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Larkin Walsh

Biography

Larkin spent the first eight years of her legal career advising the judiciary, in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate court levels, as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, and as a research attorney for the Kansas Supreme Court.

Larkin’s initial transition to an of-counsel position in private practice allowed her to champion plaintiffs’ rights nationwide in labor and employment, antitrust, and consumer protection through litigation against many of the nation’s top defense firms in our country’s state, federal, and appellate courts.

Larkin is pleased to continue her practice at Sharp Law, where she brings her expertise as a legal writer and researcher to complement and support the firm’s nationwide class action practice. As a partner at the firm, she has expanded her civil rights practice to hold institutions accountable for turning a blind eye to sexual and other abuses.  She is adept at navigating complex legal issues and structuring arguments in thoughtfully crafted briefs and no-nonsense motions designed to pinpoint the relevant issues for the Court and advocate for a favorable ruling. She enjoys the process of weaving facts and law together into a compelling story, at the trial court and appellate court level, and her areas of focus include:

Civil Rights

  • In an effort to hold institutions accountable for turning a blind eye to abuse occurring under their watch, Larkin and her colleagues led a group of cases against the U.S. Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies (including USA Taekwondo and USA Diving) involving federal claims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and negligence-based state law claims. These lawsuits have been profiled in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and other national media publications. In their case against USA Taekwondo in federal court in Colorado, Larkin and her team made new law on the statute of limitations and the venture theory of liability against institutional defendants who benefit from forced labor and services, and have recovered millions of dollars for their clients through settlement.
  • As part of their efforts to help improve the law and protect victims, Larkin and her co-counsel have worked with both sides of the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. to help draft policy changes and consulted with federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials.
  • Larkin and her team have been pursuing claims against The Ohio State University based on Title IX violations resulting in decades of abuse and exploitation of students and student-athletes, as well as the cover-up of these crimes.

Consumer Protection

  • Larkin and the Sharp Law team pursued claims on multiple fronts in courts across the country on behalf of property owners who were subject to a sham “administrative fee” and successfully resolved their individual clients’ claims as part of a larger class resolution.
  • Larkin was instrumental in settling valuable claims arising out of a “fake sale” national campaign of a major retailer following a successful interlocutory appeal before the 10th Circuit, which affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration.
  • Larkin assisted the Sharp Law team in a class action to protect veterans across the United States whose cars were unlawfully repossessed by a major national bank. Following extensive discovery and the filing of a motion for class certification, the bank agreed to a significant class settlement for veterans nationwide under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Royalty underpayment 

  • Larkin and the Sharp Law team regularly pursue class actions for the intentional underpayment of natural gas royalties by some of the largest energy companies in the world in federal and state courts across the country.
  • Their federal case against a major British natural gas producer, which settled in 2019 following the addition of a RICO claim based on a long history of defrauding royalty owners, was the largest oil and gas royalty class settlement in the history of Oklahoma.

Labor & Employment

  • Larkin led the pursuit of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and wage and hour claims against one of the country’s largest home insurance companies, negotiating a successful individual resolution for a specially-situated client.

Larkin is an engaged and socially conscious attorney, committed to the general and legal community in which she practices. She was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to serve on the Board of Law Examiners, a ten-member Board of Kansas lawyers and judges tasked with overseeing all matters related to applications for admission, character, and fitness, testing accommodations, temporary permits to practice and legal intern permits for practice in Kansas. Larkin was selected, effective in 2017, by the federal district court for the District of Kansas to serve on the Bench-Bar Committee, which serves general advisory and liaison roles with respect to the operation of the court. She currently serves on an ad hoc committee suggesting revisions to the District of Kansas Local Civil Rules. She co-chairs the Kansas Bar Association’s Annual Survey of Law, and is a member of the Earl O’Connor Inn of Court (inactive). Among other civic and volunteer activities, she serves as secretary pro tem of Uncle Sam’s Academy for Tots in Kansas City, Kansas, and a volunteer at HALO, serving homeless youth.

Cases
  • Frank v. Crawley Petroleum, Inc., 992 F.3d 987 (10th Cir. 2021) (successful reversal of an order setting conditions and limiting unnamed, future plaintiffs from filing lawsuits).
  • Cooper Clark Foundation v. Oxy USA Inc., — P.3d —, 2020 WL 3481429 (Kan. App. June 26, 2020) (affirming class certification of royalty owner underpayment claims under Kansas law), petition denied, (Kan. Nov. 24, 2020).
  • Gilbert, et al. v. United States Olympic Committee, et al., No. 18-cv-00981 (D. Colo. Sept. 27, 2019) (order granting in part and denying in part motion to dismiss; allowing to proceed the numerous TVPRA claims against USA Taekwondo on behalf of five former USA Taekwondo athletes).
  • Nakamura v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 17-cv-4029-DDC-GEB, 2019 WL 2193785 (D. Kan. May 21, 2019) (approval of seven figure class settlement of United States veterans against Wells Fargo for unlawful repossession of vehicles under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act).
  • Stevens, et al. v. USA Diving, No. 18-cv-3015, 2019 WL 2210808 (S.D. Ind. May 21, 2019) (denial of motion to dismiss negligence-based claims against USA Diving and related entities on behalf of diving athletes).
  • Cecil v. BP America Production Co., No. 16-CV-00410-KEW, 2018 WL 8367958 (E.D. Okla. Nov. 19, 2018) (approval of class settlement of Oklahoma royalty owners against BP for nine figure RICO claim for intentional underpayment of natural gas royalties).
  • Cavlovic v. J.C. Penney Corp., 884 F.3d 1051, 2018 WL 1181237 (10th Cir. Mar. 8, 2018) (affirming the denial of a motion to compel arbitration against consumer protection claims).
  • Cavlovic v. J.C. Penney Corp., 275 F. Supp. 3d 1267 (D. Kan. 2017) (rejection of arbitration clause asserted by JC Penney in consumer protection class action involving “fake sales” campaign by JC Penney).
  • Hall v. DirectTV, 846 F.3d 757 (4th Cir. 2016) (reversing the district court’s dismissal of Fair Labor Standards Act misclassification claims of class of satellite television technicians and remanding to district court).
  • Dowd v. DirecTV, 2016 WL 28866 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 4, 2016) (denying DirecTV’s motion to dismiss and joint employer’s motion to sever, holding Plaintiff satellite television technicians’ complaint sufficiently alleged that defendants were joint employers as matter of economic reality and that alleged violations were willful, extending statute of limitations).
  • Mabry v. DirecTV, 2015 WL 5554023 (W.D. Ky. Sept 21, 2015) (same)
  • Berger v. DirecTV, 2015 WL 1799996 (D. Or. Apr. 16, 2015) (denying DirecTV’s motion to dismiss federal claims).
  • Lang v. DirecTV, 2014 WL 12719431 (E.D. La. Jan. 16, 2014) (denying DirecTV’s motion for summary judgment and its request to enjoin multiple mass actions filed in, i.e., California following decertification of collective action under FLSA).
Admission and Qualifications
  • Kansas, Missouri
  • U.S. District Courts – D. Kansas, D. Colorado, W.D. Missouri, E.D. New York
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals – Tenth Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Professional and Volunteer Activities
  • Kansas Board of Law Examiners, Member
  • District of Kansas Ad Hoc Rules Committee, Member
  • KCMBA Student Law Academy, Mentor
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Earl O’Connor Inn of Court (inactive)
  • KCMBA, Federal Court Advocates, Board Member (former)
  • District of Kansas Bench-Bar Committee, Member (former)
  • Uncle Sam’s Academy for Tots, Secretary Pro Tem