Karen D. Smith

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC

$ $$$

McKinney Street 1301
Houston 77010 TX US

Karen Smith is a litigation shareholder in the Firm’s Houston office. Ms. Smith has extensive experience in the areas of complex commercial litigation including contract disputes, trade secrets, commercial real estate and construction matters.

Ms. Smith has handled cases throughout the state of Texas and taken numerous cases through to trial in state and federal court. Her clients include internationally-based manufacturers, commercial real estate developers, financial institutions, transportation companies, construction industry contractors and oil and gas companies.

In addition to Ms. Smith’s experience in general business litigation, she has a significant employment law practice as well. Her employment law practice includes EEOC charge and claim investigations, defending against charges of state and federal discrimination violations, benefit-related matters, wage and hour disputes, and non-compete, non-solicitation and separation agreements.


  • Baylor University School of Law, J.D., 1992
  • Sam Houston State University, B.S., 1982


  • Texas, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas

Representative Matters:

  • General Litigation
    • Awarded a verdict in the amount of $3.5 million on behalf of plaintiff in action for fraud and conspiracy relating to purchase of horizontal drill pipe.
    • Awarded summary judgment while defending a real estate developer in a multimillion dollar action for fraud and fraudulent inducement related to the purchase of land for residential development.
    • Awarded verdict on behalf of a plaintiff client in breach of contract and tortious interference related to $3.9 million low income housing project.
    • Prevailed in a declaratory judgment action regarding a purchase/sale agreement for three theaters with a purchase price of $2 million.
  • Oil and Gas
    • Represented an oil production company in multi-district class action litigation related to claims for the underpayment of royalties in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama.
    • Successfully resolved multibillion dollar litigation involving claims of fraud and tortious interference with a merger agreement in favor of a global manufacturer of chemical products.
    • Represented a major independent oil and gas company in a multimillion dollar action against a pipeline transportation company for tortious interference with a natural gas supply contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and conspiracy.
  • Employment Litigation
    • In federal court, received summary judgment without trial in successful defense of railroad against allegations of discrimination on the basis of age and disability.
    • In federal court, received summary judgment without trial in the successful defense of an international engineering consulting firm against alleged retaliation stemming from a sexual harassment report.
    • Received summary judgment on behalf of a large North America and South America movie theater owner/operator against plaintiff seeking damages in excess of $1.2 million for alleged reverse race discrimination.
    • Successfully defended a leading North American provider of waste and environmental services against claims for wrongful retaliatory termination based on the pursuit of a workers’ compensation claim, with the jury returning with a defense verdict and the judge both awarding client costs and denying the plaintiff’s requested compensation of $900,000.

Professional Honors & Activities:

  • Recipient − Justice Barbara Culver Clack Award, State Bar of Texas, Woman and the Law Section
  • Member – State Bar of Texas
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Houston, The Woodlands and Montgomery County Bar Associations
  • Member – Texas Women Lawyers
  • Member – Greater Houston Partnership
  • Member – Executive Women’s Alliance


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McKinney Street 1301
Houston 77010 TX US
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New York 10006 NY US