Karl O. Riley


Karl is an experienced and well-rounded commercial litigator, whose practical, business-minded approach to the practice of law adds significant value to his clients. Having served as a clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Karl provides sound and coherent legal strategies for his clients from complaint through appeal. Karl has extensive experience litigating breach of contract; fraud; fraudulent transfer; negligence; breach of fiduciary duty; construction; wrongful disclosure; federal and state consumer protection statutes (e.g., FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA); adverse proceedings; federal state False Claims Act; deficiency judgment; receiverships; insurance coverage; judgment recovery; and various employment and wage/hour issues (e.g., Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA).

Karl handles cases in state and federal courts and has managed all aspects of complex, civil litigation, including development of case analysis and strategy, direction and execution of discovery, composition and argument of discovery and dispositive motions, and negotiation of settlements.

Active in the community, Karl recently served as one of the first African-American chairs of the State Bar of Nevada’s Young Lawyers Section, and was the first African-American to receive the State Bar of Nevada’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award. With the National Bar Association, Karl served as chair of the Young Lawyers Division, and as Region IX director. With the American Bar Association (ABA), Karl serves as the Nevada Young Lawyer delegate to the House of Delegates, and served as the bar leadership director for the Young Lawyers Division. Karl chairs the Steering Committee of the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA), which is a joint venture between the ABA and diverse bars to spark coalition building between diverse communities and to propel diverse leaders into national bar leadership. He also served as secretary on the executive board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. Karl was a 2018 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and now serves as an Alumni Executive Council member and the Communications Committee vice chair. Karl is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.



Karl Riley Recognized as a Minority Corporate Counsel Association 2023 Rising Star

October 09, 2023

Karl Riley, a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been named a 2023 Rising Star by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA).

Karl Riley Named to The American Lawyer’s 2021 Inaugural List of West Trailblazers

July 07, 2021

Karl Riley, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has named to The American Lawyer’s 2021 inaugural list of West Trailblazers.

Catholic Sex Abuse Atty's Fee Not Taxable, 9th Circ. Told

March 15, 2021

Thomas Casparian and Karl Riley were featured in an article published by Law360.

Karl O. Riley Selected as a Member of the American Bar Association’s Fellows Program for 2020-2022

September 30, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Karl Riley, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been selected as a member of the American Bar Association’s Fellows Program for the 2020-2022 class.

Cozen O’Connor Taps Nevada Litigator Karl O. Riley to Manage its Las Vegas Office

September 08, 2020

Riley joins the firm as a member within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department. Additionally, Riley will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Class Actions, and Appellate practice groups.


FDCPA Rulings Show Spokeo's Influence, 5 Years Later

May 27, 2021

Brett Watson and Karl Riley wrote an Expert Analysis for Law360, discussing how the U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins single-handedly raised the bar for a plaintiff alleging a violation of a consumer protection statute, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Industry Sectors


  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 2010
  • Washington University in St. Louis, B.S., 2006

Awards & Honors

Rising Star, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, 2023

American Lawyer Magazine Trailblazers – West, 2021 (Inaugural Class)

Emerging Leader Award – Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, 2019 

“On the Rise” Top 40 Young Lawyers Award – American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2018

Fellow – Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), 2018

Rising Stars for Commercial Litigation for the Mountain States – Super Lawyers 2014 - 2018 

Young Lawyer of the Year Award – State Bar of Nevada, 2017 

Legal Elite, Best Up & Coming Attorneys – Nevada Business Magazine, 2014 - 2016

Fellow – American Bar Foundation, 2015

40 Attorneys Under 40 Award, National Bar Association, 2015

Rising Stars of Business – Las Vegas Business Press, 2014

Lawyers of Color Hot List 100, 2012

Polemarch’s Brother of the Year Award – Las Vegas Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc., 2011

  • Nevada
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Nevada

Law clerk to the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

American Bar Association

National Bar Association

State Bar of Nevada

Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association