Karen L. Dowd

McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP

Recognized since 2011

Hartford, Connecticut

Practice Areas

Appellate Practice

Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Appellate Practice
Spinning circle Big letter B

Attorney Dowd handles all aspects of appellate civil litigation in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme courts, including the filing of petitions for certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Her appeals are varied, from personal injury to domestic relations to land use. She also consults on trial matters from an appellate perspective, including assisting in the drafting of legal memoranda for use before and during trial. Attorney Dowd taught written and oral advocacy in the Moot Court interterm at the University of Connecticut School of Law for a number of years.

Professionalism Practice
Attorney Dowd represents attorneys before grievance panels and the Statewide Grievance Committee. She represents clients as to unauthorized practice of law complaints. Attorney Dowd counsels candidates for bar admission before the Bar Examining Committee. She consults with attorneys on random audits of client’s funds accounts by the Statewide Grievance Committee and consults with firms on the day to day issues which arise under the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Attorney Dowd handles civil litigation in Connecticut’s state and federal trial courts. Her trial matters range from personal injury to product liability. She also consults with trial counsel, assisting in creating a trial strategy and in preparing pleadings. She served as the Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association Litigation Section from 2005 to 2007 after serving as an officer for the prior 4 years. She continues to serve on the Litigation Section Executive Committee. Attorney Dowd served on the faculty of the Connecticut Trial Advocacy Institute.

Attorney Dowd co-authors the Connecticut Practice Book Annotated, providing author’s comments to chapters on pleadings, motions, and fees and costs. She co-authored Connecticut Insurance Law with Attorney Levesque and a former member of the firm. She edits the CBA Professional Discipline Digest (2012-present).

She has spoken on appellate and ethics issues in seminars and presents the Annual Appellate Review at the Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association with Attorney Bartschi.


  • One State Street, 14th Floor
    Hartford, CT 06103-3102


  • University of Virginia, BA, graduated 1988

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1991

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Appellate Practice

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Appellate Practice, Hartford (2022)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Appellate Practice
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law

Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, 289 Conn. 135 (2008)

Attorney Kenneth Bartschi and Attorney Karen Dowd served as cooperating counsel with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders on the landmark case of Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, 289 Conn. 135 (2008). In Kerrigan, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that excluding same-sex couples from marriage violated the Connecticut Constitution’s equal protection provision. The case further established that sexual orientation is a quasi-suspect class under the Connecticut constitution. Although the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the California Supreme Court previously reached similar conclusions, Kerrigan occurred on the heels of several losses for marriage equality in other states and Kerrigan’s victory helped reinvigorate the momentum to marriage equality.

Your browser is not fully compatible with our automatic printer friendly formatting.

Please use the print button to print this profile page.

Spinning circle Big letter B