Katie Kauffman was honored as Trial Attorney of the Year at the Clark County Bar Association’s Barrister Ball on March 2 at Warehouse ’23.
Jeff Barrar presented the award, which was voted on by members of the bar association.
Barrar said Kauffman, who started working for his firm in 2012, had a very busy and successful year in court in 2018. She won acquittals for a client charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and another client charged with indecent liberties.
For a client facing life in prison under the state’s “third strike” law, she did so well at trial that the prosecutor failed to win a conviction; the trial ended with a hung jury. Kauffman subsequently negotiated a deal for her client, who received a substantially lighter prison sentence.
Recently, Barrar said, Kauffman co-chaired a murder trial with him, and the client was convicted only of a lesser charge of manslaughter.
In addition to those serious felony cases, Kauffman won acquittals for four clients charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, Barrar said.
“If I were to list two of her qualities most responsible for her success, they would be confidence and compassion. Her confidence comes from the years of preparation and hard work, the compassion we can all thank her parents for,” Barrar said.
“I’d like to close with one final thought,” he said. “The next time someone comes to you and says they have a son or daughter or another loved one charged with a crime and they were appointed a public defender, what should they do? You tell them that in 2018 a public defender was recognized by her peers as being the best trial attorney in the county.”