We mourn the passing of Paul Whelan on April 13, 2018. Paul was a member of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender from 1969 to 1997. Thereafter, he became a partner at Strittmatter Kessler Withey Whelan and Coluccio. Paul had practiced with John Goldmark when John and Len Schroeter decided they wanted to start a law firm together. John brought Paul into the firm with him, knowing that Paul had the skills to become a great litigator. He was right.
Over the years, Paul established himself as one of the leading trial lawyers in Washington and was known nationally as well. He began his career at the firm in Workers Compensation. Paul’s pretrial discovery techniques and trial skills were quickly evident and he soon became a shareholder. His interest in work injuries led him to a variety of types of litigation, including products liability and he expanded beyond work-related injuries. His cases concerning pill containers, for example, changed national regulations so that the containers could not be contaminated. He worked tirelessly on asbestos cases where the clients suffered devastating illnesses and premature deaths. He took on a huge case in Idaho that involved lead poisoning of children. Paul’s work on automobile safety helped change the standards that now save many lives and prevent catastrophic injuries.
America is a safer place to work and live because of Paul’s dedication to his clients and the law. Paul had a great legal mind, but he also was so charming and persuasive that both jurors and defense counsel responded by giving his clients good verdicts and settlements. He also formed strong bonds with his clients, and never lost sight of their needs and interests even in the heat of battle.
He will be greatly missed, but we are thankful we had the opportunity to know him as a friend and fellow trial lawyer.