About the "parable of the starfish"
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy throwing something into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he called out, "Good morning! May I ask what you are doing?" The youth replied, "Throwing the starfish back into the water." "Why are you doing that?" asked the man. The boy replied, "The tide is going out. If I don't throw them back into the ocean, they'll die." "But, young man, " the old man commented, "There are miles of stranded starfish along this beach. There are just too many to make a difference." At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and tossed it into the waves. As it met the water, he said, "Well, it made a difference to that one." --Paraphrased from the original story by: Loren Eiseley
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About my solo law practice
I have been a landlord since 1967 so landlord-tenant law is a natural fit. Evictions (unlawful detainer) from the perspective of both landlord and tenant, rental agreements, landlord-tenant disagreements, damage deposit or security deposit disputes, renters from hell, squatters, and wicked landlords are my speciality.
I have been involved in condominium associations as an owner/member and director/officer since 1994 and am familiar with both the Horizontal Property Regimes Act and the Washington Condominium Act. I wrote my first condominium declaration in 2001. My goal is to help associations keep costs down and to resolve disputes between owners and the board of directors without litigation if possible.
We have all seen divorcing couples use an adversarial approach to property settlement which serves only to deplete the marital assets. If couples agree to sit at the table and negotiate until a fair and equitable agreement has been reached, I will moderate the proceedings and document the results. Dissolution handled this way makes good sense and can bring a speedy and economical end to a difficult part of self-help divorce.
I have seen disputes in Small Claims Court lost on a technicaltiy. If you have damages which do not exceed $5,000, filing your complaint in Small Claims Court may be the best decision for you; and a coaching session with me may make the difference between winning and losing.
I perform legal services pro bono on a case-by-case basis.
Working "better, faster, and cheaper" guided my career at Boeing, and this work ethic guides my law practice today.
I worked at Boeing for 30 years and was a certified computer programmer for most of that time--from the card deck days to the internet revolution. I earned a liberal arts degree from BYU and was close to earning an MBA in Information Technology when health issues forced me to retire in 1997. During the next 10 years, I volunteered in the community, becoming particularly interested in local government when the Renton mayor decided to try a Declaration of Blight Kelo v. New London style in the Renton Highlands (eminent domain of an entire neighborhood, not just one house).. As a result of my grass roots activism, the richest developers in Renton at the time filed a SLAPP suit against me (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). In 2007, my health had improved due to surgery. So in 2008, as a result of my 1st Amendment rights being chilled by the "hauty and proud" developers, I decided to become an attorney. Could I do it at my age? Well, yes, I could. I attended Ave Maria School of Law, a wonderful small Catholic lawschool in Naples, FL, founded by the original CEO of Domino's Pizza who didn't think there were enough honest lawyers in the country. I was admitted to the Washington State Bar Association in July of 2013. I knew from the very first that my law firm would be named after the "parable of the starfish." I hope to do the memory of attorney, Alva Long, proud. (Are you old enough to remember him?) A dear friend of mine was his paralegal for decades and I heard many stories from him as I sat with her on the couch in his office never dreaming that one day I would be an attorney.
Keywords = landlord-tenent law, unlawful detainer, Declaration of Blight, eviction, rental agreement, security deposit, damage deposit, condominium association, owner, board of directors, board member, condominium declaration, Horizontal Property Regimes Act, pro bono legal services.Washington Condominium Act, self-help divorce, property settlement, Small Claims Court