Karen graduated from The University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Communication in 1988 and worked in corporate claims for a national transportation company during and immediately after college. In 1989, Karen was accepted into the dual Law & Social Work program at Washington University of St. Louis and graduated in 1991 with her Master of Social Work with an emphasis on Economic Development and Policy. She returned home to Knoxville to finish law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law and graduated in 1994.
In 2018, Karen joined Bernstein, Stair & McAdams as an Of Counsel attorney. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has represented and provided guidance to businesses and corporations of all sizes, industries, and market sectors, on a variety of legal issues and matters. She has served on crisis management and mass claim teams, authored multiple publications, taught seminars, and given presentations to industry groups and associations. In addition, she has served as a panel member on risk management, claims management, regulatory compliance, human resources, conflict resolution, and workplace issues including the #MeToo and #TimesUp! Movements. Karen is also an experienced litigator who has tried cases before judges, juries, and administrative and arbitration tribunals.
Karen is a member of the Anderson County and Knoxville Bar Associations, a member and Fellow of both the Tennessee Bar and American Bar Associations and member of the Hamilton Burnett American Inns of Court. In addition, Karen is a member and former President of the Tennessee’s Lawyer Association for Women, as well as a member and former President of the East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.
In her community, Karen serves as an Oak Ridge representative on the Anderson County Economic Development Association Board and is a member of the Oak Ridge League of Women Voters. She is a member of the 2012 graduating class of Leadership Oak Ridge, and previously served as a member and former President of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland. In addition, she is a member of the Human Rights Commission for Emory Valley Center,
In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, enjoying art and live music, and traveling the world with her family and friends. Karen and her husband have two children in college, a dog named Leo, and a “scaredy-cat” named Dulcie.
B.S., University of Tennessee
M.S.W., Washington University
J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law
Tennessee State Courts
United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
United States Supreme Court
AV Preeminent Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence by Martindale-Hubbell
Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Hearing Officer (2014 – Present)
Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation (2019)
U.S. News & World Report, Recipient of Lawyer of the Year Award for Workers Compensation (2018)
Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women, President (2017–2018)
Recognized in U.S. News & World Reports as a “Best Lawyers in America” (2015-2020)
East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, Recipient of the Spirit of Justice Award (2014)
OECD-NEA International Nuclear Law Program in Paris, France, U.S. Delegate (2013)
East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, President (2011)