Trees and Mountains

PRACTICE AREAS

EMPLOYMENT LAW

Have you been a victim of sexual harassment, or race, disability, religion, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation discrimination at work, in a public place, or by a landlord? Is your employer violating wage and hour laws? Have you been wrongfully terminated? Have you been retaliated against for reporting discrimination, or reporting an OSHA/safety violation? Have you been terminated as a result of a RIF (Reduction in Force)?

 

Do you need assistance in navigating your way through the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights, the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)? Do you have a right to sue letter from EEOC? Are you a federal employee and want to pursue your complaint through the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)or EEOC? Has your employer violated the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), Title VII, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act As Amended (ADAAA) or the Rehabilitation Act, Equal Pay Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), or any other employment statute? Were you terminated from your employment because you filed a Worker's Compensation Claim or took FMLA benefits?  

 

Do you need representation through an internal or administrative process such as a pre or post-termination hearing or a disciplinary proceeding with a Board or through the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)?  Do you need an attorney to review an employment contract, a non-compete clause, or need to determine whether you are an at-will employee?  

 

I handle or can assist with almost every type of employment issue that you may have.  I have taken a variety of employment matters to court and have settled many cases prior to court or during litigation.

 

Employment law services for employers- Are you an employer who needs to comply with a conciliation agreement and need a trainer to conduct training and an approved policy? Do you need advice on how to handle an employment situation or how to interpret a statute or regulation? Do you need to give a position statement to EEOC, ASCHR, or AERC? Do you need representation in a civil litigation case or at arbitration? Do you need representation in a labor matter or need interpretation of a provision contained in a collective bargaining agreement? 

 

Having the experience representing both sides of an employment case has given me the ability to advocate for you most effectively.

Upset female employee packing belongings
How-Commom-Is-It-for-Car-Accident-Settle

PERSONAL INJURY/ TORT

When we get injured as a result of someone else being careless, we can recover monetary loss such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If they intentionally injure us, we can recover other damages, such as punitive (punishment) damages.  I can help you recover the damages that you deserve.

 

Such injuries, which can cause serious injury or death, can arise out of motor or non-motor vehicle accidents; pedestrian accidents, escalator/elevator accidents, and premises liability accidents (e.g., slip and falls); or intentional torts such as assault and battery, or violent crimes such as rape.

I take these cases on contingency. That means that I only get a fee when we settle your case or win in court.

I have tried hundreds of these cases in court before judges and juries, and I know how the insurance companies operate. Their goal is to pay as little as possible. If they know they are up against an experienced attorney such as myself, it is more likely that they will agree to settle the case for more money.

FAMILY LAW

Getting divorced and working out child custody arrangements can be stressful and emotional.  I can help you as economically and efficiently as possible to relieve you of any unnecessary stress.  I will represent your interests and the best interests of your child(ren).  

 

I will help you evaluate your financial situation and determine what property is marital or separate.  I can work behind the scenes to guide you if you want to handle the matter on your own or represent you in court.  I will explain the difference between a dissolution and a divorce and other mechanisms for resolution, such as mediation and settlement agreements.  We will also discuss whether you would qualify for spousal support or should file any interim motions.  I can receive all of your documents through a secure portal, which will save time and money. 

We will get through this together, so that you can move on with your life in a positive manner.

Two broken golden wedding rings divorce
Outdoors Meeting

MEDIATION

Mediation is arguably one of the best conflict resolution processes, being more positive and less expensive than litigation. Mediation is highly effective, and more than a majority of cases referred to mediation are resolved at mediation.

 

Mediation is a process where the mediator has the knowledge and experience to adequately inform both sides of the risks and weaknesses of their case proceeding to trial or dismissed on motion.   The goal of mediation is for the parties to meet somewhere in the middle and resolve the matter without further expense, such as costs, expert fees, and attorney’s fees.  An effective mediator understands the law, risks, is an excellent communicator and listener, is perceptive, personable, empathetic, positively facilitates communications between disputing parties, and has the skill and flexibility to deal with all kinds of people in a variety of circumstances. The mediator fosters trust and refrains from imposing his or her personal judgment on the issues at stake.  The mediator reflects sincerity, strength, and fairness to both sides so that both parties will be more cooperative and receptive to the mediation process.  

 

Mediations can work when all parties are present or start in this fashion then break up in groups.  After meeting the parties, I, asa mediator, will be able to gauge which avenue will be most effective.  I will work towards getting the parties toward acompromise and help remove negative emotions to achieve a mutual resolution.  I have mediated cases in the areas of family and employment law.  I have attended hundreds of mediations in the areas of tort, employment, family law, business, and contract disputes.  I successfully completed a 40-hour formal in-person mediation course.  I offer reasonable rates.   

LITIGATION

I have litigated hundreds of cases in court before judges and juries.  I am well-versed in the area of litigation on both sides of the v.  Litigation involves understanding the pleadings process, what causes of action need to be included in the complaint or how to file an effective answer, and how and when to file persuasive motions, including extensive motions, such as motions for summary judgment or defending such motions.  

 

An experienced litigator needs to know the best strategies for discovery, including preparing and responding or answering interrogatories, request for production of documents, and request for admissions.  I have taken and defended hundreds of depositions.  A good litigator knows how and when to take effective depositions that will be used for discovery and at trial.  It is also vital to understand when you need an expert, what kind of expert is required for your case, and the costs involved in taking a case to trial before filing the lawsuit or in the early stages of the case.  

 

I have studied the rules of civil procedure and the rules of evidence to take your case to trial successfully. It is also essential to know which jury instructions should be used at trial and that your rights for appeal are preserved by making the proper objections, offers of proof, and filing the proper motions.  A good litigator also has to be a persuasive and authentic communicator and story-teller.  Motions and objections must be effectively argued, and the jury or judge must understand and relate to the facts of your case, the evidence, and find in your favor.  

 

This skill takes years of practice, and I have been litigating cases for almost thirty years and have an excellent track record when it comes to results.  I have either filed in court or taken to trial employment cases involving discrimination, violations under ADAAA, FMLA, Worker’s Compensation, Title VII, AS 18.80.220, retaliation, and was fortunate to argue a national origin discrimination case before the District of Columbia Circuit Court.  

 

I have tried auto, bus, motorcycle accident cases, elevator/escalator, slip and fall, toxic tort, electric shock, serious injury cases involving paralysis and lost limbs, wrongful death, excessive force, and toxic tort cases.  I have tried divorce and child custody cases, and, at one point in my career, criminal felony cases, including murder, rape, and robbery. I have also represented the Republic of Palau and its President in court cases involving constitutional issues relating to procurement and state of emergency declarations. In addition to litigating cases in state and federal court in Washington D.C., Maryland, Palau, and Alaska, I have also litigated employment cases before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), EEOC, and MSPB.

Judge and Gavel
Signing a Contract

Arbitration is an alternative to having a judge or jury hear your case in court.  It is either binding or nonbinding.  If it is binding, then the decision by the arbitrator concludes the matter.  The arbitrator decision cannot be reversed on appeal, with some limited exceptions.  Usually, only one person sits as the arbitrator, and lawyers typically represent the parties.  It is less formal than going to trial, but it can still be a relatively formal process.  Many retired judges and attorneys decide cases in arbitration.  Depending on the arbitration agreement, both sides can agree to proceed with or without discovery or motion practice.  Testimony is usually allowed at arbitration, and therefore, you can call witnesses to testify on your behalf. 

 

Sometimes arbitration is the party’s only remedy if they agreed to arbitration in a contract, such as an employment contract.   In other situations, the parties voluntarily decide to arbitrate the case because they want a decision in a shorter time frame and usually with less expense than if the case went to court.  Sometimes there is a court order that requires that the Plaintiff be given a choice to elect for arbitration, as in a settlement agreement in a class-action case.   Sometimes, a judge orders nonbinding arbitration during the litigation process.  Regardless of the situation, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable neutral arbitrator who will properly rule on objections, properly accept or reject evidence into the record, and decide the case applying the facts to the law without bias or favoritism.  It should not matter who pays the arbitrator, whether it is one party or split between the parties.   The arbitrator sits as a neutral and must be fair and impartial.

 

Whatever your circumstance looks like, I am here to help, either representing you in arbitration or acting as the arbitrator.  As an arbitrator, I will decide the case fairly without bias, listening carefully to the testimony, reviewing admissible evidence, and applying the facts to the law.  I will make the process go smoothly and effectively and issue a logical, well-written, and timely decision. 

 

As your legal counsel in arbitration, I will represent you effectively and ethically, offering all relevant evidence and testimony with the intention that the arbitrator finds in your favor. 

 

I offer reasonable rates for arbitrating a variety of matters, including, but not limited to, tort cases, labor and employment disputes, contract disputes, disputes resulting from class-action lawsuits, business disputes, and others.   Please ask for a fee schedule.

ARBITRATION

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