Overview

Karen is a member of the firm's Business Litigation practice group, focusing her practice on a wide variety of litigation issues.

In addition, Karen practices, teaches and writes in the area of professional responsibility, including malpractice and legal ethics. She is a member and immediate past chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Certified Grievance Committee, which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct.

Karen is also a member and immediate past chair of the Ohio State Bar Association's Ethics Committee, and chair of its ethics opinions subcommittee. The Committee considers and acts on the wide range of matters affecting legal ethics and professional conduct. The subcommittee issues ethics opinions interpreting the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.

Karen is an adjunct professor of law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching legal ethics. She also is co-editor of Thompson Hine’s legal ethics blog, The Law for Lawyers Today.

Experience
Selected Cases
  • Northeast Regional Sewer District v. Bath Township, et al., 2015-Ohio-3705 (Ohio Supreme Ct. 2015).
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association v. Gresley, 2010-Ohio-6208 (2010).
  • Valentine v. Conrad, 110 Ohio St. 3d 42, 2006-Ohio-3561 (2006).
  • National City Bank v. Noble, 2005 WL 3315034, 2005-Ohio-6484 (8th Dist. App. 2005).
  • Mayor v. Ford Motor Co., 2003 WL 21290922, 2003-Ohio-2869 (8th Dist. App. 2003).
  • SST Castings, Inc. v. Amana Appliances, Inc., 250 F. Supp. 2d 863 (S.D. Ohio 2002).
  • Hahn v. Star Bank, 190 F.3d 708 (6th Cir. 1999).
  • Maysom L.P. v. Village of Mayfield, 96 Ohio App. 3d 543, 645 N.E.2d 763 (8th Dist. App. 1994).
  • Cejer v. Ashmus, 1994 WL 197227 (8th Dist. App. 1994).
  • DePalma v. Mercury Aviation Co., 1993 WL 425349 (8th Dist. App. 1993).
  • Spencer v. McGill, 87 Ohio App. 3d 267, 622 N.E.2d 7 (8th Dist. App. 1993).
  • Lyman Steel v. Ferrostaal Metals Corp., 747 F. Supp. 389 (N.D. Ohio 1990).
  • DeMarco v. C&L Masonry, 891 F.2d 1236 (6th Cir. 1989).
  • Seminatore v. Redmond, 1988 WL 136056 (8th Dist. App. 1988).
Publications
  • “Ethics Check: Negotiating For A Job With Opposing Counsel,” Law360, October 2015
  • "Blue Skies Above? Legal Ethics and Cloud Storage," Ohio Lawyer, November/December 2013
  • "Informal Ethics Opinion Approves PEOs for Firms," Cleveland Bar Journal, January 2012
  • "Can E-Mail Disclaimers Help Avoid a Privilege Waiver?", Ohio Lawyer, November/December 2009
  • Co-author, "Keeping it All in the Family: Addressing Concentrations of Stock for Grantors, Trustees and Beneficiaries," Cleveland Bar Journal, December 2005
  • "Keeping Secrets: Ethical Screens for Side-Switching Nonlawyer Personnel," Ohio Lawyer, January/February 2003
  • "Can You Sue a Current Client? Maybe...Sometimes," Ohio Legal Ethics Update, August 2002
  • Co-author, "What You Say (And Don't Say) in ADR," For the Defense, July 2000
  • Co-author, "Keeping the 'R' in ADR," Alternatives, December 1999
  • Co-author, "Does Good Faith Avoid a Breach of Mediation Confidentiality?", Alternatives, October 1999
  • Co-author, "Keeping Mediation a Private Process," National Law Journal, September 1997
Presentations
  • "Four Hot Ethics Topics for Georgia Lawyers: What You Should Know, Whether You're In-House or "Outside" Counsel," Thompson Hine Professionalism & Ethics CLE, March 2017
  • “Ten Legal Malpractice Traps & How to Avoid Them,” Bloomberg/BNA Webinar, June 2016
  • “Clients With Diminished Capacity,” Dayton Bar Association Probate Law Institute, March 2016; Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Probate Section, October 2016
  • “Client Fee Agreements -- Update,” Miller-Becker Center for Professional Responsibility, Fall Institute, October 2015
  • “Using Social Media to Market Your Practice – Legal Ethics Issues,” Ohio State Bar Association Webcast, October 2015
  • "Ethics for Ohio Marketing Professionals: Social Media and More," Legal Marketing Association, March 2015
  • “Confidentiality and Client Data Security,” National Business Institute, December 2014
  • "Recognizing and Managing Conflicts of Interest," Case Western Reserve University Business and Law Colloquium, November 2014
  • “Multi-jurisdiction Practice, Corporate Family Tree – Ethics Issues,” Ohio State Bar Ass'n Webcast, September 2014
  • "Ethics Issues for Transactional Lawyers," Ohio State Bar Ass'n Webcast, September 2013
  • "Conflicts of Interest and Conflict Waivers”, Federal Bar Ass'n, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, New Lawyer Training, August 2013
  • "Ethics ABC's for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, December 2011
  • "Ethics 2011: Hot Topics in Modern Practice," Federal Bar Ass'n, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, July 2011
  • "Ethics, Evidence and Experts," National Business Institute, December 2009
  • "Three Ethics Issues for Ohio Attorneys," John Carroll University, June 2008
  • "Ethics Issues in Representing the Vulnerable Client," The Gathering Place, December 2007
  • "Hot Ethics Topics for Litigators," Lorman Educational Services, May 2006
  • "The Art of Legal Writing," Lorman Educational Services, September 2005
Distinctions
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2018
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, vice-chair of the Certified Grievance Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Association, vice-chair of the Professional Conduct Committee
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Women in Law Section, member
News