Christina McKinley is a shareholder in Babst Calland’s Litigation, Energy and Natural Resources, and Environmental groups. Ms. McKinley continually strives to provide business-oriented solutions to her clients and routinely serves as a general advisor, counseling clients on day-to-day legal and business matters on any number of issues. Her business-focused, proactive approach to problem-solving allows her to provide solutions to clients in a variety of industries. Her experience spans a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, retail, energy, chemicals, and environmental.
As a litigator who focuses on complex commercial matters, Ms. McKinley’s trial practice encompasses all phases of litigation, from early alternative dispute resolution through post-trial motions. She has concentrated experience in complex purchase agreement and commercial contracts disputes, protection of competitive interests (e.g., Lanham Act, unfair competition, tortious interference, trade secret protection, restrictive covenants), technology disputes (e.g., software services and license agreements), and corporate governance.
An experienced appellate litigator, Ms. McKinley has practiced before the United States Supreme Court at every stage of the process, including the briefing and preparation of two merits cases that were argued before the Court. She also has briefed and prepared cases for argument before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Sixth, and D.C. Circuits, and she has argued numerous cases before the Pennsylvania intermediate appellate court. Her appellate practice spans a range of substantive fields, including intellectual property, immigration, tax, bankruptcy, and criminal law.Representative Experience
Prior to joining Babst Calland, Ms. McKinley was a Litigation and Dispute Resolution shareholder in a Pittsburgh firm with a global reach. While there, she served on the firm’s Talent Management Team and Hiring Committee and coordinated the summer-associate workflow for the firm’s summer program. Ms. McKinley began her career at a prestigious D.C.-based global law firm where she served as a senior associate in the Government and Regulatory Litigation, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation, and Intellectual Property Litigation groups. She also served on the steering committee of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Before entering private practice, Ms. McKinley was a law clerk to the Honorable Janice Rogers Brown of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before that, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael S. Kanne of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Ms. McKinley graduated summa cum laude from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where she served as a Production Editor on the Board of the Law Review and on the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team. She earned her B.A. in History from Duquesne University, where she also graduated summa cum laude and received the Department’s Joseph R. Morice Award for Excellence.Memberships and Affiliations
Ms. McKinley is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New York. She also is admitted before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of Pennsylvania, the Northern District of Ohio, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. She currently serves on the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, as a co-chair of the Civil Rules subcommittee. She also serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Appellate Advocacy Committee. In the community, Ms. McKinley serves on the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth’s Future Corporate Leaders Board and on its Women’s Executive Committee.
Since beginning private practice, Ms. McKinley has maintained a robust pro bono practice in which she has devoted hundreds of hours to indigent defendants. She also has worked to improve the legal profession and her community through her advocacy for civil rights in areas such as voting, marriage equality, education, immigration, prisoner litigation, and veterans’ benefits. Ms. McKinley is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and its Women in the Law Division. She also serves on the Women’s Initiative Committee at Babst Calland. Ms. McKinley actively participates in the Firm’s PFAS Working Group, which provides legal services to clients across business sectors regarding the evolving regulatory, legislative, litigation and transactional landscapes related to PFAS. Ms. McKinley is an active member of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and frequently has volunteered her time at the organization’s annual event at Kennywood amusement park, where it hosts intellectually and physically challenged young adults.
In 2023, Ms. McKinley was selected by The Legal Intelligencer as one of only 29 “Lawyers on the Fast Track” statewide in Pennsylvania. This recognition is only given to attorneys under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in four categories: development of the law; advocacy and community contributions; service to the bar; and peer and public recognition. She was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the Commercial Litigation Section for 2024 by BL Rankings. Ms. McKinely also was selected to the Pennsylvania Rising Stars list (Thomson Reuters) for Business Litigation in 2017-2020, 2022, and 2023.