Karen has been a lawyer for 25 years, concentrating in all types of litigation—criminal and civil. Karen has excellent and diverse trial experience, having tried bench and jury trials throughout the country. At the same time, Karen has exceptional negotiation skills which allow her to quickly and creatively settle matters for clients with the least possible expenditure of time and money. She is formally trained as a mediator and in collaborative law.
Karen is a 1983 Honors Graduate of Northern Illinois University and 1986 alumni of the University of Illinois College of Law. She was an associate with Peterson & Ross and the Tressler, Soderstrom firm in Chicago.
In 1990, Karen formed Adamski & Conti LLC with Gregory Adamski. Since that time, she has engaged in a local and national practice of trial and appellate law in civil and criminal matters. Karen has tried numerous cases to the bench and to juries, argued appeals, and litigated cases in a wide variety of matters including: commercial business real estate litigation, insurance coverage disputes, contracts, probate, defamation, domestic relations, criminal and white collar criminal defense, environmental matters, employment discrimination, injunctions, business torts, trade secrets, professional negligence, and civil rights.
A member of the Illinois and California bars, Karen has handled numerous significant cases, including a successful United States Supreme Court appeal on behalf of the Cook County Democratic Party, the death row appeals of John Wayne Gacy, the criminal case of Marisol Reynolds (wife of former Congressman Mel Reynolds) and a wrongful arrest and injury action against the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers arising from the infamous May 2000 brawl in the Wrigley Field stands.
In December 2008, Karen tried a six week jury trial and obtained a $1.2 million fraud verdict against a nationally known home builder, represented by the world's largest law firm.
Karen is heavily involved in academics. For 13 years, she has taught "Bootcamp" (the Chicago Litigation Course) for the University of Illinois College of Law, a well-recognized course she developed. This one-week intensive hands-on course uses as regular participants important Chicago judges and administrators such as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Governor James Thompson, Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez, Chicago Corporation Counsel Mara Georges, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and many others. She also taught the law school's first death penalty course. She was recently appointed an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law, where she teaches a litigation course and she teaches Illinois civil litigation to law graduates preparing for the bar exam. She has guest lectured at Stanford University and American University.
Karen has extensive experience and contact with the local and national media. She is a regular legal commentator on Fox News Network, MSNBC, and truTV. She is the designated legal expert for Chicago's local Fox affiliate, giving weekly commentary on diverse issues such as white collar crime, family law, and business law matters. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Bill O'Reilly Factor, Montel Williams, Leeza Gibbons, and other television programs.
As co-host and producer of legal talk show "Chicago Law," she won A.I.R. (Achievement in Radio) Awards for, among other things, best Public Affairs and Best Afternoon Drive Program. Currently, she co-hosts a weekly legal talk show called "Legally Speaking" on Chicago superstation WGN (AM 720), where she earned a Meritorious Achivement Kogan Award for excellence in broadcasting. Columbia College recently appointed Karen as adjunct professor, teaching courses in radio production and media law.
Karen also writes and lectures. Her articles are published in the Chicago Sun-Times and local magazines. She has spoken at many seminars and events, including a death penalty symposium with Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and at the 2007 Family Rights Rally at the Lincoln Monument in Washington D.C. In 2008, she was appointed by the Illinois House Speaker to help revise the Illinois family law statutes.
Karen was voted one of 40 under 40 Illinois Attorneys to Watch by Chicago Lawyer Magazine, One of the 100 Women Making a Difference in Chicago by Today's Chicago Woman, Outstanding Alumni of the Year at University of Illinois College of Law, and the Distinguished Graduate Award. She was voted a Leading Lawyer, part of a network of elite lawyers in the state. She was also named the Most Fit Lawyer in Chicago in 2009.