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Karen Coolman Amlong
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Karen Coolman Amlong

Practice areas:

Employment & Labor, Family

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About Me

I was born on August 26, the anniversary of the day that women won the right to vote. Being politically active and an advocate for women's rights came naturally. A legacy or destiny.


 


I started college with no thought of becoming an employment discrimination lawyer. As an award-winning high-school artist (National First Prize in the "Hallmark Cards High School Talent Search") I won a full scholarship to Michigan State University, from which I graduated (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) with an ever-so-useful degree in Art History.


 


My radicalizing experience for a born-on-the-26-of-August woman was not so much of an epiphany as a reality check: getting passed over for promotion in my first job out of college in favor of a man because you'll get married, get pregnant and quit. Women in the 70s were supposed to have husbands, babies and homes not careers. I sensed that I'd been discriminated against, but didn't know what to do about it. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was relatively young. Few lawyers brought gender discrimination suits. (The only reason that women had been included in the Act was because a segregationist opponent sponsored a floor amendment, thinking that including women would create enough baggage to sink it.)


 


So, I somehow was drawn to an organizational meeting for a Fort Lauderdale chapter of the National Organization for Women and its message of equality catapulted me into driving around the state for a couple of years in a 1960 Oldsmosbile with two babies in tow to organize NOW chapters across the state. NOW honored me by electing me to its National Board of Directors in 1972. I lobbied in Tallahassee for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1973 and 1974. A male legislator told me that no one like you' could ever get elected. I did, in 1974 (at age 27), as the first woman from Broward County, Florida, to serve in the Florida House of Representatives. My campaign slogan during that Watergate/watershed year: It's time.


 


One term in the Florida House was enough. I retired from politics and went to law school, graduating and becoming a lawyer in 1979.


 


In 1982, I married my now-partner and soul mate Bill Amlong (a former Miami Herald reporter I had met while I was in Tallahassee but that's another story). We started our little mom and pop law firm that year, struggling like most small businesses do. I did (and still do) a lot of family law; while Bill did a little bit of everything at the beginning.


 


He started litigating the discrimination cases that my former NOW colleagues referred to us, which got us started in employment rights. We are still a mom and pop law firm, although we have grown far beyond our initial vision and now concentrate primarily on workers' rights. We've done well. I won Florida's first significant sexual harassment judgment. Stockett v. Tolin, 791 F. Supp. 1536 (S.D. Fla. 1992). Bill won a Supreme Court case that changed the contours of sexual harassment litigation.


 


Since Stockett, I have tried dozens of other cases about sexual harassment and gender discrimination. I have practiced more than 25 years. I am AV Peer Review Rated* through Martindale-Hubbell. I have lectured extensively on employment law, discrimination and sexual harassment on local, state, national and international levels. I teach at the Florida Bar Labor & Employment Section's intensive trial skills program.


 


I love what I do. I believe in women. I believe in people being judged on what they can do, not on things they can't change like their genders, their races or their ages.


 


We have an amazing group of people in our law firm with an incredible collection of talents and passion for what they do. We seek out the non-traditional. That is our strength.


 


Think about it.

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1979

  1. Family: 50%
    36 years, 350 cases
  2. Employment & Labor: 50%
    28 years, 300 cases

Payment

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

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Contact Info

500 NE 4th St Fl 2
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 333011163

Resume

License

StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
FLMember in Good Standing197908/12/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers

Awards

Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Super Lawyer - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawerys2014
Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers2014
Super Lawyer - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2013
The Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers2013
The Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers2012
Florida Super Lawyer - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2012
Florida Super Lawyers - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2011
FellowLitigation Counsel of America2010
Florida Super Lawyers - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2010
Florida Super LawyersFlorida Super Lawyers2009
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2009
Florida Super Lawyers - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2008
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2008
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2007
Florida Super Lawyers - Employment and LaborFlorida Super Lawyers2007
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2006
Feminists Who Changed America: 1963 to 1975Barbara J. Love, Editor2006
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2005
Small Firm Practitioner of MeritAmerican Bar Association, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division2005
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida Legal Guide2004
USA's Leading Business LawyersChambers & Partners USA2004
Top Law Firms in South FloirdaSouth Florida Legal Guide2003
One of South Florida's Fifty Most Successful Business WomenFastTrack Magazine2002
Top Law Firms in South FloridaSouth Florida's Legal Guide2002
President's AwardFlorida NELA1999
AV Peer Review Rated Preeminent: 5 out of 5Martindale-HubbellN/A

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
Managing ShareholderThe Amlong Firm1982 - Present
ShareholderHolmes & Holmes, PA1979 - 1982

Associations

Association NamePosition NameDuration
Florida Board of Bar ExaminersMember1995 - 2000
Broward County Charter Review CommissionMember1994 - 1996
National Employment Lawyers AssociationMember1993 - Present
State of Florida Commission on the Status of WomenMember1993 - 1996
Broward County Commission on the Status of WomenMember1992 - 1994
American Association for JusticeMember1987 - Present
Florida Justice AssociationMember1983 - Present
Broward County Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
Florida House of RepresentativesMember1974 - 1976

Legal Cases

Case NameOutcome
Taylor v. MartellPlaintiff's pleadings stricken for fraud on court
Selim v. Pan American Airways Corp.Reversed summary judgment based ALPA arbitration
Stockett v. TolinPlaintiff was awarded $1,308,284 in damages.

See all Legal Cases 

Publications

Publication NameTitleDate
Trial MagazineRepresenting the Age Discrimination Client2008

Education

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad Law CenterN/AJ.D.N/A

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
American Association for Justice, 2013 Annual Convention, Litigation at Sunrise SeriesPresenter, “A Ten Minute Primer on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”2013
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing of North America, Inc. (TEMA) Supplier Executive Conference, Erlanger, KYPresenter, “Litigation from the Plaintiff’s Perspective: Avoiding Mistakes Employers Make”2012
Nova Southeastern University Law SchoolPresenter, “Practicing”2012
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers, Winter Conference, Daytona Beach, FLPresenter, “Making the Most of Victory: Calculating and Presenting Damages in Employment Cases”2012
Florida Chapter of Matrimonial Lawyers and The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, Martial and Family Law Review CourseLecturer, “Modification of Child Support”2012
The Florida Bar, Family Law Section, Marital and Family Law Review CourseLecturer, “Business Valuation in Divorce”2011
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers, Winter Conference, Lake Buena Vista, FLPresenter, “Direct Examination and Cross Examination”2011
Nova Southeastern University Law SchoolPresenter, “ E.G., The Glass Ceiling in 2010: Why Employment Law is (Still) a Good Place to Be”2010
NELA Summer ConferenceNeutralizing the Defense Psychologist2010
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers, Fall Conference. St. Petersberg, FLPresenter, “Neutralizing the Defense Expert”2010
NELA Trial Advocacy for the Plaintiff's Employment LawyerEffective Use of Demonstrative Evidence2008
NELA National Conference"Insights from the Dark Side" - Panel Moderator2008
The Florida Bar Labor and Employment Section, Advanced Labor Topics, Ponte Vedre Beach, FLPanelist, "What Does the Future Hold for Labor and Employment Law Practice?"2006
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Spring Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FLPresenter, "Graphics 101: A Primer for Lawyers"2006
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Conference, St. Petersburg, FLLecturer, "Florida State Court Discovery & Motion Practice"2006
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FLPresenter, "Doing Well by Doing Good: Making Money as Civil Rights Lawyers"2005
American Association of University Women, Fort Lauderdale, FLPresenter, "Sex Discrimination and the Law"2005
National Employment Lawyers Association, Fifteenth Annual Convention, San Antonio, TXWorkshop leader and lecturer, "Using Computer Graphics to Tell a Memorable Story"2004
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FLPresenter, "The (Unwritten) Rules of Engagement: How it Really Works in State Courts in Florida"2004
National Employment Lawyers, Fourteenth Annual Convention, Vail, COLecturer, "Visual Story Telling: How to Demonstrate Themes, Liability and Damages"2003
National Employment Lawyers Association, The Theater of Reality: Trial Skills for the Plaintiffs Employment Lawyer, Atlanta, GALecturer, "Confronting the Villains, Strategic Use of the Adverse Witness, The Harasser"2003
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FLPanelist, Round Table Discussion2003
National Employment Lawyers, Thirteenth Annual Convention, Lake Buena Vista, FLModerator, "Negotiations: Strategies & Techniques"2002
National Employment Lawyers, Thirteenth Annual Convention, Lake Buena Vista, FLPlenary Session Speaker, "Strategies for Victory: Maximizing Your Client's Recovery in Employment Cases"2002
National Employment Lawyers Association, San Diego, CAPresenter, "Use and Abuse of Expert Witnesses, Litigating Harassment and Hostile Environment Claims"2001
Georgia Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Negril, JamaicaPresenter, "Storming and Blocking the Bates"2001
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, St. Petersburg, FLLecturer, "Discovery: Practical Tips and Considerations: A No-Muss, No-Fuss Guide to Getting What you Need Even If It Might Not Be Everything You Want"2001
American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida Lawyers Conference, Key West, FLLecturer, "2000-2001 Awards: Employment Discrimination Update"2001
American Association of University Women, Boca Raton, FLPresenter, "The Glass Ceiling"2001
PAC Industry Fund (Plumbing Contractors), West Palm Beach, FLLecturer, "So What Is Sexual Harassment Anyway and How Do I Keep From Getting Sued?"2000
Nuts and Bolts of Employment Litigation, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Presenting and Defending Against Damage Claims in State Court Actions"2000
National Conference of Bar Examiners, Chicago, ILLecturer, "Defining Essential Characteristics of Lawyers"2000
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, St. Petersburg, FLLecturer, "How to Recover and Defend Against Attorneys' Fees"2000
Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Labor and Employment Section, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Presenting and Defending Against Damage Claims in State Court Actions"2000
Volunteer Lawyers Project, Florida Justice Seminar, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Litigating Sexual Harassment Claims for Love and Money in the Southern District, FL"1999
National Employment Lawyers Association, Trial Practice for the Employment Lawyer, Seattle, WALecturer, "The Opening Argument"1999
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, Clearwater, FLLecturer, "Discovery Abuse: Problems and Solutions, Tactics and Techniques"1999
Broward County Trial Lawyers, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Sexual Harassment and Employment Discrimination"1998
Broward Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Using the Courts to Change the Law"1998
American Bar Association Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Mid-Winter Meeting, Tuscon, AZLecturer, "Psychological and Legal Methods for Evaluating Claimed Psychological Injuries"1998
Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FLLecturer, "Combating Discovery Abuse in Employment Discrimination Case"1997
Florida Bar Labor & Employment Section, Orlando, FLLecturer, "Use of Experts"1997
Council on Education Management, Personnel Law Update 1997Lecturer, "Beware of ADA Mixed Motive Exposure"1997
Hispanic National Bar Association, Miami, FLLecturer, "Litigating Sexual Harassment Cases for Fun and Profit"1996
Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section and the Gender Equality in the Profession Committee, Orlando, FLLecturer, "When the Lawyer is the Employer: Gender Discrimination in Hiring, Compensation and Promotion"1996
American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Meeting, Orlando, FLLecturer, "Current Issues in Sexual Harassment Litigation"1996
Southern Methodist University, Thirteenth Annual Multi-State Labor and Employment Law Seminar , Tuscon, AZLecturer, "Indecent Exposure: Proof and Defense of Punitive Damage Claims"1995
National Association of Securities Dealers, Employment Law Seminar, Boca Raton, FLLecturer, "Overview of Employment Law"1995
Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law, Litigation Seminar, Orlando, FLLecturer, "Damages"1995
Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Orlando, FLLecturer, "Sexual Harassment in the Work Place: Remedies and How to Prove Damages"1995
Florida Bar Labor and Employment Section, Advanced Current Labor Topics Seminar Amelia Island, FLLecturer, "Selection and Use of Expert Witnesses: Strategies for Calculating Damages and Employing Psychological Experts"1994
The Florida Bar, Bridge the Gap Seminar, Fort Lauderdale, FLLecturer, "Gender Equality"1993
Florida Bar Labor and Employment Section Seminar, Miami, FLLecturer, "Sexual Harassment"1992