Karen C. Burgess

Top rated business litigation attorney in Austin, Texas

Burgess Law PC
Karen C. Burgess
Burgess Law PC

Practice Areas: Business litigation, Civil litigation, Employment litigation view more

Licensed in Texas since: 1996

Education: The University of Texas School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022 Selected to Rising Stars: 2004, 2008 - 2011

Burgess Law PC

404 W 13th St
Austin, TX 78701 Phone: 512-482-8808 Email: Karen C. Burgess Visit website


Karen Burgess is the founder of Burgess Associates.  Karen has an AV®Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest ethical standards and legal ability, and she is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  She is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and ABOTA’s President recently appointed her to the National Board of Directors.  In March 2015, Karen was inducted as a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which limits membership to 500 Fellows from the United States. Karen is a team leader for the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, and she serves on the Texas Bar Foundation’s Nominating Committee.  Thomson Reuters named Karen a “Top 50 Women Super Lawyer” as well as a “Top 50 Central & West Texas Super Lawyer” for 2014.  Also in 2014, Karen was Co-Chair of the UT Page Keeton Civil Litigation Seminar and Co-Chair of Bench Bar.  She served as Chair of the Austin Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Board from 2012-13, and the Travis County Women Lawyers Association named her Litigator of the Year for 2012.  In 2011, Karen was also selected a “Winning Woman” by Texas Lawyer, an honor reserved for only twenty attorneys in the State of Texas.

Karen handles complex business cases, including trade secret, securities, fiduciary, contract, partnership, insurance, employment, construction, real estate and oil and gas litigation.

Before practicing law in Austin, Karen earned her B.A. in Economics, Spanish, and Policy Studies from Rice University, where she had the opportunity to study at the Universidad Catolica in Valparaiso, Chile, and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
  • “Top 50 Women Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) as featured in Texas Monthly® 2014, 2016
  • “Top 50 Central & West Texas Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) as featured in Texas Monthly® 2014-2016
  • “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) as featured in Texas Monthly® 2012-present; “Rising Star” (Thomson Reuters) as featured in Texas Monthly® 2004-2011
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2016-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Commercial Litigation 2017-present
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association “Litigator of the Year” 2012
  • Texas Lawyer’s “Winning Women” 2011 (1 of only 20)
  • “Karen C. Burgess Public Interest Fellowship” awarded by the Whitehurst Family in 2018
  • University of Texas School of Law Alumni Mentor of the Year Award 2018

Practice areas

Business litigation, Civil litigation: defense, Employment litigation: defense, Intellectual property litigation, Securities litigation

First Admitted: 1996, Texas

Professional Webpage: https://burgesslawpc.com/karen-burgess/

  • Represented plaintiff in international contract dispute case against the second largest telephone company in Mexico and achieved a $35.6 million judgment after federal jury trial.
  • Settled fiduciary litigation mid-way through jury trial in November 2014.
  • Class counsel for 60,000 policyholders; trial court certified the class on July 1, 2003.
  • Won evidentiary hearing on application for forensic inspection and temporary injunction based on Trade Secrets Act.
  • Won money damages as well as a declaration of defamation in arbitration on behalf of the CEO of a company publicly traded in New Zealand.
  • Successfully defended British company in special appearance in Texas court; case dismissed.
  • Argued and won appeal granting defendants the right to trial by jury when a co-defendant attempted to force them to arbitration.
  • Represented surgeons in fiduciary litigation; confidential settlement reached after Ms. Burgess’ opening statement.
  • Defended insurance company in action by former agent; confidential settlement reached after one week of trial.
  • Tried federal securities case on behalf of two plaintiffs; jury awarded $4,600,000 and court entered judgment on that amount.
  • Settled software trade secret misappropriation dispute during week-long temporary injunction hearing.
  • Represented owner of museum quality furniture damaged by movers, obtained judgment after a bench trial, and settled with the movers’ insurance companies.
  • Successfully defended publicly-traded company against $20 million claim and jury awarded fees in our client’s favor.
  • Won verdict of $3,750,000, with a $276,00 offset, for local auto shop in federal court; settled confidentially before retrial on punitive damages.
  • Represented management buyout group in contract and fraud case; following hearing on the merits, arbitration panel awarded our client $2,484,184.22.
  • Secured temporary injunction under the Fraudulent Transfer Act against developer on behalf of a condominium regime after evidentiary hearing; funds went to escrow upon closings.
  • Defended elevator service company in a $1.2 million breach of warranty/DTPA claim; achieved a judgment for the defense after arbitration.
  • Defeated summary judgment by insurance carrier in Milwaukee, Wisconsin court and achieved permanent injunction in Texas court, which allowed for confidential settlement of multi-state litigation between sports broadcasting company and competitor.
  • Represebted global, Austin-based software company in trade secret litigation against its primary competitor; confidential settlement reached two-weeks prior to trial after nationwide depositions and monthly hearings.
  • Represented plaintiff in case of tortious interference with patients; after jury verdict, court entered judgment in favor of our client in the amount of $1,491,593.35.
  • Defended software company in breach of contract action by distributor; settled favorably during jury trial.
  • Tried commercial real estate dispute between publicly-traded technology company and developer; confidential settlement reached midway through jury trial.
  • Defeated non-compete in evidentiary temporary injunction hearing.
  • Won jury trial for defendant and preserved it on appeal; plaintiff sought seven-figure lost profit recovery in cargo case.
  • Secured summary judgment for chemical manufacturer in fire case based on federal preemption.
  • Obtained defense verdict for property owner after jury trial.
  • Represented plaintiff in premises liability case; after verdict for plaintiff, judgment entered in the amount of $9,005,206.72.
  • Represented venture-capital firm and benefits company as plaintiffs in suit against bank and promoter; settled Friday before jury trial after many hearings.
  • Represented class of 5,000 software purchasers; trial court certified class; certification order affirmed on appeal, see Henry Schein, Inc. v. Stromboe, 28 S.W.3d 196 (Tex. App.—Austin, pet. granted); reversed by the Texas Supreme Court in Schein v. Stromboe, 102 S.W.3d 675, 46 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 103 (Tex. Oct 31, 2002).
  • Represented angel investor and won a temporary injunction and motions to compel forensic inspection, for contempt, for summary judgment and for advancement of fees in case against Delaware LLC and co-managers after multiple days of evidentiary hearings.
  • Represented a high net worth family against financial and tax advisors who exposed them to significant tax liability and reached settlement with the last defendant two weeks before trial.
  • Represented corporate general counsel in securing value of stock options promised in technology company; confidential settlement entered one week before trial.
  • Won AAA arbitration over insurance coverage of $4,600,000 jury verdict in securities case in Denver, Colorado.
  • Obtained dismissal for a District Operator and Municipal Utility District on plea to the jurisdiction.
  • Obtained injunction to enforce noncompetition agreement and anti-rolling provision against insurance agent after contested, evidentiary hearing.
  • Won defense verdict for commercial property owner after jury trial on breach of contract.
  • Represented biomedical engineer in partnership dispute regarding medical device patents and royalties; confidential settlement reached at arbitration final hearing.
  • Defended semiconductor design firm in sex discrimination case; defense verdict and take-nothing judgment entered.
  • Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2016
  • Texas Lawyer’s “Winning Women,” 2011 (1 of only 20)
  • University of Texas School of Law Alumni Mentor of the Year Award , 2018
  • AV®Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association Litigator of the Year for 2012
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Austin Bar Association, Chair of Civil Litigation Section Board
  • Texas Bar Foundation Fellow and District Nominating Committee Co-Chair
  • President of The Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of Court
  • American Board of Trial Advocates -- National Board of Directors, Treasurer
  • Past Secretary of Travis County Women Lawyers Association
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers -- Board of Directors, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Austin Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, Chair, 2013
Educational Background:
  • University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas: Doctor of Jurisprudence, Order of the Barristers, 1996
  • Universidad Católica, Valparaiso, Chile: Studied Latin American History and Policy, 1990
  • Rice University, Houston, Texas: Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Spanish and Policy Studies, 1992
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Board Certified -- Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2008
Industry Groups:
  • International Academy Of Trial Lawyers

Office location for Karen C. Burgess

404 W 13th St
Austin, TX 78701

Attorney resources for Karen C. Burgess

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