Washington DC. She married Brian Netter, a fellow Yale graduate in 2009. Netter was a partner at Mayer Brown for seven years before leaving in 2021 to become deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice branch handling federal agencies in civil litigation in U.S. district court.

Law Star Karen Dunn - Multifaceted Legal Career Sees Her From House of Cards to White House And More 3Netter was a successful litigator with Mayer Brown, including his winning a pro bono case together with Dunn in 2016, freeing Washington District’s budget from federal control after contesting the  2012 Budget Autonomy Act. (Pictured, left)

She had also worked with Obama prepping him for his debates and had assisted Justice Sonia Sotomayer with her confirmation hearings, served as an assistant US attorney and in her multifaceted career even assisted as an adviser in the hit series House of Cards.

So far as her ongoing crisis management work is concerned, she was blooded during 9/11, telling Elle magazine Dunn saying she was watching Clinton in the days after 9/11: “It was the most impressive show of leadership I ever saw.”

Unquestionably one of the country’s leading lawyers she is also an inspirational figure for many female lawyers and litigators and others generally who can see the richness of experience gained through a variety of legal roles across the spectrum.

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