KARA M. WOLKE is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Ms. Wolke specializes in complex litigation, including the prosecution of securities fraud, derivative, consumer, and wage and hour class actions. She also has extensive experience in appellate advocacy in both State and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.
With over fifteen years of experience in financial class action litigation, Ms. Wolke has helped to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for injured investors, consumers, and employees. Notable cases include: Christine Asia Co. Ltd., et al. v. Jack Yun Ma, et al., Case No. 15-md-02631 (S.D.N.Y.) ($250 million securities class action settlement); Farmington Hills Employees’ Retirement System v. Wells Fargo Bank, Case No. 10-4372 (D. Minn.) ($62.5 million settlement on behalf of participants in Wells Fargo’s securities lending program. The settlement was reached on the eve of trial and ranked among the largest recoveries achieved in a securities lending class action stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.); Shah v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., Case No. 16-cv-00815 (N.D. Inc.) ($50 million securities class action settlement); Schleicher, et al. v. Wendt, et al. (Conseco), Case No. 02-cv-1332 (S.D. Ind.) ($41.5 million securities class action settlement); Lapin v. Goldman Sachs, Case No. 03-850 (S.D.N.Y.) ($29 million securities class action settlement); In Re: Mannkind Corporation Securities Litigation, Case No. 11-929 (C.D. Cal) (approximately $22 million settlement – $16 million in cash plus stock); Jenson v. First Trust Corp., Case No. 05-3124 (C.D. Cal.) ($8.5 million settlement of action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract against trust company on behalf of a class of elderly investors); and Pappas v. Naked Juice Co., Case No. 11-08276 (C.D. Cal.) ($9 million settlement in consumer class action alleging misleading labeling of juice products as “All Natural”).
Ms. Wolke has been named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” and her work on behalf of investors has earned her recognition as a LawDragon Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. She has also served on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (“LACBA”) since 2019, and currently serves as a co-chair of LACBA’s Federal Courts sub-committee.
With a background in intellectual property, Ms. Wolke was a part of the team of lawyers who successfully challenged the claim of copyright ownership to the song “Happy Birthday to You” on behalf of artists and filmmakers who had been forced to pay hefty licensing fees to publicly sing the world’s most famous song. In the resolution of that action, the defendant music publishing company funded a settlement of $14 million and, significantly, agreed to relinquish the song to the public domain. Previously, Ms. Wolke penned an article regarding the failure of U.S. Copyright Law to provide an important public performance right in sound recordings, 7 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. 411, which was nationally recognized and received an award by the American Bar Association and the Grammy® Foundation.
Committed to the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other vulnerable or disenfranchised individuals and groups, Ms. Wolke also oversees the Firm’s pro bono practice. Ms. Wolke currently serves as a volunteer attorney for KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), representing unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in custody and deportation proceedings, and helping them to secure legal permanent residency status in the U.S.
Ms. Wolke graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Ohio State University in 2001. She subsequently earned her J.D. (with honors) from Ohio State, where she was active in Moot Court and received the Dean’s Award for Excellence during each of her three years.
Ms. Wolke is admitted to the State Bar of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Central Districts of California. She lives with her husband and two sons in Los Angeles.