Paul G. Karlsgodt

Partner

Denver
T +1.303.764.4013
F +1.303.861.7805

"[Paul Karlsgodt] is extremely client-focused and responsive."

— Chambers USA 2018

Overview

Paul Karlsgodt serves as the leader of BakerHostetler’s class action defense team, and has significant experience defending class actions in the complex and cutting-edge area of data privacy on behalf of companies and organizations in a variety of industries, including the insurance, healthcare, consumer and education sectors. A thoughtful and trusted leader, he has served as lead counsel for defendants in class action litigation arising out of data breach incidents of all sizes, and affecting various industries and governmental entities. Paul has led or is leading the defense of more than a dozen different data breach class action matters over the past year alone, and has achieved success for clients in a number of high-stakes cases.

Recognized by Chambers USA in Litigation, Paul was also named a Law360 Privacy MVP (2014 and 2015) and a National Law Journal “CyberSecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer.” He previously served as the Denver office Litigation Group coordinator. He is the editor of and primary contributor to www.ClassActionBlawg.com, which covers global and national class action-related issues such as decisions, trends, best practices, news and reform. Paul is also a frequent speaker on class action law.

Select Experience

  • Has served as lead defense counsel in class actions arising from many of the largest healthcare and payment card breaches in history, as well as in various other healthcare breach class actions arising out of hacking, theft and inadvertent disclosure.
  • Defended a large healthcare organization in 12 class actions in Illinois state and federal courts arising out of the theft of computers alleged to have contained patient information for more than 4 million patients. Motions to dismiss all the lawsuits were granted. The dismissals were with prejudice in all but one of the cases.
  • Represented a fast-casual restaurant chain in a series of data breach class actions brought on behalf of a putative class of financial institutions seeking to recover financial losses stemming from the merchant’s alleged negligence in failing to prevent a payment card system breach. In a precedent-setting ruling, the team secured a dismissal, which will have implications for contractual agreements between merchants and banks issuing debit and credit cards going forward.
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Experience

  • Has served as lead defense counsel in class actions arising from many of the largest healthcare and payment card breaches in history, as well as in various other healthcare breach class actions arising out of hacking, theft and inadvertent disclosure.
  • Defended a large healthcare organization in 12 class actions in Illinois state and federal courts arising out of the theft of computers alleged to have contained patient information for more than 4 million patients. Motions to dismiss all the lawsuits were granted. The dismissals were with prejudice in all but one of the cases.
  • Represented a fast-casual restaurant chain in a series of data breach class actions brought on behalf of a putative class of financial institutions seeking to recover financial losses stemming from the merchant’s alleged negligence in failing to prevent a payment card system breach. In a precedent-setting ruling, the team secured a dismissal, which will have implications for contractual agreements between merchants and banks issuing debit and credit cards going forward.
  • Led the successful defense of a class action lawsuit against a nationwide retailer alleging violation of privacy rights stemming from the alleged transfer of browser history information to a social media company, successfully arguing for dismissal before the trial court. Later argued the appeal of the district court’s judgment before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a published opinion affirming the trial court’s judgment of dismissal with prejudice.
  • Led a cross-office team in the successful defense of a California hospital in one of the largest data breach class actions ever filed under the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act. Client initially faced more than $500 million in potential statutory damages exposure, but ultimately prevailed in all aspects of the case, which was finally dismissed by the plaintiff with no payment by the defendant.
  • Coordinated defense in Missouri and Illinois state and federal courts in multidistrict litigation against a grocery store chain arising out of a payment card data breach. The case was ultimately resolved by a nationwide settlement, which was finally approved over the significant efforts of objectors to block it.
  • Capitalizing on experience in the courtroom, obtained a denial of class certification after serving as lead counsel in a multiday evidentiary hearing in a consumer class action involving the sale of uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
  • Played a central role in a nationwide class action against a telecommunications company, mitigating the effects of discovery sanctions that had been imposed against the client prior to retaining BakerHostetler. The cutting-edge electronic discovery case was ultimately settled favorably for the client.
  • As lead counsel for an insurer in a putative class action in California involving auto body shop labor rate surveys and direct repair programs, obtained an order granting judgment on the pleadings and was able to settle the case on an individual basis while an appeal of that judgment was pending.
  • Obtained an order denying class certification in a putative class action against an insurer involving demands for reimbursement of medical payment benefits. Settled the case on an individual basis during an appeal of that order.
  • Resolved the individual claims in several threatened class actions involving communication privacy issues, due to his willingness to connect with the plaintiffs' counsel before the cases were filed. Avoided millions of dollars of potential exposure at a significantly lower cost to multiple clients.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Litigation: General Commercial in Colorado (2016, 2017)
    • Recognized Practitioner (2014, 2015)
  • Law360 Privacy MVP (2014, 2015)
  • National Law Journal: "CyberSecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer" (2015)
  • Colorado “Super Lawyer” (2011 to 2017)
    • Colorado Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (2009 to 2010)
  • Law Week Colorado (2013)
    • People's Choice: Best Class Action/Mass Torts – Defense

Memberships

  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court: President-elect
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation
    • Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee
      • Regional Programs Subcommittee: Chair
      • Social Media Subcommittee: Past Chair
  • Colorado Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Derivative Suits and Mass Torts Subsection: Founder and Former Chair
  • Washington Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association

News

News

Press Releases

Pro Bono

  • Led a BakerHostetler team working as cooperating counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado in representing the family of a victim in a wrongful death civil rights suit against three state patrol officers. The team negotiated a settlement of more than $1 million that included a commitment by the Colorado State Patrol to make significant changes to its Fourth Amendment training.
  • Working as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Colorado, leading a team of BakerHostetler attorneys in a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of two individuals wrongfully accused of selling drugs by the Trinidad Police Department during a highly publicized drug sting.

Featured Video

Paul Karlsgodt: Class Action Trends: What to Expect in 2017
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Prior Positions

  • BakerHostetler
    • Denver Office: Litigation Coordinator
    • Denver Office: Hiring Partner
    • Denver Office Pro Bono Coordinator
  • The Honorable D. Brook Bartlett, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri: Law Clerk

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • Washington, 2008
  • Michigan
  • Colorado, 1997

Education

  • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1997
  • B.S., Purdue University, 1993

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
California Consumer Privacy Act: Navigating Consumer Lawsuits & Limiting Remedies
By Alan L. Friel, Paul G. Karlsgodt, Niloufar Massachi
August 29, 2018
California’s new privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA or act), which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, grants California residents (referred to as consumers in the act but not limited to consumers) a wide range of...
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