FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Karin A. DeMasi

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

New York, NY, USA


Karin A. DeMasi is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, including class actions, in Federal and state courts, primarily in the areas of securities, derivative, ERISA, antitrust and general commercial disputes. Ms. DeMasi also represents companies, boards of directors and individuals in connection with SEC and other government inquiries, and shareholder demands.

Although many of her cases have been successfully resolved for her clients on pre-trial motions, Ms. DeMasi’s experience also includes several bench and jury trials, as well as domestic and international arbitration. Ms. DeMasi has represented a wide range of clients, including Merck & Co., Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., McKinsey & Co., Inc., Tyco International Ltd., Credit Suisse, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., IBM, Xerox Corp., Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Representative matters include:

  • Currently representing Merck & Co., Inc. and many of its directors and officers in a consolidated, multidistrict shareholder fraud class action arising out of alleged misrepresentations and omissions relating to Merck’s sale of the pain medication VIOXX®. Ms. DeMasi also represented Merck in related shareholder derivative actions in Federal and state court that settled in 2010 and in related ERISA litigation that settled in 2011.
  • Currently representing JPMorgan Chase & Co. in various Federal and state securities actions relating to the securitization of residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Representing Tetragon Financial Group Ltd. (“TFG”) in a shareholder derivative action brought by an investor relating to certain TFG transactions.Ms. DeMasi also represented TFG in a putative shareholder derivative action that was dismissed with prejudice in February 2012.  
  • Representing a proposed class of students and faculty of the University of Michigan in an action against the State of Michigan challenging on Equal Protection grounds the constitutionality of Proposal 2, a state constitutional amendment that banned the use of race-conscious admissions. The Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, struck down Proposal 2 as unconstitutional. The case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear the case in its October Term 2013.
  • Represented McKinsey & Co., Inc. in a contract dispute brought by a former consultant. The case was dismissed with prejudice on a motion to dismiss.
  • Represented Biovail Corporation in the antitrust clearance process for its merger with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which, after receiving the relevant government clearances and the approval of shareholders of both companies, successfully closed on September 28, 2010.Ms. DeMasi also represented Biovail in litigation related to the merger.
  • Represented DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., and its directors in both a consolidated securities class action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, which the court dismissed with prejudice, and in related shareholder derivative litigation in the Superior Court of California, which the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed, all relating to alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding sales of the company’s Shrek 2 DVD. Ms. DeMasi also represented DreamWorks Animation in connection with a related SEC investigation, which the SEC terminated without taking action.
  • Represented an individual in connection with an SEC inquiry regarding alleged backdating of stock option grants. The inquiry was terminated without any action against the individual.
  • Represented an underwriting syndicate led by Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in a securities class action alleging misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the initial public offering of Anchor Glass Container Corporation. The court dismissed all claims against Ms. DeMasi’s clients.
  • Represented the Estate of John T. Walton, and other defendants, against allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with a certain shareholder meeting and vote. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their complaint with prejudice with respect to these defendants.
  • Represented Tyco International Ltd. in a consolidated, multidistrict shareholder fraud class action, and related individual securities actions, pertaining to alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding the company’s accounting practices and certain of the company’s industries.
  • Represented Credit Suisse in a consolidated, multidistrict class action litigation, and related individual securities, ERISA, RICO, and bankruptcy proceedings, relating to alleged fraudulent conduct in connection with the collapse of Enron Corporation. While many other defendants in the action paid multibillion-dollar settlements, the class action against Credit Suisse was ultimately dismissed.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley in class action securities litigation regarding alleged misrepresentations and omissions in connection with certain financial instruments marketed by the financial services company ARM Financial Group, Inc. The case settled on favorable terms.

Ms. DeMasi serves as the Firm’s Litigation Hiring Partner.  In 2013, she was elected to serve as a member of the American Law Institute.  Ms. DeMasi is also the author of several articles, and has spoken on several panels relating to securities and class action litigation.

Ms. DeMasi also devotes a significant portion of her practice to pro bono service. In addition to her active pro bono litigation, Ms. DeMasi is one of the lead partners for Cravath’s relationship with Montefiore Children’s Hospital and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, through which the Firm represents children who need legal services related to their medical care. She is also on the Board of Appleseed, a public interest network devoted to promoting social and economic justice.

Ms. DeMasi was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in Burlington, Vermont. She received a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1993, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where she was Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. After a clerkship with Hon. D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, she joined Cravath in 1997 and became a partner in 2005.

Karin A. DeMasi is associated with the following items:
Web Segment  Web Segment Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration - Securities Litigation 2017: From Investigation to Trial, Friday, April 07, 2017
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration - Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration, Friday, April 07, 2017
Transcripts  Transcripts Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration - Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration, Friday, April 07, 2017
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration - Securities Litigation: Trial of the Civil Action or Arbitration, Friday, April 07, 2017
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Securities Litigation 2017: From Investigation to Trial, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, New York, NY
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