I am an associate at Karpstein & Verhulst, PC. As a passionate criminal defense attorney, I strive to empathize with, educate and empower each of my clients, whether court-appointed or privately retained. My job is not merely to give you my advice, but to make you understand decisions you have to make. Together we will put you in the best position possible.
I try to draw on my entire life experience when meeting with clients. I was born in Miami, raised in both Chicago and Los Angeles, and have lived in Berkeley, Little Rock, New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington, D.C, and now Portland. I completed a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in 1995 at the University of California at Berkeley, where I returned for law school in 2002. In between, I served as a writer-editor for a weekly news digest, and worked extensively in professional politics, heading voter registration drives and managing campaigns for candidates for the California Assembly and the United States Congress.
During law school, I clerked at the East Bay Community Law Center, the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, and earned an entire semester's worth of credits working exclusively for the Marin County Public Defender. By the time I graduated, I had already won pre-trial motions and even served as second-chair on a criminal trial that resulted in a full acquittal. Since graduation, I have worked under the supervision of many solo practitioners in various capacities in both California and Oregon, honing my skills in legal research and courtroom advocacy.
I opened my own practice in Portland in 2010. Three years later, I co-founded small firm with a few colleagues. In my current position, I handle an indigent defense docket in Washignton County, and continue to represent privately retained clients throughout the state. I have handled everything from traffic tickets to felonies, and successfully argued in front of both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court. In State v. Fuller, my arguments persuaded the appellate courts that persons accused of theft do not lose the Constitutional protections afforded all criminal defendants when district attorneys elect to treat their offenses as "violations." This decision changed the law of Oregon as it had stood for two decades, and paved the way for those arrested during the Occupy Portland protests to be tried by a jury of their peers. (You can read more about the case in the Portland Mercury.)
I believe in the ideals of freedom and equality embedded in the U.S. and Oregon Constitutions, and am a fierce advocate for the rights of every person I represent. Outside the office, I work within the LGBT* community, am an avid moviegoer, bartender, softball player and a jazz and rock drummer. I look forward to fighting for every client I meet.
Hourly ($240/hour), Fixed (sometimes)
Cash, Check, Credit card
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Karen is a very intelligent and caring attorney. From my interactions with her, it is clear that she fights for her clients, investigates all possible avenues to help them, and truly strives to get them the best outcome possible.
Damien Donnelly-Cole DUI and DWI Attorney
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Honor for Pro Bono and Low Income Service||Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Lawyers' Campaign for Equal Justice||2015|
|Associate Attorney||Karpstein & Verhulst, PC||2016 - Present|
|Partner||Mockrin Slavin Donnelly, LLP||2016 - 2016|
|Partner||Bodzin Donnelly Mockrin & Slavin, LLP||2013 - 2016|
|Solo Practitioner Attorney||Karen J. Mockrin, Attorney at Law||2010 - 2013|
|Clerk / Legal Assitant / Contract Attorney||Law Offices of (Solo Practitioners)||2007 - 2010|
|Clerk||Criminal Defense Associates (Santa Rosa, CA Law Firm)||2007 - 2007|
|Legal Editor||Law Offices of William Fischer||2006 - 2006|
|Certified Law Student Intern||Marin County Public Defender||2006 - 2006|
|Legal Intern||National Center For Lesbian Rights||2003 - 2003|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Multnomah County Bar Association||Member||2014 - Present|
|Clackamas County Bar Association||Member||2014 - Present|
|Oregon State Bar||Attorney Member||2010 - Present|
|Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||Member||2009 - Present|
|State v. M----||Not Guilty of Resisting Arrest|
|State v. Fuller||Won at the Oregon Supreme Court|
|People v. W----||Full Acquittal by Jury|
|See all legal cases|
|University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2007|
|University of California - Berkeley||Political Science||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1995|