As an attorney and a mediator, I help divorcing couples resolve property, support and parenting issues by agreement. Traditional litigation processes tend to feed and escalate conflict. I feel people are better served by maintaining control over results and managing conflict in a way that engages rather than divides. Since 2007, I’ve focused my practice on client centered alternatives to litigation including mediation and Collaborative Process. A successful outcome begins with identifying your interests, needs and goals. Skilled communication moves the process forward. Agreements are reached when interests are prioritized and addressed.
I am an attorney who has practiced family law in Washington State since 2001. In 2007, I trained in Mediation and Collaborative Law process and began focusing entirely on helping families resolve issues without court intervention. Since then, I’ve completed hundreds of additional training hours in communication, interest based dispute resolution, and co-parenting coaching. In April 2019, I completed the required number of observed mediation hours for Mediator Certification from the VOAWW Dispute Resolution Center in Snohomish County. In addition, I have a special interest in recovery from substance use disorders and the impact of these diseases on the family system.
After training in mediation and Collaborative Law practice in 2007, I began representing clients as a Collaborative Process attorney. In Collaborative Process, participants enter into a Participation Agreement confirming their intention to work toward a negotiated resolution together with a professional team. They agree not to resort to courts for decision making. The process is interest based and involves many of the same skills used by mediators. I refreshed my mediation training in 2010 and added mediation services to my family practice. Although the skills in Collaborative Practice and Mediation are similar, there is a key difference – mediators are neutral and do not give advice whereas Collaborative Process attorneys represent and advise one party. I’ve been practicing as a solo mediator but wanted Certification which requires observation by other trained mediators. In September 2017, I began the Practicum program at the VOAWW Dispute Resolution Center in Snohomish County in order to complete the observed mediation hours required to earn Mediator Certification. I received Certification in April 2019 and continue to volunteer at the DRC in addition to my private practice.
I primarily practice interest based mediation (generally referred to as Facilitative Mediation). This means that I work with parties to identify their goals, needs, and interests as well as the needs and interests of children if the participants are parents. Then I facilitate a conversation where participants consider ideas and resolutions that value and incorporate their needs and interests. Parties in this style of mediation have a strong interest in maintaining control over the resolution and avoiding court intervention.
The interest based approach differs in significant ways from the evaluative settlement process often used by litigation attorneys. In that mediation process, the parties are generally in separate rooms with their attorneys and the mediator “shuttles” offers back and forth. It is a more give and take negotiation with the specter of a looming trial strongly influencing the result. This process can be helpful in some cases but generally feels more adversarial.
BA – Oakland University – Rochester MI
JD – Southwestern Law School – Los Angeles CA
My hourly fee for mediation is $300. I accept a limited number of cases on a sliding scale when both parties earn less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.