Karen E. Beach is a member of the Appellate Law Practice Group of Plunkett Cooney, which is one of the few firms in the Midwest with a dedicated team of appellate law practitioners.

Admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Michigan, Ms. Beach has a range of appellate law experience including the successful resolution of claims on appeal involving alleged medical malpractice, insurance coverage, general liability, regulatory law and domestic relations (family law). Her clients include healthcare providers, municipalities and insurance company policyholders.

In 2016, Michigan Super Lawyers magazine named Ms. Beach one of its Rising Stars in the area of appellate practice. She is a contributor to Plunkett Cooney’s Litigation Defenders blog, and she regularly speaks on appellate law issues to her clients and at firm sponsored seminars.

Representative Client Work

  • Experience litigating post-trial motions following adverse verdicts to identify, preserve and develop bases for appeal
  • Experience in obtaining appeal bonds and stays of execution on appeal
  • Represented health care providers in multiple cases on appeal litigating reliability of expert witness opinions and causation theories under MRE 702 and Daubert
  • Represented hospital on interlocutory appeal reversing trial court decision in sexual assault case compelling discovery of peer review privileged documents using new Supreme Court precedent; continued to advise trial counsel and client regarding scope and application of privilege during remainder of discovery
  • Represented CPAs and accounting firms on appeal in accounting malpractice actions
  • Represented property owners and retailers on appeal to uphold summary disposition based on open and obvious defense
  • Represented municipalities and police officers on appeals in Sixth Circuit in actions alleging use of excessive force and other constitutional violations
  • Litigated summary judgment motions based on forum non conveniens defense and lack of personal jurisdiction in disputes involving foreign parties or forums
  • Submitted amicus curiae briefs on behalf of DRI in Second Circuit and Alabama Supreme Court

Notable Cases

  • Jennings v Genesee County Sheriffs (ED Mich): $37 million verdict vacated upon grant of new trial in 42 USC 1983 police excessive force case
  • McLain v City of Lansing, 309 Mich App 335; 869 NW2d 645 (2015): represented EMTs in case upholding immunity under Emergency Medical Services Act and ruling as matter of first impression that no affidavit of meritorious defense is required when asserting immunity as a defense under EMSA
  • Represented hospital and health care provider in appeal of $144 million birth injury verdict
  • Commonwealth Land Title Ins Co v Metro Equity Services, 315 Mich App 312; 890 NW2d 395 (2016): represented title insurer in case successfully reviving century-old precedent governing “mere continuation” exception to rule barring corporate successor liability
  • Tibble v American Physicians Capital, 2014 WL 5462573 (Mich App 2014): represented insurer in appeal of $1.2 million bad faith failure to defend verdict in case limiting recovery by bankrupt insured under Michigan’s collectability rule to amount collectible from insured prior to bad faith action
  • Hanczaryk v Chapin, 2014 WL 5462600 (Mich App 2014): obtained judgment as a matter of law on appeal reducing $7 million bad faith/negligence verdict against medical liability insurer to $300,000
  • Gohl v Livonia Public Schools, 836 F3d 672 (2016): prepared master brief in Sixth Circuit on behalf of school district and seven district employees to uphold summary judgment of excessive force and ADA/RA claims brought by disabled student
  • Tompkins v Crown Corr, Inc, 726 F3d 830 (2013): represented general contractor on appeal in Sixth Circuit upholding summary judgment of premises liability case arising from leaky airport terminal roof
  • Gagnon v Glowacki, 295 Mich App 557; 815 NW2d 141 (2012): represented mother in international custody and parenting time dispute
  • Alanoly v McCrary, 2014 WL 688659 (Mich App 2014): represented mother and secured attorney fee award in custody and parenting time dispute against celebrity father
  • Miller v Babu, 2015 WL 7285976 (Mich App 2015): obtained judgment as a matter of law on appeal reversing jury verdict against physician
  • Silvernail v Liberty Mutual Ins Co, 2013 WL 2278134 (Mich App 2013): represented auto insurer on appeal to uphold policy rescission based on material misrepresentation

Publications and Lectures

  • "NextGen Medical Liability - Strategies, Tactics & Technology in the Millennial Age," Presenter, Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Seminar, Detroit Athletic Club, May 31, 2019
  • “The Force...Mastering Light Speed Change in Medicine,” Presenter, Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Seminar, The Dearborn Inn, May 5, 2017

  • “Riding the Wave - The Future of Medicine & the Law,” Presenter, Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Seminar, Detroit Athletic Club, May 20, 2016

  • “2015 Medical Liability Update,” Presenter, Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Seminar, Troy Marriott Hotel, June 4, 2015

  • "From Deposition to Verdict," Presenter, Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Liability Mock Trial, Troy Marriott Hotel, May 31, 2014

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • American Bar Association
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar


  • Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-law)

Areas of Practice



  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2011
  • Marshall University, Summa Cum Laude, B.A., 2008


  • Michigan, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2016
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2013


Honors & Recognitions

  • Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star in Appellate Law; Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, 2016 - 2018
  • National Champion, ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, 2011
  • Duke Law Moot Court Board
  • Duke Law Merit Scholarship
  • Society of Yeager Scholars


Speaking Engagements

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