Carolyn Williams concentrates in complex civil litigation, products liability, defense of mass tort actions, environmental law, and professional malpractice. She has been recognized as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" by The Washington Post (9/30/07 and 10/31/08) and by Washingtonian magazine (August 1989, December 2004, December 2007, December 2009, and December 2011). During the past thirty years, she has defended the makers of a wide range of products - including pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices, gasoline storage tanks, farm equipment, chemicals, industrial furniture, and glass - as well as physicians, hospitals, lawyers, insurance companies, and The National Enquirer. She served as national coordinating counsel for General Electric in the silicone gel breast implant litigation - often called "the mother of mass torts" - and won summary judgment for GE in over 12,000 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts throughout the country. She defended Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (formerly American Home Products) in mass tort actions involving an implantable contraceptive and a drug for treating the symptoms of menopause. She represented an insurance company in litigation arising out of the destruction of the World Trade Center in the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001. Ms. Williams also represents plaintiffs in complex commercial litigation. For example, she obtained a record $51.75 million settlement on behalf of Pitney Bowes against the United States Postal Service. Through those and other big cases she developed extensive experience in handling complicated, high stakes litigation efficiently and effectively.
Ms. Williams has taught seminars in complex civil procedure at Yale Law School, Catholic University Law School and at professional conferences. She contributed to the drafting of the section of the Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Products Liability regarding the liability of raw materials and component part suppliers. In 1999 she became a member of The American Law Institute. She chaired Williams & Connolly's Hiring Committee for many years and served on the firm's Executive Committee from 1997-1999. In 2005, she served on The Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section's Annual Conference (2008--Washington, D.C.) and in 2008 was appointed to a three-year term on the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. She is proficient in Italian.