Karen Smeda is an associate in the Tampa office. Ms. Smeda developed her interest in labor and employment law while working as residential staff for the West Campus Housing System, where she became familiar with the policies and procedures used by large employers, like Cornell University. She also worked as a 2L law clerk for the U.S. Department of Labor during the summer of 2017.
Ms. Smeda’s practice focuses on representing and counseling employers in labor and employment law matters. Ms. Smeda represents employers in state and federal court on issues ranging from employment discrimination and retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, internal investigations, wage and hour, garnishments, reasonable accommodations, and other employment-related claims. Ms. Smeda also represents employers in pre-litigation matters before administrative agencies and provides advice and counsel to employers, including drafting handbooks, personnel policies, employment and separation agreements, and other employment-related documents.
Ms. Smeda graduated from Cornell Law School in 2018. During law school, she served as the Senior Notes Editor for the Cornell International Law Journal, a Managing Editor for the LII Supreme Court Bulletin, and on the Moot Court Board. She also participated as a member of Cornell University President Martha Pollack’s Presidential Task Force, serving on a sub-committee advising the University on revising its Code of Conduct, with a focus on addressing hate speech and harassment on campus. Ms. Smeda graduated from the University of Florida summa cum laude with a B.S. in Psychology and cum laude with a B.A. in Criminology in 2012. She also graduated from Cornell University with an M.A. in Human Development in February 2016.
Ms. Smeda is admitted to practice law in Florida state courts and the U.S. District Court, in the Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida. Ms. Smeda is the daughter of Ecuadorian parents, and a native Spanish speaker.