Karen Tommer Of Counsel




Karen Tommer provides invaluable support for the firm’s Appellate practice. Her ability to identify and surface salient points within the issues of a case is surpassed only by her skill in drafting clear, concise and relevant advice on substantive and procedural law. In addition, Karen has assumed a leading role in the firm’s National Quality Assurance Program, helping to ensure consistent high-quality and strategic work product throughout all Wilson Elser offices.

In-Depth Appellate Experience
Karen has more than 30 years of in-depth experience with the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department, the largest such system in the country. During her tenure with the Appellate Division, Karen gained unique insights into and intimate understanding of appellate practice rules and procedures as well as many areas of substantive law. Assuming the role of Deputy Chief Clerk of the Court in 2011 – second in charge of administrative oversight – Karen has first-hand knowledge of the players and the workings of the court system.

In April 2020, Karen was appointed by the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, to a four-year term as a Member of the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Second, Tenth, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts. At the same time, she was appointed by Alan D. Scheinkman, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, as a Special Master for the Mandatory Civil Appeals Mediation Program in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.

Areas of Focus

Through trial monitoring − either on-site or remotely − Karen is able to provide objective, real-time evaluations of appellate issues and help to ensure error and issue preservation for appellate review. Through this collaboration with trial counsel, she develops a record that puts the client in the strongest position on appeal. Her experience with the rules and procedures of appellate courts often gives her the inside track in navigating the system to her clients’ benefit. 

Karen also works to build a body of consistent case precedent across jurisdictions with the goal of rendering our client a more formidable adversary. Specifically, she helps ensure the quality and consistency of issues briefing at the trial and appellate court levels; works with trial counsel to develop a uniform approach to overall litigation strategy; implements a coordinated multijurisdictional appellate strategy; accesses the firm’s brief bank on recurrent issues for the client’s use nationwide; and prepares amicus submissions where warranted.