Kari Lester is a Member in the firm’s Litigation practice area. Her practice emphasizes litigation including personal and catastrophic injury, wrongful death, as well as insurance litigation and appellate work. Kari has extensive experience in all aspects of litigation including discovery, motions, mediations, arbitrations, and trials, and she has handled hundreds of litigation matters. On numerous occasions, she has secured results in excess of one million dollars for her clients. She has also briefed and argued a number of cases before the Washington State appellate courts and has appeared as a guest speaker on trial and insurance topics. Kari is currently expanding her practice to include additional civil and complex commercial litigation matters in conjunction with those on which she already focuses.
Kari was born in New York, NY and earned her B.A., cum laude, from Wake Forest University in 1995 and her J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law in 1998. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and son and when she is not working, she enjoys skiing, engaging in Triathlons, and spending time with her family.
Representative Successful Reported Cases
- Greene v. Allstate Ins. Co./Young, 113 Wn. App. 746, 54 P.3d 734 (2002) (Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals held that a bystander emotional distress claim of a spouse who arrived at the scene following an accident and witnessed the aftermath constituted a “bodily injury” and a separate claim under his UIM, uninsured motorist’s, coverage allowing recovery for the same).
- Harris v. Drake, 152 Wn.2d 480, 98 P.3d 872 (2004)(the Washington State Supreme Court held, as a matter of first impression, that an examination conducted by an individual’s first party insurer constituted work product and was not discoverable or admissible in subsequent third party litigation; the Court also furthered prior case law and held that evidence of a pre-existing condition is irrelevant and inadmissible unless the condition was symptomatic immediately before the injury at issue).
(Oral Argument: http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2004050034D)
- Hudson v. Hapner, 170 Wn.2d 22, 239 P.3d 579 (2010)(the Washington State Supreme Court established, as a matter of first impression, a bright line rule that a party withdrawing a request for a trial de novo following a mandatory arbitration, must file the same before the commencement of the trial de novo, and thus prohibited the defense’s attempt to withdraw its appeal in the case).(Oral Argument: http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2010010020A)
Recognitions and Awards
- Named a “Rising Star” by Washington Law & Politics Magazine in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, an honor bestowed to only 2.5 percent of lawyers in any given state.
- Named “Top 40 Under 40 Washington State Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
- Rated “AV Preeminent®” for Litigation and Personal Injury by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating a lawyer can obtain, indicating a preeminent level of legal ability and exceptional ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Washington State Bar.
- Rated 10 out of 10, a “Superb” Rating, on Avvo for Litigation, Personal Injury, Appeals and Insurance.
- Washington State Bar Association
- King County Bar Association
- Pierce County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Washington State Association for Justice
- J.D., Seattle University Law School, 1998
- B.A., Wake Forest University, cum laude, 1995
Professional and Community Activities
- Hilltop Children’s Center - Co-Chair of the Governance Committee (2015 - Present); Board of the Directors (2014 - Present)