Karen Williams Kammer

Education

  • The University of Chicago Law School, 1988; Articles Editor of the University of Chicago Legal Forum
  • Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, BSJ 1979, MSJ 1980

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • South District of Florida
  • Middle District of Florida

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer and Judicial Review rated
Karen is a former television reporter and editor in both major and mid-sized markets who regularly advises media clients on libel, news gathering, reporter's privilege, access, public records, and privacy matters. On behalf of those clients Karen has litigated to a successful conclusion numerous libel and other news gathering claims, and opened the court proceedings and records in many high-profile cases, including the child abuse prosecution of Carmen and Jorge Barahona, the child custody battle between tennis champion Boris Becker and his estranged wife, the domestic violence prosecution of then-Miami Mayor Joe Carollo, the murder of Jimmy Ryce, the jury tampering trial of the jury foreman in the Willie Falcon/Sal Magluta prosecution, the judicial corruption prosecution known as Operation Court Broom, the trial of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, among others. Karen also has argued before the Florida Supreme Court on public records matters. Her clients have included WPLG, Inc., BH Media Group, Inc., Graham Media Group (f/k/a Post-Newsweek), Ft. Myers Broadcasting Company, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, and an international financial news network. Karen also serves as an expert witness on the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees in libel and related matters.

I have devoted my entire professional life to ensuring the free flow of information to the public and defending free speech, both as a working journalist and as a lawyer. I can think of few greater callings.

Karen also practices in the area of complex commercial litigation in both federal and state court, and has litigated a variety of complex contract, tort and other commercial matters to a successful conclusion.

She is a 1988 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School where she served as Articles Editor of the University of Chicago Legal Forum.  Before attending law school, Karen worked on the assignment desk at WLS-TV, the ABC-owned-and-operated station in Chicago, and was a writer and producer at Chicago's WIND Radio, then owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting.  She also has been a reporter for various other television stations, radio stations and newspapers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Huntington, West Virginia.

In 1979 Karen received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, and in 1980 a Master of Science degree in journalism, from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. 

Karen is a past chair of The Florida Bar's Media & Communications Law Committee, created a program to educate judges about media law issues and regularly appears on panels discussing such issues, including those sponsored by the Media Law Resource Center. In May 2019 she served as faculty on access issues for the College Of Advanced Judicial Studies for Florida state court judges. She also has spoken on media law issues to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists as well as a meeting of free-lance journalists sponsored by the Media Law Resource Center.

Karen is a member of both the Florida and Illinois bars, as well as the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. She mentors at-risk young women as a member of the Women of Tomorrow Mentoring and Scholarship Program,  and also is a volunteer driver with the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program. A long-time figure skater, Karen is a past president of the Miami Figure Skating Club (a member of U.S. Figure Skating, the governing body for figure skating in the United States), and has judged U.S. Figure Skating’s “Learn To Skate USA” competitions.

  • Eric Readon v. WPLG, et al., 2021 WL 1395240 (Fla. 3d DCA, April 14, 2021) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of $50 million defamation suit filed by local pastor and community leader based on, among other things, truth and fair report privilege).
  • Eric Readon v. WPLG, et al., Case No. 17-13336, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (July 28, 2021) (obtained order awarding attorneys’ fees pursuant to Florida’s analogue to federal Rule 11 against plaintiff, and jointly and severally against his three counsel) (appeal pending).
  • Eduardo Quin Iglesias v. WPLG, et al., Case No. 18-CACE 18-003816, 17th Judicial Circuit, in and for Broward County, Florida (September 8, 2021) (obtained summary judgment in defamation case based on, among other things, truth and fair report privilege) (appeal pending).
  • Chris Payton v. WPLG, Graham Media Group, et al.,  Case No.15-6296-CA01, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (June 1, 2020) (obtained voluntary dismissal by former municipal official of defamation suit after discovery and service of sanctions motion pursuant to Florida’s analogue to federal Rule 11).
  • Arisleydes Fuentes v. WPLG, et al., Case No. 15-6296-CA01, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (November 17, 2017) (obtained voluntary dismissal of emotional distress and publication of identity of sexual assault victim claims after filing of sanctions motion pursuant to Florida’s analogue to federal Rule 11).
  • Bach v. Post-Newsweek,   853 So.2d 1090 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003) (obtained affirmance of summary judgment in defamation suit brought by local jewelers based on substantial truth of reporting at issue).
  • Palm Beach Canvassing Board (obtained access to recount of ballots in 2018 election).
  • State v. Lopez, 44  Media Law Reporter 1664 (17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida) (April 20, 2016) (obtained access to court records in prosecution of defendant who disemboweled and murdered his girlfriend).
  • State v. Montes, 42 Media Law Reporter 2140 (17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida) (June 18, 2014) (obtained access to cell phone recording of gang rape in prosecution of one of the defendants).
  • State v. Michael Hernandez, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (obtained access to records and proceedings in mid-2000s prosecution of Hernandez for murdering middle school classmate in school bathroom).
  • U.S. v. Gerardo Hernandez, et al., Case No. 98-0721-CR-Lenard/Dube, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (December 19, 2000) (obtained access to trial evidence in so-called “Cuban spies” prosecution).
  • U.S. v. Moya (obtained access to trial evidence in late 1990s/early 2000s jury tampering prosecution of jury foreman Miguel Moya in trial of “Cocaine Cowboys” Sal Magluta and Willie Falcon).
  • State v. Joe Carollo, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (obtained access to court records in domestic violence prosecution of then-Miami mayor in early 2000s) (after oral argument, Florida Supreme Court declined to adjudicate public records issue).
  • In re Marriage of Barbara Becker and Boris Becker, 29 Media Law Reporter 1381 (11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County, Florida) (January 29, 2001) (obtained access to records and proceedings in alimony and child support case between tennis great and his estranged wife).
  • State v. Kathy Bush, 17th Judicial Circuit, in and for Broward County, Florida (obtained access to records and proceedings in late 1990s child abuse prosecution of mother suffering from Munchausen by proxy).
  • State v. Juan Carlos Chavez, 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida (obtained access to records and proceedings in 1990s prosecution for the kidnapping and murder of Jimmy Ryce).
  • Post-Newsweek Stations, Florida Inc. v. Doe, 612 So. 2d 549 (Fla. 1992) (obtained affirmance of access to list of prostitution customers of Broward sheriff’s deputy and his wife).
  • Operation Court Broom (obtained access to records in federal corruption probe of Florida state court judges in early 1990s).
  • State v. William Kennedy Smith, 15th Judicial Circuit, in and for Palm Beach County, Florida (1991) (obtained access to records and proceedings in rape prosecution of nephew of President Kennedy).
  • U.S. v. Manuel Noriega, 752 F.Supp. 1037 (S.D. Fla. 1990) (obtained access to transcripts of government’s recordings of Panamanian dictator).
  • Media-law faculty, 2019 Advanced Judicial Studies Conference, Orlando
  • Faculty, 2018 National Association of Hispanic Journalists seminar, Miami
  • Faculty, 2017 seminar for free-lance journalists sponsored by the Media Law Resource Center, Miami
  • Speaker/moderator/chair, The Florida Bar Media Law Conference
  • Speaker/moderator/chair, The Florida Bar Reporter's Workshop
  • Faculty/chair, media law sessions for Judicial College for Florida state court judges
  • Judge, Florida Bar Media Law Awards
  • Florida Bar’s Reporter’s Handbook, “The Reporter’s Right of Access to Courtrooms and Court Records” (online)
  • Handbooks for judges on media law issues in connection with various judicial education conferences for Florida judges
  • Various submissions to the Media Law Resource Center’s “Media Law Letter”
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