Kathryn H. Levering

Partner Philadelphia
kate.levering dbr.com
Phone: (215) 988-2919
Fax: (215) 988-2757

About

Kathryn H. Levering represents clients across a wide spectrum of employment-related issues. She is a seasoned trial lawyer with particular emphasis in employment discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation. She has litigated major cases of considerable complexity in both federal and state courts across the country and successfully defended summary dispositions and defense verdicts in different courts of appeal.

Kate is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group, a former Chair of the Litigation Department and a former Managing Partner of the Firm.

Kate is also a trusted counselor. She counsels clients about a broad range of matters, both individual and systemic, and brings the practiced “eye” of a litigator to advising clients on how to structure management decisions to avoid or prepare for litigation.

Kate is known as a strategic thinker and problem solver. She focuses on the practical and finds solutions that advance her clients’ goals, reflect their culture, and preserve their interests.

Experience

Kate's litigation experience ranges from nationwide class actions to multiple plaintiff and individual plaintiff cases in jurisdictions across the country. She also practices before administrative agencies.

She has litigated cases under federal and state civil rights laws involving age, gender, race, national origin, disability and other discrimination; ERISA claims; retaliation claims under the False Claims Act and other statutes; and wrongful discharge and other common law or statutory actions under federal and state law. She has tried many cases to defense verdict, and, in the great majority of the matters she litigates, has convinced both federal and state courts to grant summary disposition of claims in favor of her clients, avoiding trial.

Kate is also an appellate lawyer. When the results she has obtained for clients are challenged, she has successfully defended them in different courts of appeals across the country.

Kate serves a diverse client base, including Fortune 50 companies, colleges and universities and nonprofit organizations. She has represented clients in many industries including pharma and life sciences, education, retail and financial and other professional services.

She also routinely partners with clients to investigate threatened claims, expose their lack of merit and avoid litigation.

Some highlights:

  • 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.

Kate has guided companies through the difficult process of reducing their work force. She approaches such matters with a litigator's eye, scrutinizing the defensibility of the decision-making and ensuring that clients comply with state and federal requirements. She has handled reductions-in-force, large and small, and some involving a plant shutdown.

Kate has advised clients on the implementation of a wide range of personnel policies aimed at increasing employer effectiveness and decreasing employer exposure to litigation. Her aim is to ensure that clients comply with federal, state and local obligations; provide appropriate guidance to their managers and transparency to their workforce; and, remain ahead of the curve on the changing priorities of government agencies that regulate the workplace.

Kate also conducts training and audits and has devised special programs to meet client needs.

In addition to advising clients on the conduct of internal investigations involving employment-related matters, Kate has acted as an outside investigator. She has done this in both a privileged and non-privileged context and structured the investigation accordingly.

Kate engages with clients to listen to their challenges and provide sound and practical advice. Clients particularly value her counsel when dealing with difficult situations where the next steps are less than clear and the right step is important. She has counseled clients on thorny issues involving high-level executives, performance management of protected class members, the handling of workplace complaints, leaves of absence, requests for accommodation, regulatory inquiries and the full range of employment-related issues.

She also frequently serves as a sounding board for in-house counsel and human resources professionals.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1976
  • Bryn Mawr College, M.A., 1973
  • Wheaton College (MA), B.A., 1972, summa cum laude

Court Admissions

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