“My father says that I was born arguing about fairness and social justice issues, and that attending law school was just a formality.
I am deeply committed to protecting the rights of individuals who have been victimized by discrimination, sexual harassment or have been mistreated because they have done the right thing — whether it be reporting issues affecting the public health and safety or objecting to illegal business practices. These individuals deserve tough, tenacious, and principled advocates. I work hard every day to be just that.”
Recognized as "Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year" for Washington, D.C. by Best Lawyers in America for 2013, as one of the “toughest” employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian magazine, and recognized as an expert in sexual harassment and employment law by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME magazine and others, Debra S. Katz has been successfully litigating employment discrimination, civil rights, and whistleblower protection cases for over 25 years.
Ms. Katz is a founding partner of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP, where she concentrates her practice on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Sarbanes-Oxley, corporate, environmental and other whistleblower claims, and contractual employment disputes. She has developed extensive litigation experience in federal and local courts and has achieved significant courtroom successes in a number of high-profile cases. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Katz has successfully represented dozens of whistleblowers in the nuclear, financial, pharmaceutical and medical-device industries, as well as cases alleging fraud in government contracts, including, most recently at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Washingtonian Magazine selected Ms. Katz for its “Best Attorneys” list from 2004 to 2012, additionally naming her one of the magazine’s top 30 “Stars of the Bar” in its biennial listings in 2009 and 2011. She was selected for inclusion in the 2006-2013 editions of “The Best Lawyers In America,” and rated by Martindale-Hubbell as “AV Preeminent,” its highest possible peer review rating.
Ms. Katz was named by Super Lawyers as a leading Washington, D.C. lawyer in 2007-2013, and was also recognized by Super Lawyers as a top 100 lawyer in Washington, D.C. and top 50 female lawyer in Washington, D.C. from 2009-2013. She was additionally featured in Super Lawyer’s 2009 edition as one of the top four whistleblower attorneys in Washington, D.C., and profiled as a pioneering whistleblower attorney in the 2009 Super Lawyer’s article, “Protecting the Insider.”
In 2007, Human Resource Executive magazine named Ms. Katz one of the nation’s “Top 10 Plaintiffs’ Attorneys to Fear the Most.” She was selected for membership in the Lawdragon “500 Leading Trial Lawyers in America” in March 2006, and from September 2006 through 2010, Lawdragon named her to its list of “The 3,000 Leading Lawyers in America.” In January 2008 through 2011, Lawdragon named Ms. Katz as a finalist on its list of “The 500 Leading Lawyers in America.”
Ms. Katz is a contributing writer for Ms. Magazine, where she writes about legal issues of importance to women. Ms. Katz is also co-chair of ALI-ABA’s Employment Law programs and was appointed to the editorial board of Employment Law360.
Ms. Katz received her Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Union College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as a member of the Wisconsin Law Review and as Articles Editor of the Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal. Following law school, Ms. Katz clerked for the Hon. William Bablitch on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and received the prestigious Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Katz is a member of the District of Columbia and New York Bar Associations, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the bars of several federal courts of appeals.