Karen Steinhauser

Phone: (303) 222-1130
Fax: 303-927-0809
Email: Karen@SteinhauserLaw.com


Karen Steinhauser comes from a practice of criminal and civil litigation at Isaacson Rosenbaum, P.C. as a shareholder and the family law practice at Gutterman Griffiths PC. 

Prior to entering private practice, Karen served the Denver District Attorney’s Office as Deputy and Chief Deputy District Attorney from 1981-2001. In her tenure as a prosecutor, Karen tried over 250 cases both to juries and the Court. Karen’s experience with child abuse cases in the District Attorney’s Office and private practice gives her a unique understanding of sexual abuse and domestic violence issues. During her tenure with the District Attorney’s Office, Karen also established the Domestic Violence Unit—the first of its kind in the State of Colorado—and as Chief of this unit, Karen supervised and trained over 50 lawyers.

Karen is a respected CBS-4 New Legal Analyst for many high-profile criminal cases. Most noteworthy, Karen provided commentary regarding the Kobe Bryant and Aurora theater shooting cases.  Karen has been quoted by many prominent media outlets, including Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, CBS News, CNN, Global Toronto, NPR, CPR and Fox News.  She has been interviewed for Good Housekeeping, the Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, Toronto Messenger, the Associated Press and the London Evening Standard.

Karen is a recognized leader in trial advocacy and faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy since 1992.  She has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law since 1990.  She is a Colorado Super Lawyer from 2011 through 2018 and maintains the AV Preeminent® Martindale Hubbell rating which is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. She was selected as Law Weeks Barristers' Best People's Choice Award for Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in 2015 and was chosen as a 5280 Top Lawyer for 2017and 2018..

She also does presentations for parent and student groups entitled "It's Not the 70's Anymore", focusing on educating parents and students around the various laws regarding technology, harassment, sexting, and drug and alcohol issues.

Karen has also done presentations for various law groups on the very important topic of implicit bias and the need to "interrupt" the bias.


  • Co-author, "Strategies for Defending Domestic Violence Cases: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing the Evolving Definitions and Complex Challenges in a Domestic Dispute Defense"; Thomson Reuters  2012

  • Author, "Challenges and Opportunities: Presenting the Expert Witnesses in Child Physical and Sexual Assault Cases," American Journal of Family Law, 2002

  • Co-author, "City and County of Denver's Domestic Violence Manual; 1984"

  • Co-author, "The Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse." American Prosecutors Research Institute, 1985

Honors and Recognition

        Colorado Super Lawyer 2011 through 2017

        5280 Top Lawyers Publication 2017

         Law Week's Barrister's Best People's Choice Award                      Best Criminal Defense Attorney

  • Finalist, Outstanding Women in Business Award (Denver Business Journal – 2010)
  • The Torch of Liberty Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League for Commitment to Public Service (2006)
  • SBA Award for Most Outstanding Faculty, University of Denver College of Law (2006)
  • University of Colorado Law School Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in Government (1999)
  • Project Safeguard Award for Outstanding Service to Battered Women & Children (1999)
  • The Colorado Women's Bar Association Mary Lathrop Award (1995)
  • Fred Silverberg Young Leadership Anti-Defamation League Award (1993)
  • United States Attorney General Award for Outstanding Service to the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse (1987)
  • Leadership Denver, Class of 1989-1990
  • "Quick! Name a Top Woman Prosecutor," (featured in American Bar Association Barrister Magazine, 1990-1991)
  • "Women who Could be America's Toughest Prosecutors" (featured in Parade Magazine, 1989) 

Professional Affiliations

  • Past Board Member, Colorado Judicial Institute
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association
  • Member, Colorado Women's Bar Association
  • Member, Denver Bar Association
  • Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar