Karl Chip Seman, Esq.

Karl Chip Seman, Esq.

Karl C. Seman, Esquire is a founding member of the DWI and Criminal Defense firm of Grunwald & Seman, PC, located in Nassau and Suffolk. Mr. Seman is best described as a seasoned, no-nonsense, practical litigator with over 35 years concentrating on criminal and vehicular defenses.

His past experience as a Felony Trial Assistant District Attorney with the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney, coupled with his extensive defense counsel experience in both criminal and DWI litigation, bodes well for his clients.

He maintains a very active and varied criminal defense caseload, which ranges from traffic offenses, first time DWI offenses, vehicular manslaughter, robbery, and murder. The practice also represents many corporate and individual federal white collar and larcenous offenses.

He routinely handles vehicular manslaughter and DWI fatality cases, as well as the first time DWI offender. He is particularly versed in the scientific principles relating to chemical testing of breath and blood analysis.

Attorney Seman has written articles for the benefit of other attorneys in and has lectured and taught the intricacies of defending DWI charges. He is the mentor to several less experienced attorneys and prides himself on being available to both clients and new and inexperienced lawyers.

As noted in his personal message to client’s his experience also includes Management of Lord and Taylor’s New York City Retail store where he supervised, managed and conducted numerous investigations of shoplifting charges, employee dishonesty and theft and embezzlement cases. As such, he is most experienced in the defense and all variety of theft charges ranging from the first-time shoplifting charges to multi-million-dollars white collar criminal enterprise allegations.

Because of his varied and extensive litigation background, Mr. Seman also manages the School and Educational Departments. He represents students with special educational needs, as well as other students accused of school related and criminal misconduct that face both criminal prosecution and suspension and expulsions.

Attorney Seman also is the past Chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Committee. He has advised, counseled, mediated and has conducted too numerous to count attorneys and client regarding fee disputes. As such, he is sensitive to the client’s financial constraints and the need for complete attorney-client communication and understanding.

In order to best serve his clients, Attorney Seman is one of the few attorneys that successfully completed the 24-hour police instructional course on detection of impaired drivers focused on detection and sobriety tests. This knowledge allows him to focus his client’s and provide the most quality legal services.

Every client in the Firm will receive a detailed written retainer-engagement letter which serves to protect its clients by detailing the scope and manner of the representation.

Pro Bono Activities

  • 1 and 9
  • The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition
  • The Hewlett House (subsidiary of 1 in 9)
  • Michael’s Haven
  • Mickey’ Corner (subsidiary of Michael’s Haven)
  • Coach Mentor: State-Wide Mock Trial Competition (Kellenberg Memorial High School, Bellmore-Merrick High School, East Meadow High School)

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Criminal Law – Federal (White Collar Crime)
  • Litigation Percentage
  • 85% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1987


American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia

  • J.D. – 1983
  • Honors: Moot Court Judge

Northeastern University, Boston

  • B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) – 1980
  • Honors: Phi Kappa Phi
  • Honors: National Honor Society
  • Honors: Sears B. Condit Scholarship Award
  • Honors: Criminal Justice Achievement Award
  • Honors: National Criminal Justice Honor Society
  • Major: Criminal Justice

Published Works

  • Attorney Fees & Attorney-Client Fee Disputes: Mandatory and Voluntary Arbitrations, The Nassau Lawyer, The Journal of the Nassau County Bar Association, January, Vol 51 No.5, 2002
  • DWI:-Pre-conviction License Suspensions and Hardship Hearings: Legal and Practical Analysis, The Attorney of Nassau County, September, Vol 4, No.: 1, 1996
  • The Federal Courts: Habeas Corpus and Recent Meanings of Cause and Prejudice, 10 American Journal of Criminal Law, Univ. of Texas Law School, November 1982
  • A Juvenile’s Waiver of the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination: A Federal and State Comparison, 10 American Journal of Criminal Law, Univ of Texas Law School, March, 1982
  • DWI: Pre-Conviction License Suspension: Pringle Hearings


  • Adjunct Professor, Criminal Law and Procedure, (New York Institute of Technology)
  • Legal Instructor, Criminal and DWI Defense, NCBA
  • Lecturer, NCBA Speaker’s Program
  • Legal Instructor, State-Wide High School Trial Competition, NYS Bar Association
  • Legal Instructor, Man v. Machine
  • Legal Instructor, Intricacies of Cross Examination Defense
  • Legal Instructor and Lecturer, DWI criminal law for inexperienced attorneys

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, Sociology Teaching
  • SuperLawyers – 2013 to 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Nassau County Bar Association, Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Conciliation, Chairman
  • Nassau County Homicide, Major Felony Defense Panel, Assigned Counsel Plan
  • New York County Major Felony and Homicide Panel Assigned Counsel Plan
  • Better Business Bureau, Autoline Arbitration, Lemon Law Claims, Arbitrator
  • American Arbitration Association, New York, New York
  • American Judges Association
  • Nassau County Bar Association
  • Former Assistant District Attorneys Association
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • New York Association
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Defender Association

Past Employment Positions

  • District Court, Nassau County, Judicial Arbitrator
  • Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney, January 1, 1984 – January 31, 1987
  • Abady & Jaffe, Madison Avenue, New York City, Senior Trial Counsel, November 1, 1987 – October 31, 1988
  • Newman, Schlau, Fitch & Burns, Lower Broadway, New York City, Senior Trial Associate, July 1, 1987 – October 31, 1987
  • Levine & Robinson, Mitchel Field, NY, Senior Trial Associate, January 1, 1987 – July 31, 1987
  • United States Attorney’s Office, Washington D.C., Felony-Trials Division, Law Student Intern, 1982
  • Judge Henry F. Greene, Washington D.C. Superior Court, Law Student Intern, August 1, 1981 – December 31, 1981
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights and Consumer Divisions, Boston, Intern, January 1, 1979 – April 30, 1979
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights and Consumer Divisions, Boston, Intern, April 1, 1978 – June 30, 1978
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights and Consumer Divisions, Boston, Intern, January 1, 1977 – April 30, 1977
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights and Consumer Divisions, Boston, Intern, October 1, 1977 – December 31, 1977
  • First National Bank of Boston, June 1, 1979 – December 31, 1979
  • Arlington Massachusetts Police Services, July 1, 1977 – September 30, 1977