Outside the Office
When not working, Lisa enjoys playing on the Washington State Association for Justice softball team and having “game nights” with friends.
I was born and raised locally in Puyallup -- home of The Fair and one of my favorite treats, their delicious scones! My mother was a home health physical therapist, and my father was a union electrician. No one in my immediate family practiced law. But even as a child, before I really knew what it meant, it seemed like everyone commented that “She’s going to be a lawyer when she grows up!”
If you asked people “What makes Lisa a good lawyer,” most would say it is my writing and critical thinking. The person I credit most for these skills (aside from my parents, of course), is my high school history teacher, Dr. Richard Neunherz (“Doc”). Doc did not just teach us history. He was passionate about research, writing, and critical thinking, and imparted that passion to his students. Analytical writing assignments were the norm – including a final paper that took months to complete and would rival anything college could throw at you. Little did I know at the time that the tools Doc gave me would be forever vital – through college, law school, and even now as a lawyer.
In college I studied sociology of health and disease, and was particularly interested in genetics and bioethics. Anyone at that time may have thought I was going to become a researcher of some kind. In another multiverse that may have even been a path I took. But all that changed when I got my first post-college job as a paralegal.
I had never worked at a law firm before, let alone as a paralegal. I had no idea really what it entailed. But the more I learned, the more at home I felt. I took on more challenging work wherever I could, even occasionally drafting motions and briefs. This was when I decided I wanted more – wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer.
During law school I had the great fortune of meeting Karen Koehler, who along with now-Professor Bill Bailey, taught my trial advocacy small section. Not only did Karen teach me real-world trial skills, she hired me as a law school intern, and gave me my first taste of briefing before the actual Washington Court of Appeals (Sharinger v. Kopansky)! Although my name is not on that case (I was not even a baby lawyer at the time), I am proud to have that experience – one that is worth a thousand mock briefings.
Since graduating from University of Washington School of Law with honors, I have dedicated my practice to two things – obtaining just compensation for injured people, and tackling complex legal issues. From representing people injured in auto collisions/car accidents, to people applying for long-term disability benefits, and more. I have briefed not just before the Washington Court of Appeals, but the federal Ninth Circuit as well – setting precedent forbidding an ERISA Plan Administrator from demanding that its members jump through more administrative hoops than those required by the Plan’s express terms (Becker v. Williams).
But there is a reason we call this the “practice” of law. I am continually practicing, continually honing, continually improving. In 2013, I had the pleasure of attending Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College, where I spent three weeks intensively honing my courtroom technique and developing creative methods to connect with juries and achieve justice for my clients.
And most recently, I am proud to return to my roots here at Stritmatter – just in time to assist on the Ride the Ducks trial! This trial was a Herculean effort for everyone, involving over 40 plaintiffs, 4 defendants, over 100 witnesses, and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. I came on less than two months before the start of trial. My main role – drafting motions and oppositions to motions as they arose during trial. And arise they did! If I said I drafted more briefing in six months than I had in the rest of my entire legal career, it would only be a slight exaggeration. It was truly an honor and a privilege to work on such an epic endeavor, and to assist our clients in having their stories heard and their injuries seen.
+ Awards & Recognitions
- Graduated Summa Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania (2004)
- Graduated with Honors, University of Washington School of Law (2010)
- Rising Star Washington Super Lawyers three years in a row (2016-2018)
+ Memberships & Leadership
- Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ): Eagle Member (2012-present), Trial News Member (2014-2018), Diversity Committee Member (2014-2018), North Seattle Roundtable Vice Chair/Chair (2013-2017)
- American Bar Association (ABA), 2011-present
- King County Bar Association, 2012-present
- Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, 2013-present
+ Publications by Lisa
- Washington State Association for Justice, Washington Motor Vehicle Litigation Deskbook, “Chapter 14(B): Subrogation: ERISA” (2018)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Subrogation Deskbook, “Chapter VIII: Employer-Based Health Plans: ERISA, Montanile, and the Current Landscape” (2016)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Trial News, “Washington Clarifies Statewide Insurance Coverage Law for Commercial Transportation Services like Uber, Lyft” (2015)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Trial News, “Mays-Williams v. Williams: The Ninth Circuit clarifies that under ERISA, administrators not only live by the plan, they can die by the plan” (2015)
- University of Washington School of Law, Washington Law Review, “What’s Past Is Prologue: Why the Prison Litigation Reform Act Does Not—and Should Not—Classify Punitive Damages as Prospective Relief” (2010)
- Washington State Association for Justice, 39th Annual Insurance Law Seminar, “Subrogation” (2017)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Subrogation Seminar, “Employer-Based Health Plans: ERISA, Montanile, and the Current Landscape” (2016)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Subrogation Seminar, “Does ERISA Truly Apply? How to find out if your client’s health plan is exempt” (2015)
- University of Washington, J.D. with honors, 2010: Member of the Law Review, Moot Court Honor Board, Order of the Coif, and Order of the Barristers
- University of Pennsylvania, B.A. summa cum laude, Health & Societies, 2004