United States: Paul Karlsgodt Named 2014 Law360 MVP For Privacy
Last Updated: January 7 2015

Second straight year a BakerHostetler privacy attorney named to MVP list

BakerHostetler is proud to announce that Partner Paul Karlsgodt has been named a Privacy MVP by national legal publication Law360. He is one of only five attorneys nationwide selected for this honor. As the leader of BakerHostetler's national Class Action Defense team, Karlsgodt is recognized for his strong consumer class action background and for his ability to navigate cutting-edge areas of law in high-profile data breach and privacy matters in a multitude of industries, including healthcare, insurance, retail, and telecommunications. Paul is the second attorney in as many years to be named to the list, following Privacy and Data Protection team co-leader Ted Kobus in 2013. BakerHostetler is the only law firm recognized by Law360 for having two different MVPs in the privacy category. The publication named BakerHostetler's Privacy and Data Protection team as a "Practice Group of the Year" in 2013 and 2014, and the Class Action Defense team as a "Practice Group of the Year" in 2014.

"There is no one who understands how to fight a class action better than Paul. He combines his expertise with the investment and focus on helping clients find a resolution which meets their interests and goals, without wasting the client's money on fighting over inconsequential issues," said Ted Kobus, co-leader of the Privacy and Data Protection team. "Paul quickly puts clients at ease when he works with them, devising a way to beat class certification or guiding them through the maze of settlement approval."

Karlsgodt, profiled by Law360 as an "elite attorney," boasts an impressive list of clients and victories, having minimized losses from data breaches that had the potential to put companies out of business. In citing his experience, Law360 said, "MVP BakerHostetler Partner Paul Karlsgodt has been a keen adviser to hospitals facing an onslaught of claims over stolen patient information..." In the healthcare industry alone, he has saved the industry billions of dollars in damages, and the team is currently defending the class action litigation arising from two of the three largest healthcare data breach incidents in history. Karlsgodt served as lead counsel in one of his most notable privacy litigation victories this year for Eisenhower Medical Center, an acute care center in Southern California, in a putative class action filed on behalf of more than 500,000 potential class members. His defense of the healthcare provider saved the company $500 million in potential penalties, and helped establish transformational reporting boundaries on data breach notification laws set by the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) and Customer Records Act (CRA) for all healthcare agencies licensed by the California Department of Public Health. Karlsgodt went on to achieve dismissal of other claims at the trial level on a motion for summary judgment, and the team ultimately attained a definitive victory on behalf of Eisenhower Medical Center on all issues.

Law360 quoted his reasoning for this type of cutting-edge defense, "It's a burgeoning area of the law, and plaintiffs use old, existing statutes in an attempt to create liability where there isn't a great body of law." Karlsgodt has worked on several other high profile cases, including defense of Advocate Health Care Network, in what was the second-largest healthcare data breach ever reported at the time of the incident. Law360 showcased how his involvement led the client to success, "BakerHostetler has succeeded in merging 14 separate suits over the breach into four actions, three in state court and one in the Northern District of Illinois, and has since won preliminary victories in each." 

Karlsgodt has been able to adapt this healthcare-related privacy knowledge to other industries, having played an instrumental role in helping retailer Schnuck's Markets respond to a massive payment card data breach at stores in Missouri and Illinois. He also navigated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for Percipio Media when it was faced with violations. Karlsgodt was able to save the company significant defense costs and potential liability in class actions by negotiating an individual settlement. This strong reputation precedes him, and other companies such as Vistaprint and GameStop have retained him for data collection and sharing privacy class action litigation.

Karlsgodt joined BakerHostetler in 1999 after earning his J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 1997. He joined the partnership in 2005 and was named a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2011. In addition to leading the firm's national Class Action Defense practice team, Karlsgodt is also the Denver office Litigation group coordinator. He serves as 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.

BakerHostetler's Privacy and Data Protection team is a cross-disciplinary practice of 40 attorneys who counsel clients nationally and internationally from offices in New York, Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. The team has experienced significant growth within the past year, with a line of high-profile lateral additions in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia. BakerHostetler attorneys guide and counsel clients in keeping their information secure, responding quickly when a data breach occurs, and defending in litigation that may arise as a result. Built from a foundation of security incident response and regulatory defense, the team has helped organizations respond to more than 750 data security incidents, nearly 200 responses just in the past year. The team has been involved in some of the most significant privacy litigation in recent years, including as lead defense counsel for Community Health Systems, Schnuck Markets, Eisenhower Medical Center, Advocate Health, LivingSocial, Inc., Sentara Healthcare, and Vistaprint.

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