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WELCOME TO THE LAW OFFICE OF ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN

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Welcome to the Law Office of Ellen McLaughlin. I am an attorney for the people—my goal is to help the underdog. Since 1998, I have been admitted to practice law in Washington State. As a solo practitioner, you are afforded the convenience of speaking directly to me. You are not passed along from partner to partner. I bring a different perspective to practicing law, as I am a Registered Nurse who previously worked in the United State Air Force Nurse Corp. and the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore. I have a variety of people skills; boundless patience, and understanding for people who have had their lives turned upside down and are in need of the right attorney. I do not shy away from any case-- I am not afraid to tackle anything that comes my way. I know the ins and outs of my jurisdiction where I practice law. I know how to overcome obstacles set before me. I do not take no for an answer and know when someone is obstructive and not expressing the whole truth. My instincts are unsurpassed from my years of experience in the field.

I know what it is like to go through a divorce with young children, I know what it is like to be hurt, I know what it is like to be financially dependent upon your spouse, and I know how hard it is to muster up the courage to take the plunge and file for divorce. I know that it is not easy by any means. While I am a tremendous listener and I am without doubt compassionate, I will not pity you. My goal is to help you be stronger; not wallow in pity. We have all fallen on hard times. I will help you take the helm and sail your own boat confidently and at a fair cost.

I thoroughly enjoy helping clients clear their record. It is rewarding to see clients suddenly gain the self-confidence needed to take on the world and not feel ashamed. It is like a huge weight is off their shoulders, allowing them to have hope for the future. A person should not have to refinance their home, borrow massive sums of money from family, friends, or banks and otherwise go into debt that will be difficult to later overcome just to get the legal representation they need and deserve. If you want a Pit Bull that growls at a Golden Retriever just for walking in the park, I am not the lawyer for you. I do not create conflict where conflict does not exist. I do not file frivolous motions to milk your trust account. I will tell my clients the truth, even if it is unsolicited. I work one-on-one with all my clients. I interview them, gather the facts, prepare all of their documents, and work with them individually. I prepare the majority of pleadings that are most important to your case. I keep my clients focused on the main goal—not irrelevant matters. Paying for my services is unquestionably worth every penny. I make it a point not to overcharge or add any hidden fees. All information regarding payment will be clear and agreed upon prior to getting started. I have been representing clients for over 18 years. My primary focus of practice includes: expungement of criminal records, record sealing, gun rights, relief from registration as a sex offender, domestic violence, DUI, and family law.

About Ellen Mclaughlin

In 1997, I graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law and moved to Yakima, Washington thereafter. Prior to attending Law School, I earned my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. I have to admit, the most rewarding years as a nurse, for me, were spent in the United States Air Force Nurse Corp.—for three years, I was honored in caring for Air Force Cadets attending the Air Force Academy, and active and retired military personnel. When I was a 27-year-old RN, I worked for the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore. I provided nursing care for home-bound patients. Some had no heat, while others lived in communities plagued with crime. At times it was scary, nevertheless, I did my job and did it well. I am not afraid to take on the three-headed monster. I am not afraid of bullies and will do everything in my power to shut them down. I have been representing clients for more than 18 years. I fight for the underdog! I like to help clients who are being silenced, being taken advantage of, being denied a second chance. I fight for people who are misunderstood. I know the law in Washington and my jurisdiction, as well as the judges I appear in front of daily. I generally know my opponent and have a keen insight into what it takes to get a case settled. I have vacated many felonies, misdemeanors, and restored gun rights for many clients in the state of Washington. I enjoy helping people as a lawyer by removing barriers in their lives preventing them from being successful while not breaking the bank, but will get the job done for a reasonable fee.

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legal services

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I provide legal services that most attorneys will not provide in my area. For an hourly rate or flat fee, I provide unbundled legal services for clients unable to afford full legal representation. Unbundled means you pay the attorney to do only the legal work that you specify. For example, I will help fill out documents, review documents you prepared, and help with strategy to get the case done quickly. By paying the attorney for work that you specify, you save money on attorney fees. More important, unbundling makes it easier for you to control the costs and fees to resolve your case. The longer your case takes to resolve, the more it costs in time, money, and emotion. From the very start, when I get a case, the client and I create a list of goals and prioritize the goals based upon the applicable law and the unique facts of their case. I let clients know how long and how much it may cost to accomplish those goals. My rates are affordable. I truly care about my clients. When a client hands me their hard earned money, I consider it an honor that they trusted me to fight for them. I work hard for my clients and I offer a range of legal services.

Those services include:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Child Support
  • Custody
  • Expungements
  • Relief from Sex Offender Registration
  • Gun Rights
  • Guardianships
  • DUI
  • DV assault
Now, a more detailed explanation of my services:

DIVORCE

You do not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to get divorced. My job as an attorney is not to make my client's spouse a better person. If you get along with your spouse, my goal is to keep it that way. I do not create a fire where one does not exist. If you do not have kids, do not have real property, and do not have retirement accounts; your lawyer should not be wasting your money by sending out long extensive discovery. You do not have to file a motion and note a hearing to be heard by the judge for every slight concern. Attorney fees must be cost effective. If you are spending $1,000 for discovery in your divorce, when you have no real property, no children, no pensions, and all personal property has been divided, you are wasting your money. Some divorces have so many issues and the stakes are immensely high, while others are much less involved. I will not sell you a Rolls Royce if a Ford Taurus will do the job.

Read More

• Unbundled legal services for divorces and other family law cases, are for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney for the entire divorce process. If a client requests, I will appear for a client with a specific limited purpose only. For example, there are 3 main phases of a divorce: The first phase is usually the most critical phase. This is the initial filing and the hearing on temporary orders. For a flat fee, if the client can only afford my services for the first phase, I can offer an affordable flat-fee-based service upon priority issues in their case and how much work is needed to get the temporary orders entered. The client can then take the baton from their and schedule mediation. If mediation does not work, they can come back and hire me for additional services. The client can also hire me for 1-2-hour coaching sessions to help them present their argument in a clear and concise manner. I can identify the facts in their case that are most persuasive that should be emphasized to the court. I have tried many divorce cases and I am not afraid to go to trial. If the other side is being unreasonable and the client can afford trial emotionally and financially, I will be revved up and ready to go to court and fight for you at trial. I also have appellate experience. I have appealed a handful of family cases to the court of appeals. If you have taken your divorce to trial and want to appeal the result, I can represent you on appeal.

EXPUNGEMENT LAW

Expungement, a term not really used by Washington, however, that seems to be the common word for clearing criminal records. I believe everybody deserves a second chance-- we all make mistakes. Some cases, may take several months. Whatever it takes, if it is legally possible, I will do my best to clear your record, get your gun rights back, or even petition the court on your behalf to relieve you of having to register as a sex offender. There are currently many sex offenders who are required to register that are in fact eligible to petition the court to have that obligation lifted, so that person can have a second chance to succeed in life without carrying the stigma of a sex crime, particularly when many cases that I have seen (and have successfully petitioned the court to relieve the obligation to register) are convictions from minor offenses committed during youth. Serious offenders who have been convicted of violent sex offenses cannot lift the requirement.

GUARDIAN CASES

If you have an adult who is disabled and needs a professional guardian or a family member appointed as a guardian, I know how to get a guardian appointed, and know how to protect the vulnerable adult or aging family member from a financial predator. I have been an advocate for vulnerable adults who have large estates that have been exploited financially by family members, housekeepers and other professionals. I have seen elderly persons lose thousands of dollars, unnecessarily. I fight for elderly people who want to maintain their autonomy, and who want to die at home with dignity, if that is what they want, so long as the elderly person is safe and everything is done legally. I work diligently to protect the elder person’s right to self-determination and protect their dignity.

Frequently asked questions

What are the phases for obtaining a divorce?

Unbundled legal services for divorces and other family law cases, are for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney for the entire divorce process. If a client requests, I will appear for a client with a specific limited purpose only. For example, there are 3 main phases of a divorce: The first phase is usually the most critical phase. This is the initial filing and the hearing on temporary orders. For a flat fee, if the client can only afford my services for the first phase, I can offer an affordable flat-fee-based service upon priority issues in their case and how much work is needed to get the temporary orders entered. The client can then take the baton from their and schedule mediation. If mediation does not work, they can come back and hire me for additional services. The client can also hire me for 1-2-hour coaching sessions to help them present their argument in a clear and concise manner. I can identify the facts in their case that are most persuasive that should be emphasized to the court. I have tried many divorce cases and I am not afraid to go to trial. If the other side is being unreasonable and the client can afford trial emotionally and financially, I will be revved up and ready to go to court and fight for you at trial. I also have appellate experience. I have appealed a handful of family cases to the court of appeals. If you have taken your divorce to trial and want to appeal the result, I can represent you on appeal.

How do guardianships differ from adoptions?

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What is an expungement?

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Can a nonresident obtain a permit to carry a weapon in Washington?

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I've just been arrested for DUI. What happens now?

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Inquire

If you or a loved one are in need of legal representation that surpasses the norm—please, feel free to contact me and we will figure out what YOU need in order to move on and get on with your life. I am happy to be of assistance..