Based on 5 reviews
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Really great mediator. Follows rules, ethics and procedures of profession. Seems to be one of very best in Snohomish county. Smart but still comes across as humble with a sense of humor and not arrogant or intimidating. Respectful to me and other party. Listens well. Does not give legal advice but does not take advantage of those without legal knowledge. Seems to see big picture in complex cases. My situation seemed hopeless and his mediation helped repair some huge legal and financial issues. Recommend for those who want to deal with others fairly and who want adr options. Known for being trustworthy with clients, the court and a leader in legal community. Those that know me were concerned the other party might run all over me. I worried too but that did not happen. He kept it fair to both and reasonable compromises on both sides. He could see big picture overall, even if complicated.
From initial consultation, I knew I wanted Mr. Shipman to represent me. He laid out with clarity what I was about to go through with my divorce. I've worked in a law firm before so I was fairly familiar with legal terms and processes and I didn't need a lot of hand-holding. I wanted to work with an attorney that would be more like a partner, who can cut to the chase and give me good advice based on my situation. He had my back the whole time and gave me the chance to think about different scenarios. I felt supported in a very scary time. He was sensitive to my needs and his staff was accommodating and responsive. He and his staff are technologically-proficient and helped save me time and money by communicating via e-mail quickly and efficiently. I hope to never go through another divorce but if I had to do it again, I wouldn't choose anyone else to represent me.
My divorce was horrible. Just about every imaginable fear I had about the divorce process before the end of my marriage, happened. The fear of my relationship with my son being limited to my ex's timeline and decision making was just about paralyzing. My ex did everything possible to throw anything she could against the wall to see if she could make it stick. The fear and feeling of helplessness was palpable.
James was honest, reliable, and confident. He told me straight the issues we were up against, and explained all the potential outcomes. He never "guaranteed" an outcome, and very clearly explained the steps we needed to present our case. He was neither overly confident or overly pessimistic, he exuded a sense of calm confidence and always made me feel we were doing the right thing.
He also answered my questions clearly and when he disagreed with me, he explained why.
He did not treat me like a number, he was not harsh. Frankly, I am positive he actually cared about the outcome and wanted the "right" thing to happen. It was clear in his demeanor and how he dealt with the situations.
What was the outcome? How did it resolve?
My ex was fighting ferosiously for primary custody, was trying to upend two years of a working 50/50 parenting plan, was doing everything she could to hurt me personally, and was working to ruin me financially.
She took me to court seven (7) (!) times to try to accomplish this.
We won every time.
The court resumed our 50/50 parenting plan and made it permenant.
Divorce is horrible, there is no way around it. My legal nightmare went on for over 18 months and the cost (emotional and financial) was huge; BUT, in the end, we prevailed.
For that, and the fact that my custodial relationship with my son was retained, I feel forever in James's debt. You can never get back time lost with your children.
I was very fortunate to find James. I had interviewed at least five attorneys in the Everett area before I walked into James's office. I knew within 10 minutes that James had the knowledge and demeanor I needed to represent me in the most important fight in my life.
It seems to me that it could become very easy (in this line of work) to become "hardened" to the system and lose the personal connection to what your clients are going through. To us, it's the worst emotional rollercoaster you can ever go through, to them, it could become "just another day at the office". James has not lost this connection and I really believe his heart is in the right place.
I have one suggestion for anyone beginning this process.
You HAVE TO do your part. You cannot just lay a case on their desk and hope for the right outcome. As important as these issues are, it is necessary for you to do your absolute best to respond timely, effectively, and accurately. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to giving James the information he needs, the "devil is in the details", as they say. The more, accurate and timely information he has, the clearer he will be able to represent you.
My experience with James and the legal system actually renewed my confidence that right can prevail, and that you are not simply just a victim to what happens in the family court systems.
I cannot recommend this fine man higher. I trusted him with my life, and I would do it again.
James Shipman came highly recommended to me by other professionals in the legal system. I was a mother of four children who had been left by her husband of many years, and had never planned to navigate these waters. I was scared and intimidated by the horror stories I'd heard about the cost (financially and emotionally) of divorce proceedings, and called James' office filled with anxiety. From the moment I spoke with his friendly staff, however, my fears were laid to rest. I was received with respect and understanding, and never once felt like I was being manipulated, taken advantage of, or patronized for my lack of understanding of the legal process. James and his staff are very professional, well-spoken and knowledgeable in the courtroom and mediation settings, but they are also friendly, accessible and approachable, and were always happy to translate legal jargon into layman's terms that I could understand.
I suspected going into the divorce that the opposing party would be very well-armed legally. James, however, used his impressive knowledge of the law, his respect and professionalism in the courtroom, and his tenacity in mediation to close my case with a settlement that exceeded what I had hoped for.
I would not have weathered this storm in my life as successfully as I did without the help of James Shipman. I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone going through a separation or divorce. You will be treated with dignity, with compassion for your unique story and emotions, and with your best interest in mind at all times.
JAMES SHIPMAN RECOMENDATION
One never wants to hold the distinction around their different social or work circles of being "the guy" to go talk to regarding family law issues. I certainly wish I did not go through the hell I ended up going through to gain that distinction, but I can't imagine going through what my family and I went through without James Shipman.
No one wants to have to hire an attorney, and most of us think we will never need an attorney, but sometimes there are no other options. And when that time comes make sure you hire a good one. James Shipman is not only an excellent attorney that is extremely knowledgeable in family law, he is a man of great character and integrity that is respected as an excellent attorney throughout the legal community where he works.
Between my separation, divorce, and later filing for a change of custody modification seeking primary custody of my children, I spent close to 7 years dealing with attorneys, judges, and multiple court appearances. So when I tell you that I know a lot more than the average person about our legal system, as it pertains to family law, I know what I'm talking about. James Shipman is the best of the best.
I want to give you fair warning. My experience with what I have seen of the attorney profession in family law is not a very favorable one. I found that many are self serving, pompous, greedy ass holes that look at a potential case for what they can financially get out of it as oppose to how they can best help and serve their client. I will go as far as saying that many attorney's out there will "stir the pot" and give their clients unrealistic promises to entice there clients into "going to war" with their soon to be ex-spouse. When the dust settles the client has a bag of empty promises that never came true and the only one happy is the attorney that just bilked their client out of a lot more money then was necessary.
Remember, the greater the conflict the bigger the war, the bigger the war the more money the attorney will make. Many attorneys abuse this and you need to stay away from them. That's why it's so essential to hire an attorney with the character and integrity of James Shipman. James will always advise you based on what's best for you and your case, not what is best or more profitable for him.
While no attorney has a crystal ball and can tell you how a judge will rule on a case, a good attorney will have a pretty good idea of a likely outcome based on their experience and knowledge of the law. They will use that knowledge to best guide you, protect you, and help you make appropriate decisions that are in your best interest and the best interest of your case. It is critical, I mean critical, to have an attorney that you can trust. James Shipman is an attorney that you can trust.
I'm the kind of guy that questioned James constantly (probably drove him nuts, but he was very understanding and patient with me), especially if I disagreed with what he was saying. Understand, I had an incredibly lengthy complicated case, with the emotional lives of my children hanging in the balance. There were literally hundreds of decisions that needed to be made throughout my case, and throughout the multiple court hearing's prior to our trial. James job was not to agree with me and tell me what I wanted to hear, it was his job to advise me on family law and tell me the truth whether I liked it or not. One thing I learned was just because I thought something was fair and reasonable did not necessarily mean the courts had my same views. James had an uncanny ability to appropriately guide me through these kinds of choices and decisions. When the dust had settled and I ended up with primary custody of my children, James Shipman's strategy, his guidance, his courtroom expertise, his total involvement in every aspect of my case was that of a seasoned veteran attorney far beyond his years.
Whether you’re going through an amicable routine divorce and just need a little legal advice and guidance, or something much more difficult and