Katherine Marquart is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles office and is the Firm’s Pro Bono Chair. In this role, Ms. Marquart manages and coordinates the Firm’s pro bono efforts globally. She also maintains a substantive practice in many areas of public interest law. Ms. Marquart previously spent seven years as a litigation associate at the Firm, where her practice focused on complex business litigation, transnational litigation, and internal investigations and regulatory inquiries.
Since taking the helm of Gibson Dunn’s pro bono practice in 2013, Ms. Marquart has played an integral role in many of the Firm’s most significant pro bono engagements. In addition to personally representing clients in a variety of litigation matters—including lawsuits focused on civil rights, immigration, and the First Amendment—Ms. Marquart has spearheaded the Firm’s efforts to promote equality and justice in response to some of the most pressing issues of the day. In this role, she liaises with corporate clients and nonprofit community partners to collaborate on pro bono matters, including facilitating and overseeing numerous partnerships in the areas of criminal justice, racial justice and immigration, among other sectors of public interest law.
Recent representative matters include:
- Jones v. City of Los Angeles: Co-lead counsel in Deon Jones v. City of Los Angeles (C.D. Cal.), a historic civil rights victory over an LAPD officer who shot Mr. Jones in the face while he was peacefully protesting in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder. After a 7-day trial, a federal jury determined that the officer had violated Mr. Jones’ Fourth Amendment rights and awarded Mr. Jones $375,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The City of Los Angeles ultimately settled Mr. Jones’ civil rights claims for $860,000.
- Buchanan v. Trump: Representing several individual plaintiffs in litigation challenging the Trump Administration’s use of force to clear peaceful protestors out of Lafayette Square.
- U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California: Successfully represented “Dreamers” in litigation challenging the government’s rescission of the DACA program, resulting in the Supreme Court decision holding that DHS’s decision to terminate DACA is subject to judicial review and violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
- Ramirez-Medina v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Security (9th Cir.): Represented “Dreamer” in appeal challenging the denial of his DACA renewal application and secured a preliminary injunction requiring the government to maintain his DACA status.
- IRAP v. Kelly: Represented Afghani family of five wrongfully detained and separated by Customs and Border Patrol in the wake of the 2017 Travel Ban, leading to the family’s admission as lawful permanent residents of the United States.
- COVID-19 Response: Supervising and coordinating global pro bono efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, including the Firm’s efforts to assist small businesses in navigating PPP/EIDL loans; leasing, contract, and employment issues; and corporate governance and bankruptcy matters. Also spearheading efforts to represent medically at-risk immigrants in detention facilities across the country who are seeking to be released due to the increased risk inherent in the detention facilities during the pandemic.
- Police Reform Task Force: Launched a new Police Reform Task Force, which builds on previous Firm efforts to identify best practices to reform policing and is now reexamining a variety of critical issues, including dismissal policies, police unions, transparency, and excessive militarization of police.
- Family Reunification Efforts: Managed and supervised the Firm’s response to the U.S. family separation crisis, including representation of parents detained in Texas and separated from their children, assisting with a nationwide project to locate the parents of nearly 300 “lost” children, working with formerly separated families seeking asylum, and filing Federal Tort Claims Act claims on behalf of more than 20 formerly separated families seeking damages.
- Travel Ban Response: Spearheaded an effort to deploy Gibson Dunn attorneys to airports around the U.S. to monitor incoming flights, observe the activities of relevant officials and government agencies, and work with legal partners to provide meaningful pro bono assistance to those in need—including working with corporate clients whose employees were directly impacted by the 2017 Travel Ban.
Under Ms. Marquart’s leadership, Gibson Dunn is consistently recognized for its outstanding commitment to pro bono and significant pro bono victories. Among other accolades, the Firm received the 2020 National Legal Aid & Defender Association Beacon of Justice Award, the 2020 Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award, the 2019 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award, the 2018 Who’s Who Legal Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award, the 2018 Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition Impacting Justice Award, the 2017 Public Counsel Law Firm Pro Bono Award, and the 2017 Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network Pro Bono Service Award.
In 2010, Ms. Marquart was honored with Gibson Dunn’s Frank Wheat Award for her pro bono work on behalf of children with autism living in the East Los Angeles area. In that matter, she spearheaded a class action lawsuit that resulted in over 2,000 children diagnosed with autism getting their state-funded treatment programs reinstated on a permanent and ongoing basis, after those services had been wrongfully terminated. Ms. Marquart also received Public Counsel Law Center’s Volunteer of the Year Award in connection with the same case.
Ms. Marquart is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the States of California and New York.