Larkin Walsh champions the rights of workers, consumers, and survivors of forced labor, trafficking, and sexual abuse. She’s on the cutting edge of judicial interpretation of forced labor claims under the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act; prosecuting collective, class, and mass-action Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour claims in federal district courts nationwide; and working with policy makers, survivors, and non-profit law centers on statutes of limitation reform to permit survivors to pursue justice in court. In addition, Larkin has successfully handled multiple appellate cases.
She is adept at navigating complex legal issues, 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 levels.
Passionate about holding powerful institutions accountable for turning a blind eye, taking advantage, or otherwise exploiting vulnerable individuals or small businesses, Larkin focuses on high caliber, cutting-edge impact litigation designed to drive institutional change. In short, Larkin is an experienced litigator, with a love of the law, a way with words, and a heart for helping humans. Her primary areas of focus include:
Appellate. Larkin has developed a robust appellate practice and has briefed and argued appeals in the Kansas appellate courts, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and Tenth Circuit. Her recent successes include:
- Opposing a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court that sought to undo a precedent-setting victim-centered decision she and her team secured from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding the federal discovery rule’s application to the statute of limitations for Title IX claims.
- Appealing an order of dismissal to U.S. Court of Appeals for Tenth Circuit that involved issues of first impression under Rule 41.
- Appealing to the Tenth Circuit regarding procedural and jurisdictional issues of first impression under Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA).
- Appealing to the Tenth Circuit regarding arbitrability of claims under Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
Civil Rights. In an effort to hold institutions accountable for turning a blind eye to abuse occurring under their watch, Larkin served on a team that 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 numerous national media publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and more.
In the case against USA Taekwondo in federal court in Colorado, Larkin and her team clarified the 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 deserving clients through settlement.
As part of their efforts to help improve and clarify the law and protect victims, Larkin and her co-counsel worked with both sides of the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. as well as public interest groups to offer draft policy changes.
Consumer Protection. Larkin advocates on behalf of plaintiffs in a wide range of high-stakes consumer class actions. Among her recent work:
- Larkin 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.
- She 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 Tenth Circuit, which affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration.
- Larkin assisted in a class action to protect veterans 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).
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. The team’s accomplishments include having preserved and prosecuted individual/mass-joinder claims following decertification of a large FLSA wage-and-hour collective by drafting over forty multi-count complaints in over forty federal district courts; successfully opposed motions to dismiss filed in thirty of these matters; pursued and defended summary judgment in same; and successfully briefed and argued appeal in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of trial court's Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal.
Drawn to clerking by her love for research and writing, and an insatiable curiosity, Larkin spent eight years advising the judiciary at both the federal district court and state appellate court levels, as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas and at the Kansas Supreme Court.
She then brought her talent as a legal writer and researcher to Stueve Siegel Hanson to complement and support the firm’s nationwide class action practice and champion plaintiffs’ rights in labor and employment, antitrust, and consumer protection litigation against many of the nation’s biggest defense firms in state, federal and appellate courts. She left to expand her civil rights practice before rejoining the firm in 2023 as Senior Counsel.
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., 469 P.3d 1266 (Kan. Ct. App. 2020) (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 423 F. Supp. 3d 1112 (D. Colo. 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).
Community & Professional
Larkin is an engaged and socially conscious attorney, committed to the general and legal community in which she practices.
She was appointed in 2014 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.
Effective 2017, Larkin was selected 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 subsequently served on an ad hoc committee suggesting revisions to the District of Kansas Local Civil Rules. She co-chaired the Kansas Bar Association’s Annual Survey of Law for 10 years and remains on the editorial committee.
Among other civic and volunteer activities, she served as secretary pro tem of Uncle Sam’s Academy for Tots in Kansas City, Kansas, and as a volunteer and supporter of HALO, serving homeless youth.
The University of Kansas School of Law
- CALI Awards: First in class in Law and the Visual Arts; Law and Literature
- Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy: Staff Member, Articles Editor
- KU Law Newspaper: Co-Managing Editor
- University Merit Scholar
Southern Methodist University
- Honors: Cum Laude, President’s Scholar
- Sigma Tau Delta: National English Honor Society, Secretary and Publicist