Kathryn H. Levering

Partner

Overview

Kathryn Levering is a strategic thinker with deep experience who partners with employers to contain and defend against individual or class employment discrimination claims. She also provides practical solutions to employment-related challenges that advance her clients’ goals, reflect their culture and preserve their interests. She brings the practiced eye of a trial lawyer to counseling clients on how to structure management decisions to avoid litigation.

Employment Litigation

Kate is a seasoned employment litigator who, over the span of 40 years, has tried many cases to defense verdict and obtained early dismissals and summary judgment for clients in courts across the country. She specializes in employment discrimination litigation, individual or systemic, and has successfully defended summary dispositions (and verdicts) in various federal circuit courts of appeal and defeated petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kate’s experience is broad and varied. She has litigated cases on issues such as:

  • Age, gender, race, national origin and disability discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Retaliation under federal and state civil rights laws
  • Retaliation under the False Claims Act
  • ERISA
  • Wrongful discharge

Employment Counseling

Kate is a trusted adviser to Fortune 100 companies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations and often serves as a sounding board for in-house counsel and senior human resources professionals. Clients particularly value her counsel when dealing with thorny issues involving:

  • C-suite executives
  • Performance management of protected class members
  • Workplace complaints and investigations
  • Complex leave-of-absence and other requests for accommodation
  • Regulatory inquiries
  • Reductions in force

Kate is a long-time leader at the firm who served three terms as an elected managing partner and headed the Litigation Group for more than five years. She is the chief architect of the firm’s first-year associate development program, established in 2009, which has been lauded by clients and colleagues alike, in addition to an article in The New York Times.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary dismissal of a nation-wide ADEA collective action challenging an early retirement plan offered by a Fortune 100 company
  • Obtained summary judgment in a multi-count complaint in the Southern District of Florida and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Eleventh Circuit for a Fortune 50 company
  • Obtained dismissal of retaliation claim under False Claims Act and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Third Circuit in case of first impression on retroactivity of Dodd-Frank amendments to the FCA
  • Obtained dismissal of multi-count complaint in Eastern District of Wisconsin and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Seventh Circuit
  • Obtained summary judgment in multi-count ERISA case and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Third Circuit
  • Obtained summary judgment in multi-count hostile work environment case and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Third Circuit
  • Obtained summary judgment in multi-count disability discrimination case and successfully defended ruling on appeal to Third Circuit
  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of contract worker’s multi-count harassment and discrimination case based on lack of employer status
  • Obtained summary judgment in Northern District of Illinois in single plaintiff race discrimination case
  • Obtained dismissal of class-based claims in gender discrimination case in Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Obtained defense verdict and sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel in discrimination and retaliation case filed in District Court of New Jersey
  • Obtained defense verdict in gender and disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge case in Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Obtained defense verdict and sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel in sexual harassment case filed in Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Obtained defense verdicts in different multi-plaintiff age discrimination case filed in Eastern District of Pennsylvania for different employers involving former employees with at least 25 years’ service
  • Obtained defense verdicts in race-based and gender-based tenure denial cases in Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Convinced California federal court that joinder of non-diverse individual defendant was fraudulent, preserving federal court jurisdiction

Credentials

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

University of Pennsylvania Law School
J.D. (1976)

Bryn Mawr College
M.A. (1973)

Wheaton College (MA)
B.A. summa cum laude (1972)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Firm Leadership

Kate held various leadership roles at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, including serving as chair of the Litigation Practice, Managing Partner and Hiring Partner, as well as a founding member of the Associates Committee and a member of the Allocations Committee.

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