Gretchen Freeman Cappio is a fierce advocate for her clients.
As a partner in Keller Rohrback’s nationally recognized Complex Litigation Group, Gretchen has a track record of success in class action and multidistrict litigation (“MDLs”). Whether the case involves environmental disasters, skyrocketing drug prices, or corporate malfeasance, Gretchen approaches each case with passion and determination. It’s one of the many reasons physicians, professors, parents, environmentalists, and other attorneys call on Gretchen when they require representation in the face of long odds. Her clients benefit from her extensive experience, knowledge, and energy, a winning combination that achieves meaningful results.
Gretchen has played a key role on the leadership team representing consumers in the multi-billion dollar litigation In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, & Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL 2672 (N.D. Cal.). Gretchen is also a member of the Plaintiffs’ litigation and settlement teams in another impactful diesel emissions MDL, In re Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep EcoDiesel Mktg., Sales Practices, & Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL 2777 (N.D. Cal.).
Gretchen and her Keller Rohrback colleagues filed the first class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo for its unauthorized accounts scandal. From filing the complaint to negotiating the pending $142 million settlement, Gretchen has played an integral role at every stage of litigation.
When a paper products company vacated a Midwestern town and left an environmental disaster in its wake, Gretchen represented the community. The mayor praised Gretchen and her team’s work, stating, “You were knowledgeable, responsive and genuinely cared about the Village’s case.” Gretchen applies these same attributes when addressing the opioid crisis. She is a leading member of the Keller Rohrback team that has been hired by numerous governments to hold drug manufacturers accountable for one of the most urgent human-made epidemics in our country’s history.
Among Gretchen’s all-time favorite pieces of mail is a photograph of a client from a baby products case with her young son holding a homemade sign that says, “Thank you Mrs. Cappio.”
Bar and Court Admissions
2000, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
2008, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
2009, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
2009, U.S. Supreme Court
2011, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
2011, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
2015, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Dartmouth College – B.A., magna cum laude, 1995
Religion, Environmental Studies Certificate, Phi Beta Kappa
Foreign Studies – 1992 Germany; 1994 Kenya
University of Washington School of Law – J.D., 1999
Executive Comments Editor, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, 1998-1999
Articles & Presentations
Guest Lecturer, Stanford Law School, Multidistrict Litigation, February 22, 2019.
Presenter, ABA Section of Litigation, Discovery and Ethical “Rules of the Road” for Working with Expert Witnesses, July 19, 2018.
Presenter, Bristol Myers Squibb Panel, UC-Irvine, UC-Berkeley, & Emory University Schools of Law First Joint Coordination Conference at Berkeley, June 5, 2018.
Law Seminars International Presents:The 14th Annual Conference On Litigating Class Actions, May 10-11, 2018.
Presenter, Consumer Protection and the Opioid Crisis.
Presenter, Corporate Fraud Against Consumers.
Presenter, Settlement Strategies for Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation.
Presenter, HarrisMartin’s Plaintiff Opioid MDL Conference, “Causation and Science,” January 8, 2018.
Presenter, HarrisMartin MDL Conference, “Opioid, Equifax & Talcum Powder, Equifax Data Breach: What Happened? Who Was Impacted? What Are the Damages?,” November 29, 2017.
Presenter, National Consumer Law Center, “Effectively Persuading Your Judge,” NCLC Consumer Class Action Symposium, November 18, 2017.
Presenter, Practising Law Institute 22nd Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute 2017.
Panelist, Law Seminars International – 13th Annual Conference on Litigating: Settlement Strategies for Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation, April 28, 2017.
Panelist, EmoryLaw NextGen Conference and EmoryLaw Fed. Judicial Ctr. and JPML Program, December 14-16, 2016.
Panelist, HarrisMartin’s MDL Conference, Settlements in Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation, July 27, 2016.
Panelist, American Association for Justice webinar, Dissecting the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, May 26, 2016.
Panelist, Law Seminars International – VW Diesel Emissions Litigation: A Case Study of the Interplay Between Government Regulatory Activity and Consumer Fraud Class Actions, May 6, 2016.
Presenter, Practising Law Institute Consumer Financial Services Institute 2016: Data Security & Privacy Issues, May 12, 2016.
Panelist, HarrisMartin Pharmaceutical and Environmental Mass Tort Litigation, Class Action and Data Breach Litigation, March 30, 2016.
Panelist, Bridgeport Consumer Class Action Litigation Conference, “Current State of the Law on Ascertainability and Standing,” January 2016
Panelist, HarrisMartin MDL Conference Volkswagen and Pharmaceutical Update: RICO and Additional Defendants, December 2, 2015
Panelist, Bridgeport Volkswagen Class Action & MDL Seminar – Diesel Emissions Scandal, November 23, 2015
Panelist, HarrisMartin Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Litigation Conference: RICO and Additional Defendants, October 27, 2015.
Panelist, Law Seminars International, The Eleventh Annual Comprehensive Conference on Class Actions: “Data Breaches: Cases at the Intersection of Class Actions and Internet Technology,” June 4, 2015.
Panelist, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Meeting 17th Annual Spring Conference – Solutions in Seattle: A View From the Trenches: What’s Working and What’s Not Working with Mediators, April 16, 2015.
Presenter, HarrisMartin Data Breach Litigation Conference: Coming of Age: The Differences between Employee and Consumer Cases, March 25, 2015.
Presenter, Practising Law Institute, Managing Complex Litigation 2014: Class Actions; Mass Torts & MDL., October 21, 2014.
Presenter, Class Action Conference: Recent Settlement Trends in Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation: A Detailed Look at the Process for Settling and Administering Settlements: How case law in the past several years is playing out in the courts and in ADR; best practices for designing a settlement that the courts will approve; how to administer the settlement once it is approved, June 13, 2014.
Presenter, Harris Martin’s MDL Conference: Target Data Security Breach Litigation: Recent Development, Issues in Data Breach Litigation, March 26, 2014.
Presenter, Law Seminars International, Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation Seminar: Post-Certification Motion Issues in Class Actions, May 14, 2013.
Panelist, Chartis Security & Privacy Seminar, October 20, 2011.
Presenter, 20th Annual American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Spring CLE Meeting: Toxic Torts: Toxins In Everyday Products, April 1, 2011.
Gretchen Freeman Cappio, Erosion of Indigenous Right to Negotiate in Australia, 7 Pac. Rim L. & Pol’y J. 405 (1998).
Honors & Awards
Selected to Rising Stars list in Super Lawyers – Washington, 2002, 2009-2012.
Professional and Civic Involvement
Emerging Leaders Board of Advisors, Inaugural Member
Class Action Roundtable, Reporter
Global Justice Center, Board Member
The Global Justice Center works worldwide and domestically with women’s rights advocates, grassroots groups, and policymakers to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
King County Bar Association, Member
Washington State Bar Association, Member
American Bar Association, Member
Washington Women Lawyers, Member
American Association for Justice, Member
The National Trial Lawyers, Member
Mother Attorney Mentoring Association (MAMAS), Member; Founding Board Member, 2006-2008