Stephanie P. Karn

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Stephanie P. Karn

Fax: 804-823-4099

Stephanie is a Shareholder in the firm’s Richmond office, and currently serves as Chairperson of the firm. Stephanie’s practice focuses on employment matters, issues involving colleges and universities, and general litigation (including securities).

In the Employment arena, Stephanie advises employers, including colleges and universities, on ways to avoid litigation and/or reduce exposure to litigation claims. She provides counseling on all aspects of employment law, including compliance with employment statutes and regulations; drafting and implementation of policies, handbooks and employment agreements; harassment prevention training; employee investigations; and employee termination. She defends employers in cases alleging: sex, race, national origin, religion, age, and/or disability discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and non-compete issues. Her practice covers a full breadth of employment and securities issues, including Family Medical Leave Act claims, sexual harassment, trade secret violations, whistleblower claims, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful discharge, negligence, defamation, raiding and customer complaints. Stephanie also represents clients before such administrative agencies as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

Additionally, Stephanie counsels and defends colleges and universities on matters involving tenure issues, academic freedom, student complaints, faculty and staff handbooks, drug testing, NCAA issues, Title IX, and reductions in force for both staff and faculty. She also serves as an outside, neutral investigator for higher education institutions and other employers, in such areas as sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment.

In her spare time, Stephanie has completed six marathons, twenty half-marathons and quite a few 5ks and 10ks. During weekends in the fall and summer, as well as in-season during the spring, Stephanie can be found on the lacrosse field as a parent-spectator.

University of Richmond Law School, J.D., 1995
College of William & Mary, B.A., 1991

Virginia State Bar
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Affiliations
Richmond Bar Association
Virginia Bar Association
NACUA (National Association of College & University Attorneys)
The John Marshall American Inn of Court

Honors and Awards
Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell
Legal Elite, Labor/Employment Law, Virginia Business Magazine, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022

Recent Experience

  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a gender discrimination claim filed against a university.
  • Successfully obtained closure of an OCR complaint, with no adverse finding against the institution.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a defamation claim filed against a Title IX complainant.
  • Obtained default judgment in a breach of contract case between an outside consultant and its client.
  • Obtained default judgment against a former employee who refused to reimburse his employer for overpayment.
  • Successfully defended an allegation of failure to accommodate filed by a student against his former college. The administrative complaint was closed with no finding of negligence.
  • Completed an extensive, outside investigation into an employee’s claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
  • In the last two years alone, as an outside, neutral investigator, completed more than a dozen investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Recent Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “Federal and State Court Judges’ Panel on the Three M’s: Motions, Mediation and Manners,” VBA 51st Annual Conference on Labor & Employment, October 1, 2021
  • “Retaliation Law Update,” VBA 50th Annual Conference on Labor & Employment, September 10, 2020
  • “Retaliation Law Update,” VBA 49th Annual Conference on Labor & Employment,” September 12, 2019
  • “Religious and National Origin Discrimination – Issues and Intersection,” EEOC Richmond TAPS Seminar, June 17, 2016
  • “Employee Classifications: Exempt v. Non-Exempt, the Nuts & Bolts,” Virginia State CUPA-HR Chapter Conference, May 12, 2016
  • Moderator, “Taming the Workplace Bully,” NACUA Higher Education Employment Law Conference, March 30, 2016
  • Moderator, “A View from the Inside of the EEOC,” 2016 Richmond SHRM Legal Update, February 18, 2016
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law for Health Care Lawyers,” VADA 2014 Spring Meeting, May 9, 2014
  • “Social Media in Health Care-The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” VMGMA Spring Conference, March 31, 2014
  • “NLRB Updates for the Non-Union Employer,” Virginia State CUPA-HR Chapter Conference, September 2013
  • “Employment Law 101 for the Non-Employment Lawyer,” ACC Real Estate Committee Quick Hits, 2012
  • “Employment Law 101 – More Than Alphabet Soup, What Every Lawyer Should Know,” WMACCA Richmond, March 14, 2012
  • “Employment and Labor Issues for Nonprofits,” Professional Education Broadcast Network Teleseminar, July 12, 2011
  • “Legislative Update – What's on the Horizon,” Virginia State CUPA-HR Chapter Conference, October 10, 2010
  • “Recruiting and EEO Compliance,” Roundtable Discussion, Virginia State CUPA-HR Chapter Conference, April 21, 2008

Classes Taught

  • Adjunct Faculty, Washington and Lee University Law School, Higher Education Law, 2009-2012

Directorships & Appointments

  • Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers, Board of Directors & Immediate Past-Chair, 2014-
  • Mental Health America of Virginia, Board of Directors, 2014- 2016
  • University of Richmond Law School Alumni Association, 2004-2010
  • Board of Directors, John Marshall Foundation, 2002-2004
  • Board of Directors, The Read Center, 1998-2001

Professional Affiliations

  • National Association of College & University Attorneys
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Labor and Employment Committee, United States Law Firm Group, 2008-2013
  • Past Chair, Young Grad's Council, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, Bar Exam Grader, 2009-Present

Community Involvement

  • Member, Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Education Subcommittee, 2011-2017
  • Atlee Athletics Booster Club, Immediate Past President, 2016-