J.D., Harvard Law School, magna cum laude
A.B., Brown University, magna cum laude
District of Columbia
Ms. Klar practices primarily in civil rights litigation. She focuses on employment discrimination litigation and civil rights litigation involving complex discovery.
Ms. Klar has extensive civil rights litigation experience. For more than a decade, Ms. Klar has represented a nationwide class of African-American Special Agents of the United States Secret Service claiming racial discrimination with respect to promotion by the Secret Service. In 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held unanimously that the claims may proceed as a class action. In 2017, the parties reached a settlement including monetary relief of $24 million and wide-ranging changes to the Secret Service’s promotions practices. Ms. Klar is an accomplished trial lawyer. For example, in 2013 Ms. Klar was lead counsel in a federal jury trial resulting in a $425,000 verdict on behalf five African-American officers of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department claiming retaliation against their employer. Ms. Klar also led a trial team that won a $250,000 verdict on behalf of an African-American couple whose landlord removed and burned all their belongings while they were out of town. Ms. Klar was a vital part of the litigation team from Relman, Dane & Colfax that secured a federal jury verdict of approximately $11 million in July, 2008 for residents of a predominately African-American community who were denied water service on the basis of race for nearly fifty years.
Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Ms. Klar was an associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP where as a member of the Community Services Department, she served on the investigation and habeas corpus hearing team in the landmark Tulia, Texas case, which resulted in the release from prison of 12 individuals and full pardons for 35 individuals who were wrongfully convicted based solely on the testimony of an unreliable and racist undercover narcotics task force agent. The Tulia case is the subject of the highly-acclaimed book "Tulia," by Nate Blakeslee, in which Ms. Klar is featured. Subsequently, at the American Civil Liberties Union, Ms. Klar represented plaintiffs in a civil rights action resulting from a similar round-up of African-American individuals in Hearne, Texas. The litigation is the subject of the motion picture "American Violet."
Selected Published Cases
Ms. Klar’s better known cases include:
- In re Johnson, 760 F.3d 66 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (D.C. Circuit upholding certification of a nationwide class of African-American Secret Service Agents); Moore v. Napolitano, 926 F.Supp.2d 8 (D.D.C. 2013) (District Court granting certification of class and denying Defendant’s motion to exclude Plaintiffs’ statistical expert); Moore v. Chertoff, 255 F.R.D. 10 (D.D.C. 2008) (upheld by 723 F.Supp.2d 167 (D.D.C. 2010) (sanctioning the Secret Service for discovery misconduct by disallowing the Agency from defending against prima facie cases of discrimination by eight individual named plaintiffs); Moore v. Chertoff, 437 F.Supp.2d 156 (D.D.C. 2006) (finding that plaintiff Secret Service Special Agents had pled a continuing violation).
- Brown v. Short, 729 F.Supp.2d 125 (D.D.C. 2010) (denying qualified immunity to United States Marshals Service employee who conducted a partial strip search).
- Kennedy v. City of Zanesville, OH, 505 F.Supp.2d. 456 (S.D. Ohio 2007) (denying summary judgment and allowing a continuing violation).
Ms. Klar is actively involved in ensuring that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow for the prosecution of meritorious civil rights cases, including testifying to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Bankruptcy and the Courts.
Ms. Klar is a frequent speaker on employment law and civil discovery topics.
Ms. Klar has served as an officer and serves on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Employment Lawyers Association and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association.
Honors and Award
In 2017, Ms. Klar was named the Washington Metropolitan Employment Lawyers Association’s “Lawyer of the Year.”
Ms. Klar was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America™ 2017 in the field of Civil Rights Law.
Ms. Klar has twice been named a finalist for Public Justice’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” honouring her work in civil rights cases.