About Karen

Yes, I'm a lawyer. But I'm also a human being. I have a doggie named Nala. Three daughters. One son-in-law. Eat oatmeal dipped in crunchy brown turbinado sugar for breakfast. And wear black lululemon leggings and jeans as often as possible when not in court.

If you are reading this website it is either because you: a) need a lawyer; b) are a client; c) are a fellow plaintiff attorney and want to get to know me better; d) are a defense lawyer looking for any inside info you can possibly obtain to use against me (and my clients); or e) you are a random visitor.

Welcome to all of you.

  • For a detailed lawyer biography, check out my bio at Stritmatter Kessler Whelan.
  • Check out an interview by Super Lawyers about my blog.
  • Read a KCBA Bar Bulletin article about me.

My Story

In 1960 Mary Fung and Jimmy Klaus Koehler introduced me to the world. Mom was a chemical engineer who later became a lawyer. Dad was a professor of biological structure. Over the years, they added Debbie, Susan, Jenny and Greg to their collection of children. Us five Koehler siblings continue to be a pack to this day.

Our household valued family, helping others, and fighting for what was right. Mom’s clients often paid her by letting us eat in their restaurants. One recently no-longer-jailed George painted our house. Another repaired our cars – not always especially well. Like the time the stick shift actually came out of the gear box when I was out one night in high school. Dad meanwhile graded medical student’s papers while we watched tv after dinner that he typically made for us. Then shared the role his research played in helping prevent the dying out of species and later finding a cure for AIDS. Our parents instilled a strict sense of what was right and wrong – with discrimination and the ill treatment of others being placed in the core of our being. By the eighth grade I knew my destiny was to be a lawyer

Four life circumstances changed me fundamentally as a person:

  1. Birth of Cristina
  2. Birth of Alysha
  3. Birth of Noelle
  4. Divorce

I was a part time lawyer until Noelle entered Kindergarten which was the same time that I became divorced. Seven years later, I became President of Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now WSAJ). My girls played “office” instead of “house.” They watched trials. Visited with judges in their chambers. When I received the Trial Lawyer of the Year from WSTLA at summer convention, my girls had skipped the luncheon and were on the lake shooting water cannons from their paddle boats. My job has never been separate from my life.


What Inspires Me

Mom: Mary Fung Koehler

Dad: James Klaus Koehler

  Most of the Koehler-Fung Klan

Most of the Koehler-Fung Klan

  My Daughters: Cristina, Alysha, Noelle

My Daughters: Cristina, Alysha, Noelle