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John F. Karl, Jr.

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John F. Karl, Jr. is Of Counsel of the Firm.  Mr. Karl has been in private practice since 1979.  Prior to joining Alderman, Devorsetz & Hora PLLC, Mr. Karl was a principal in McDonald & Karl, a general practice firm with an emphasis on complex and federal litigation, particularly employment litigation.

Since 1985, Mr. Karl has served as a Professorial Lecturer and Adjunct Faculty at his alma mater, the American University’s Washington College of Law.  He currently teaches a seminar on Complex Civil Litigation and Civil Trial Practice.

From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Karl served as President of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (“MWELA”).  He has also served on the Board of Directors of this Association since 1994.  In April 2011, MWELA awarded Mr. Karl the prestigious “Lawyer of the Year” award in recognition of his “outstanding dedication to Civil Rights, Equality and Justice” and several significant legal victories.

Mr. Karl has served as a Mediator and an Arbitrator in the District of Columbia Superior Court.  He also served on the D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law and participated in numerous hearings as a member of the D.C. Bar’s Attorney-Client Arbitration Board (“ACAB”) for over a decade.  The ACAB resolves fee disputes and claims of attorney malpractice.

Key cases

Bonds v. Heyman, 950 F. Supp. 1202 (D.D.C. 1997) U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction barring the termination in a purported reduction in force of a 40-year federal employee of the Smithsonian Institution with an “Outstanding” performance evaluation.  Employee’s complaint of race, gender, and age discrimination had been pending for 20 months and awaiting decision on dispositive motions when agency conducted alleged “reorganization.”

Howard v. Winter, 446 F.3d 559 (4th Cir. 2006) Reversing grant of summary judgment in sexual harassment case brought against the Navy, as there was a dispute of fact as to whether the Navy was on notice of co-worker’s sexual harassment.

Aldridge v. Department of Agriculture, 110 M.S.P.R. 21 (2008) Vacating decision upholding removal because the agency had not issued a removal decision and had not effected Aldridge’s removal; 111 M.S.P.R. 670 (2009) Aldridge proved that her retirement was involuntary because agency officials misinformed her that her termination would result in the loss of her retirement benefits and she was awarded 58 months of back pay and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Pardo-Kronemann v. Donovan, 601 F.3d 599, 604 (D.C. Cir. 2010) Reversing grant of summary judgment because of dispute of material fact as to whether a lateral transfer was an “adverse action,” finding passage of lengthy period of time did not bar finding of causation, and holding evidence of pretext is usually sufficient “to get a plaintiff’s claim to a jury.

Solomon v. Vilsack, 628 F.3d 555 (D.C. Cir. 2010) Application for and receipt of federal disability retirement benefits does not preclude employee from asserting disability discrimination claims or foreclose her retaliation claims under Title VII, ADEA or the Rehabilitation Act; Second Appeal: 2014 WL 4065613,  ___ F.3d ___(D.C. Cir. August 15, 2014) Reversing summary judgment and holding that employee’s request for a flexible work schedule is not unreasonable as a matter of law and that a reasonable jury could find that the revocation of employee’s prior accommodation was retaliatory.  Solomon’s request for accommodation is protected activity for the purposes of establishing her retaliation claims.

Jury Verdicts

Lewis v. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, C.A. 2011-2773 (D.C. Superior Court) June 11, 2013 jury verdict of $814,304.92 in favor of plaintiff, based on a finding that defendant violated, interfered with, or retaliated against plaintiff for requesting or taking leave under the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act.


  • Juris Doctor, American University, Washington College of Law, 1979
  • Honors B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., Political Science, University of Toronto


  • District of Columbia
  • Florida (inactive)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • D.C. Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of Florida 

Bar Association and Sections

  • District of Columbia Bar, Labor and Employment Law Practice Section
  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA), Board of Director

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