Ms. Plochocki has experience in a wide range of domestic and cross-border disputes, including financial services, contract, and fraud litigation spanning multiple jurisdictions. Ms. Plochocki devises and executes strategies to recover assets through U.S. courts on behalf of multinational financial institutions, international investors and foreign corporations. Her practice also includes the management of reputation, risk, and relationships with U.S. and European financial institutions, as well as advising individuals and corporations on compliance with U.S. import and export control laws, including sanctions regimes administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. She regularly counsels international clients on potential U.S. civil and criminal liability. In recognition of her excellence in the field of International Law, Ms. Plochocki was selected as a Washington DC “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2017 and 2018.
Additionally, for three months, Ms. Plochocki worked as a foreign legal consultant on secondment at King & Wood Mallesons LLP, a multinational law firm headquartered in Hong Kong. Ms. Plochocki split her time between the Beijing and Shanghai offices, where she consulted on Chinese litigation and arbitration matters, and advised Chinese financial institutions and corporations on U.S. compliance laws, including the FCPA, U.S. sanctions, and the PATRIOT Act.
Prior to joining Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, Ms. Plochocki was a litigation associate in prominent national and international law firms, representing clients in high-stakes litigation matters nationwide. She also has extensive experience litigating insurance coverage actions based on claims of property damage, bodily injury, professional liability and fraud.
During law school, Ms. Plochocki was a legal intern at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she helped successfully resolve a long-standing immigration dispute involving Palestinians and their alleged financial support of a terrorist support group. Ms. Plochocki also served as the Managing Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law. Before law school, Ms. Plochocki served in the Peace Corps in Jordan, and taught Tibetan Studies for Emory University in Northern India.
Pro Bono and Community Service
Ms. Plochocki is dedicated to pro bono service and has received recognition for her representation of victims of domestic violence in Washington, DC. At Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, Ms. Plochocki spearheaded a partnership with Bread for the City to handle representation of victims of domestic violence. She has also represented detainees in Guantanamo Bay, and has worked on a number of matters at the intersection of constitutional rights and national security. She regularly volunteers with Bread for the City to support its broader efforts to deliver legal and social services to D.C.’s low-income residents.
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Women’s Bar Association
- Member, California Bar Association
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- Trustee, Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
- Intern, American Civil Liberties Union
- Associate, Washington office of International Law Firm
- Associate, Washington office of National Law Firm
- Representation of Saudi Arabian corporation in seeking recovery for losses arising out of international bribery scheme
- Representation of multiple investors in complex civil litigation arising out of securities fraud committed by Venezuelan financier
- Representation of Saudi Arabian conglomerate in civil litigation concerning complex financial service fraud totaling in excess of $10 billion
- Representation of numerous companies and individuals, both in the U.S. and abroad, in connection with various matters including investigations by U.S. law enforcement and regulatory agencies
- Representation of Hungarian steel company in 1782 discovery efforts
- Representation of Guantanamo detainee in habeas petition filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- Representation of physicians as amicus curiae against physician participation in carrying out the death penalty
- Provided counsel to international publishing house on compliance with U.S. export laws and sanctions regimes
Successfully appealed the removal of an SES federal employee before the Merit Systems Protection Board
Publications & Events
The U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia recently denied a petition to recognize and enforce an international arbitration award against a government-owned airline on jurisdictional grounds. The decision in UAB Skyroad Leasing Inc. v. OJSC Tajik Air, 20-cv-0763 (D.D.C. Jan. 26, 2021) illustrates the hurdles to enforcing an arbitral award against a foreign state-owned enterprise, even when that enterprise is engaged in pure commercial activities and controlled by the state.January 29, 2021
In the dying days of his administration, President Trump has moved to smash the civil service. Through Executive Order 13957 (“EO 13957” or the “EO”), the President aims to carve out an entire new class of civil servants, sheering them from long-standing federal protections designed to create a professional, apolitical federal workforce. Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss is investigating the scope of the Executive Order and possible remedies available to affected civil servants.December 11, 2020
- Second Circuit Shortens the Reach of § 1782, Denying Access to Domestic Discovery for Parties in Private Foreign Arbitrations
The Second Circuit held that 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a) cannot be used to support petitions for discovery for use in private foreign commercial arbitrations, settling an issue that has lingered unresolved in the circuit since 2004. The new decision, In re Guo, puts the Second Circuit squarely at odds with recent decisions issued by other circuit courts, raising the possibility that the Supreme Court will take up the issue next session to resolve the split. While Guo does not impact the ability of parties to foreign public arbitrations and litigations to take § 1782(a) discovery, for now at least, parties to private foreign arbitrations may have to look to more favorable circuits outside New York for relief.July 13, 2020
- New York Appellate Court Imposes Jurisdictional Requirements in Foreign Judgment Recognition Actions
The First Department Appellate Division in New York recently issued a ruling that will make the recognition of foreign country money judgments more difficult in New York. Kate Toomey and Tara Plochocki summarize its impact.March 19, 2018
- Authored by Tara J. Plochocki, Lewis Baach PLLC and Meg Utterback, King & Wood Mallesons LLPAugust 2, 2016
- December 10, 2015
- Lecture, “The 14th Amendment and the Law of Diversity,” at the University of Maryland (2014)2014
- Lecture, “Federalism and Constitutional Law,” at Berea College (2011)2011
In the News
A U.S. Department of Justice lawyer argued Monday that the United States can kill its own citizens without judicial review when litigation would reveal state secrets.ABA Journal, November 18, 2020
"What the government seeks to do in this case represents a radical expansion of the concept of a 'state secret'," explained Tara Plochocki, a partner at Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC, representing Abdul Kareem. "The privilege has never been invoked to permit the government to bypass the Constitution in favour of summary execution, and we hope that the Court will not permit the government to do so here."Middle East Monitor, November 17, 2020
Kareem’s attorney, Tara Jordan Plochocki, argued the government was radically expanding sovereignty, domestically and abroad, allowed under state-secrets privilege.
“Whether that’s in a parking lot in the United States or abroad in Syria, the government has claimed — for the first time ever in this case — that it has unfettered and unreviewable discretion to kill US citizens at will,” Plochocki said.Courthouse News Service, November 16, 2020
- Law360, August 26, 2020
- U.S. invokes state secrets privilege to block American journalist’s challenge to alleged spot on drone ‘kill list’
“For the first time ever, a United States federal court ruled that the government may kill one of its citizens without providing him the information necessary to prove that he is being wrongly targeted and does not deserve to die,” attorney Tara J. Plochocki said.The Washington Post, September 24, 2019
- When a U.S. citizen heard he was on his own country’s drone target list, he wasn’t sure he believed it. After five near-misses, he does – and is suing the United States to contest his own execution
Ms. Plochocki is quoted in the article as addressing the court saying, “We’re not asking for the court to revisit drone policy, we’re not taking a run at the drone program,” she says. “Plaintiffs [just] want an opportunity to be meaningfully heard, just as… if they were designated for economic sanctions or told that they couldn’t board a flight to Cleveland.”Rollingstone, July 19, 2018
- Judge allows journalist to challenge claimed inclusion on U.S. drone ‘kill list’
“We are gratified that the court recognized that, as a U.S. citizen, Mr. Kareem has the right to be heard in court before his government can decide to kill him, and we look forward to these proceedings continuing to a final resolution,” said Tara J. Plochocki, partner with the Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss law firm.Washington Post, June 13, 2018
Plaintiffs attorney Tara J. Plochocki likened the case instead to challenges from people who say they were wrongly placed on U.S. no-fly lists or hit with economic sanctions. The men were also represented by Reprieve, a human rights group based in London and New York City.
Plochocki argued that when Awlaki’s father tried to sue on his son’s behalf while he was still alive, another federal judge in Washington in 2010 ruled that nothing prevented the designated terrorist Awlaki from peacefully presenting himself at a U.S. embassy and asserting his rights in court.
“We’re taking [the judge] up on that offer,” Plochocki said, such as by asserting their innocence in a sworn affidavit, court filing, administrative hearing or other means.Washington Post, May 1, 2018
- US Pushes for Deference Regarding Americans on Kill List
Tara Plochocki of the firm Lewis Baach noted that her clients do not seek review of the legality of the drone program, and are only seeking narrow due-process relief afforded by the Administrative Procedure Act.
“Plaintiffs want an opportunity to be meaningfully heard,” she said.Courthouse News, May 1, 2018
- Press Release: Woodsford Litigation Funding to provide international litigation boutique Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC with innovative $20m global portfolio financing facility
Woodsford Litigation Funding, one of the leading global third party funders, has announced a funding facility agreement with Lewis Baach which ensures the firm can offer clients an expedited, one-stop arrangement for the financing of high value litigation and arbitration.August 16, 2017
Lewis Baach is pleased to announce the release of “Getting the Deal Through: Litigation Funding 2017,” which offers the first comprehensive overview of the laws and regulations governing litigation funding on a country-by-country basis. Lewis Baach attorneys David Liston, Alex Patchen and Tara Plochocki authored the chapter on the United States.2017 Edition
- al-Arabiya, July 20, 2016
- July 12, 2016
- Law360, July 12, 2016
- University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2007), Managing Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law
- Barnard College of Columbia University (B.A., cum laude, 2002)
- District of Columbia
- New York
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Southern District of New York
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and D.C. Circuits