Karen A. Doner is the founding partner of Doner Law, PLC and has 20+ years of employment law and commercial litigation experience. She regularly practices before federal and state courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the United States. Ms. Doner regularly counsels employers in all aspects of employment law, including employment contracts (including non-competes, non-solicitation agreements, and confidentiality agreements), severance agreements, employee handbooks and other employment policies, family and medical leave, disability accommodation, discrimination, wage-hour, and disciplinary and termination matters. She represents employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state and local human rights agencies, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Doner litigates on behalf of employers and other business owners, including enforcement of restrictive covenants, breach of contract claims, and various tort claims including, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, business conspiracy, defamation and conversion. She frequently trains management and staff on a variety of employment law issues, including anti-harassment, evaluation techniques, discipline, and the handling of accommodations and discrimination complaints.

Ms. Doner also represents businesses in all types of commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract actions, partnership disputes, franchise, intellectual property, and various tort claims, including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, business conspiracy, defamation and conversion.

Prior to founding Doner Law, PLC, Ms. Doner co-founded Roth Doner Jackson, PLC (RDJ) in 2010. During her tenure at RDJ, the firm received the D.C. Bar Quality of Life Award and the Virginia Best Places to Work Award. Prior to RDJ, Ms. Doner was a partner with Williams Mullen, PC, where she was the first woman elected to the firm’s Board of Directors.

Ms. Doner served on the Fairfax County Circuit Court Committee from 2004 to 2007 and is the former co-chair of the Employment Law Section of the Montgomery County, Md. Bar Association. In 2010, she was named “Washington Metropolitan Legal Elite” by SmartCEO magazine and in 2007, 2010, and 2011 named as a “Virginia Rising Star” by Virginia Business magazine. She was further recognized by Virginia Business magazine in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 as “Legal Elite” for Labor/Employment law. Ms. Doner was also named in Super Lawyers magazine from 2014 to 2021 as “Virginia Super Lawyer” for Employment Litigation: Defense/Business Litigation. In 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 she was named a Super Lawyers magazine “Washington D.C. Super Lawyer.”

In addition to the above achievements, in 2012, Ms. Doner received the SmartCEO Brava! Award given to the top 25 female CEOs in the Greater Washington area. SmartCEO’s Brava! Awards honors local female CEOs, founders, presidents, owners and executive directors who combine their irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community. These female CEOs have become exemplary leaders in their companies and the community at large by encouraging local philanthropy, mentoring fellow CEOs and setting their companies on the path to tremendous growth.

In 2013, Ms. Doner was selected as a Washington Power Player by SmartCEO magazine. The Power Players Award honors professionals who embody leadership, accomplishments, innovation and success in their fields.

In 2015, Ms. Doner was named as a “Woman of Outstanding Leadership” by the International Women’s Leadership Association because of her contributions to family, career, and community.

In 2016, Ms. Doner was selected to serve as a Fellow for the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation.

In 2019, Ms. Doner was named as a “Benchmark Labor & Employment Star” by Benchmark Litigation: Labor & Employment Guide, 2019. Benchmark Litigation focuses exclusively on litigation in the U.S. The guide’s results are the culmination of a six-month research period that enables researchers to conduct extensive interviews with litigators, peers, and clients to identify the leading litigators.


  • Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (J.D., 1996)
  • University of Delaware (B.A., 1993)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • Illinois General Bar
  • Maryland State Bar
  • Virginia State Bar

Contact Information
703.462.5471 direct
703.462.5470 main
703.462.5437 fax