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About me

"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 as an expert in sexual harassment and employment law by The New York TimesThe Washington PostTIME 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.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Employment: 50%
    30 years
  2. Wrongful Termination: 20%
    30 years
  3. Contracts: 10%
    30 years
  4. Sexual Harassment: 10%
    30 years
  5. Discrimination: 10%
    30 years


Payment types:

Check, Credit card

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Contact info

Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP

1718 Connecticut Avenue NW
Sixth Floor
Washington, DC, 20009


DCActive 198707/05/2016
NYCurrently registered 198607/10/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2013
Top 100 Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2013
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Lawyer of the Year - Civil Rights Law - Washington, DCBest Lawyers2013
Top 100 Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2012
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2012
Best LawyersBest Lawyers in America2012
Best LawyersBest Lawyers in America2011
Top 100 Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2011
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2011
Top LawyerWashingtonian Magazine2011
Stars of the BarWashingtonian Magazine2011
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2011
Top 100 Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2010
The 3,000 Leading Lawyers in AmericaLawdragon2010
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2010
Best LawyersBest Lawyers in America2010
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2010
Top LawyerWashingtonian Magazine2009
Top 100 Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2009
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2009
Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington, DCSuper Lawyers2009
The 3,000 Leading Lawyers in AmericaLawdragon2009
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2009
Stars of the BarWashingtonian Magazine2009
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2008
The 3,000 Leading Lawyers in AmericaLawdragon2008
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2008
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2007
Top LawyerWashingtonian Magazine2007
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2007
Best LawyerBest Lawyers in America2006
Top LawyerWashingtonian Magazine2005
MemberInternational Women's ForumN/A
American Bar FoundationFellowN/A
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-HubbellN/A
FellowCollege of Labor and Employment LawyersN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerKatz, Marshall & Banks, LLP2006 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Bar AssociationN/AN/A
District of Columbia BarN/AN/A
National Employment Lawyers AssociationN/AN/A
Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers AssociationN/AN/A
The Women's Forum of Washington, D.C.N/AN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Gordon v. ArmorGroup$7.5 million settlement
Barrett v. Andre Chreky Salon$2.3 million verdict
Capitol Tunnel Workers v. Architect of the CapitolOut-of-court settlement
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Law360Summa v. Hofstra – A Cautionary Tale For Employer2013
The National Law JournalAn Important Win for Whistleblowers2013
Law360SEC Must Stop The Latest Effort To Impede Whistleblowers2013
Law36010th Circ. Gives Even More Whistleblower Protection2013
The National Law JournalWelcome Guidelines on Criminal Background Checks2012
Law360Whistleblower Protections Restored: Sylvester V. Paraxel2011
The National Law JournalStop the bias against the jobless2011
National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Insider BlogCommentary: Court to resolve circuit split over petition clause protections for government employees2010
National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Insider BlogCommentary: Court tackles scope of employees’ constitutional right to privacy2010
National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Insider BlogCommmentary: Will justices claw at ‘cat’s paw’ theory of employer liability2010
The National Law JournalIn-house lawyers left in the lurch2010
National Law Journal’s Supreme Court Insider BlogCommentary: Are Oral Complaints to Supervisors Protected Under Wage-and-Hour Law?2010
Employment Law 360How Far Will the High Court Go On 3rd-Party Reprisals?2010
Ms. MagazineSave Your Life, Save Your Livelihood2010
Portfolio Media (Law360)Protecting Workers In A Nuclear Renaissance2009
Legal TimesPlease Protect the Whistle-blowers2009
Ms. MagazineEqual Pay and Beyond2009
Ms. MagazineLess Gain, More Pain2008
The National Law JournalSurprisingly Pro-Worker2008
Ms. MagazineFiring Back2008
Ms. MagazineStall Tactics2008
Legal TimesHalt, In the Name of Public Safety: The Federal Government Must Stop Lashing Out at Whistle-blowers2008
The National Law JournalSarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers: Experts Only, Please2008
The National Law JournalThe Legacy of “Ledbetter”2007
Ms. MagazineThe Right to Complain2007
Ms. MagazineScaling the Maternal Wall2007
Ms. MagazineTeen Harassment and the Foley Scandal2006
The National Law JournalActing Above the Law2006
Ms. MagazineNo More Excuses!2006
The National Law JournalVictories for Workers2006
The National Law Journal"Meritor" at 20: Ills Persist2006
The National Law JournalOnly Two Major Rulings2005
Legal TimesA Surprising Year2004
The National Law JournalThe "Extortion" Factor: Waging the P.R. Battle2004
The National Law JournalEmployment Cases: "Constructive Discharge"2004
The National Law JournalLawyers Who "Tell" Risk All2004
The National Law JournalNo Windfall After All2004
The National Law Journal2003 Supreme Court Employment Law Review: A Pro-Employee Trend2003
The National Law JournalWins for Both Sides2002
The National Law JournalFamily Leave Lives On2001
Legal TimesHiring Minds Want to Know: Increasingly Popular Psychological Testing of Job Applicants May Violate ADA1999
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Wisconsin Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1984
Union CollegeN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1980
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Advanced Employment Law and LitigationWhistleblowing Litigation2013
Advanced Employment Law and LitigationEthical Problems in Employment Litigation2013
Advanced Employment Law and LitigationTitle VII Update, Including Developments in the Area of Sexual, Religious and Racial Harassment2013
NELA Annual ConventionThe Whistleblower Laws You Need to Know2012
Continuing Legal EducationOpening Statement & Closing Arguments2012
Advanced Employment Law and LitigationWhistleblowing and Discrimination Litigation2012
Continuing Legal EducationPart 2: Essential Trial Skills: Opening Statements and Closing Arguments2011
National Employment Lawyers AssociationPut Your Case On A Budget With Early Focus Groups2010
Continuing Legal EducationDealing with Annoying and Sometimes Abusive Discovery Tactics2010
Continuing Legal EducationLitigating Sexual Harassment Cases in Federal and D.C. Courts: Practical and Tactical Advice2010
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law SectionEthics Update: Pre-Litigation EEO Investigations2010
40th Annual Conference on Labor Relations and Employment LawPushing the Envelope: Emerging Plaintiffs’ Theories2010
Fall SeminarSummary Judgment in Retaliation Cases2009