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Karen A. Holmes, Shareholder

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Karen A. Holmes
Practice Areas

Professional Liability
Civil Litigation
Construction Litigation
Product Liability

Professional Awards & Honors

Top 10 Attorneys in Construction & Real Estate Law, San Diego Daily Transcript 2006
Top San Diego Lawyers, Construction, San Diego Super Lawyers 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018

Top 25 Women Lawyers, San Diego Super Lawyers, 2008
2013 Top Lawyers in the area of Professional Liability as published in San Diego Magazine (March 2013)

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

California State Bar
San Diego County Bar Association, Past Vice President and Board Member, Chair, Community Service Committee
Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Vice Chair, Trial Tactics Committee
Defense Research Institute, Past Chair, Construction Law Committee
San Diego Defense Lawyers, Past President and Board Member
Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
Lawyers Club
Louis B. Welsh Chapter, American Inns of Court
Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Foundation, Member
Women’s Construction Coalition, Member
Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF), Selected as Vice Chair of the Construction Design Committee (2013)


California Western School of Law (J.D., 1983)
San Diego State University (B.A., Political Science, 1979)

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Ethical Considerations in Dual Representations, DRI 1995
The Use of Contract Provisions in the Defense of Construction Disputes, DRI 2001
The Role of the Expert Scientist in Court, American Meteorological Society, Forensic Meteorology 2005
AIA Contracts, Lorman Education Services 2006, 2008, 2010
Hidden Traps: Increasing Your Exposure Through Contract Terms, (DPRCG Loss Prevention Convention)
Trends in Construction Law, ASCDC 2007
TSI Seismic Tenant Space, Inc. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 159
American Society of Civil Engineers, San Diego Section Geotechnical Group, presentation of the Five Focus Points in Preparing Your Proposals and Contracts for Professional Services; June 2011
AIBD Green Building Risk Management Presentation; March 2012

KAREN A HOLMES has over 30 years experience as a successful litigator and trial attorney specializing in civil litigation and professional casualty defense matters. The firm’s professional clients often turn to Ms. Holmes on matters of contract negotiations, risk management and pre-litigation resolution between ongoing business partners. She is a well-respected author, teacher and speaker. Ms. Holmes has extensive trial experience before juries, judges and arbitrators. She has successfully defended business and tort cases for a variety of the firm’s clients. She is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and has served as Judge Pro Tem as well as arbitrator and mediator for the San Diego Superior Court.  Ms. Holmes has counseled the firms clients in a variety of matters given the breadth of her experience including

  • Defense of architects and engineers against claims of professional malpractice for design and engineering of soils, on and off-site utilities, roads, walls and commercial, residential and industrial structures, including analysis of claims of damages for repair costs, extras and delay claims
  • Defense verdicts in favor of and creation of strategic defenses for developers and builders in construction claims on multifamily residential projects, including single family and attached homes, including prosecution of indemnity rights
  • Long standing handling of a variety of claims asserted against elevator and escalator manufacturers, including products liability and premises liability claims in facilities as diverse as airports, high rise office towers, apartment and condominium complexes
  • Other complex claims involving contract disputes, toxic tort claims, products liability, transportation and other general civil litigation, many involving multiple million dollar exposure
  • Contract review and negotiation, and risk management counseling on behalf of design professionals and builder/developers, including insurance, risk transfer, and indemnity rights
  • Ms. Holmes has been invited to present on a variety of topics to a wide array of audiences including the Defense Research Institute, American Meteorological Society, DPRCG Loss Prevention Convocation, and Lorman Educational Services AIA Contract Seminars