Karen E. Marty began her legal career as an assistant city attorney in Springfield, Missouri. As one of only five attorneys for a rapidly growing city of 140,000, she quickly was immersed in land use matters. She had primary responsibility for planning and zoning issues, right-of-way acquisition, land development issues, and condemnation. She also prepared all contracts, drafted ordinances, and handled business license issues.
When not involved in land matters, she prosecuted race, sex, age, and religious discrimination cases before the city's human rights commission, and prosecuted misdemeanor criminal cases. At the same time, she handled all legal matters for the local housing and redevelopment authority, where she assisted in aquiring significant areas of land; providing grants for construction of a hotel, convention center, new federal courthouse, and low income housing; and provided relocation benefits to displaced individuals and businesses.
Ms. Marty moved to Minnesota in 1989. After a brief stint at the Minnesota Medical Association, she became the first in-house city attorney for Shakopee, Minnesota. During her tenure there, Shakopee experienced unprecedented growth. She prepared revisions to the planned unit development for Canterbury Park; wrote a new lease for Murphy's Landing (which is located on city property); and fought with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community over their proposal to remove prime industrial property from the tax rolls. She wrote a new personnel handbook, and assisted the city through two staff reorganizations. She also prosecuted criminal matters, obtained an injunction against an illegal use, and handled all appeals. At the same time, she served as legal counsel for the city's independent public utilities commission.
In 1997 Ms. Marty opened her solo practice. Cities were some of her first clients, hiring her to handle matters where the city attorney had a conflict of interest, and to handle administrative hearings. She continues to handle administrative hearings for a variety of cities and agencies.
Ms. Marty now primarily represents individuals and small businesses who have encountered difficulties in working with cities, townships, and counties. Her clients include land developers, groups of concerned citizens, small business owners, and individuals. She loves the practice of law, the challenges, and the opportunity to help people.