“Fighting for the underdog has always been important to me. Being a civil rights and employment attorney gives me the opportunity to do that every day – to fight for the underdog and try to achieve vindication for hardworking employees and whistleblowers who have suffered discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the workplace. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to come to work each day and make a positive difference in someone’s life.”
“I have always believed that it is important to fight hard for those who are not in a position of power.”
Consistently ranked a “Top Lawyer” by Washingtonian Magazine, Lisa Banks has successfully litigated employment discrimination and whistleblower protection cases at the trial court and appellate level for over 25 years. Ms. Banks is a founding partner of Katz Banks Kumin, where she concentrates her practice on claims related to employment discrimination, sexual harassment, Title IX, whistleblower retaliation, SEC and CFTC whistleblower tips, and contractual employment disputes. Ms. Banks is an experienced advocate who has consistently achieved outstanding results on behalf of her clients both in court and through negotiated settlements.
Ms. Banks has significant experience in federal and state courts, including courts in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, and Tennessee, and has achieved success at all levels, including appeals in the Fourth, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits. She has also represented numerous whistleblowers before the Department of Labor (DOL) in the transportation, nuclear, financial, and pharmaceutical industries. Currently she represents Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), who was removed from his position after raising concerns over the administration's inadequate preparation for the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent interference into vaccine and treatment approval processes.
Ms. Banks co-authored a comprehensive whistleblower law treatise, Whistleblower Law: A Practitioner’s Guide, an exhaustive guide to the dozens of federal and state whistleblower laws affecting virtually every industry in the country. Available in eBook and print formats from its publisher, ALM’s Law Journal Press, the book is a practical, comprehensive guide to rapidly evolving whistleblower law and the numerous and often complex issues facing practitioners today from both sides of the whistleblower bar. She has also published the SEC Whistleblower Practice Guide and the CFTC Whistleblower Practice Guide – each a comprehensive handbook for whistleblowers and their lawyers – that provide expert advice about the whistleblower programs. Ms. Banks was appointed in 2016 to serve a two-year term as a public representative on the Department of Labor's Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (WPAC).
Ms. Banks also serves as an arbitrator on the employment panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), where she hears and adjudicates cases brought for binding arbitration before the AAA.
For her excellent legal work and passionate representation of her clients, Ms. Banks has consistently been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the legal field. In 2017, Best Lawyers® named Ms. Banks the "Lawyer of the Year" for Employment Law in Washington, D.C. In 2019, the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association awarded Ms. Banks as its Lawyer of the Year for her advocacy in fighting for victims of sexual harassment and assault, and the D.C. Women's Bar Association recognized Ms. Banks and the rest of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's legal team with the "Dare to Make an Impact" award for their influence on the national discourse surrounding sexual assault and women's rights. Additionally, in 2019, Ms. Magazine honored Ms. Banks with the "Wonder Woman Award" for her work fighting against injustices women and girls face because of their gender. For their representation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the Victim Rights Law Center bestowed upon Ms. Banks and Ms. Katz the 2019 Leadership Award. Ms. Banks and Ms. Katz were also called the "top #MeToo legal duo" in a 2021 profile piece by the Associated Press.
Ms. Banks has ranked for over a decade as one of the top employment attorneys in the region and the country. Washingtonian Magazine has listed Ms. Banks as a "Top Lawyer" since 2006. Ms. Banks was also selected for inclusion in the 2009-2021 editions of “The Best Lawyers in America©,” was named by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers as among the top five percent of attorneys in Washington, D.C. for 2009-2021, and Martindale-Hubbell has rated Ms. Banks “AV Preeminent,” its highest possible peer review rating. In 2017, Ms. Banks was inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a distinguished professional organization that honors the nation’s best employment lawyers, and in 2021, The National Law Journal recognized Ms. Banks as an Elite Woman of the Plaintiff's Bar. In its 2021 U.S. guide, Chambers and Partners recognized Ms. Banks in Band 1 of employment plaintiff attorneys in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Banks regularly speaks on employment law, whistleblower, and litigation matters before the American Bar Association (ABA), the D.C. Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), where she has served as the organization’s Vice President. Ms. Banks is active in the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section, where she currently serves as a member of the Section of Labor and Employment Law's governing council, and was previously the Employee Co-Chair of the Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Planning Committee, and the Employee Co-Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee. She has also been active with the ABA as an Associate Editor to Lindemann, Grossman, and Weirich’s, Employment Discrimination Law, Fifth Edition, 2015 Cumulative Supplement; as a Litigation Track Coordinator for the 9th, 10th, and 11th Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conferences; and as a Program Chair for the EEO Committee.
Prior to forming Katz Banks Kumin, Ms. Banks was a partner in a plaintiff-side civil rights firm along with fellow co-founders Debra Katz and David Marshall. From 1997-2000, she was an attorney in the EEOC’s Office of General Counsel, Appellate Services Division. In 1999, Ms. Banks served as an Attorney Advisor in the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House. She clerked for the Honorable Gregory K. Scott, Colorado Supreme Court from 1996-1997, and the Honorable Daniel M. Taubman, Colorado Court of Appeals, from 1995-1996. Ms. Banks received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1990, and a J.D. degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1995, where she served as an editor on the Denver University Law Review.