Karen is a 1974 graduate, cum laude, of Brown University (M.A. Teaching) and a 1973 graduate, cum laude, of Vassar College (B.A. History). After teaching for ten years, she graduated with honors in 1988 from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Upon graduation she joined Hardt & Stewart, in Naples, Florida, and in 1990, she lateralled to Frost & Jacobs, a 350 plus attorney, Cincinnati-based firm (now Frost Brown Todd LLC) where she worked as a litigation associate.
Karen subsequently founded with Fred Kramer, a Frost & Jacobs partner, Kramer & Larson, a civil litigation and transactional firm, and then her own firm, which she operated for five years. Her civil trial practice included business and tort claims litigated in several forums including Federal and State Courts. Her achievements included precedent setting appellate decisions, one for a business client in the cablevision industry, and another in a whistleblowing case against the State of Florida. She initiated the first Title IX claim in the United States District Court for the Middle District in Florida.
Karen moved to California and joined Gerry & Lear in 1999, where she successfully prosecuted appeals and writs, and handled a variety of civil matters including general business litigation. Karen continues to be licensed in both California and Florida, has tried numerous jury and bench trials and administrative matters, and has successfully prosecuted over 25 appeals and extraordinary writs.
Since 2002, Karen has been a litigation attorney at Century Law Group where her practice focus remains business litigation, including condemnation and inverse condemnation. In 2010 she obtained a 4 million dollar jury verdict on behalf of a business client whose only claim for compensation was based on an oral agreement with 2 former partners.
In condemnation and inverse matters, Ms. Larson has a strong reputation in defending businesses and property owners against government and developer activities. Ms. Larson’s and CLG’s trial and appeal success includes victories against a variety of public agencies and private parties in condemnation and inverse lawsuits including against the largest condemnors in California.
CLG and Ms. Larson only represent property and business owners. They have succeeded in toppling anti- business legal positions long advocated by condemning agencies and their teams with significant decisions with trial and appeal courts.
Noteworthy Courtroom Successes
In two frequently cited California cases, Ms. Larson persuaded the courts of appeal to set “new” standards in business valuation that must now be followed by courts and governments for the benefit of businesses. Inglewood Redevelopment Agency v Elias Aklilu (Cal. App. 2. Dist. 2007)153 Cal.App.4th 1095 and Los Angeles School District v. Elisa Pulgarin, et al. 175 Cal.App.4th 101 (2d Dist.2009).
These cases involved businesses that were condemned and forced to relocate as the result of government projects, including new developments for the benefit of larger businesses. But the governments told CLG’s clients that neither the government nor the developer would compensate them for their business losses because the businesses had no value. CLG and Ms. Larson rejected the government’s positions and the faulty premises upon which they were based and succeeded in persuading the Courts to reject these anti- business premises. They were also successful in defending against subsequent attacks by a powerful condemnor group of attorneys and appraisers who resisted change.
Since these two precedent setting cases cited in several annotations including the condemnation treatise relied on by practitioners throughout the State, Condemnation Practice in California, Ms. Larson and CLG have successfully represented a variety of clients, or provided support to fellow members of the eminent domain bar.
Ms. Larson has recently obtained important legal decisions in Los Angeles Superior Court, one in a condemnation matter involving the Los Angeles School District, the other in an inverse case against the Glendale Redevelopment Agency, Caruso Affiliated Holdings, LLC and The Americana at Brand, LLC.
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