Karen O. Hourigan is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s eData practice. She focuses on electronic discovery, information governance, compliance, and data privacy across practice groups within the firm, including counseling clients on preservation, collection, data processing, document review, privilege claims, and production-related strategies. Karen has more than 20 years of experience as a litigator and has been an integral team member for special master and expert witness engagements focused on ediscovery and information governance.
Karen provides clients involved in lawsuits and other disputes with innovative, practical, and cost-effective ediscovery strategies and information governance solutions across a range of industries. She expects to earn a Professional Diploma in Strategy, Development & Innovation from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, Ireland, in 2020. This executive development program is designed to equip her to develop and implement effective business strategies while maintaining motivation, innovation, and vision. Karen’s knowledge gained, skills learned, and relationships established at UCD provide her with the insight and understanding needed to assist organizations as they evolve in complex global business and regulatory environments.
Before joining Morgan Lewis, Karen was a partner and of counsel at another law firm where she focused her practice on ediscovery and information governance, resident in San Francisco.
Advising and representing clients on discovery strategy and disputes in state and federal courts across the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), including legal holds, preservation, collection, production, privilege logging and privilege claim assertion protocols, and ESI and Technology Assisted Review (TAR) Protocols
Representing clients in court for discovery-related motion practice regarding the scope of permissible discovery, possession, custody or control issues, and privilege claims in a variety of matters, including product liability, insurance coverage, antitrust, and employment disputes
Advising clients regarding litigation preparedness and information governance practices, including developing and providing training on ediscovery playbooks and related processes and procedures, adhering to best practices for maintaining and asserting legal privileges, and renovating existing records and information management policies and schedules, as well as other policies related to acceptable use of technologies, bring your own device (BYOD), legal holds, and social media
Preparing corporate 30(b)(6) witnesses to testify regarding ediscovery efforts and information management and retention policies and practices
Coordinating with in-house legal, internal audit, or risk departments in conducting audits or investigations related to compliance concerns or whistleblower complaints
Developing expert witness testimony regarding state-of-the-art and best practices in ediscovery
Collaborating with and advising clients to develop practical and tailored information governance approaches, including those related to emerging technologies such as collaboration tools, communication applications and platforms, social media, file sharing and storage platforms, mobile devices, and other sources where company data may be located
Assessing the impact of data privacy and protection regulations on the development and execution of ediscovery processes for multinational organizations
Advising clients on the retention, migration, and disposal of redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) data and legacy or archived data, and releasing and “right-sizing” preservation efforts
Assisting clients with selecting and implementing innovative solutions for ediscovery and information governance initiatives, including developing data maps, selecting service providers or technologies, as well as enhanced processes and resources to mitigate the costs, pain, and risks associated with such initiatives
Providing valuable insights and benchmarking across companies and industries regarding various approaches to ediscovery practices and information governance approaches
Seconded as interim ediscovery counsel at multinational organization
Georgetown University Law Center, 1999, J.D.
Emory University, 1992, B.A.
District of Columbia
Clerkship to Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte of the US District Court for the Northern District of California
Clerkship to Judge David Warner Hagen of the US District Court for the District of Nevada
Awards and Affiliations
E-Discovery Lawyer of the Year, Women in Law Awards,Lawyer Monthly (2016–2019)
E-Discovery Lawyer of the Year—USA, Corporate USA Today Annual Awards (2016–2018)
The Expert Network Distinguished Lawyer, The Expert Network (2016–2019)
Recognized, Litigation—eDiscovery, Who’s Who Legal (2017, 2018)
Recognized, Excellence in Complex Civil Litigation, Top 100 Lawyers in California (2018)
Recognized, Civil Litigation, Lawyers of Distinction (2017-2018)