Karen C. Burgess


Telephone: (512) 482-8808
Facsimile: (512) 499-8886
Email: kburgess@richardsonburgess.com

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Karen Burgess is a founder of Richardson + Burgess, LLP.  Karen is AV rated by her peers, and she is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  The International Academy of Trial Lawyers inducted her as a Fellow, an honor limited to 500 lawyers in the United States.  She is also an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and serves on ABOTA’s National Board of Directors.  Thomson Reuters has named Karen a Super Lawyer and has included her as a “Top 50 Women Super Lawyer” as well as a “Top 50 Central & West Texas Super Lawyer” in multiple years.  The Travis County Women Lawyers Association named her Litigator of the Year for 2012.  In 2011, Karen was selected a “Winning Woman” by Texas Lawyer, a designation reserved for only twenty attorneys in the state of Texas.  Recently, Lawdragon named Karen one of The 500 Leading Lawyers in America and The Best Lawyers in America® listed Karen as a Best Lawyer for Commercial Litigation for 2017.

Karen’s practice ranges from trade secret disputes to securities, contract, insurance, real estate, oil and gas, partnership and fiduciary litigation.  She is a frequent speaker on litigation topics and has served as course director for the University of Texas Page Keeton Civil Litigation Seminar and TexasBarCLE’s Business Disputes Course.

Before practicing law in Austin, she 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

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial AdvocatesNational Board of Directors
    • Long Range Planning Committee Co-Chair
    • Presidential Task Force
  • Lloyd Lochridge American Inn of CourtMembership Chair
  • 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 America2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Commercial Litigation 2017
  • Texas Lawyer’s “Winning Women”2011 (1 of only 20)
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association “Litigator of the Year”2012
  • UT Page Keeton Civil Litigation Seminarpresenter/presiding officer 2011-present
  • TexasBarCLE Business DisputesCourse Director 2016; presenter 2015-present
  • TexasBarCLE Advanced Evidence and Discoverypresenter 2016
  • TexasBarCLE Winning Your Case Before Trialpresenter 2016
  • Hidalgo County Bar Association David Hockema Civil Trial Law Conferencepresenter 2016
  • American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Conference presenter 2014
  • Austin Bar Association Civil Litigation SectionFormer Chair
  • Austin Bar Association Bench Bar2014 Co-Chair
  • Texas Bar FoundationFellow and District Nominating Committee Co-Chair


  • 1996University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas

Doctor of Jurisprudence, Order of the Barristers

  • 1992Rice University, Houston, Texas

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Spanish, and Policy Studies

  • 1990Universidad Catolica, Valparaiso, Chile

Studied Latin American History and Policy

Representative Engagements

  • Settled fiduciary litigation mid-way through jury trial.
  • Won verdict of $3,750,000, with a $276,000 offset, for local auto shop in federal court; settled confidentially before retrial on punitive damages.
  • 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.
  • 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 global, Austin-based software company in trade secret litigation against its primary competitor; confidential settlement reached two-weeks prior to trial.
  • Represented surgeons in fiduciary litigation; confidential settlement reached after Ms. Burgess’ opening statement.
  • Settled software trade secret misappropriation dispute during week-long temporary injunction hearing.
  • Tried commercial real estate dispute between publicly-traded technology company and developer; confidential settlement reached mid-trial.
  • Represented biomedical engineer in partnership dispute regarding medical device patents and royalties; confidential settlement reached at arbitration final hearing.
  • Successfully defended publicly-traded company against $20,000,000 claim and jury awarded fees in our client’s favor.
  • Represented plaintiff in international contract dispute case against the second largest telephone company in Mexico and achieved a $35,600,000 judgment after jury trial.
  • Represented plaintiff in premises liability case; after verdict for plaintiff, judgment entered in the amount of $9,005,206.72.
  • Represented management buyout group in contract and fraud case; following hearing on the merits, arbitration panel awarded our client $2,484,184.22.
  • Class counsel for 60,000 policyholders; trial court certified the class on July 1, 2003.
  • 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).
  • Defended elevator service company in a $1,200,000 breach of warranty/DTPA claim; achieved a judgment for the defense.
  • 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 insurance company in action by former agent; confidential settlement reached after one week of trial.
  • Defended software company in breach of contract action by distributor; settled favorably during trial.
  • Defended semiconductor design firm in sex discrimination case; defense verdict and take-nothing judgment entered.
  • Secured defense verdict for commercial property owner after jury trial on breach of contract.
  • Represented venture-capital firm and benefits company as plaintiffs.
  • Obtained TROs under Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act and enforced and defeated noncompetition agreements.

Court Admissions

  • Licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas, 1996
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Foreign Language

  • Spanish


  • People’s Community Clinic Foundation Board of TrusteesChair
  • Paramount TheaterGala Auction Chair 2015
  • Ann Richards School for Young Women LeadersGala Committee
  • Westlake Hills PresbyterianChurch Elder


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