Karen Kay is a lifelong resident of Western Washington, having been born and raised in a small coastal town. She graduated with honors from the University of Puget Sound graduated magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law.
While in law school, Karen worked for a multi-national law firm handling discovery production on behalf of a large tech company. She later became a certified Rule 9 Intern at one of the country’s largest insurance companies. In this role, she gained valuable experience litigating complex tort claims including construction defect cases, property disputes, and serious personal injury claims. Karen continued to work in the insurance defense field for a boutique firm in Seattle after obtaining her bar license. During this time she was responsible for extensive motion practice, coverage analysis, and first and third party contract disputes.
Karen eventually transferred to one of the largest personal injury firms in the Pacific Northwest. After only four years, she became the managing attorney of the firm and was responsible for twelve attorneys and the oversight of 1,200 lawsuits at a time. Karen represented Plaintiffs on nearly every type of tort claim ranging from sexual abuse cases, land owner disputes, premises liability, claims against government entities, roadway design claims, contract claims, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, product defects, and motor vehicle accidents. During her time as a Plaintiff’s attorney, she successfully handled over 250 arbitrations, 100 mediations and numerous jury trials in Superior and District Court. Karen has also successfully argued at all State Court levels including prevailing at the State Supreme Court.
As a Plaintiff’s personal injury attorney, Karen was an active member of the Washington State Association for Justice and was the Thurston County Chairperson. She also spoke at a number of conventions on a variety of topics including ethics, discovery and professionalism.
Karen joined her current firm in 2014 and was promoted to partner in 2016. Her current practice focuses on defending insureds in all forms of torts. She also represents insurance companies in a variety of issues including defending insurers in lawsuits regarding breach of contract, IFCA violations, first party injury, and consumer protection act violations. She also issues coverage analysis and opinions.
Karen’s firm currently handles lawsuits on behalf of three of the largest insurance companies in the nation as well as municipalities and multi-national corporations. Karen has successfully defended over 20 cases to verdict in Courts all over Western Washington. These regularly include matters in which Plaintiff is seeking a multi-million dollar verdict. She is proud of her trial record and to date, none of these cases has resulted in a verdict in excess of the pre-trial offer. Karen has also spoken numerous times on a variety of issues at Washington Defense Trial Lawyer events.
Karen has acted as an arbitrator in mandatory arbitration cases in over 20 cases and has been selected as a panel arbitrator. Karen is admitted as a Pro-Tem Judge in Thurston County District Court where she has worked as a settlement conference mediator. In this role, she helped parties resolve their claims without the need for further litigation. Karen believes that her unique career experience allows her a deeper understanding of the concerns of all parties participating in mediation.