Jennifer L. Karnes is a Senior Associate in the Litigation Practice Group and a member of the Law Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She primarily handles complex discrimination suits in state and federal courts, ensuring that her clients receive reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Karnes also advocates for victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Karnes served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where she represented the People of Brooklyn in various criminal actions, including attempted murders, robberies, burglaries, and check and credit card fraud cases. During her tenure at the DA’s Office, Ms. Karnes indicted cases before the grand jury, conducted countless evidentiary hearings, and successfully tried numerous felony and misdemeanor cases to jury and bench trial verdict. Ms. Karnes’ experience as a prosecutor, particularly her prior work with deaf victims and victims with special needs, sparked her passion to pursue a career advocating for the rights of individuals facing discrimination.
During law school, Ms. Karnes interned for the Honorable Michael A. Telesca at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York and for the Honorable Eugene M. Fahey, then a sitting member of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Ms. Karnes also completed a summer clerkship for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.
Ms. Karnes served as a Publications Editor for the Buffalo Law Review and as Headnote and Comment Editor for the Buffalo Human Rights Law Review. Ms. Karnes also served on the Buffalo Moot Court Board and finished as a quarterfinalist in the Charles S. Desmond Intramural Moot Court Competition.
University of Buffalo, School of Law, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
New York University, Bachelor of Arts, Politics