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Cate 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 discrimination based on sexual orientation, the provision of inadequate medical care by a prison for its inmates, and wrongful police actions. She also works on a variety of cases involving workers’ rights, such as qui tam actions for fraud against the government, suits for discrimination in the workplace, and whistleblower protection matters. Additionally, Cate represents plaintiffs in cases for negligence, including wrongful death, nursing home neglect, 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 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, DC, 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 public interest law firm located in Washington, DC. Edwards and Eubanks was formed to fight for the rights and equality of regular, working people. At Edwards and Eubanks, 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 & Block.
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. She also serves as Ambassador for the Count Us, Know Us, Join Us campaign to help raise awareness for the advanced breast cancer community.
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.