Over 25 years, Ken Masters has handled hundreds of civil appeals in all areas of the law. Elected the 1st District Governor and Treasurer for the WSBA Board of Governors during 2012 to 2015, Mr. Masters has chaired and presented at dozens of appellate practice seminars, has chaired numerous bar association committees, and actively pursues pro bono work. He served as President of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association from 2007 to 2013, and is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” (appeals), in Washington Law & Politics’ “Top 10 in Appellate Law” (2009), and in various publications’ lists of the Top 100 Washington lawyers. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America’s Top 100 Lawyers. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
Mr. Masters handled trial and appellate civil litigation for two years before becoming a judicial clerk for the Honorable Elaine Houghton, ret., on Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals. After his clerkship, Mr. Masters practiced trial and appellate civil litigation in Seattle for several years before joining his former law partner, Charlie Wiggins, on Bainbridge Island. Mr. Masters founded Masters Law Group (MLG) after Mr. Wiggins’ election to the Washington State Supreme Court.
Mr. Masters was born in Moses Lake, Washington, and then wandered to various places with his military family. He took his B.A. from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, and later returned to Washington to attend the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law, obtaining his J.D., cum laude. Mr. Masters received numerous scholastic honors, including Merit Scholar, Dean’s List, Lead Articles Editor on the law review, and Am. Jur. awards (for the highest grade) in Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Legal Writing II (Appellate Advocacy).
Mr. Masters has been very active in various bar association committees, sections, and pro bono efforts, previously serving as the WSBA Treasurer and Governor, and chairing the WSBA’s Rules & Procedures Committee (overseeing the court-rule-making process) and its Amicus Committee (overseeing appellate briefs filed on behalf of the Bar). Mr. Masters also chaired the King County Bar Association’s Appellate Section (serving as Section President in 2008-09) and its Amicus Committee and co-chaired its Judicial Screening Committee (rating candidates for trial and appellate judicial positions). He is a past co-director of the Freemont Free Legal Clinic, and is a member of Kitsap Legal Services, serving at its free legal clinic. He has also chaired and/or taught dozens of continuing legal education seminars on legal writing and appellate practice throughout Washington.
Mr. Masters is also active in the community, having served on the boards of several community organizations.
Ken is married to Kara Masters, who is of counsel to MLG, and who also clerked for several appellate court judges. They met in law school. Ken was a Teaching Assistant for Kara’s Constitutional Law class, but she married him anyway.
Prior to law school, Mr. Masters was a professional musician and instructor, recording, touring and teaching music for about ten years. He still plays jazz guitar and records with various groups as time permits. He is particularly gratified to have recently performed at the premier jazz festival in our region, the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival.
Since joining the predecessor of Masters Law Group (Wiggins & Masters) in January 2003, Shelby’s practice has focused on civil appeals in all areas of the law, ranging from constitutional law to contracts, family law, personal injury, real property and others. Shelby handles appeals in Washington’s three appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Shelby also works with with attorneys in litigation, assisting with potential appellate issues and proceedings following a remand.
Shelby was born in Seattle, and other than summers in Alaska and Hawaii, has lived there her entire life. She was the fourth generation of women in her family to graduate from the University of Washington, where she received a BA in English. Shelby obtained her J.D. from the Seattle University school of law, where her scholastic honors included Presidential Scholar and Dean’s List. She worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Barbara J. Rothstein, Western District of Washington, and Justice Charles W. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court. She graduated magna cum laude.
Shelby regularly presents at continuing legal education seminars on various topics, and has authored chapters for the Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook and the WSAJ Medical Negligence Deskbook. She is an invited member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association, and will serve on the Washington State Bar Association Rules Committee beginning in fall 2016.
Outside the office, Shelby enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her children’s school and activities, and at SU Law School. She also enjoys cooking and organic gardening, camping and hiking, and just about anything outside.
For over 20 years, Kara Masters (Of Counsel) has been practicing in the state and federal courts – trial, appellate and administrative – in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. She also served as a judicial clerk on the Washington State Court of Appeals for the Honorable Elaine M. Houghton, ret. (Division II), for the Honorable William W. Baker, ret. (Division I) and for the Honorable Anne L. Ellington, ret. (Division I). Ms. Masters is an experienced litigator in a wide array of civil practice areas. She has handled every aspect of litigation, from pre-litigation advice, evaluation and negotiations, through filing the complaint or answer, conducting discovery, handling summary judgment motions, trying the case to a judge or jury, and handling post-verdict procedures; she has also handled appeals, from filing the notice of appeal, to perfecting the record, briefing the appeal, arguing the appeal, and post-mandate procedures.
Ms. Masters is currently “Of Counsel” to two firms, working out of our Bainbridge Island office. Through her association with the full-service, general litigation firm of Jerry Moberg and Associates (www.jmlawps.com), Ms. Masters currently focuses her trial practice in the areas of insurance coverage and defense, commercial, construction and contract disputes, and employment matters. As “Of Counsel” to MLG, Ms. Masters continues her non-litigation practice in the areas of complex insurance coverage evaluation, employment consultation, commercial and non-profit risk management, and general contract matters. She assists MLG with civil appellate matters as time permits and is responsible for MLG’s overall practice management – making her a crucial and much valued member of our team.
Ms. Masters devotes a substantial part of her time to non-profit and pro bono public service. She is the current Vice President and Grants Chair for the Legal Foundation of Washington (www.legalfoundation.org), a non-profit created by the Washington Supreme Court to support civil legal aid across the state. She is also the current Chair of the Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence (www.EndGV.org), formerly the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a non-profit working for gender equity and social justice in King County. She has also served on the board and as a volunteer for New Beginnings, one of the first domestic violence advocacy organizations in Washington. In addition, Ms. Masters has provided pro bono legal services in the immigration arena for nonprofit organizations in Washington and Texas.
Ms. Masters was born in Austin, Texas, gradually migrating north and west to Colorado, and then to Washington. She is quite pleased that her immediate family followed her to Washington – which makes visits much more frequent. Ms. Masters met her husband Ken Masters (founding partner of MLG) when she moved to Washington for law school. For years, they talked about working together. And now that they are, they agree that it was a great idea!