Biography

Karen is known as go-to litigation counsel for physicians, hospitals, and health care professionals; accountants, attorneys, and business professionals; and pharmaceutical companies. Karen also maintains a high-stakes domestic relations practice. While her practice seems varied, if not eclectic, Karen simply loves the courtroom and is passionate about the law.

  • For hospitals and health care professionals, Karen has tried more than 100 cases to jury, as well as represented thousands of professionals in administrative proceedings and before licensing boards. She prides herself in fully understanding the complex medical issues, in meticulously analyzing and preparing her cases, and in offering compassion for her clients as they navigate 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.
  • Karen's domestic relations practice has resulted in high demand for her as a mediator 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 five-time recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award for her representation of low-income family law litigants through the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Karen began her legal career in 1985 at Friedman Gaythwaite Wolf, and her firm merged with Verrill in 2013. Prior to her legal 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 her proudest professional moment. ACTL is a by-invitation organization for those who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose careers are marked by the highest standards of professionalism and collegiality. Karen is a frequent lecturer on trial advocacy and professional liability topics throughout New England and was an adjunct professor of pretrial practice at the University of Maine School of Law.

Karen 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. Karen's son, Nate, played hockey for Falmouth High School and was a Debate Academic All-American with his mother as his coach; he graduated from the University of Virginia.

Services/Industries

Education

  • Syracuse University College of Law  (J.D.)
    • Syracuse Law Review; Notes & Comments Editor; National Trial Team
  • University of New Hampshire  (B.A., magna cum laude)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire

Memberships

  • Maine State Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute, "Business Suit" First Circuit Editor
  • Maine Association of Mediators

Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named as one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation" by Benchmark Litigation
  • Named a Local Litigation Star for General Commercial, Professional Liability, and Securities by Benchmark Litigation
  • Katahdin Counsel Recognition for pro bono efforts
  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Litigation: Medical Malpractice & Insurance
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© under Commercial Litigation, Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, Family Law Mediation, Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants, and Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2020 Portland, Maine Family Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2015 Portland, Maine Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants Lawyer of the Year
  • Selected as one of the "Top 50 Women" by New England Super Lawyers©
  • Selected to the "Top 100: New England Super Lawyers List"
  • Selected for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Defense, Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont

Firm Highlights

News

38 Verrill Attorneys, Across Four Offices, Recognized in 2020 Chambers & Partners Guide

(April 27, 2020) – Verrill has been rated as a Leading Firm in a total of ten categories and subcategories as evaluated by London-based Chambers & Partners , one of the world's most respected...

Matter

Healthcare: Discoverability of Confidential Health Records

Verrill Dana filed two amicus briefs on behalf of the Maine Hospital Association and Maine Medical Association regarding the scope of permissible discovery of third party medical records in medical malpractice cases. The issue...

Publication/Podcast

Executive Order Temporarily Modifies Requirements for In-Person Notarization and Acknowledgement in Maine

On April 8, 2020, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order titled “An Order Temporarily Modifying Certain In-Person Notarization and Acknowledgement Requirements.” The purpose of this Order is to enable citizens to execute...

Matter

International and Constitutional Law: Representation of Government of Mexico Seeking Parens Patriae Standing

Verrill attorneys represented the Government of Mexico in this high-profile appeal involving civil rights claims by over 1,000 Mexican migrant workers at an egg production farm in Maine. Mexico sought parens patriae status, specifically...

Matter

Age Discrimination Case in the Health Care Industry

Verrill Dana's Litigation Team successfully represented a healthcare institution in an age discrimination case brought by a former doctor. The case wound its way from Federal Court, to Maine Superior Court to the Maine...

Matter

Healthcare and Employment Law: Doctor’s Claims of Age Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate Mental Health Issues

Verrill Dana represented Penobscot Community Healthcare in an appeal to the Maine Supreme Court arising from an age discrimination complaint by one of its doctors. After the trial court granted summary judgment in favor...

Matter

Healthcare and Tort Liability: Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Doctor’s Libel and Tortious Interference Claims

Verrill Dana successfully represented Northwestern Medical Center and Quorum Health Resources in an appeal the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Doctor Raymond Long alleged that Northwestern and Quorum had filed...