Overview

Known as a strategic and versatile litigator, Karen concentrates her practice in complex commercial litigation, reinsurance and insurance coverage disputes, product liability, and bankruptcy. Her considerable experience implementing and leading nationwide litigation strategies allows her to guide clients through some of the most complex disputes from pre-litigation through trial. She represents parties in high-stakes matters requiring multi-layered strategy across jurisdictions and forums.  She counsels senior leadership on case assessment and risk analysis, and collaborates with clients to develop cost-efficient and effective strategies to achieve the clients’ desired outcomes.

Karen has a broad range of insurance and reinsurance experience involving directors and officers, errors and omissions, commercial general liability, employment practices liability, and commercial property policies. In addition to providing coverage advice, Karen litigates and arbitrates insurance and reinsurance disputes on behalf of insurers, cedents, and reinsurers.

Karen has represented credit and mortgage insurers in coverage disputes with lenders involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract that arose as a result of events surrounding the 2008 mortgage crisis. Her representations in this area span a variety of jurisdictions and venues, including arbitration. In one such notable matter, Karen managed the litigation team in asserting claims of fraud and breach of contract against lenders that were issued credit insurance policies for hundreds of thousands of home equity loans and lines of credit.

Additionally, she has served as national counsel for manufacturers across a variety of industries in product liability cases in state court and multidistrict litigation. She also served as national counsel for manufacturers involved in asbestos and silica disputes, and worked closely with those clients to develop approaches that aligned with their ultimate business goals.

Karen’s bankruptcy experience includes the representation of individual creditors, creditors’ committees, debtors, liquidating trusts and lessors. Karen has litigated numerous issues, including preference and avoidance actions, automatic stay, claims resolution, and other bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related matters.

Beyond her work as a litigator, Karen is active in promoting education among insurance and reinsurance professionals, serving as one of the co-chairs of Porter Wright’s annual Women in Reinsurance (WIR) program. WIR is an educational and networking series for women arbitrators, business executives, consultants and attorneys operating in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Karen is also a champion for women in the legal profession and an active member of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Education

  • Chicago Kent College of Law  (J.D., with honors, 1995)
  • Duke University  (B.A., 1988)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Associations

  • Association of Professional Insurance Women, Member
  • Defense Research Institute