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About me

Karen Willie is a member of Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie PLLC (“TMDW”), a Seattle law firm. After managing her own law firm for fourteen years, she merged with TMDW in 2011. Ms. Willie concentrates her practice in water law, including landslides, floods, dams, drainage problems, riparian rights, sewage back-ups, wetlands, developments and storm water. Ms. Willie has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, including private owners, neighborhood groups, homeowners’ associations, municipalities, private and public corporations, and developers. She has successfully tried cases and obtained favorable and precedential appellate decisions, including two seminal water law opinions from the Washington State Supreme Court.

Before starting her own firm she was a partner for six years at Smith, Smart, Tabler, Hancock and Schwensen which was a small real estate and banking firm in Seattle. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Willie was a deputy prosecuting attorney for King County. While at King County, she was a criminal prosecutor and trial attorney in the Special Assault Unit. She moved to the Civil Division and advised the Surface Water Management Division and defended its cases. She was instrumental in the development of a Surface Water Design Manual that was adopted by the state and eventually adopted by most of the counties and cities in Washington.

Also a trained Mediator, Ms. Willie understands the technical side of disputes and conflicts. Prior to entering law school, Ms. Willie obtained a degree from Antioch University with a specialty in clinical psychology. She was a therapist for ten years and was Chief of Staff at a non-profit, residential treatment center in New York City for heroin addicts. Ms. Willie brings the skills from her prior career to her general law practice and mediation practice. She has completed a forty-hour certification course, the Alhadeff basic and advanced mediator course in Seattle and the Advanced Attorney Mediator training in Dallas, Texas.

Ms. Willie is a frequent speaker at CLEs on water law topics, including surface water, riparian rights, landslides, wetlands, rockeries and lateral support. She has been repeatedly recognized by Washington Law & Politics magazine as a “Super Lawyer.” Ms. Willie has been fondly known as the “Water Witch” since her time at King County.




Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Lawsuits & Disputes: 25%
  2. Land Use & Zoning: 25%
  3. Environmental and Natural Resources: 25%
  4. Municipal: 25%


Payment types:

Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

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  • Michael Duane Daudt

    Karen has unparalleled knowledge and experience in liability issues resulting from landslides and water diversion in the state of Washington. Karen fights harder for her clients than any other lawyer I've ever known, because she truly cares about them and wants to make sure that their problems are solved.


    Michael Daudt Class Action Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • Joyce Stewart Schwensen

    Karen and I were partners in the same law firm for several years, and I know her work well. She is an excellent attorney, and the most knowledgeable lawyer I have ever known in the field of water law. Karen is a vigorous advocate, but is practical as well. She is a pleasure to work with.


    Joyce Schwensen Adoption Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie PLLC

936 North 34th Street.
Suite 300
Seattle, WA, 98103


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyer2006
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyer2005
Washingotn Super LawyerSuper Lawyer2004
Project of the Year ($2M-$10M category)American Public Works Association1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerTerrell Marshall & Daudt and Willie, PLLC2011 - Present
OwnerLaw Offices of Karen Willie1997 - 2011
PartnerSmith Smart1990 - 1997
Deputy Prosecuting AttorneyKing County1987 - 1989
Prosecuting AttorneyKing County1985 - 1987
Association namePosition nameDuration
Association of Attorney-MediatorsMember2004 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationDispute Resolution SectionN/A
Washington State Bar AssociationEnvironmental Law and Real Estate SectionN/A
Commercial Real Estate WomenMemberN/A
Trinity Methodist ChurchStaff-Parrish Relations CommitteeN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
DiBlasi v. SeattleObtained Favorable Judgment
Phillips v. King CountyObtained Favorable Judgment
City of Fircrest v. City of TacomaFavorable Judgement
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
King County Bar Association News"Landslide and Surface Water Madness and Mayhem"2013
Washington State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education“The Law of Surface Waters & Earth Movement For the Neighborhood"2009
King County's Surface Water Management DivisionSurface Waer ManualN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Institute for Conflict Management, LLCN/AMediation Certification2005
Fordham University School of LawN/AJ.D.1985
Antioch UniversityN/ABA - Bachelor of ArtsN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Law SeminarHydrology and the Law2015
The RecordLegal Implications in Oso Landslide2014
The Ben Shapiro ShowOso Landslide2014
Seattle Real Estate Chat - Episode 27A discussion on the Oso Landslide and the ramifications on the property2014
Nightly NewsHow Washington Mudslide Catastrophe Could Have Been Prevented2014
News Interview 3/27/2014Oso Landslide2014
Hydrology For LawyersFundamentals of Water Law2014
myLawCLE Live BroadcastThe Fundamentals of Waterlaw2013
Impacts of FEMA Floodplain Remapping Conference“Interplay between Flooding Hazards and Other Water Issues.”2013
Impacts of FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program on Local Development and RegulationsLiability Issues Related to Flooding and Floodplains2013
Washington State Bar Association, Board of CLEThe Law of Surface Waters and Earth Movement for the Neighborhood2012