Karen Tynan Called 'Erin Brockovich of Porn' in Esquire Article
HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Industry attorney Karen Tynan received particularly glowing — and well-deserved — praises by the adult entertainment community for her legal work in a recent feature in Esquire.
Tynan, in the piece, is referred to as the “Erin Brockovich of porn” by Matt Mason, the general manager of gay bareback studio Treasure Island Media who hired her to defend against a Cal/OSHA complaint.
Erin Brockovich, of course, was the legal clerk-turned-environmental activist who was instrumental in a class-action settlement against Pacific Gas and Electric over groundwater contamination in the early 1990s.
Tynan, like Brockovich, can easily be viewed as a crusader.
In fact, the Healdsburg, Calif., attorney is a leading booster in the industry's fight against Proposition 60, which will be decided on Tuesday.
Tynan’s described in the Esquire piece as “porn's go-to labor lawyer,” defending studios against regulatory complaints and investigations from Cal/OSHA. At the same time, she’s also characterized as a legal honcho who has the “folksy cheer of a Walmart greeter, cut with a barmaid's raunchy wit.”
"Karen is a legal dom," Mike Stabile, the Free Speech Coalition’s communication director, told Esquire.
“Indeed, Tynan's profile picture on Twitter portrays her as a dominatrix brandishing a riding crop in what appears to be a sex dungeon,” Esquire wrote.
In the piece, Esquire explained how Tynan entered into the adult biz — by accident — and started lining up clients.
“One day in 2009, her phone rang. On the other end was Jeffrey Douglas, an L.A. attorney who often represented the porn industry,” Esquire wrote. “Just then, Douglas explained, Cal/OSHA had subpoenaed the AIM Health Care Foundation, which conducted HIV and STI tests for porn performers, demanding that it disclose medical information, including the identity of a female performer who'd recently tested positive for HIV.
“Douglas Googled ‘Cal/OSHA defense attorney’ and Tynan's name popped up. It was a total fluke, the random chemistry of SEO keywords," Esquire wrote.
“Douglas put Tynan on retainer as the industry's labor law expert, and she eventually helped win a permanent injunction that prevented Cal/OSHA from accessing adult film performers' medical records.
“In short order, studios including Falcon, Treasure Island, Kink, Raging Stallion, and Evil Angel enlisted Tynan to defend them against regulatory grievances. She also successfully represented a group of talent agents whom AHF accused of encouraging unsafe sex. In just a few years, she'd built a roster of major porn clients.”
Tynan told Esquire that she initially expected other adult industry attorneys to provide regulatory defense services to their clients.
"But they didn't,” Tynan told Esquire. “Whenever people got inspected by Cal/OSHA or had employment-law issues, I seemed to get the calls. I think it wasn't a plan, but once I sensed it start happening, I embraced it."
To view the Esquire article, click here.