Karen focuses her practice on complex civil litigation and trials, as well as crisis management—helping her clients solve their biggest problems both in and out of the courtroom. Karen was named a 2017 Litigator of the Year by The American Lawyer magazine, which commented: “If the case is high-stakes, high-profile and hard-fought, don’t be surprised to find Karen Dunn playing a role.”
Karen is an accomplished trial lawyer and courtroom advocate. Karen led BSF’s defense of Uber in an intensely watched and hotly contested trade secrets case brought by Waymo regarding the future of self-driving cars. The case ended in a favorable settlement following four days of trial, which included Karen’s examination of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Prior to that and in the span of one year, together with BSF partner Bill Isaacson, Karen won high-dollar jury verdicts for two of America’s top technology companies. The following year, she successfully argued summary judgment resulting in victory for another prominent technology company in a high-stakes case. That same year, Karen and her co-counsel won a two-year pro bono legal battle in local and federal courts to enforce Washington D.C.’s Local Budget Autonomy Act. Lawdragon, which named Karen one of America's 500 Leading Lawyers, called Karen’s practice “one of the finest litigation/crisis-management practices in the country.”
As a crisis management expert and trusted advisor to public figures and top executives, Karen specializes in confronting high-stakes legal problems that require her to contend simultaneously with the law, the media, and the government. Her work preparing candidates for political debates, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, has received extensive media coverage. And Karen brings those same skills to bear when she prepares company executives for congressional hearings, depositions, and trial testimony.
Prior to joining the firm, Karen served in all three branches of government. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, she tried to jury verdict numerous multi-defendant cases and led complex investigations. She served as Associate White House Counsel, representing the Executive Office of the President in congressional investigations and overseeing litigation. Karen served as a law clerk to Judge Merrick B. Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. Earlier in her career, Karen served as communications director and senior advisor to then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
Karen has also been named one of the National Law Journal’s Outstanding Women Lawyers, a Litigator of the Week by both The American Lawyer and Global Competition Review, and one of Elle Magazine’s Most Compelling Women in Washington D.C.
Karen is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.