Karen A. Rooney

Areas of Practice
  • Employment Advice and Counsel
  • Employment and Labor
  • Litigation
  • Commerical Litigation
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Litigation

University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1980; University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., Economics, 1977

Languages Spoken
  • English

Los Angeles Office


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Karen A. Rooney has had over 30-years of litigation experience, with an emphasis in employment litigation.  She has defended employers of all types and sizes against claims for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, tort claims, including fraud, wage and hour, including class action claims, and other employment-related claims.  Ms. Rooney has also prosecuted and defended claims for trade secret misappropriation and related claims including tortious interference with contract and business advantage and has obtained potential workplace violence injunctions.  Ms. Rooney’s litigation experience also extends to commercial litigation including business torts, securities litigation, real estate transactions and contract disputes.

What sets Ms. Rooney apart from other practitioners in the labor/employment area is her extensive trial and arbitration experience.  While the bulk of cases end short of trial or arbitration, Ms. Rooney can and has taken numerous cases through trial or arbitration and appeal.  Below are examples of Ms. Rooney’s trial work:

  • Verdict for employer where the plaintiff alleged that she was laid off in retaliation for reports of time card fraud and asked for $1 million and punitive damages.
  • Verdict for employer where the plaintiff, a 65-year-old engineer, argued that laying him off rather than younger engineers constituted age discrimination.  The trial judge reported that no employee had lost a wrongful termination case in his courtroom.
  • Verdict for employer in two-week trial where supermarket checker alleged that supervisor sexually harassed her for six-months but did not report it until she went out on disability leave.  Jury voted 12-0 in favor of the employer.
  • Verdict for employer in 21-day trial where the plaintiff claimed that the employer laid him off based on race and national origin and claimed damages in excess of $4 million.
  • Judgment for employer in two cases by successfully moving for bifurcation and to try employer’s affirmative defense first.  Employer prevailed on affirmative defense, eliminating need for jury trial.

The last twelve years have produced a great deal of litigation related to the enforceability of employment arbitration agreements.  Ms. Rooney filed several petitions to enforce various arbitration agreements and represented employer in two cases that went to the appellate level.  As the use of employment arbitration agreements increased, Ms. Rooney successfully represented employers in at least 30 arbitration hearings.  The arbitrated cases included age discrimination/reduction in force claims; commission claims; wrongful termination/breach of contract claims; sexual harassment claims; disability discrimination claims; and claims against broker-dealer employers.

Although Ms. Rooney’s practice primarily focuses on the litigation and disposition of adversarial proceedings initiated by employees, she also provides advice and counsel to employers regarding employment issues.

Ms. Rooney has served on the Board of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Attorney Referral Service and has volunteered as a mediator with both the Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Ms. Rooney has also conducted a number of training sessions on employment law issues and trial strategy/skills.