Updated: Oct. 19, 2020

Solo & Small Practice Section History

 

1985: The Law Office Economics and Management Committee becomes the Law Office Economics and Management Section.

1993: The Law Office Economics and Management Section becomes the Law Practice Management Section.

1997: The Law Practice Management Section becomes the Law Practice Management & Technology Section.

2005: The Law Practice Management & Technology Section becomes the Solo & Small Practice Section.


Executive Committee Biographies

JORDAN COUCH (At-Large Member)
Jordan Couch is a workers’ compensation attorney at Palace Law. He grew up in the prairie land of eastern Montana. After high school, he moved to Maryland where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College. From there, he traveled to Indiana and graduated from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law where he was awarded membership in the Order of Barristers. While in law school, Jordan worked for NASA and clerked for judges in the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. He also managed and litigated cases for a pro bono organization that provided assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Through each of these roles, he gained valuable experience in a wide array of legal fields and honed his skills as a courtroom advocate.

Jordan moved to Washington in June of 2015 and put his skills and experience to use helping injured workers. Outside of the office, Jordan is heavily involved in the legal community. He can frequently be found local, state, and national bar association meetings advocating for a better, more client-centric future to the legal profession. In his free time, Jordan is usually outside. You might see him at a concert or in the wilderness, hiking, fishing, skiing and diving his way through life.

BRUCE GARDINER (Treasurer)
D. Bruce Gardiner graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now the Seattle University Law School) in 1976 and was admitted to practice the same year. He is licensed to practice in all courts in the State of Washington, including the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington (Federal Courts). In addition to his practice as an attorney, he has served as a Pro Tem (temporary, appointed by the Chief Judicial Officer) Ex Parte Commissioner and Judge in King County Superior Court.

Mr. Gardiner serves on the Mandatory Arbitration Panel of the King County Superior Court. He is one of two Washington State Bar Representatives on the Supreme Court Reports Committee. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Solo and Small Practice Section of the Washington State Bar Association and has been the Section’s Chairman.

Mr. Gardiner’s practice generally consists of business and real estate law issues. He also has had a special interest in copyright and trademark law.

Additionally, Mr. Gardiner has served for 27 years as an elected Commissioner of the Northshore Utility District, in Kenmore, Washington. He is an active boater, and a primary instructor for the basic boating class necessary to obtain the Washington Boater’s Card.

JESSICA JENSEN (At-Large Member)
Jessica McKeegan Jensen is the Senior Attorney and CEO of Jensen Milner | Cap City Law PS of Olympia. With almost 40 years’ experience as an attorney and paralegal, Ms. Jensen is knowledgeable in multiple areas of law. Her firm handles business, real estate, land use, estate planning, probate and trust administration, litigation, and uncontested divorce. Ms. Jensen and the attorneys in her firm utilize a holistic, collaborative approach in their practice of law. Jessica brings both mind and heart to her practice and focuses on business, succession planning, real estate, and estate planning because these areas of law so often intersect for her clients. She also handles collaborative divorces.

Ms. Jensen began her legal career as a paralegal in Vermont in the early 1980’s. She attained a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Woodbury College in Vermont, a B.A. in Economics from the University of Vermont, and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She practiced in Maine prior to relocating to Washington in 1995. She has taught for UW since 1996 in the Paralegal Studies and Contract Management certificate programs, and frequently presents at seminars for businesses and individuals, and at legal continuing education seminars.

Jessica serves on the Thurston Economic Development Council and the West Olympia Business Association Board, is Past Chair of the Thurston Chamber of Commerce Board, and works with multiple nonprofits. She’s a musician and lead singer in two acoustic bands, Humor & Heart (classic rock) and Curlew’s Call (Celtic).

KRISTINA LARRY (At-Large Member)
Kristina is in her fifth year on the executive committee of the solo/small practice section. She’s had a well-rounded legal career from legal aid to government to nonprofit to eventually stating her own firm; Sassy Litigations in 2012. She used her love of the untraditional to create the legal sub brands, The Prenup Princess and The Seattle Wedding Lawyer. Her practice focuses on family, business, trademark and wedding law. Kristina has been a regular volunteer with the King County Bar Association's Housing Justice Project for the past 6 years and serves as the President of the Washington State Bar Foundation. In 2018 she was named one of South Sound Business Magazine’s 40 under 40. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wyoming and is a graduate of Thurgood Marshall School of Law. When she is not practicing law she blogs and vlogs about her food and travel adventures.

DARCEL LOBO (Secretary)
Darcel Lobo is an attorney and the owner of DAL Law Firm in Normandy Park. Her practice areas include Estate Planning, Real Estate and Bankruptcy. She prides herself in her legal work bringing practical solutions to real life issues, and helping clients plan for their financial future. She resides in Des Moines with her husband and their two children, Lucy who is 9, and Maxon who is 7.

KARI PETRASEK (Immediate Past Chair)
Kari Petrasek is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law. She is a solo attorney, having started her own firm, Petrasek Law, in Mukilteo, Washington in January 2015. In the thirteen years prior to starting her own firm, she worked in several small firms in Everett, Washington. She is a civil litigator with significant experience in the area of juvenile law, guardianships, estate planning, and elder law. Ms. Petrasek is also a dedicated advocate for children, having served as a Volunteer and Attorney Guardian ad Litem for dependent children and has been one of the Snohomish County CASA Program contract attorneys for over 13 years. She was named Volunteer Guardian ad Litem of the month in June 2008 and March 2010. In addition, Ms. Petrasek has served as a judge and commissioner pro tempore at Snohomish County Juvenile Court for the past ten years. She is currently Chair of the WSBA Solo & Small Practice Section, Treasurer of Washington Women Lawyers, a past-president of the Snohomish County Bar Association, a member of Washington State CASA, a leader in the ABA GPSolo Division, a coach for the Archbishop Murphy High School Mock Trial teams, and serves on numerous other boards and committees in her community. In her free time, Ms. Petrasek enjoys skiing, golfing, football, and baseball.

NICK PLEASANTS (At-Large Member)

Nick Pleasants is an Elder Law attorney and owner of Pleasants Law Firm in Bellevue.  After leaving his native Seattle to attend Columbia University in New York City, Nick returned to attend the University of Washington School of Law.  In law school, Nick led the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association while earning his J.D. and an LL.M. in Taxation.

 

Nick has always had an entrepreneurial spirit.  He spent summers mowing lawns and helping neighbors run their yard sales with a digital cash register.  In high school, he managed the student store, and earned spending money tutoring and grading math worksheets.  As college approached, he took an interest in his father’s law firm, and worked as a file clerk and answered phones.  After law school, he spent four years practicing law with his father, gaining civil litigation experience.  When his father retired, it was the perfect opportunity to launch his own business—a law firm.

Nick is an active member at Chinese Southern Baptist Church in Seattle’s International District, serving as a Trustee and Outreach Leader.  He also enjoys the flexibility to travel and work remotely.  You might find him taking a conference call from a beach in Singapore, closing a deal in line at Disneyland, or onboarding a new client from the ski lift at Steven’s Pass.  Just don’t interrupt him while he's sweeping for his curling team.

JOE RIEMER (At-Large Member)

Joe Riemer started his own law firm, JGR Law Offices, in 2019. His practice focuses on traffic infractions, DUI, and driving offenses. Although he primarily serves clients in Western Washington, Joe has appeared in court in nearly every county in Washington. Just a few more to go! Joe seeks to empower fellow young attorneys to follow their own solo firm dreams.

Prior to starting his practice, Joe has over 5 years of experience in both criminal and civil litigation. He started his legal career working as a law clerk for the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, was involved with the Minnesota Innocence Project, and served as a public defender in Minnesota and Washington gaining extensive trial practice experience which he applies when fighting for his clients.

Originally from Milwaukee, Joe graduated from New York University with a B.A. in History. He attended the University of Minnesota Law School where he was the Maynard Pirsig Moot Court and received the Outstanding Service Award for his work with the Ramsey County Public Defender. At UMN Law, he met his wife, Tiffany, a native of Seattle. Fast forward a few years and Joe now enjoys the Emerald City with his wife and cat, Nugget.

When he is not in court, Joe is an avid soccer player. His brief stints in London fostered a love of Premier League soccer, rooting for Arsenal FC. When the Seahawks are not playing the Packers, he is their biggest fan.

SHASHI VIJAY (Chair)
Shashi Vijay founded VJ Law Firm, PLLC with the vision of helping individuals and small-businesses with their legal needs, by partnering closely in understanding each client's unique situation and formulating solutions in an expeditious manner. She has over ten years of legal experience and represents clients in areas of business and startup formation, real estate matters, estate planning, consumer bankruptcy and related litigation.

Shashi earned her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law and is admitted to practice in State and Federal district courts. Shashi is the current Chair for the WSBA Solo and Small practice section and is also Chair of the sections’ CLE committee and has served as past chair of KCBA solo and business law sections and Board member of South Asian Bar Association. Shashi is an active member of the King County bar association and diversity groups such as Washington Women Lawyers, Washington Association for Justice and Mother attorneys of Seattle.

Shashi was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and outside of work is a busy mom raising her 11-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter and loves spending time outdoors with her husband and kids.

Advisors/Liaison Biographies

ANN M. GUINN (Advisor to Executive Committee)
Ann M. Guinn, a practice management consultant to solo and small law firms, teaches attorneys what they didn’t learn in law school about how to run a profitable and satisfying law practice.  She helps her clients identify what’s working and fix what’s not working in their businesses, with a focus on firm finances, business development, and growth opportunities.  Ann has served on the Executive Committee of the WA State Bar’s Solo & Small Practice Section since 1994, and is in her 15th year as co-chair of WSBA’s Solo & Small Firm Conference.  She is the 2019 recipient of the WSBA APEX Lifetime Service Achievement Award for service to the legal industry and the public.  Ann has been a featured speaker at NY Legal Tech, ABA meetings, conferences and webinars, and solo/small firm conferences across the U.S.  Her book entitled Minding Your Own Business: The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer’s Guide to a Profitable Practice is available through the ABA webstore at www.americanbar.org.  She is currently working on her new book for the ABA entitled “Attorney Underearning: The Signs, The Symptoms, The Cures.”  She can be reached at ann@annguinnconsulting.com.

JOHN M. REDENBAUGH (Advisor to Executive Committee)
Prior to his 2011 retirement from working at the WSBA for 30 years, most recently as Senior Conference and Seminar Development Specialist for WSBA-CLE, John Redenbaugh had responsibility for overseeing development and presentation of many of the largest continuing legal education programs presented by the Washington State Bar Association, including the Annual Estate Planning Seminar - the premiere estate planning conference in the Pacific Northwest, and the Solo and Small Firm (SSF) Conferences. Since retirement, he has served on the 2012-2020 SSF Conference Steering/Planning Committees and he currently serves as an Advisor to the Executive Committee of the WSBA Solo and Small Practice Section. He also served as Managing Editor for, and indexed, the Washington Partnership Law and Practice Handbook (WSBA 1984). John served a term as an ACLEA Director-at-Large and his materials on "Our Marketplace * A Megacourse Snapshot * Developing and Nurturing Your Relationship with Exhibitors and Sponsors" were included in The Best of ACLEA 2000 publication. In 1997 John received the Award of Merit for Outstanding Service from the Estate Planning Council of Seattle and in 2012 he received the Professional of the Year Award from the Washington State Bar Association's Family Law Section.  He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. (cum laude) from Gonzaga University School of Law. He practiced law in Vancouver, Washington for two years prior to joining the WSBA CLE staff.

PETER ROBERTS (Advisor to Executive Committee)
Peter Roberts is a private practice management consultant for lawyers. Peter served as a Director of Administration in several law firms. He is the former Practice Management Advisor in the Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) of the Washington State Bar Association for 13 years. As an acute observer of the legal profession, Peter harbors a deep respect for the challenges an attorney faces. Attracting clients in the attorney’s practice area, managing the expectations of the client, observing very strict ethical obligations, supervising staff and getting paid are the repetitive challenges an attorney faces each day. Changes in the law, in technology and how best to motivate staff also confront an attorney. Peter listens carefully to each context and believes small steps can yield large results as long as the attorney has the will to make changes. He is active in the American Bar Association Law Practice Division as Chair of the Law Firm Finance Committee and finance columnist for LP Magazine. Reach him at pete@practicelawadvisor.com.

Current/Past Chairs

Dirk Bartram

Steve Dixon

Cameron Fleury

Julie Fowler

Bruce Gardiner

David Hedger

Skip Mayhew

Greg McLawsen

Dean Messmer

Marijean Moschetto

Nancy Pacharzina

Kari Petrasek

Shashi Vijay

Quentin Wildsmith

Jennifer Willner


If you recall additional past chairs, please send the name(s) to sections@wsba.org.

 

 

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