O’Melveny Worldwide

Adam Karr represents clients in class action and individual litigation, arbitrations, and before state and federal agencies, principally in labor and employment-related claims. Adam practices before state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, and has represented clients in a broad range of disputes, including wage and hour matters, contract disputes, non-compete and trade secret litigation, employee benefits claims, and matters arising under Title IX, the National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act. Adam also has represented clients in claims of employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, and disputes under the family and medical leave laws.

Adam provides preventive advice to clients on an ongoing basis and assists clients in handling employment related investigations, employee termination and discipline decisions, drafting employment agreements and policies, layoffs, and compliance with all aspects of labor and employment laws. He also provides assistance on labor and employment law issues arising out of mergers and acquisitions. Adam has been recognized by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer and by Law360 as one of 10 Rising Stars in the United States in the area of labor and employment law.

Adam has represented clients in a variety of industries, including entertainment, education, financial services, telecommunications, aerospace, professional services, technology, manufacturing, airline, and private equity, among others. In addition to his regular practice, Adam also devotes significant time each year to pro bono matters.

Get to Know Adam

What types of clients do you represent?

I represent companies, universities, and non-profits – large, small and everything in between -- in their most pressing labor and employment issues with emphasis on class actions and high-stakes individual actions. Some of my most memorable and meaningful clients have been pro bono representations. My favorite of those was a group of low-income tenants I represented at trial who were being terribly abused by an oppressive landlord. There was nothing more rewarding than getting monetary damages to those families who had been suffering for so long.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Honestly, my favorite part of my job is mentoring junior lawyers, law students, and even my 5th grade O’Melveny scholar. I end up getting so much more back from those I mentor as I watch their careers take off and the incredible things they accomplish—hoping that maybe something I said or did played some small part.

Who is or was the person who had the most impact on your career?

When I was deciding which firm to join, my Dad (who has since passed away) told me that if O’Melveny had made me an offer, I had to accept because that was Warren Christopher’s firm. Chris was a pillar of what democracy was meant to be and a true champion of human rights When I joined, Chris took all of us summer associates to lunch and I was able to witness first-hand his incredible kindness and his way of treating everyone with respect. Years later, my wife worked with him on our diversity initiatives, and we were further impressed by his thoughtful, yet powerful, approach. He even took time from his busy schedule to attend our wedding! He is a man who truly helped shape our democracy and having the chance to work at his firm was (and is) truly an honor.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Be honest at all times, even (and especially) when it is uncomfortable. Integrity is key and is something you can never compromise on.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I paid my way through college working as a manual laborer in a unionized cardboard box factory.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be doing?

I know it is still a lawyer, but I would probably be a federal public defender if I were not at OMM.

Why did you choose to come to OMM and what keeps you here?

I came to OMM because Scott Dunham, the former chair of our labor and employment practice, came to my law school and convinced me to try it out for a few years. “Come to LA, learn to surf, have some fun for a few years—you’ll love the people at O’Melveny,” he told me during on-campus recruiting over 20 years ago. Well, I met my wife at the firm and all of my dearest friends and colleagues. So, Scott was right. The people at OMM are quite special. It’s a culture that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

What, outside of your work, are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about my family—my wife, four kids, and three dogs. It’s a busy, busy household but I love the chaos of it all. It’s magic.

What are clients experiencing—or in need of—when they hire you?

They usually need someone to share their concerns--someone who is going to listen deeply to them and advocate for them in a practical way. I try to make their problems mine so they don’t have to worry and they know they’re in good hands.

  • Counsel to Fortune 500 real estate brokerage company in a class action challenging whether the company's sales agents (or brokers) should be classified as independent contractors or as employees.
  • Counsel for major television studio in class action brought by television writers over the age of 40 alleging industry-wide age discrimination against all of the major television networks, studios, and talent agencies.
  • Counsel for Fortune 500 tax preparation company in nationwide class and collective action alleging failure to provide compensation for continuing education. Obtained summary judgment against 40,000 member class, which was affirmed on appeal. Petroski, et al. v. H&R Block, Inc., 750 F.3d 976 (8th Cir. 2014).
  • Trial counsel for worldwide transportation logistics company in trade secrets case arising from the hiring of a national sales director from a competitor.
  • Counsel for the nation’s largest public university system in a class action seeking to vacate all sexual misconduct determinations made by the system; obtained dismissal of all class claims.
  • Counsel for public university in multiple matters arising from the alleged sexual misconduct of the school’s former director of sports medicine, including a Title IX class action, two lawsuits alleging wrongful termination of employment, and governmental investigations.
  • Counsel for national bank in class action arising from the Bank's charging of check cashing fees to non-relationship customers; obtained dismissal of all claims.
  • Counsel for amicus party in the U.S. Supreme Court in landmark case related to the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act. Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, 596 U.S. ___ (2022).
  • Counsel for national home loan company in class action related to payment of severance; obtained summary judgment.
  • Counsel for Fortune 500 company in benefits and contract dispute with former Chief Executive Officer of acquired company.
  • Counsel for national pet supply company in cross jurisdictional non-compete and trade secret litigation.
  • Counsel for nationwide specialty food store chain in class action alleging failure to provide rest breaks to a class of nearly 10,000 employees; class certification was denied.
  • Counsel for amicus party in precedent setting appeal establishing the enforceability of release agreements in the wage and hour context in California. Chindarah v. Pick Up Stix, Inc., 171 Cal. App. 4th 796 (2009).
  • Counsel for grocery cooperative in class action alleging that its outside sales employees were improperly classified as exempt from overtime; class certification was denied.
  • Counsel for nine battered women's shelters in a statutory and constitutional challenge to the shelters' gender based standard for admission, resulting in a groundbreaking decision on appeal upholding the shelters' practices. Blumhorst v. Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles, et al., 126 Cal. App. 4th 993 (2005).
  • Counsel for publicly traded technology company in executive stock option dispute; the matter was disposed of on a motion to dismiss. 
  • Counsel for investment bank on appeal, resulting in precedent setting decision regarding the enforceability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in California. McManus v. CIBC World Markets Corp., 109 Cal. App. 4th 176 (2003).
  • Lead trial counsel in a pro bono lawsuit brought by four low-income tenants against their landlord for housing abuses. At trial, the four tenants were awarded in excess of US$400,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.


Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Utah

Court Admissions

  • US District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits
  • US Supreme Court


  • University of Washington, J.D., 1999: National Order of the Barristers; Comments Editor, Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal; Vice President, Moot Court Honor Board; American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • Washington State University, B.A., 1996: cum laude

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA in the category of Labor & Employment (2022-2024)
  • Selected by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer (2015, 2022)
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 US (2014-2021)
  • Recognized by Law360 as one of 10 Rising Stars in the United States in the area of labor and employment law (March 2010)
  • Named a Southern California “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer” in surveys conducted by Law and Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles Magazine (2009-2013, 2015-2017, 2019-2020)

Professional Activities


  • Honorable Barbara A. Madsen, Washington Supreme Court

Board of Directors

  • Volunteers of America – Los Angeles
  • Institute for Corporate Counsel, Board of Governors


  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association


  • “Compensable Time - A Trap for the Unwary Employer,” Orange County Business Journal (April 2010)
  • “California’s Unique Approach to Arbitration: Why This Road Less Traveled Will Make All the Difference on the Issue of Preemption Under the Federal Arbitration Act,” Journal of Dispute Resolution 61 (2005)

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • "Antitrust Considerations in Labor Markets" (USC Gould/LACBA 40th Annual Institute for Corporate Counsel, 2021)
  • Corporate Counsel Section (OCBA, 2017)
  • “Telling Your CSR Story on Social Media -  How To Not Get Yourself Sued” (ACCP Webinar, 2016)
  • Arbitration On The Wage & Hour Front (ACI, 2015)
  • Issues Arising from Cross-Jurisdictional Non-Compete and Trade Secret Cases (Bridgeport, 2015)
  • Recent Developments Concerning Independent Contractor Classification (California Employment Law Council, 2015)
  • “The Use of PAGA, 17200 SB 459, 469 and other Issues Specific to California Wage & Hour Cases” (11th Annual Wage & Hour Litigation & Management, 2012)
  • “Not So Usual Suspects - You and Your Client” (ABA, 2011)
  • “Annual Mid Year Wage & Hour Litigation Conference” (Bridgeport, June 2011)
  • “Recent California and Federal Legislative and Case Law Developments In Employment Law” (Orange County Executive Human Resource Forum, January 2010)
  • “Precedents and Predictions: A Review of 2014’s Significant Labor and Employment Law Developments and What to Expect in 2015” (Two-part O’Melveny Seminar, 2015)
  • “The Employment Relationship - Structuring Employment and Severance Agreements” (Los Angeles County Bar Association Seminar, 2009)
  • “Strategically Managing Your Workforce-Adjusting to Changes on Wall Street and in Washington” (California Employment Law Council, 2009)
  • “Keeping Your Base and Avoiding Current Litigation Pitfalls” (Los Angeles County Bar Association Corporate Law Roundtable, 2009)
  • “Workplace and Employment Law Update” (Employers Group, 2008)