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Overview

Caroline Walters is a principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith Hennigan.  Caroline is a complex-commercial litigator.  Her practice focuses on the defense and prosecution of contract disputes, trade secret disputes, securities fraud, and business torts primarily in the areas of energy, finance, and real estate.

Caroline has broad experience in state and federal court. Her clients include investment funds, energy companies, and major real estate developers.

Prior to joining the firm, Caroline was an associate in the Los Angeles litigation boutique Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman LLP and in the San Francisco office of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Represents Arconic, Inc. in a trade secret dispute with Universal Alloy Corporation.  The case is pending in the Northern District of Georgia and involves allegations that UAC stole trade secrets used to manufacture airplane wing components in order to divert over $200 million in sales from Arconic.  The representation includes defense of antitrust counterclaims.
  • Represents plaintiff senior note purchasers in a case pending in the Central District of California against Warburg Pincus and FTI Consulting alleging securities violations, fraud and negligent misrepresentations relating to the Rural/Metro ambulance company.
  • Represented music producer Quincy Jones against Michael Jackson’s production company, MJJ Productions, Inc., in winning a $9.4 million jury verdict in a breach of contract and royalty dispute in California state court; the case is currently on appeal.
  • Represented San Diego Gas & Electric in a contract dispute with NaturEner relating to a nearly $300 million investment in a Montana wind farm and the purchase of green attributes generated by the wind farm.  The case involved complex energy and investment contracts, and centered on the question of whether the wind farm required eagle take permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  The representation involved pursuit of SDG&E’s case in California state court and the defense of a parallel action filed by NaturEner in Montana state court, which was dismissed by the Montana Supreme Court.  The case ultimately was successfully resolved at the conclusion of discovery.
  • Represented lenders in lawsuits arising out the financial collapse of the Fontainebleau Resort and Casino project in Las Vegas including a lawsuit against Bank of America, as bank agent and disbursement agent, for breach of contract in the Southern District of Florida and the Fontainebleau  directors and officers for fraud and negligent misrepresentation in Nevada state court.  The lawsuits were settled for more than $400 million.  
  • Represented real estate companies and developers, including Thomas Properties Group, Inc. and Robert Maguire, in a connection with various complex, multi-million dollar contract disputes.
  • Represented Wilshire Consulting in cases arising out of alleged advice relating to investments offered by Westridge Capital Management.
  • Represented defendants in an ERISA action relating to the stock purchase of Kelly Moore Paint’s employee stock option plan.

Recognition

Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized as a "Rising Star" in Southern California by Super Lawyers, 2010-2018
  • Caroline is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). The Fellowship is invitation only and comprised of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellows are selected based upon effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and reputation.
  • Recognized as a Top Young Lawyer in Southern California by Los Angles Magazine (July 2010, July 2011, July 2012, July 2013, July 2014, July 2016, July 2017)
  • Recognized by Los Angles Magazine as one of Southern California’s Outstanding Young Women Lawyers (October 2012, September 2014, September 2015), one of Southern California’s Up-And-Coming Women Attorneys (September 2016), and as one of Southern California’s Top Young Women Attorneys (September 2017)
  • Publications editor, Berkeley Business Law Journal

Affiliations

Community & Professional Activities

Caroline devotes a portion of her practice to public interest matters.  Over the years, Caroline has represented low income individuals in various matters including in a prisoner’s rights case and in social security administrative proceedings.  Caroline has also represented the family of innocent Yemeni drone victims in a lawsuit against the Obama administration.  Her pro bono efforts have included providing assistance to domestic violence victims in applying for restraining orders. 

Caroline is a member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Media & Events

Articles

Publications

Education

J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall, 2005

B.A., with highest distinction, Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2002

Court Admissions

  • State of California
  • United States District Court for Central District, Northern District, and Eastern District of California

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
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