Kim E. Rinehart

Biography

Kim focuses on class action defense, professional liability matters, complex commercial disputes, and appeals. She is passionate about learning the intricacies of her clients’ businesses, crafting novel legal arguments, and devising creative litigation strategies. Her goal: an effective and efficient approach tailored to the unique needs of each case.  

Chair of the firm's Class Action Defense Practice Group, Kim has substantial experience defending class action lawsuits involving a broad range of industries, including health care, insurance, travel, loan servicing, and cosmetics. She also has deep knowledge of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which imposes potentially staggering liability on companies for relatively routine marketing conduct. These cases—which come with $500–1500 in statutory damages per improper fax or telephone call—require a careful and creative legal strategy. Kim also defends clients facing high-profile actions brought by state attorneys general and has dealt with the unique challenges posed by parallel class actions and attorney general proceedings. Kim publishes and speaks on federal and state class action practice and on the TCPA.

Kim also handles professional liability matters on behalf of lawyers and other professionals, including defending malpractice and vexatious suit claims and representing individual lawyers in grievance and admission matters. Kim is an Officer of the Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA's) Standing Committee on Professional Ethics, which provides ethics opinions to the Bar. She has presented at CBA ethics seminars for members of the bar and has published on emerging ethics issues.

On the appellate side, Kim has played an instrumental role in numerous appeals that have raised issues of first impression. Kim's appellate victories include Connecticut Supreme Court decisions establishing a qualified privilege for employer references and imposing an exhaustion requirement for university faculty members seeking to challenge tenure decisions. Recently, Kim prevailed in a novel matter before the Second Circuit regarding a customer’s standing to challenge a merchant’s tax practices. An avid observer of the U.S. Supreme Court, Kim has long authored Wiggin and Dana's Supreme Court Update, an e-mail service providing clients and friends of the firm with timely, insightful summaries of recent Supreme Court decisions. One reader called them "the most readable and engaging summaries, anywhere."

Kim joined the firm following a clerkship with the Honorable Stephen V. Wilson, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. She received her J.D. from the Yale Law School and her B.A. with highest distinction in economics and English literature from the University of Michigan.

With Wiggin and Dana's support, Kim took a leave of absence in 2002 to expand a local nonprofit, All Our Kin, creating a new program to provide business, legal, and educational support to low-income family child care providers. Kim co-founded All Our Kin in law school and remains an active supporter.

Education

  • Yale Law School  (J.D., 1999)
  • University of Michigan  (A.B., 1996)
    • with Highest Distinction

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US District Court (District of Connecticut)
  • US District Court (Western District of New York)
  • US Supreme Court

Memberships and Affiliations

  • All Our Kin
    • Co-Founder and Board Member
  • American Bar Association
    • Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee, Member
  • Connecticut Bar Association
    • Standing Committee on Professional Ethics, Member
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • New Haven Inn of Court