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Mr. Karen’s focus is on litigation, with an emphasis on financial services, mortgage banks, and hospitality-restaurant industries; Ms. Pass concentrates on employment counseling, in a wide array of industries with a special focus on  independent schools; Mr. Karen and Ms. Pass brought with them their four talented associates.

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WASHINGTON, DC (January 30, 2007) – Venable LLP announced that experienced labor and employment attorneys Ari Karen and Caryn G. Pass have joined the firm as partners in the Washington office.  Both Mr. Karen and Ms. Pass arrive from the Washington firm of Krupin O’Brien LLC; joining Mr. Karen and Ms. Pass are associates Heather Broadwater, Grace Lee, James Fagan, and Trevor Blake.

Mr. Karen, who had been head of Krupin’s litigation practice, defends employers on a wide variety of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, whistleblower claims, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, and claims for breach of fiduciary duty and unfair trade practices.  He has frequently represented clients in the financial services industry, particularly mortgage lenders, as well as clients in the hospitality sector.

Ms. Pass’s practice focuses on proactive and preventative counseling.  In addition to the representation of both for profit and not for profit clients in the restaurant, accounting, government contractor, and association industries, she has developed an extensive client base and is recognized as one of the nation's leading attorneys in representation of independent schools. Ms. Pass and her team represent independent schools in the full menu of legal challenges.  She has advised schools in matters ranging from faculty and employment contracts, and board governance and development, policies and procedures, tuition contracts and enforcement, and the safety, welfare, and discipline of students.

Both attorneys are well-versed in all general areas of employment and labor law, including the discipline and termination of employees, creation of HR policies and procedures, and the defense of wrongful termination and non-compete agreements. Between them, they have represented clients involved in both individual and class actions, in both state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

Mr. Karen and Ms. Pass have developed a successful national practice, with complementary elements.  “We can wage a full-scale defense in any employment litigation, but also advocate proactive and cost-effective compliance counseling and strategy,” said Mr. Karen.

“Pre-emptive compliance efforts have been especially important lately, and the government is paying close attention to how companies adhere to a long list of laws governing the workplace,” he added.  “The laws in these areas are complex and constantly changing and can be highly challenging for businesses small and large.  Companies need experienced—and creative—counsel to guide them through a growing maze of employment challenges.”

Ms. Pass noted that Venable’s broad national practice was highly appealing for her and Mr. Karen.  “As a practice that provides assistance based on a 24/7 philosophy, we work hard to become a part of our clients' team.  We partner with our clients by learning their culture and mission so we can provide the best legal counsel possible.  Venable presents us with the ability to fully service our clients by giving them access to vast resources and practice specialties enhancing our ability to meet the challenges our clients are experiencing,” she said.  “We knew that Venable had a great labor and employment group, but we see multiple opportunities for our clients given the firm’s strengths in banking and financial services, schools, hotels and restaurants, employee benefits, real estate, intellectual property, government contracts, and general business.”

Maurice Baskin, partner in Venable’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, commented:  “Ari Karen and Caryn Pass bring a first rate and well-rounded practice to our rapidly expanding national labor and employment law group.  They combine top-flight litigation and counseling skills, and bring proven experience in business segments that mesh well with a number of our own clients.”

Mr. Karen received his J.D. from Emory University (1996), where he participated on Moot Court Team and in Trial Techniques, and graduated with distinction.  He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland (1992), cum laude.

Ms. Pass received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University (1985) and her B.A. from the University of Maryland (1982). 

Accompanying Mr. Karen and Ms. Pass to Venable are associates James E. Fagan (J.D., Washington and Lee University (1992); B.A., Tulane (1989)); Trevor S. Blake (J.D., Georgetown (2003); B.A., Harvard (2000)); Grace H. Lee (J.D., George Washington University School of Law (2001); B.A., Northwestern University (1998)); and Heather J. Broadwater (J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (2003); Master's in Human Resources (1996); and B.A., University of South Carolina (1994)).