Karen L. Murtagh is the Executive Director Prisoners' Legal Services of New York (PLS), a not-for-profit legal services organization that was founded in 1976 to provide civil legal services to indigent inmates in New York State correctional facilities. She is a graduate of Clarkson University and Albany Law School. She is admitted to practice law in New York State, all Federal District Courts of New York and the U.S. Supreme Court. She has litigated issues concerning prisoners' due process rights at disciplinary hearings, prison conditions, deliberate indifference, the First Amendment and the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). She has tried cases in both the Court of Claims and Federal Court and has argued numerous cases before New York State courts including the New York Court of Appeals and successfully as amicus before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging the constitutionality of a New York State statute that prohibited prisoners from filing federal 1983 actions in state court. She has worked as a staff attorney, managing attorney, Director of Litigation and Deputy Director for PLS. She has provided extensive training to staff on administrative and Article 78 practice and how to litigate excessive force cases in federal court. She also served on the faculty of Albany Law School as an adjunct professor where she established a clinic program for prisoners' rights and taught Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Court of Claims Practice, and Litigation Skills. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and sits on the NYS Bar Association's Civil Rights Committee. She is a Board member of the New York State Defenders Association. She is also an advisor to the NYSDA Special Committee on Immigration Representation.