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Firm Overview

The practice of family law began in 1974. The professional corporation was formed in 1984. The focus has been to learn to use Gandhi's methods and nonviolence to transform conflict into shared decisions that meet everyone's needs.

To resolve family conflicts without war when litigation is necessary and when it can be avoided to mediate with both parties to reach fair results without the expense and trauma of trial. Through Peace-Making mediation, we help couples turn conflict from contempt, disgust and bitterness into joint decisions that meet everyone's essential needs and enable collaboration and cooperation in joint custody of the children.

Example cases

A mother of a four and six year old had decided to divorce. In reviewing all of her choices, she preferred trying mediation. Her spouse joined her for a joint meeting. We agreed to mediate and work through custody by hiring a child psychologist to study and advise them. We hired a parenting coordinator to help train and advise them in working together and they agreed to take the Peace-Making class to learn to communicate better. We stipulated to the terms of dissolution of marriage that assured both households the financial support needed and a division of property that preserved their investments for their retirement and their children's education. They learned to cooperate in co-parenting their children, through each parent's marriage to new partners.

A father of a twelve and fourteen year old had been told that his wife wanted a divorce. He wanted to avoid it. We reviewed the choices and set up a joint meeting. She was determined to separate as soon as possible to stop the tension between them. We mediated the terms and separation which included her agreement to have weekly dates with her husband with no strings. The father took the Peace-Making class and developed his skills in hearing her feeling and the essential needs and in developing an empathetic connection. The dating had some stumbles, but over the course of a year, it became enjoyable for both of them. She became interested in learning the Peace-Making skills the father is using. They agreed to continue a second year, during which they agreed to return to living together by making decisions that meet both their needs.

Main Office

Main
5745 NE Glisan Street
Portland  OR  97213

Phone
  • (503) 228-7256
Fax
  • (503) 228-1540

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

For Nolo referrals, the initial consultation is free. The consultation reviews their circumstances and the ways they can choose to resolve their conflicts together with a review of the financial and emotional costs, the risks and the length of time and total expense involved.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

When a prospective client mentions Nolo, I give them the initial consultation free.

Hourly Rates

Varies, but my basis crate is $325 per hour and $200 per hour for Peace-Making Mediation.

Office Information

Office Hours

We work Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by special arrangement other times to facilitate meetings and to help limit loss of work time.

Office Manager

Lisa is my legal assistant, office manager and scheduler.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I found I was especially good at resolving custody and marital disputes.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

It always helps to have an understanding the community standard of fairness that courts apply to resolve legal issues.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Using the forms provided on line for a basic divorce and having them reviewed is a low cost way to get divorced without making any serious mistakes.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Coaching in self-representation through the whole case or through part of it with an agreement that we will help with trial can save money and keep the process within your budget.

Steven Allen Smith

I worked as a grocery clerk, a welder's helper in a steel fabrication shop, an apprentice electrician, a VISTA volunteer and an author of an early work on spiral dynamics--the growth of cultures through stages of psychological insight.

All my work, marriages, divorce, children by birth and adoption, the thousands of trials and hundreds of custody trials and hundreds of mediations have each added to my ability to understand difficult situations and people with special needs and difficult behavior.

My range of experience in dealing with custody, parenting, adoption, and conflict resolution. I help clients find how to apply their strengths and supply whatever is lacking to help each client find solutions

Personal interests:

I read widely in psychology, history, religion, and spiritual growth. I have commuted to work by bicycle and sometimes by rowing a shell since law school as a way of maintaining physical health and stamina. I am dedicated to my children, to helping them complete their education and get started on their own careers and families. I continue to be involved with their mother and her husband in creating family gatherings, birthdays and holiday celebrations. I am writing a book describing Peace-Making skills and how they transform conflict into shared decision making both in mediation and in every day family decision making.

License
  • Bar Number: 743077
    Oregon , 1974
Education
  • Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark
    J.D. , 1974
    Portland, OR
  • University of Oregon
    M.A. , 1970
    Eugene, OR
  • University of Oregon
    B.A. , 1966
    Eugene, OR
    Junior year at Nederland's Institute voor het Buitenland in Breukelen, Holland

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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