Not Your Typical Elder Law Firm

Karman Guadagni

  • Managing Partner
San Francisco, CA


Rated by Super Lawyers(R) - Karman Guadagni |

Karman Guadagni is the Managing Partner at Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto. 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. She is also dedicated to fighting for reform within the long term care industry. She has achieved successful results for plaintiffs in trial, mediation and arbitration throughout California.

Karman was selected as a California Super Lawyer in 2022, and was recognized as a Rising Star annually between 2015-2021. She has served as a guest professor at Stanford Law since 2015, and is a frequent speaker and author on topics related to elder abuse and neglect. Karman is on the board of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, where she co-chairs the New Lawyer’s Division and is the president of Friends of ECDC, a nonprofit benefitting Emeryville Child Development Center.

Karman Guadagni’s profile in the January 2021 edition of Plaintiffs Magazine.

Material Breach for Failure to Pay Arbitration Fees by Karman Guadagni and Kelsey Craven

Speaking Engagements

  • How to Be a Better BIPOC/LGBTQ+/Women Ally, San Francisco Trial Lawyer’s Association, San Francisco, California, April 7, 2022
  • The Truth Behind ALF Point Systems as part of the American Association for Justice’s Insider Look at Your Nursing Home Cases Webinar Series, April 6, 2022
  • They’re No Place Like Home- Going Behind the Curtain in Six-Bed RCFEs, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Ski Seminar, March 19, 2022, Incline Village, Nevada
  • Shining the Light: COVID and LTC Understaffing, Consumer Attorneys of California Travel Seminar, March 11, 2022, Sonoma, CA.
  • “Elder Abuse in the Age of COVID”, November 20th, 2021, Consumer Attorneys of Calirfornia Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA
  • “Elder Abuse- A Primer”, June 19th, 2021, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association New Lawyers Division Adventure Conference, Santa Cruz, CA
  • “The Art of War: Taking Depositions the Sun Tzu Way”, October 15th, 2020, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association New Lawyer Division
  • “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

  • "Understanding Residential Care Facilities", Chapter Four, California Elder Law Litigation: An Advocate's Guide (Co-Author), Continuing Education of the Bar, California 2023
  • "Understanding Residential Care Facilities", Chapter Four, California Elder Law Litigation: An Advocate's Guide (Co-Author) Continuing Education of the Bar, California 2022
  • Behind the curtain in California’s six-bed residential care facilities for the elderly, Forum Magazine, May-June, 2022
  • 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
  • "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
  • 2022 Super Lawyer

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
  • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, 2023 to Present
    Lawyer Referral Service Advisory Committee

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