Not Your Typical Elder Law Firm

Karman Guadagni

  • Managing Partner



Karman Guadagni is the Managing Partner at Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto, a law firm specializing in elder abuse and neglect cases. Her practice primarily focuses on institutional elder abuse litigation, with an emphasis on litigating cases involving pressure ulcers, falls, sexual abuse and other serious injury and death cases against residential care facilities for the elderly and nursing homes throughout California. Karman is committed to advocating on behalf of the elderly, dependent adults and their families to compensate them for wrongs they have suffered and to fighting for reform within the long term care industry. She has achieved successful results for plaintiffs in trial, mediation and arbitration throughout California. Ms. Guadagni has been selected as a Rising Star among California's Super Lawyers in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2017, has served as a guest professor at Stanford Law in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to elder abuse and neglect. She is on the board of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and is the president of Friends of ECDC, a nonprofit benefitting Emeryville Child Development Center.

Speaking Engagements

  • "Pre-Litigation Resolution: Mediation Strategies, Case Valuation, and Fulfilling Client Goals” November 23rd, 2019, CANHR’s 23rd Annual Elder Law Conference, Monterrey, CA
  • “A Cluster What? Tips for Navigating Expedited Multi-Plaintiff Suits When Class and Mass Don’t Apply” November 13, 2019, CAOC
  • "Gender Roles at Mediation and in Negotiations", July 25, 2019, SFTLA Women's Caucus Event
  • "Elder Abuse Damages", April 30, 2019, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Panel, San Francisco, California
  • "Sonoma Fire Cases- Lessons Learned", March 28, 2019, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Tahoe Ski Seminar
  •  “Timely Topics: Shifting the Balance”, November 16, 2018, CAOC Convention, San Francisco, CA.
  • "Sexual Abuse Cases", November 2018- Consumer Attorneys of California Convention, San Francisco, California
  • “Elder Abuse: Quick Hits from the Masters, Litigating Sexual Abuse in Elder Care Facilities”, March 16, 2018, The Donald L. Galine Sonoma Travel Seminar CAOC, Sonoma, CA
  • "Dementia Specialist Facilities”, January 27, 2018, SFTLA Ski Seminar.
  • “Bringing Cases Against Dementia Specialist Facilities” November 18, 2017, CAOC, San Francisco, CA
  • “Litigating Elder Abuse/ Neglect in Assisted Living Facilities”, June 21, 2017, National Webinar
  • “Elder Abuse in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly –New Legislation and its Potential Impact on Elder Abuse Cases in California”, May 9, 2017, CAOC Elder Abuse Round Table, San Francisco, CA
  • “From the Ground up: Proving Managing Agent Liability in Elder Abuse Cases”, March 10, 2017, SFTLA NLD Tahoe Conference
  • “Liens: Practice Pointer from the Experts or Everything You (Never) Wanted to Know” –Moderator, April 1, 2016, the Donald L. Galine Travel Seminar CAOC, Sonoma, CA
  • “Turning a Single Event into a Systems Case”, March 29, 2016, National Webinar
  • “Having it All”, March 7, 2017, SFTLA Women’s Caucus, San Francisco, CA
  • “Cases against Six Bed Assisted Living Facilities for Elders”, January 29, 2016, SFTLA –New Lawyers Division Tahoe Ski Seminar
  • "Cases Against Assisted Living Facilities", September 30, 2015 – Practice Pointers –
  • “Every Thing You Need to Know About Elder Abuse in 15 Minutes”, February 1, 2013, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Tahoe Ski Seminar, San Francisco, CA
  • “Medicare Liens and Standing in Survivorship Actions”, November 16, 2012, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Conference,
  • “Bed Sores and Hospital Infections”, March 3, 2011, Med School for Lawyers-–CAOC Webinar

Areas of Practice

  • Elder Law
  • Nursing Home
  • Personal Injury - Plaintiff
  • Wrongful Death - Plaintiff

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2009


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. - 2009
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
    • B.A. - 2003
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Honors: Golden Key Society
    • Honors: Kappa Tau Alpha
    • Honors: National Society of Collegiate Honors
    • Honors: Dean's Scholar
    • Major: Journalism
    • Minor: Spanish

Published Works

  • The intersections of elder abuse and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Forum Magazine, November-December, 2019
  • Elders in the Inferno, Forum Magazine, May-June, 2019
  • What's the Point, Forum Magazine, May-June, 2019
  • “Elders in the inferno: A unique Sonoma Fire case” Forum Magazine, May/ June 2019
  • "Know the Score", Trial Magazine, December, 2017
  • Picking your battles – Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Homes, Forum Magazine, May-June, 2016
  • Follow the Money Trail - Holding Corporate Owners of RCFEs Directly Liable as Licensees, Legal Network News, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Fall, 2013


  • Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop on Depositions - 2015, 2016

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Female Attorney of the Year – SFTLA, 2019
  • Rising Star - Northern California Super Lawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Women's Caucus, Member
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, New Lawyer's Division, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • Queen's Bench, Member
  • Work/Life Balance and Employment Committee at Queen's Bench, Co-Chair

Past Employment Positions

  • Levy, Ram & Olson, San Francisco, California, Law Clerk, 2008 to 2008
  • First Amendment Project, Oakland, California, Intern, 2007 to 2007
  • Women's Initiative, San Francisco, California, Volunteer Writer, 2005 to 2005
  • Eugene Weekly, Eugene, Oregon, Freelance Writer, 2004 to 2004
  • Eugene Weekly, Eugene, Oregon, Editorial Intern, 2003 to 2004