As a senior attorney I try to balance my time and energy between mediating and litigating. I do Mediations and Arbitrations privately for hire, and as unpaid, pro bono, and/or low bono volunteer. I remain passionate about helping current and former employees with Employment related issues, such as Whistleblower Retaliation, Severance Package Negotiation, and Unemployment Appeals. I appreciate Collaborative Divorce cases as a peaceful Family Law alternative. With all of my cases, I am always keen on looking for opportunities to negotiate, the earlier the better.
Mediation and Negotiation
I have been certified by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington as a Local Rule 39.1 neutral for the court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program. (Since the early 1980's, rule 39.1 has required all federal civil cases to go through some form of ADR before trial.) I am a Washington Mediation Association Certified (WMAC) mediator, and senior certified mediator with the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) and the Pierce County Center for Dialogue & Resolution (CD&R). As faculty for UW-Tacoma’s Contract Management program I’ve taught “Negotiation Skills” every winter quarter since 2017. Over the past decade I have frequently volunteered to teach and coach for DRC, including co-teaching 20-hour Collaborative Negotiation (9/19) and Family Mediation (online 11/20), and parts of many other DRC trainings over the past decade.
Adapting to virtual, online platforms in 2020 has been a challenging and exciting opportunity. Since COVID-19 arrived, I’ve taken more than 60 hours of online negotiation training. In addition to private virtual mediations, I have been frequent pro bono Zoom settlement conference “judge” or mediator for:
- Family law cases in Thurston and Pierce County Superior Courts;
- “Other” civil cases for Thurston and Pierce County District Courts; and
- Small Claims Court cases in Pierce, Thurston and Mason County District Courts (a virtual mediation “trifecta”).
Over the last several years Thurston County Superior Court has frequently appointed me to arbitrate civil cases (such as property, contract, and personal injury) seeking damages of $100,000 or less, hearings which now happen remotely. I’m also available for private arbitrations.
Whistleblower Retaliation and Severance Package Negotiation
Washington State’s Law against Discrimination (WLAD) and related statutes have teeth, and they are liberally construed in favor of employees who have been subjected to illegal treatment by their employers. These laws have a strong, explicitly stated intent to protect workers from retaliation for exercising certain protected rights. If you are retaliated against and want out, a negotiated severance package may be an option. Read More.
In addition to private clients, I have handled numerous Employment Security Dept. unemployment cases pro bono for the Unemployment Law Project since the pandemic arrived and am contracted for low bono unemployment cases for the Office of Civil Legal Aid. Read More.
Collaborative Divorce is a conscious process that is a more peaceful option than traditional, adversarial, winner takes all divorce litigation. I do not handle contested divorce cases. Read More.