Karen is known as go-to litigation counsel for physicians, hospitals and health care professionals, for whom she regularly achieves tremendous results at panel hearings, board reviews, and trial. She prides herself in fully understanding the complex medical issues, meticulous analysis and preparation, and compassion for her clients navigating unfamiliar adversarial waters. Karen's professional liability practice is rounded out with defense of accountants, attorneys, and business professionals in court and before boards and ethics organizations. She also likes to roll up her sleeves for businesses involved in complex commercial litigation.
The medical arm of Karen's work is in parallel with her defense of pharmaceutical companies in drug and device litigation. She tried two of only a handful of cases to proceed to trial nationally on behalf of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, following bankruptcy of the product's manufacturer, defeating claims of fraud and achieving defense verdicts.
Karen also maintains a high stakes domestic relations practice, and is in high demand as a mediator, referee and arbitrator in this area. Drawing on her years of experience and success as a trial lawyer, her ability to work with challenging personalities and her sense of creative problem solving, Karen has helped litigants find common ground in the most difficult cases.
Karen is committed to the ideal of equal access to the justice system for all citizens, including the right to strong advocacy by legal counsel. She is a four time recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award for her representation of low-income family law litigants through the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Karen has been recognized as Katahdin Counsel, a designation earned by providing at least 50 hours of pro bono service in a year, by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court each year since the inception of the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program in 2012.
While her practice seems varied, if not eclectic, Karen simply loves the courtroom and is passionate about the law.
Karen began her legal career in 1985 at Friedman Gaythwaite Wolf, and her firm merged with Verrill Dana in 2013. Prior to her law career, she was a legislative intern for the late U.S. Senator Warren B. Rudman.
Karen considers her 2012 induction as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers as one of her proudest professional moments. ACTL is a by-invitation organization for those who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers are marked by the highest standards of professionalism and collegiality. Karen is Chairperson of the Federal Practice Section of the Maine State Bar Association. She has also served on several Rules committees and been a member of the Federal Magistrate Merit Selection Panel. She is an Adjunct Professor of Pretrial Practice at the University of Maine School of Law.
Karen has spent much of her free time over the past couple of decades in an ice rink. Karen's daughter, Chloe, was a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Team and national ice dance champion at the Novice level, who after hanging up her skates, graduated from Duke University. Her son, Nate, an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, played hockey for Falmouth High School and was a Debate Academic All-American with his mother as his coach.