I will never take your fight to court.

Instead, I offer consensual dispute resolution options to clients by devoting my practice to being a neutral mediator (in all types and stages of a dispute), a collaborative settlement attorney, an unbundled (consulting) lawyer, and a conflict management strategist & coach.

I frequently speak on topics such as: client-centered decision-making, mediation, collaborative practice, client relations, settlement advocacy, lawyer as peacemaker, unbundling, developing a peacemaking practice, family law, ethics, and client capacity. I conduct much of my training through Two Rivers Collaborative Practice.

Vancouver, Washington has been my lifelong home, from Harney Elementary to McLoughlin Junior High to Hudson’s Bay High School and Clark College. I enjoy being a wife, step-mother, aunt, sister, friend, and community volunteer. And, I love adventuring with Buffy the Golden Retriever, who will often be sighted eagerly greeting clients in my waiting room with her contagious wiggles!

Here is some more about my background:

Education

  • University of Portland, BA Communications, 1986
  • University of Oregon School of Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1991

Licenses & Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Clark County Bar Association
  • Collaborative Professionals of Washington
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals
  • Oregon State Bar (1992)
  • Washington State Bar Association (1991)

Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Experience 

  • Pro Tempore Family Law Court Commissioner, Clark County Superior Court, 2019 - present
  • Judge Pro Tempore, Clark County District Court, 1998 - 2004
  • Part-Time Court Commissioner, Clark County Superior Court, 2001 - 2004
  • Hearings Officer, Vancouver School District, 1994 - 2000
  • Guardian ad Litem, Title 26 Family Law and Title 11 Guardianship, 1994 - 2000

Publications

  • Contributing Author, Building a Successful Collaborative Law Practice, Mosten & Cordover, American Bar Association (2018)
  • Author, Commentary on Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Family Law Practice, Family Court Review, Vol. 56, No. 3 (July 2018)
  • Contributing Author, Washington Practice Manual, Family Law, Volumes 19-21, West Publishing (2016)

Current Non-Profit Board Service

  • Collaborative Professionals of Washington, board member since 2016; currently Treasurer of the Board of Directors
  • Cappella Romana, a vocal ensembles dedicated to keeping alive the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, board member since 2013; Immediate Past-President of the Board of Directors; currently Chairperson of Strategic Planning Committee
  • Children's Center, a mental health agency serving children and their families in Southwest Washington, board member since 2004; President of the Board of Directors from 2009 - 2011

Selected Community Service, Past & Present

  • Two Rivers Collaborative Practice, founder & lead trainer
  • American Red Cross, Southwest Washington Chapter, past board member
  • Clark County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, past board member & vice-chairperson
  • Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program, volunteer lawyer
  • Clark College Foundation, past board member
  • Community Mediation Services, volunteer mediator
  • Global Collaborative Law Council, Northwest Regional Chair
  • H-ROC PAC
  • League of Women Voters of Clark County, past board member & chapter president
  • SWIFT Charitable Grants, past member & president
  • Vancouver Rotary Club, past member

Honors & Awards

  • Women of Achievement Iris Award (sponsored by Clark College, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver, Business Journal, H-ROC PAC), 2018
  • Paul Harris Fellow, Vancouver Rotary Club, 2003, 2010
  • Volunteer of the Year, Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program, 1996, 2002, 2006
  • Top 40 Business Professionals Under 40 (sponsored by Vancouver Business Journal), 2000

My approach to Family Law