James W. Karel

James W. Karel


Mr. Karel began his legal career in Houston, Texas in 1986 as a general practitioner whose work included representing financial institutions and business owners in several areas including landlord/tenant disputes, financial services, as well as employment and general liability matters. Since 1989, he has had an active trial practice in construction litigation, transportation, general tort litigation and labor and employment law. Mr. Karel regularly represents:

  • Transportation companies and property owners in motor vehicle accident litigation and premises liability matters;
  • General and subcontractors in construction accident claims, construction defect litigation, and OSHA investigations;
  • Restaurants and other food service providers in both general liability and food safety issues; and
  • All types of employers in a wide variety of labor and employment law matters.

Mr. Karel also routinely consults with clients on an extensive range of risk management issues related to construction, transportation, and labor and employment fields.

Community Activities

  • Member, Highland Park United Methodist Church
  • Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  • Member, Dallas Chapter of Military Order of the World Wars
  • Member, Munger Place Church

Military Experience

Captain, Infantry, U.S. Army 1974-1979

Contact James W. Karel

Areas of Practice

Publications and Seminars

Regularly presents seminar information to a variety of clients and insureds, as well as on behalf of the Themis Advocates Group

Labor and Employment Law

  • Handles EEOC claims from initial investigation through complete EEOC process for a variety of employers including heavy equipment manufacturers, construction firms, and food service establishments.
  • Represents various insureds in a wide field of labor and employment law related matters.

Trucking and Transportation

  • Handles personal injury, property damage, and environmental claims for a large domestic petroleum transport company.
  • Handles personal injury, property damage, and environmental claims for a large domestic petroleum transport company.

Construction Accident and Construction Defect Litigation

  • Lead Counsel for general contractors, subcontractors, and owners in construction accident and construction defect claims, as well as OSHA investigation, to include defense and prosecution of indemnity actions for personal injury and property damage claims caused by alleged negligence of other responsible parties.

Premises Liability

Handles a large number of cases for national, regional, and local businesses involving a variety of premises liability claims including slip and falls, physical security, false imprisonment, and general negligence.

Restaurant and Food Service General Liability and Food Safety

Lead Counsel for a number of national and local restaurants and other food service providers in a variety of matters including general liability, premises, foreign object in food, and food-borne illness matters.


  • University of Texas School of Law, (J.D., 1985)
  • Marquett University, (B.A., 1974)

Legal Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Admitted to the State Bar of Texas
  • Admitted to the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • Admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • AV Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell