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Karen represents corporate, start-up, and non-profit clients in the resolution of disputes pending before the EEOC, state employment agencies, and state and federal court. Karen has extensive practice defending employers against claims involving Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the FLSA, and the False Claims Act. Karen also counsels clients to seamlessly accomplish the on-boarding and termination of employees, reductions in force (RIFs), the development of employee handbooks and policies, resolution of medical and disability leave issues, and compliance with state and federal wage statutes, among other issues. She also represents individual clients seeking advice on employment and severance agreements. Karen has worked with clients across an array of industries, including hospitality, fashion and luxury goods, higher education, real estate, sports, insurance, television, technology startups, trade associations, and non-profits.
Karen began her career as a law clerk for Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. After that, she practiced in the Washington, DC office of Arent Fox LLP, where she was twice recognized as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star,” and at Graves Dougherty Hearon and Moody in Austin, TX. Karen and her husband Stephen, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, live in the Clarksville neighborhood of Austin with their daughter.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major Texas insurer against claims of hostile work environment, retaliation, and discrimination.
- Defended a major research university against claims that the school violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability laws.
- Represented a large non-profit that was under Department of Justice investigation in the separation of four top-level executives and the restructuring of management.
- Represented a major construction company in qui tam litigation concerning the False Claims Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Negotiated severance and separation agreements concerning the Chief Executive Officer from an international real estate company.
- Represented a large real estate developer against claims of discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act.
- Counseled dozens of companies regarding compliance with various federal and state employment laws.
Admissions and Professional Qualifications
- Maryland (2009)
- District of Columbia (2011)
- Virginia (2012)
- Texas (2016)
- The U.S. Supreme Court
- The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits
- The U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas, the District of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Eastern District of Virginia
- Travis County Women’s Lawyers (Member)
- Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs Austin) (Member)
- Texas State Bar Association (Member)
University of Miami School of Law, 2009 (J.D., Magna Cum Laude; Order of the Coif; Soia Mentschikoff full scholarship recipient; Executive Editor, U. MIAMI INT’L & COMP. L. REV.)
Cornell University, 2006 (B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations)