Bob Buckley for The Examiner: A Good Friend, Good Leader, Good Public Servant

April 20, 2022

Bob Buckley, partner at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, is a regular columnist for The Examiner of East Jackson County. In his latest column, Buckley pays tribute to Karen DeLuccie, described as a blue-collar kind of lawyer, who recently passed away.

The article, A good friend, good leader, good public servant, was published in the April 16 edition of The Examiner. An excerpt from the article is below.

It was in 1981 when I first met Karen DeLuccie; she was in law school at UMKC at the time. She came to work at our law firm, Welch, Martin, Albano & Graeff. She was a second-year law student and began as a law clerk before she was hired to practice family law. Everyone immediately liked Karen. She had moved to Kansas City with her family as her father, Tom DeLuccie, took a job as the chief deputy clerk in the federal court in Kansas City.

Karen was from Scranton, Pennsylvania and I like to tell people that she was the best politician to come out of Scranton. That club includes one who is occupying a house on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Karen was a blue-collar kind of lawyer. That means that she knew the value of hard work and she treated everyone the same. There was not a pretentious bone in her body. If you knew Karen, you know that she loved people, which is why she was elected to her third term on the Independence City Council with the most votes of all four candidates.

When she told you she was going to do something, she did it. She had that East Coast brashness but combined it with her sharp wit and charm. She practiced law the same way. She was a fierce advocate for her client, and while she was one of the best divorce lawyers in the region, she did not charge like one. I think Karen was proud of her roots and felt like being a lawyer was a privilege and not an excuse to take money from people. Her clients and opposing counsel always knew where Karen stood.

Shortly after Karen began practicing law, her high school sweetheart, Joe O’Hara moved here from California, and they married and had two children. Joe is also a lawyer and was her partner in life and at their firm. Since our firm did not practice family law in the last 15 years, I referred most of my clients and friends to Karen because I knew she would treat them fairly and would do an excellent job. She never disappointed me.

To read the full article, visit The Examiner.