Profile: Karen Meyers
Master of Business Administration, 1977; Master of Education, 1978
Partner, Little, Meyers & Associates
National Recognition | Meyers recently received the President’s Award from the National Structured Settlements Trade Association—the equivalent of a lifetime achievement honor from the trade group in her legal specialty. Structured settlements are financial awards granted by courts or as part of a negotiated settlement to victims and families of victims of catastrophic or personal injuries.
Major Cases | Meyers is best known in legal circles for the key roles she played in structuring the payout terms for families of victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the 2001 race riots in Cincinnati. She also was settlement master—the court-appointed representative who allocates money awarded to victims—in the morgue case in Cincinnati involving the photography of corpses.
The Biggest Win | Meyers considers the morgue case to be her greatest legal accomplishment because the case was highly emotional, complex and involved almost 1,600 victims.
Stuffed Duck | The case also demonstrates the intense personal relationships Meyers often develops with clients. “I have a stuffed duck on my desk that belonged to one of the plaintiffs. The husband gave it to me after his wife died of cancer. It was her therapy duck.” The couple’s adult son was one of the photographed corpses. The mother lived to see the verdict and upon her death, her husband gave Meyers the stuffed animal in appreciation for her work on the case.
Favorite Memory | Meyers represented 74 families in the government’s Sept. 11 victim compensation case. She recalls one of the victim’s wives, a stay-at-home mother of five raising her children in Harlem. At the time, the mother didn’t have a college degree, but Meyers noticed she had an aptitude for math. “We structured the settlement so she could go to school. She’s a CPA now.”
Volunteer Work | Meyers learned the importance of serving those less fortunate from her mother, who still volunteers at Little Sisters for the Poor. “We started volunteering in kindergarten. We used to work at soup kitchens on Thanksgiving.” Today, Meyers serves on the board of Christ Hospital’s Family Centered Care Council, which helps integrate families into patient care programs.
Inspiration | Meyers’ mother and her maternal grandfather inspired her early in life. “My father was killed in a construction accident when I was 2. My mom was pregnant with my brother, so we moved in with our grandparents. My mom and grandfather taught us that we could do anything we wanted.”
Family Affair | Meyers’ 85-year-old mother lives with Meyers and her husband. Meyers also remains close to her attorney brother, with whom she went through law school. “My mom used to pray that sibling rivalry wouldn’t end the family.”