Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

2017 President's Award Winner Diana Carey

Join us June 27, 2017 when we honor Diana at our Annual Dinner!

June 2017 Bar Bulletin

By Kathryn Battuello

Diana CareyOver the past year, I have been reminded of the remarkable service that lawyers provide to their clients, their colleagues, our profession, our communities and the underserved who frequent these communities. In thinking about the President’s Award, I decided that this year’s recipient should be a lawyer whose career illustrates the many reasons why the legal profession remains essential to our future as a democracy, and whose professional contributions inspire attorneys at all points along their career paths to make time for community service. That lawyer is Diana Carey.

Exemplary Service to Clients and Colleagues: Diana is well-known professionally for her significant contributions as an insolvency lawyer. Her 30-year practice encompasses receiverships, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, sprinkled with general corporate and real estate matters.

She has chaired the bankruptcy practice group at Karr Tuttle Campbell since her second year of practice (Diana is a UW law school graduate, class of 1986), along the way establishing a well-deserved reputation as one of the go-to lawyers in her specialty area. Her reference materials are frequently consulted by colleagues she has mentored, collaborated with and opposed over the years.

Diana has received just about every major form of recognition that a bankruptcy lawyer can achieve, including two years as Best Lawyers’ Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law “Lawyer of the Year” for Seattle, and the highest honor — induction into the American College of Bankruptcy. Only eight lawyers in Washington have met this organization’s exceedingly high standards for professionalism plus service to the profession and their communities.

Outstanding Service to the Profession: Diana has remained engaged in KCBA since she began practice in 1986. She served on the Volunteer Legal Services Committee for seven years, including two years as its chair. From there she moved to the KCBA Board of Trustees, where she completed a three-year term while simultaneously serving on the board of the King County Bar Foundation.

Diana was a KCBF trustee for nine years, which included a term as president in 1995–96. More recently she participated on KCBF’s 125th Anniversary Endowment Committee, which successfully raised $1 million and is actively engaged with launching its Legacy Giving Program.

A Legacy in Pro Bono Service: Diana’s commitment to pro bono started in law school where she helped provide legal services to women at the Purdy Women’s Correctional Facility. One of Diana’s activities during her years of KCBA service was helping her firm implement services to the homeless — a project arising out of a KCBA task force on homelessness. For 25-plus years, Diana, in partnership with her firm, Karr Tuttle Campbell, has provided legal services for clients at a housing shelter, Seattle Emergency Housing Service (now part of the YWCA).

She also has been active in CENTS, the local bankruptcy nonprofit that provides financial education to debtors and others, including seniors, high school students and former justice-involved individuals. Nationally, Diana serves on the American College of Bankruptcy’s Pro Bono Committee, which last year issued 51 grants totaling $469,000 to pro bono programs throughout the U.S. (including CENTS and KCBA). Ever focused as Diana is on making a difference, her latest pro bono effort involves service as a volunteer attorney assisting the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project with an asylum case.

Remarkable Community Service: Diana’s community involvement is particularly noteworthy because she has managed to be consistently engaged in this arena while simultaneously maintaining a busy practice, serving as a KCBA leader and providing pro bono services. Since 1986, Diana has used her professional talents and leadership skills to benefit our community in a variety of ways, including serving as director and past president of Washington Women’s Employment and Education (now Courage 360), trustee and president of Seattle Chamber Music Society, director or trustee of the UW Friends of the Libraries Board and UW Law School Foundation Board, and, most recently, joining the Board of Trustees for KING-FM.

For Diana, practicing law is a second career, and aren’t we fortunate that she made a change. On behalf of KCBA, Diana’s colleagues and clients, and the larger Seattle community, the 2017 President’s Award is intended to say “Thank you, Diana Carey” for making the decision 30 years ago to join our profession and, moreover, for inspiring each of us to do more for our clients, our profession and our community than we ever imagined we could do. Thank you for illustrating the many ways in which lawyers make a positive difference. 

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