Cate Edwards represents individuals and groups who have been victims of
civil rights violations and negligence by corporations. Her civil rights cases span a wide range
of issues, including the provision of inadequate medical care to prison inmates,
police abuse and misconduct, and imprisonment after wrongful conviction.
She also works on a variety of cases involving workers’ rights, such as
whistleblower actions for fraud against the government and suits for discrimination and sexual
harassment in the workplace. Additionally, Cate represents plaintiffs
in cases for negligence, including
wrongful death and toxic torts. In 2013, she was named a “D.C. Rising Star”
by the National Law Journal in recognition of her legal work.
Cate graduated cum laude from Princeton University where she majored in
politics, with a degree in political economy. She received her Juris Doctor
in 2009 from Harvard Law School.
Cate began her legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Leonie M.
Brinkema in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
in Alexandria, Virginia. Following her clerkship, she joined Sanford Heisler,
a boutique civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C., where she worked
on class action matters and represented clients who suffered discrimination
in the workplace.
Prior to joining Edwards Kirby, Cate served as a founding partner of Edwards
and Eubanks, a law firm formed to fight for the rights and equality of
regular, working people. There, Cate’s work focused largely on civil
rights and civil liberties. Cate also spent summers in law school working
with National Public Radio’s Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg,
and in the Washington, D.C. offices of Latham & Watkins and Jenner
The Elizabeth Edwards Foundation
In 2011, Cate launched the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation. The nonprofit
foundation honors the memory of Cate’s mother by providing opportunities
to students with limited resources and support. She is currently President
of the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation and Board Member of the Wade Edwards
Foundation. Cate is married to Trevor Upham, and they have two sons.
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
Representing plaintiffs in
Cooper v. Tepco, a class action case brought by U.S. Sailors against Tepco and GE for
radiation exposure and related illnesses caused by the disaster at Fukushima
nuclear power plant.
Confidential settlement for wrongful death due to nursing home neglect
Confidential settlement on behalf of doctor for pregnancy discrimination by her employer
Confidential settlement against government contractor for failure to pay overtime wages to employee
working in Iraq.
Confidential settlement on behalf of employee plaintiff for misclassification under the FLSA and
Won complaint against the federal government on behalf of a disabled veteran employee for discrimination and failure
to accommodate, with full damages being calculated by the EEOC.
$225,000 settlement in race discrimination case against the federal government.
Obtained maximum available sheriff’s bond for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment case.
Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch” for Labor and Employment Law –
Employee, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, and
Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
- National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
- Selected to the 2019 Lawyers of Distinction List
Super Lawyers Rising Star 2020
- Named 2014 DC Rising Star by National Law Journal