Karen Giffen Perez Morris Headshot


[email protected]

O | (216) 621-5161

C | (216) 533-0672

1300 E. 9th Street

Suite 1600

Cleveland, OH 44114



Business Litigation

Financial Services Litigation

Labor & Employment Litigation

Premises Liability

Securities Litigation



Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, 1989

Cleveland State University, Bachelor of Arts, 1980

Karen L. Giffen

Founding Partner

Profiled by Crain’s as “brilliant, meticulous,” and a “fierce litigator,” Karen L. Giffen is known for taking complicated matters to trial. Her preparation for trial involves deep dives into diverse subject areas from aviation to bridge design. With over thirty years of experience, Karen focuses her practice on business, employment, securities, financial services and premises liability litigation for Fortune 500 and other corporate clients.

Prior to joining Perez Morris in 2022, Karen was managing partner of women-owned law firm Giffen & Kaminski. Along with co-founder Kerin Kaminski, Karen founded the Cleveland firm in 2004 to handle business litigation, employment litigation and counseling, tort and insurance defense, financial services litigation, and investigations. In addition, Karen worked for ten years as a Field Examiner for the National Labor Relations Board, an experience that ignited her interest in the law.

Karen enjoys helping those in need of legal representation through her work with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, where she served as President, Treasurer and Board Member. An advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, Karen is an active member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, where she served as Treasurer and as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. She frequently speaks on employment law and general litigation topics for organizations such as the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Outside of the law, Karen enjoys traveling and digital photography, as well as spending time with her border collie and three cats.




Supreme Court of Ohio, 1989

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2004

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1990


U.S. Supreme Court, 2000


Memberships & Affiliations



  • Coronavirus: Facts Not Fear: Legal Rights and Responsibilities in a Public Health Emergency, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association “Hot Talk,” 2020
  • Legends in the Law Faculty, CM-Law, 2017
  • Law Firm Cyber Security, NAMWOLF Annual Meeting, 2016
  • Presenter, CMBA Diversity Summit, 2015
  • Human Resource Impacts of Social Media, NAMWOLF Annual Meeting, 2015
  • The Attorney-Client Privilege for In-House Counsel, American Association of Corporate Counsel, 2012
  • Anatomy of a Discrimination Lawsuit, Council on Education in Management, 2012
  • On Point, Sharpening Your Deposition Skills, Professional Education Systems, 2011
  • The Successes and Struggles of Female Attorneys, 2010
  • We Object, The City Club of Cleveland



  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2014-present
  • The American Lawyer Magazine and Corporate Counsel Magazine, Top Rated Lawyer, 2013–present
  • Super Lawyers Magazine, Ohio Super Lawyer, 2006–present
    • Ohio Super Lawyer, Top 50 Women Lawyers in Ohio
    • Ohio Super Lawyer, Top 25 Women Lawyers in Cleveland
    • Super Lawyer, Nationwide Business Edition
    • Super Lawyer, Nationwide Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008-present
  • Crain’s, Women of Note, 2018
  • Cleveland-Marshall College Of Law Hall of Fame, Inaugural Inductee, 2017
  • The American Lawyer Magazine, Women Leaders in the Law, 2013
  • Featured Article, Top Rated Lawyers – Cleveland, 2012
  • CMBA, Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Award, 2012
  • Inside Business, Leading Lawyer, January 2009
  • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Living Legend – Hall of Fame
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating



  • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Member
    • Member/Treasurer, Board of Directors 2014 – 2019
    • President, 2018
  • National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF)
    • Past Member, Board of Directors
    • Past Treasurer