Dan Baldwin 2013-10-25 12:27:00
“I would have to say that being a woman in the construction law and litigation arena is uncommon. Certainly in today’s society women are successful in multiple areas, but the construction law and litigation arena and construction in general is not overwhelmingly populated by women,” says Karen A. Palecek, partner in Palecek & Palecek, PLLC. The firm’s practice areas are construction law and litigation and include pre-litigation, construction-related disputes, corporate law, contract draft ing and negotiating, corporate formation, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, buy-sells, statutory preliminary notices, liens, stop notice and bond rights enforcement, filing and defending Registrar of Contractors complaints and handling administrative hearings, AAA construction industry arbitrations and mediations, state and federal trial litigation, real estate and commercial lease review and draft ing, and appellate work. Her partner in the firm is her brother, James J. Palecek. “I think practicing construction law with your brother is unique. We treat each other with respect and all of our employees as if they were family,” she says. Palecek has 25 years of experience in construction law and construction litigation with the majority of her clients specialty trade contractors and suppliers and other general contractors and owners in the construction industry. She is committed not only to her firm and her clients, but also to the women who may be considering a career specialization in this area. “Because of the small number of women in construction law,” Palecek says, “I feel it is even more important to be professional, successful and respected to pave the way for younger women to know they too can succeed in the area of construction law and construction litigation.” Palecek came to the industry naturally as her grandfather had a construction business that did primarily grading paving and railroad construction for many years in Wooster, Ohio. As a girl she told her parents that she wanted to drive dump trucks for the family business instead of going to college, but her parents encouraged her to complete college first and then work in the construction industry if she still wanted to. Another experience shaped her early desire to work in the industry. Her father is an attorney in Ohio and while in the seventh grade she watched a murder trial where her father’s partner defended a young woman accused of killing her family. “He was a very skilled trial attorney who impressed me. The entire process was very interesting. There was a double jeopardy issue, which ultimately was brought to the Ohio Supreme Court. I decided I would become a lawyer. So, I combined the thrill of watching a murder trial in seventh grade with the fascination of construction and love for family into a boutique construction law firm with my brother.” Palecek graduated from the University of Dayton, cum laude, in 1983 and earned her Juris Doctor from the Arizona State University School of Law in 1987. She is a member of the construction section of the State Bar of Arizona and involved in the attorney’s council and membership committee of the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). She has served on the board of directors of the ASA and has chaired the membership committee. In 1995 she received the President’s Award at the ASA Excellence in Construction Awards Banquet. Palecek’s interests outside of the office, boardroom and construction site include taking care of her family and supporting them in all of their activities. She also enjoys spin classes at Camelback Village Health Club and cooking. The firm of Palecek & Palecek has significant experience not only in representing clients in all aspects of construction, but they have attracted a significant number of specialty trade contractor clients. Palecek says, “I find the constant mental challenge enjoyable, and I find assisting businesses and individuals with their legal issues to be rewarding.”
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