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Karl W. Pilger
  • Of Counsel


Fairfax, VA





With more than 35 years of experience serving clients and trying cases in Virginia, I focus my practice in three major areas: (1) business and employment law and litigation, (2) employee benefits law and litigation, and (3) trust and estate litigation.  I have been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell for over 20 years and have also been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Northern Virginia Magazine’s “Top Lawyers”.

I regularly represent our clients in Virginia’s state and federal trial courts. I have also briefed and argued many cases before the federal appellate courts in Virginia and D.C., as well as the D.C. and Maryland state appellate courts.  I have years of experience appearing on behalf of my clients in arbitration proceedings and mediations. 

In addition to my law practice, for more than 30 years I have taught other attorneys how to try court cases in programs sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.  For the last several years, I have been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at American University’s Washington College of Law.  I have published various articles concerning litigation and employee benefits under the federal ERISA law for Lexis/Nexis, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and the Virginia State Bar’s Litigation News.

Because of my litigation experience, I am able to assess the merits of potential court cases and advise clients of their options in resolving their disputes.  Because of the costs and uncertainties of protracted litigation, I may well recommend mediation or arbitration as an alternative in the appropriate situation.

I also advise employers and employees alike in navigating the complexities of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and its myriad regulations.  Employers can benefit by implementing procedures required by ERISA in administering employee benefits and thus avoid monetary penalties for noncompliance.  Employees can learn about their rights to employee benefits and, where the employer has violated the law, sue for their vested pension benefits, health care benefits, and other vested rights.  I have a special interest in representing clients in pension fraud cases.

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1977
  • Virginia, 1979
  • Maryland, 1988
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1978


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
    • Juris Doctor - 1977
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • B.A. - 1974
    • Honors: magna cum laude


  • Phi Beta Kappa