Of Counsel Mentoris Amicum
Susan helps people navigate through divorce matters involving significant assets or complex financial issues with as little conflict as possible. With more than 40 years of experience as a lawyer, she has dedicated the last two decades to working in family law.
Susan looks for ways to avoid unnecessary conflict in divorce and family law matters and helps clients focus on their long-term well-being. She understands the stresses that come with these emotionally charged situations. Susan sees the big picture and narrows the issues. Much of Susan's practice is Collaborative Divorce.
She is viewed by her clients and peers not only as an astute and knowledgeable attorney, but also compassionate and transparent. Susan works with her clients as a team, discusses their end goals and engages them in analyzing their options and potential ways forward. A stepparent herself, she provides guidance on how to minimize impacts on children to maintain healthier relationships down the road. Susan also has a network of resources, including parenting mediators and counselors, to support clients and their families.
Her clients include high net worth individuals on cases involving substantial assets such as real estate, stock options, professional practices, ownership interests in varying legal entities, and ongoing management of closely held businesses that often raise complex valuation and distribution issues.
Susan brings a sophisticated skillset. Her legal career began with a solid foundation in business law and commercial litigation at leading global law firms in Seattle. She is also trained in mediation and experienced in collaborative law, which she emphasizes is a better option than costly litigation and trial. With a background in litigation, she has seen how situations can quickly escalate and is why she uses a more cooperative approach whenever possible.
PersonalSusan is a Seattle native. She and her husband, Doug, live in Burien, where they were both raised. Despite living with a dog and two cats, Susan and Doug have the freedom to travel and pursue their numerous athlete interests. Susan has competed in numerous triathlons and half marathons and has attended yoga retreats in Greece and in northern Canada. They welcomed their first grandchild in February 2018 and their second in December 2020. They are looking forward to welcoming their third grandchild in 2023.
Classes & Seminars
- Presenter, “Divorce Litigation, Start to Finish”, at the National Business Institute CLE (Seattle, 2011)
- Presenter, “Dissolution Procedure Updates” at National Business Institute CLE, Current Events for Family Lawyers: Legislative and Case Law Update (June 2010)
- Presenter, “Conflicts of Interests” and “Moral Turpitude and Offensive Personalities” at Washington State Bar Association CLE, Family Law Ethics: Avoiding the Web of Ethical Pitfalls (September 2009)
- Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- Honors: cum laude
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- AV Preeminent® rating, Martindale-Hubbell® Law Dictionary
- Avvo “Superb” rating
- Selected to Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023
- WSBA Adjunct Disciplinary Counsel
- Previously served on the WSBA Professionalism Committee, the Character and Fitness Board, Lawyers Trust for Client Security Board, the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee and was a Practice Monitor. Also served on the Gender Equality in Law Committee, and the Judicial Recommendation Committee of the KCBA.
- Washington State Bar Association (Family Law Section)
- King County Bar Association (Former Chair of Collaborative Section)
- Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington
- Collaborative Professionals of Washington
- King County Collaborative Law
- Compass Collaborative
- International Academy of Collaborative Law Professionals
- Contributing Author and Editor, “Use of Professionals in Family Law Litigation,” Washington Family Law Desk Book 3rd edition (2022), as well as the 2012 Cumulative Supplement, (December 2011)
- Contributing Author and Editor, Washington Practice, Family and Community Property Law, Supplement (2016)