After 36 years of practice as a trial attorney representing both plaintiff and defense interests, coupled with over 22 years mediating and arbitrating, ABOTA member, David M. Karen brings a wealth of sophisticated civil litigation and trial experience. His 1997 Wrongful Termination verdict recovering $1.6M for unvested stock options (Fleming v. Parametric) was affirmed by the 9th Circuit on appeal and his Failure to Warn litigation (Riera v. Somatics) involving the Learned Intermediary doctrine is pending review before the California Supreme court. Having participated as lead trial counsel in almost every type of civil litigation dispute over his career including real estate, construction, medical and legal negligence claims, personal injury, product liability, and wrongful death matters, he has now resolved over 600 matters as a neutral. David is now available as a full-time Mediator, Arbitrator, and Discovery Referee, exclusively at Judicate West.
Having begun his mediation career in 1999 as a panelist with the LA Superior Court, he has consistently grown his private mediation practice. Acting as pro tem settlement judge handling MSCs with the Ventura Superior Court in beginning in 2002, he met the Honorable David W. Long (Ret.), and his career as a well-respected, balanced neutral has continued to gain a steady following. In 2014 he formally joined forces with Judge Long, taking over the helm of Creative Dispute Resolution (CDR), Ventura County's most active ADR provider, continuing the expansion of mediation excellence originally established by a veteran mediator, Paul Fritz, Esq. in 1986.
With an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Accounting, David is adept with the financial aspects involved in virtually any and all civil litigation matters. He has been the senior managing partner of his own firm (DK Law Group), representing plaintiffs, self-insureds, and carrier-represented defendants throughout his career. His business acumen and broad-based trial experience have allowed him to gain a unique and astute ability to keenly understand and manage the complex intricacies related to risk assessment and management in guiding his clientele, both as counsel and as a neutral.
Over the decades, he has been repeatedly described as being a creative, engaging, and savvy mediator. As a result of his upbeat personality and balanced representation of interests throughout his legal career, David has developed the unique ability to both communicate and garner the trust of both parties and counsel in helping guide matters to resolution.
David states: I am a real believer in transparency in all dialogue. When all the hype and drama get stripped away and the decision-makers are able to understand others' perspectives through deft communication toward achieving shared goals, transformation happens. While every mediation is different, the personalities and the genuine needs of the parties, when finally exposed, help create avenues for meeting the needs of the parties. There is not much in life that brings more professional satisfaction to me than helping others find meaningful closure.
Hobbies & Interests
Mr. Karen's interests include tennis, golf, travel and theater. He's an active United States Tennis Association player, has hit on the red clay in Monte Carlo, watched Rafa Nadal at the French Open, Roger Federer at the U.S. Open, and has played with the Bryan Brothers for charity. His favorite theater experiences include seeing Hamilton and Witness for the Prosecution in London. His bucket list items that remain are to see the pros play at Wimbledon, get to the Australian Open and hopes to set foot at Augusta to see the Masters.
"We had a very good experience mediating with Mr. Karen and would not hesitate to do so in future cases again. "
- Attorney on a Premises Liability case
"I really liked how David Karen handled this case - engaged in pursuing a legitimate resolution. I appreciated his approach and would use him again in a heartbeat."
- Attorney on a Real Property Buy Sell case
"David Karen Esq. is an excellent mediator. He reviewed the briefs and supporting papers and had a firm grasp on the issues. Our respective sides could not have been further apart on liability and damages. Mr. Karen was able to connect with a difficult party and bring this matter to a resolution"
- Attorney on a Real Property Breach of Contract Matter
"David is excellent and patient. He makes the parties comfortable and builds trust and rapport throughout the process"
- Attorney on a Real Estate Matter
"Mr. Karen was thoroughly prepared; extremely professional; hard-working before and throughout the mediation; polite; patient; gracious; determined to attain a settlement; straightforward; easy to work with; and very, very effective. We reached a settlement before the mediation was set to end! From the first moment he interacted with this office, he made clear that we were working with someone who is really superb at what he does, and who really loves his work. He simply shone. He's a polished diamond of a mediator. He is one of the finest mediators this office has ever worked with. "
- Attorney on a Warrant of Habitability case
"This was my first experience with Mr. Karen. He dealt with multiple parties and very strong personalities in a very effective matter and spent a lot of time managing expectations. He did a wonderful job."
- Attorney on a Premises Liability case
"We appreciate David Karen's professionalism, knowledge, creativity, and tenacity in settling such a complex case with a particularly difficult litigant."
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual case
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