Karl Herrmann is the founder of our firm.
Karl was first elected to the Washington State Senate in 1956 where he was immediately appointed chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Insurance. He later chaired a Special Joint Interim Committee on Insurance that catapulted him to election as the Washington State Insurance Commissioner in 1968. Because of his tough pro-consumer stance against insurance companies, the people reelected him in 1972 by such a wide margin that he set the record as the first person in Washington to receive a million votes.
Among his many accomplishments, he created Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which is vital to people who have been injured in auto accidents. He also led Washington to become the first state in the nation to create a guaranty fund that pays policy holders when an insurance company goes bankrupt.
It is Karl Herrmann’s values that continue to guide the firm today.
Charles Herrmann is an owner and senior litigator in our wrongful death and personal injury department. A Vietnam veteran, he left the army a Captain after serving as an Engineer Advisor with the 5th Vietnamese Ranger Group. Returning home, he won the Dean’s Medal for Legal Argument at Gonzaga University School of Law where he graduated in 1975.
He began his legal career as a Pierce County Deputy Sheriff serving as an investigator in the White Collar Crime Unit of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Upon being admitted to the bar he was appointed to a full Deputy Prosecuting Attorney position where he was soon appointed head of a Joint Law Enforcement Task Force addressing juvenile prostitution. In that capacity he was assigned detectives from the Tacoma Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff’s office as well as coordinating action with a Special Investigations Unit in Washington State Patrol and the Military Police at Ft. Lewis and McCord Air Force Base. Their combined efforts resulted in numerous felony pimping convictions of criminals preying on teenage girls.
He then went into private practice with his father, Former Senator and Insurance Commissioner Karl Herrmann, where after several years practicing in the criminal defense arena, he moved into the field of wrongful death and personal injury. He assumed the mantle of CEO of our law firm in 1976.
Charles gained an international reputation for his part in the litigation that arose out of the controversial shoot down of Korean Air Lines flight “KAL 007” by the Soviet Union over Sakhalin Island in 1983. He represented the families of 89 victims. After secret and lengthy negotiations in Korea, Herrmann was able to secure the testimony of another Korean Air Lines 747 pilot - that literally cracked the case against the U.S. Federal Government and KAL. His role was portrayed in the HBO movie Tailspin and featured in the definitive book on the case Death of Flight 007. He eventually recovered $10 million dollars for one family alone and millions more for the rest of his clients.
In the late 90’s Herrmann worked as a volunteer with the Center for Human Rights (Centro Derechos Humanos) in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico where he served as an International Observer for the peace talks between the Mexican government and the Zapatistas as well as in the subsequent national elections observing the voting process in several villages deep within the Lacandon jungle (Selva Lacandona).
He takes great pride in the firm’s tradition of representing ordinary people injured or killed in tragic incidents against responsible governments, corporations, or financial giants of the insurance industry.
Herrmann then led the firm in recovering in excess of $92 million dollars for 56 families of the victims of the crash of Korean Air flight KE 801 on August 6, 1997 near Agana, Guam. Further, he recovered $4 million dollars for the family of a Korean Air Force Major killed in a tragic accident at the National Test Pilot School in California. He then concluded cases before the Korean courts for 86 victims in the crash of Air China flight CA 129 that crashed while attempting to land at the Gimhae airport near Busan in the spring of 2002 as Korea hosted the World Cup. At the same time, he successfully represented the families of 61 people killed in the disintegration of China Airlines flight CI 611 over the Straight of Taiwan.
Currently, Charles is leading an international team of lawyers representing 33 Hispanic victims of the crash of TACA flight 390 that overshot the runway while attempting to land at Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Five survivor cases filed in the USA, the largest of which settled for $1,750,000.00. The remaining cases are currently being litigated in Honduras or before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. He also represents 18 victims of the crash of the Mi Joo Korean tour bus that plunged over a cliff near Pendleton, Oregon in December of 2012. Finally, he is representing multiple victims of the crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at San Francisco in July of 2013 before the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California.
He has just recently been chosen by the family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, the individual gunned down by police in Pasco, Washington on February 10, 2015 with the shooting completely recorded on several eyewitness videos.
Lara Herrmann is an owner and senior attorney at Herrmann Scholbe, P.S., Inc., spearheading the negotiation and pre-litigation department for both the Seattle and Tacoma offices.
A human rights and environmental activist at heart, Lara’s passion is the inspirational force behind her ability to champion her clients with integrity and dedication when they have suffered an injury or loss. This passion, combined with her acute knowledge of legal theory and strategy, have provided her with solid expertise in the personal injury field, including motor-vehicle collisions, wrongful death, international aviation disasters, and a variety of other injury cases. Lara has also held leadership positions with Washington Women Lawyers, is the founder and chair of the annual “Women of the Year” award, and has been chosen three times as a “Rising Star” by Washington Law & Politics, for which only 2.5% of the attorneys in Washington are selected based on peer recognition and professional achievements.
John Scholbe is an owner and senior litigating attorney for major injury cases, wrongful deaths and aviation liability. John graduated from the University of Washington in 1996 with honors and a degree in English. He then attended and graduated from Seattle University in 1999 with a Juris Doctorate and followed his graduation with a two year stint as a public defender, where he represented thousands of clients and honed his jury trial skills in the lower courts, earning a reputation as a tough litigator.
In 2001, John joined the firm and turned his attention to the pursuit of justice for those who had been injured and often, also wronged by large insurance companies. Almost immediately, John became the primary litigator of the firm, bringing to jury trial many tough cases.
In 2002, John started representing those injured and killed in airline disasters with the fated airline crash of China Airlines 611, which disintegrated and broke apart over the Straight of Taiwan. What followed was a long, successful course of representing other airline disasters, including a $4 million recovery for the family of a Korean Major, who was training at the National Test Pilot School in California when his plane crashed.
Millions more were recovered for the victims of TACA flight 390, which crashed while overshooting the runway while attempting to land at Tegucigalpa, Honduras. John worked on the TACA case with his fellow partner and legal mentor, Charles Herrmann. Lawsuits were filed in Honduras, El Salvador and the United States, where one victim received $1,750,000. Currently, the TACA case is being litigated in Honduras before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
John’s love of travel intersects with his profession as an international lawyer, which has allowed him to travel and work with clients in multiple countries including; Korea, Taiwan, China, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Cambodia. Each trip and working experience has served to further expand John’s understanding of the law and also reinforce the principles of Herrmann Scholbe that all people who have been wronged by the negligence of others deserve competent and aggressive legal services.
More recently, John helped to bring justice to the victims of the Mi Joo Korean tour bus crash, which plunged over a cliff near Pendleton, Oregon, in December 2012, recovering millions in total for the involved families.
Currently, John and his partner, Charles Herrmann, are representing multiple victims of the crash of Asiana flight OZ 214 at San Francisco in July of 2013 before the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California.
John also stays busy in the legal community as an Eagle member of the Washington Association of Justice, and a member of both the King and Pierce County Bar. He has also been a guest lecturer and presenter at continuing legal education (CLE) seminars and has previously been consulted by the King County Judicial Task force of Judges to offer solutions and opinions to enhance the efficiency of King County Courts.
In his spare time, John keeps fit through his love of physical fitness and also enjoys music, travel, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and playing a very poor guitar.