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Karen Willcutts

Hon. Karen Brown Willcutts (Former), FCIArb

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Special Master


Case Manager
Carolina El'Azar
T: 214-891-4525
F: 214-720-6010
8401 N. Central Expressway, Suite 610, Dallas, TX 75225

Karen Brown Willcutts is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.

Biography

Judge Willcutts combines over 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer, judge, mediator, and arbitrator with her efficient case management skills to effectively and efficiently resolve a wide range of civil litigation matters at JAMS. She is known for her ability to quickly grasp the issues in any legal matter, and is empathetic, persistent, creative, and hardworking.

Since joining JAMS, Judge Willcutts has had an opportunity to be involved in numerous business/commercial matters which include the following:

Representative Matters

  • Appeal of summary judgment granted by trial court in complex breach of contract case
  • Building contractor sued concrete company for breach of contract, fraud, and violations of Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act, arising out of the sale of allegedly defective concrete
  • Buyer sued seller for breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties, and fraud in case arising out of the sale of an allegedly contaminated product
  • Commercial landowner sued a neighboring commercial landowner to recover the cost of cleaning up soil and groundwater contamination on Plaintiff’s property, allegedly originating from leaking underground storage tanks on Defendant’s property
  • Complex claim for breach of construction contract between construction/maintenance company and railroad
  • Complex multi-party business litigation case involving claims of breach of contract and tortuous interference
  • Derivative action by Better Business Bureau member against officers and directors of BBB seeking a declaration that BBB’s by-laws violated Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act and that the directors were illegally elected and participated in illegal actions
  • Dispute between homeowner and mortgage company arising out of the refinance of a home equity loan
  • Dispute regarding breach of warranties and misrepresentations in Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Multi-million dollar class action brought by consumers/insureds against software company and insurers claiming breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy
  • Suit between insurance company and former executive alleging conversion, civil theft, embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duty, tortuous interference with existing and prospective contracts, unjust enrichment, and seeking permanent injunction
  • Suit by hospital against patient’s employer seeking payment of medical bills
  • Suit for damages and rescission by buyer against seller of home, realtor, real estate company, and inspection company alleging breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, and deceptive trade practices
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Selected Articles
    • Author, "Partnering with Outside Counsel to Effectively Manage Commercial Arbitrations," Corporate Counsel, June 2017
    • Author, "Show Me the Money! Damage Analysis is Keyto Settling Complex Commercial Cases," Texas Lawyer, May 2017
    • Author, "Damage Analysis Is Key  To Settling Complex Cases," Law 360, June 2016
    • Author, "How to Expand an Arbitrator's Authority without Really Trying," Texas Lawyer, May 2015
    • Co-author, “Forum 2013 Intensive Program: Mediation,” published for American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, Mediation Intensive Program, October 2013 
    • Author, “Arbitration: Still an Effective Method of Resolving Business Disputes?,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, December 2011 
    • Author, “Preparation: An Important Key to a Successful Mediation,” Dallas Bar Association Headnotes, September 2007 
    • Author, “Mediation and Arbitration Update,” Texas Bar CLE “Winning Before Trial,” March 2007
  • Honors
    • Selected as a Best Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation, D Magazine, 2011, 2014-2018
    • Selected as a Best Woman Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation, D Magazine, 2010 
    • AV Pre-Eminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Memberships
    • Advisory Board Member, Center for American and International Law
      • Institute for Energy Law
    • Member, Dallas Bar Association
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution
      • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
      • Business Litigation
      • Energy Law
      • Franchise & Distribution Law
      • International Law
      • Labor and Employment
    • Member, State Bar of Texas
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution
      • Antitrust and Business Litigation
      • International Law
      • Labor and Employment
      • Litigation
    • Member, Attorneys Serving the Community, 1994-present (co-chaired several committees)
  • Professional Activities
    • Adjunct Professor, Arbitration Law and Advocacy, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Spring 2010 
    • Past Chair, Antitrust and Business Litigation Section, State Bar of Texas, 1997-1998 (council member, 1992-1999) 
    • Advisory Board Member, Insitute for Energy Law, Center for American and International Law
    • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
    • Received Diploma in International Arbitration
    • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
    • Panelist, Mediation in the Oil and Gas Industry, Current Trends and a Look into the Future, Institute for Energy Law, March 2016
    • Panelist, "Arbitrators and Judges Panel: Experts in Arbitration," Forensic Expert Witness Association, 2014
    • Co-panelist, “Mediation Intensive,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2013 
    • Panelist, “Arbitrators’ and Judges’ Panel: Tips for Your Case,” University of Texas School of Law 2012 Construction Law Symposium, 2012 
    • Co-presenter, “Maximizing Arbitration Efficiency and Effectiveness,” Dallas Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, 2011 
    • Co-presenter, “Arbitration,” North Texas Conflict Resolution Conference, 2008 
    • Presenter, “Mediation and Arbitration,” North Texas Paralegal Association, 2007 
    • Presenter, “Mediation and Arbitration Update,” Texas Bar CLE “Winning Before Trial”, 2007 
    • Co-presenter, “Da Ethics Code: Unveiling the Ethical Mysteries in Labor/Employment ADR,” Employment Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association, 2006
  • Civil Associate Judge, Dallas County, TX, 2002-2004
  • Partner, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Dallas, 1985-2002 (Associate, 1985-1991; Partner, 1992-2001; Of Counsel, January-October 2002)
  • J.D., with honors, University of Texas School of Law
  • B.A., with high honors, University of Texas at Arlington

Counsel Comments

    • “Thank you again [to Judge Willcutts] for mediating our case [to settlement]. I enjoyed working with her and appreciate all of her efforts today. The back and forth was tedious and becoming a whip, but she stuck with us and encouraged everyone to remain engaged when it would have been easier to give up.”
    • "Judge Willcutts has been integral in bringing several complicated oil and gas cases to an amicable resolution. Her ability to get up to speed on the issues and intricacies has been vital to getting my cases settled."
    • "Judge Willcutts has been the central force behind good settlements for my clients. She has the ability to grasp the issues at hand, the drive to push the parties to the table, and the authority to gain the ear of both parties. Beyond that, Judge Willcutts is willing to work in and out of the conference room. She gets the job done."
    • "She worked very hard, gladly stayed late, and cared enough to really read and consider lots of detailed briefing on the novel and important legal issues upon which this case turned."

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