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Karin A. DeMasi

Partner, Litigation

Karin A. DeMasi is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department and serves as the Department’s Managing Partner.

Her practice focuses on complex litigation, including class actions, in federal and state courts, primarily in the areas of securities, derivative, ERISA, antitrust and general commercial disputes. Ms. DeMasi also represents companies, boards of directors and individuals in connection with SEC and other government inquiries, and shareholder demands.

Although many of her cases have been successfully resolved for her clients on pre‑trial motions, Ms. DeMasi’s experience also includes several bench and jury trials, as well as domestic and international arbitrations. She has represented a wide range of clients, including Avon Products, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., Credit Suisse, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., First Solar, Inc., HBO, IBM, Juno Therapeutics, Inc., McKinsey & Co., Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley, Warner Bros., The Weinstein Company and Xerox.

Ms. DeMasi has been recognized by Lawdragon as one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” (2017, 2018, 2019), Chambers USA for her work in securities litigation (2019) and The Legal 500 United States for her work in antitrust (2019), media and entertainment (2017, 2018, 2019) and securities litigation (2015‑2019). She has also been recognized for her litigation work by Benchmark Litigation (2016-2019), including as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” and as a “Local Litigation Star” in general commercial and securities litigation.

Representative matters include:

  • Representing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. (Florida Blue), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc. in two consolidated multidistrict antitrust class action litigations in Alabama federal court alleging violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
  • Representing Florida Blue in antitrust litigation filed in Florida federal court alleging that Florida Blue’s exclusive agency relationships violate the Sherman Act and related state laws.
  • Representing First Solar, Inc. in a securities class action in Arizona federal court and related derivative actions alleging that First Solar and several of its officers and executives misrepresented the company’s financial state, concealed material facts regarding defective solar modules and committed accounting violations, all to inflate First Solar’s stock price.
  • Representing GreenSky, Inc. and its officers and directors in putative class action securities litigation in New York federal and state courts alleging disclosure deficiencies in connection with GreenSky’s May 2018 initial public offering.
  • Representing Avon Products, Inc. and certain of its officers in connection with putative securities fraud class action litigation in New York federal court relating to alleged false and misleading statements regarding the company’s business in Brazil.
  • Represented DRIT LP, an investment vehicle of DRI Capital, in a patent licensing dispute against Glaxo Group Limited and Human Genome Sciences, Inc. over the lupus drug Benlysta®. In September 2018, a Delaware jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of DRIT.
  • Represented Juno Therapeutics, Inc., and certain of its executives, in a securities class action suit in Washington federal court alleging that defendants failed to disclose side effects associated with an immunotherapy drug, resulting in a stock price drop when the clinical trial was halted. The parties reached a settlement, which was approved by the court in November 2018.
  • Represented DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. in a consolidated class action securities lawsuit in California federal court alleging that the company misrepresented its financial performance with respect to the 2013 animated film Turbo. Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint was granted in April 2015, and the dismissal was affirmed on appeal in February 2017. Ms. DeMasi successfully argued the appeal before the Ninth Circuit on behalf of her client.
  • Represented Merck & Co., Inc. in a consolidated, multidistrict shareholder fraud class action arising out of alleged misrepresentations and omissions relating to Merck’s sale of the pain medication Vioxx®, which settled in 2016 on the eve of trial. Ms. DeMasi also represented Merck in related shareholder derivative actions in federal and state court that settled in 2010 and in related ERISA litigation that settled in 2011.
  • Represented Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Line Cinema in connection with a dispute with Miramax and the Weinstein brothers related to participation in the proceeds from the second and third motion pictures based upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit.
  • Represented The Weinstein Company (“TWC”) in numerous matters including as debtors counsel in connection with TWC’s bankruptcy and the sale of TWC’s assets to Lantern Asset Management.
  • Represented Tetragon Financial Group Ltd. (“TFG”) in a shareholder derivative action brought by an investor relating to certain TFG transactions. The case was dismissed on a motion to dismiss. Ms. DeMasi also represented TFG in a putative shareholder derivative action that was dismissed with prejudice in February 2012.
  • Represented McKinsey & Co., Inc. in a contract dispute brought by a former consultant. The case was dismissed with prejudice on a motion to dismiss.
  • Represented DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., and its directors in both a consolidated securities class action in California federal court, which the court dismissed with prejudice, and in related shareholder derivative litigation in the Superior Court of California, which the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed, all relating to alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding sales of the company’s Shrek 2 DVD. Ms. DeMasi also represented DreamWorks Animation in connection with a related SEC investigation, which the SEC terminated without taking action.
  • Represented an underwriting syndicate led by Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in a securities class action alleging misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the initial public offering of Anchor Glass Container Corporation. The court dismissed all claims against Ms. DeMasi’s clients.
  • Represented the Estate of John T. Walton, and other defendants, against allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with a certain shareholder meeting and vote. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their complaint with prejudice with respect to these defendants.
  • Represented Tyco International Ltd. in a consolidated, multidistrict shareholder fraud class action, and related individual securities actions, pertaining to alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding the company’s accounting practices and certain of the company’s industries.
  • Represented Credit Suisse in a consolidated, multidistrict class action litigation, and related individual securities, ERISA, RICO, and bankruptcy proceedings, relating to alleged fraudulent conduct in connection with the collapse of Enron Corporation. While many other defendants in the action paid multibillion‑dollar settlements, the class action against Credit Suisse was ultimately dismissed.

Ms. DeMasi was elected in 2013 to serve as a member of The American Law Institute. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association. She is the author of several articles, and has spoken on several panels relating to securities and class action litigation.

Ms. DeMasi devotes a significant portion of her practice to pro bono service. She was counsel for respondents, a proposed class of University of Michigan students and faculty, in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et al., a case addressing the constitutionality of a proposed state ban on race‑conscious admissions that was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2013. In addition to her active pro bono litigation, Ms. DeMasi is one of the lead partners for Cravath’s relationship with Montefiore Children’s Hospital and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, through which the Firm represents children who need legal services related to their medical care.

Ms. DeMasi was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in Burlington, Vermont. She received a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1993, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where she was Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. After a clerkship with Hon. D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, she joined Cravath in 1997 and became a partner in 2005. Ms. DeMasi has served as the Managing Partner of the Litigation Department since September 2016. From 2014 to 2016, she served as the Hiring Partner for the Firm’s Litigation Department.

Ms. DeMasi may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1059 or by email at kdemasi@cravath.com.

Ms. DeMasi is admitted only in New York.

Contact
+1 (212) 474-1059
+1 (212) 474-3700