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Family law cases are built on profound life changes. I handle divorces and child custody disputes to walk others through those transitions.

I approached my education in earnest and enjoyed my time at the University of Akron School of Law in Ohio.  I performed well academically, wrote for Law review, and graduated magna cum laude.  I learned law during those years, but I learned to lawyer while practicing at the Law Office of Palermo, Barbaro, Chinen and Pitzer, LLP, in Pasadena.  I joined that firm as an associate attorney the day I was sworn in as a member of the California State Bar in December 2007, and was privileged with the mentorship of its partners.  They showed me that the finest case results come from calculated trial preparations, persistence in negotiations, and integrity in all things.  The longer I practice, the more fortunate I feel for the benefit of their uncommon examples at the outset of my career.

In June 2013, I separated from PBCP with the goal of opening a classroom program for self-represented family law litigants. While developing that curriculum, I’ve continued serving family law clients.  By 2015, my solo practice had grown into a small firm with a capable staff.

We designate our role as “Family Law Counsel” to connote parity between clients and advocates.  The trust and understanding that comes from working together as equals is what allows us to tell our clients’ stories persuasively.



Karen didn’t intend to become a family law attorney when she was sworn in as a member of the California Bar in 2012.  She graduated from UCLA Law School and went to work for a tech/finance startup, volunteering her free time at legal clinics in Los Angeles.  She worked with a Domestic Violence Unit and Animal Cruelty Unit while interning for the LA County District Attorney’s Office during law school and continued contributing a portion of her lawyering time to serve victims of abuse. 

In early 2014, Karen began supporting attorney Phil Marr on a handful of cases in his then-solo practice. Within a month she was indispensable. Karen signed on full-time and continues to contribute discernment in high-conflict cases, her keen grasp of tangled legal issues, and loyalty to our firm’s clients.  She regularly serves as supporting counsel in trial and has an eye for detail which helps her trace through bank statements and financial records for evidence in property and support cases. 


Karen received her undergraduate education at UC Davis, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in English and Ancient History in 2009. Next came law school, where she served as managing editor of the school’s Women’s Law Journal, served as the chair of Public Interest Law Foundation ("PILF") for a year, and volunteered at juvenile hall and public law clinics.  She is dedicated to promoting constructive communications and helping parents navigate the complexities of our court system toward positive outcomes.

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