Areas of Practice
Languages
  • Spanish
Education
  • The George Washington University School of Law, J.D., with highest honors, 2006, Order of the Coif, Senior Notes Editor, The George Washington Law Review
  • Cornell University, B.A., Political Science, 2001
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. T.S. Ellis, III, District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2006-2007
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Patricia Palacios

Partner
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6757
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

Patricia Palacios is a partner in Steptoe’s Washington office, where she focuses on high stakes commercial, class action, and intellectual property litigation.  Recognized as a “Rising Star” in business litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2014, Ms. Palacios is active in both appellate and district court litigation. 

Commercial Litigation

Ms. Palacios represents clients in commercial litigation, including contract and fraudulent conveyance disputes.  Ms. Palacios also works with clients in regulated industries, often representing them in litigation involving the federal government.  Ms. Palacios has represented clients in disputes involving the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and other federal statutes requiring open governance.  In addition, Ms. Palacios has represented clients in the railroad industry, focusing her work on litigation involving punitive damages and preemption issues.

Class Action Litigation

Focusing on toxic torts and products liability claims, Ms. Palacios has litigated class action disputes in both state and federal courts.  In addition, Ms. Palacios has been involved in a number of class certification appeals and has considerable experience in seeking and opposing FRCP 23(f) petitions. 

Intellectual Property Litigation

Ms. Palacios’s intellectual property work has included inventorship disputes, inequitable conduct, and anticompetitive conduct.  She participated in the representation of an international manufacturer in a multi-jurisdictional battle involving multiple patents. 

Ms. Palacios has served on several firm committees, and is currently a member of the Diversity Committee and the Hiring Committee.  Prior to law school, she was a consultant and research analyst for a consulting and investment services firm specializing in electricity and natural gas. 

Representative Matters

  • Represent Pebble Limited Partnership in efforts to challenge EPA’s attempts to block preemptively Pebble’s development of one of the world’s largest gold and copper deposits near Bristol Bay, AK.  Pebble has submitted numerous Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests to investigate EPA’s actions and motivations, and filed two lawsuits against EPA.  The first suit alleges the agency engaged in significant violations of its FOIA obligations, in particular the agency had abused the deliberative process privilege in withholding documents responsive to Pebble’s FOIA request.  Following an in camera review of the documents withheld by EPA, the court ordered the agency to re-evaluate all of the remaining withheld documents and submit them for an additional in camera review.  The court then issued an order resolving Pebble’s challenges to the remaining withholdings and forced EPA, yet again, to produce additional documents the agency had been improperly withholding for more than two years.  The second suit alleges EPA violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  This latter lawsuit resulted in the district court judge issuing a preliminarily injunction to prevent EPA from continuing an ongoing EPA rulemaking seeking to veto development of the mine.  Discovery is ongoing in this case.
  • Represented Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas in trial of its multibillion-dollar antitrust/unfair business practices action and related patent law claims against the General Electric Company for alleged fraud in its activities in the variable speed wind turbine generator industry in the United States. The cases, in Arkansas, California, and Texas, attracted international media attention.  Case settled favorably after the district court issued factual findings in favor of Mitsubishi.
  • Represented Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc., on its most complex transactions and disputes involving wind turbine generators (WTG’s), including a series of contracts involving multi-hundred-megawatt turbine supply agreements and the resolution of disputes with Babcock & Brown arising in both the US and Australia, as well as disputes in the US involving Cielo Wind Power Corporation and its affiliates.
  • Successfully opposed a putative class action alleging that drinking water had been contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to DuPont on the plaintiffs’ common law claims for negligence, trespass, nuisance, and battery, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish any injury as a result of their exposure to PFOA.  The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal of the denial of class certification on medical monitoring, because the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue an appeal of the class’s claims.
  • Represented DuPont in a putative class action claiming that the drinking water used by thousands of New Jersey residents.  Steptoe obtained a denial of class certification granted for medical monitoring claims arising from alleged water contamination.
  • Represented BNSF on appeal after a Kansas jury awarded $1.1 million to an employee who claimed he had hurt his back because BNSF did not give him the proper tools for his work.  Prior to trial the plaintiff had won a partial summary judgment, ruling out a defense of contributory negligence, however, Steptoe successfully argued the plaintiff’s own trial testimony had re-injected that issue into the case and required an appropriate instruction. The Kansas Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.
  • Represented the Government of Puerto Rico and provided public policy guidance and draft legislation for the establishment of a public utility commission to regulate electricity, water, aqueduct, and other services.

Noteworthy

  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers "Rising Star," Business Litigation, 2014 - 2017
  • New York State Bar, "Empire State Council Honoree," 2015
  • Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll, 2014

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Professional Affiliations

  • Jury Instructions Committee, The National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC)
  • Hispanic Bar Association
  • Fellows Alumni Executive Council, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity