Whether I’m appearing in front of a judge, speaking to an opposing counsel, or working on behalf of a client in some other capacity, verbal advocacy serves as one of my strongest skills. People tell me I’m very eloquent and persuasive in explaining why the law aligns with my clients’ interests. I place an emphasis on building strong relationships with my clients by providing 24/7 unlimited access, keeping them well-informed and well-represented, and providing counsel that’s firmly grounded in my business management background.
Advocating for building industry clients throughout California, Karissa Fox represents contractors, subcontractors, major trade contractors, construction managers, sureties, architects, and engineers in a wide range of construction law and litigation matters. Typical disputes stem from construction defect issues, mechanic’s liens, stop-payment notices, and insurance companies’ refusal to pick up coverage for their insureds. Karissa works for plaintiffs as well as defendants, as her clients frequently find themselves on both sides of litigation. This dual-perspective experience enhances her ability to reach favorable outcomes for clients.
Karissa handles a large amount of public project work and enjoys the challenge of these matters, which fall under entirely different codes than civil projects and usually place a great deal of money at stake. She frequently serves general contractors or subcontractors having payment problems and finds it highly gratifying to help individuals and businesses receive the compensation they’re due. She also ensures that her owner and developer clients are well contracted, protected from unlicensed or faulty workmanship, and positioned to fully capitalize on their investment. On both sides of the fence, Karissa finds opportunities to help smaller companies thrive, larger companies continue to grow, and governmental entities complete projects that benefit everyone, including the taxpayers who fund them.
Like the rest of the Smith Currie team, Karissa focuses a great deal on educating clients. Although changes in the law might not be exciting to talk about, understanding their impact and adjusting to comply with the changes can often be the difference between costly litigation and receipt of rapid payment or completion of a project. Companies that are noncompliant, underinsured, poorly contracted, or fail to have provisions in place to deal with the growing liability of their operations, frequently find themselves in a place of expensive peril that could have been avoided. Karissa along with the rest of the San Francisco-based Smith Currie Team conduct numerous educational courses for owners, contractors, and subcontractors throughout the year, making every effort to position clients for optimal success.
With a degree in international business management and a great deal of prior work experience in business development and strategic and sustainable planning, Karissa always advises clients with an eye toward the real-world commercial consequences of litigation. She adeptly guides them in deciding whether it’s more advantageous to move a case forward or to hold back, and whether it’s better to contest a piece of litigation to the end or to settle up front. Karissa reminds clients that it’s sensible to take into account the potential for future collaboration with parties that they’re currently adverse to, and makes sure they consider the bigger picture outside of the litigation that’s affecting them at the moment.
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts (Session 4 - Change Orders) - October 9, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts (Session 2 - Schedule and Delays) - September 11, 2019 - San Francisco, CA
•Smith Currie Academy - Understanding and Drafting Construction Subcontracts - San Francisco, CA
Did You Know?
Before attending law school, Karissa worked with C-suite executives to help them grow and sell their businesses. In one case a company grew from a worth of $5 million to a worth of $50 million-in just two and a half years.