Karen L. Bashor Partner




Karen L. Bashor has significant litigation and trial experience with complex litigation and catastrophic injury defense, and currently serves as regional co-chair of the firm’s National Trial Team. Karen’s practice has focused on crisis management and defending clients in high-exposure mass casualty events in virtually all areas, including mass shootings, products liability, health care, explosions and large transportation accidents. Karen also has been engaged as monitoring counsel on behalf of insurers for these types of cases. She defends other complex and high-exposure matters involving claims for civil rights, medical malpractice, technology companies, transportation companies, aviation, premises liability for hotels and casinos, and claims involving various national restaurants and retail establishments. In addition, Karen advises on cannabis-related risks that are excluded or limited in traditional E&O policies.

Karen has spoken at numerous events and presented several webinars for the insurance industry as a thought leader on hot topics impacting the industry. She has published various articles that can be found in the Nevada Lawyer magazine, the national industry-leading magazine Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Bloomberg Law and Reuters/Westlaw.

Karen is an active and well-respected member of the firm, her local legal community and in the industry. In 2022, Karen was accepted as a member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there. Chief is the only organization specifically designed for the most powerful women executives to strengthen their leadership, magnify their influence and pave the way to bring others with them.

Karen previously served as the Las Vegas regional representative to the firm’s Women Attorneys Valued & Empowered (WAVE) committee for five years, and also served on various subcommittees to organize national programs and local programs, as well as guide the firm’s mentorship program. She was named Wilson Elser’s “WAVE Maker of the Year” in 2017. Karen also served as a Board Member of the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys. Karen is a pro bono volunteer with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and is the Las Vegas regional representative for the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. In 2019, the Nevada Supreme Court extended an invitation to Karen for a three-year appointment to the state Bench-Bar Committee, which she was honored to accept. Business Insurance selected her among a prestigious group of “Women to Watch” for 2021.

Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Karen was a trailblazer as the first woman partner and first minority partner at a prominent Las Vegas law firm where she routinely handled large cases involving multimillion-dollar claims. Before that, she handled complex litigation in the area of medical malpractice involving individuals and facilities while at another large Nevada law firm. Karen began her law career in New Jersey, first at a small civil litigation firm where she received unparalleled experience, and then went on to serve as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender for the Adult Trial Division at the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender in Essex County, where she honed her trial skills. While there, Karen handled a large caseload providing constitutionally mandated legal representation for adults charged with felonies from pre-indictment to trial, successfully handling a number of jury trials and obtaining acquittals for clients, including those facing life imprisonment.

To date, Karen has handled civil and criminal jury trials successfully in state and federal court in Nevada and New Jersey. Karen is a member of the firm’s highly experienced National Trial Team.