Gretchen is a partner in Keller Rohrback’s nationally recognized Complex Litigation Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She has 20 years of litigation experience at Keller Rohrback, and a track record of success in class action and multidistrict litigation (“MDLs”).
From skyrocketing drug prices to large consumer frauds, Gretchen’s cases frequently make the headlines. In her position on the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” leadership team, Gretchen helped obtain an initial settlement of $10.03 billion in October 2016, followed by an additional class settlement of up to $4.1 billion in May 2017. Gretchen also brought her extensive experience to the Plaintiffs’ litigation and settlement teams for the Fiat-Chrysler “EcoDiesel” litigation. Through every stage of the Volkswagen and Fiat-Chrysler cases, Gretchen worked closely with Lynn Sarko, Keller Rohrback’s Managing Partner and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees. In the Wells Fargo Unauthorized Accounts Scandal, Gretchen and her Keller Rohrback colleagues effectively achieved a $142 million settlement, including first-of-its-kind credit injury damages. Most recently, Gretchen was appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committees for a transmission-related case against General Motors and a defective airbag sensor case against ZF-TRW, FCA US, Kia, and Hyundai.
Gretchen knows that money can’t solve every problem; sometimes it’s an order from the court addressing the problem that provides the most valuable form of relief to her clients. She brings a creative, solution-oriented approach and an eye for detail to each case. Clients and colleagues alike rely on Gretchen to provide her honest and trustworthy opinion as they navigate a wide array of complex issues.
In addition to her cases, the legal community looks to Gretchen as a leader on complex civil litigation and settlement strategy—topics about which she frequently speaks. Some recent speaking engagements include Colorado Municipal League’s Seminar on Municipal Law (“Opioid Litigation and the Negotiation Class”) and the Law Seminars International Conference on Litigating Class Actions (“Settlement Strategies”).
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, “From Takeoff to Landing: Litigating the MDL,” February 14, 2020.
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
AV®, Peer Review Top-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
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