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James Davis Shipman

Mediation Attorney at Everett, WA

5.0   10 reviews
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1998
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Mediation

    19 years, 1,900 cases

  2. Family

    26 years, 2,500 cases

  3. Alimony

    26 years, 200 cases

  4. Child support

    26 years, 200 cases

  5. Divorce and separation

    26 years, 200 cases

  6. Uncontested divorce

    26 years, 200 cases


I have served as a family law attorney in Snohomish County since 1998.  I currently also serve as as a mediator and arbitrator for family law cases.  I have mediated more than 1900 cases for other attorneys and arbitrated approximately 750 cases as well. I have made hundreds of decisions in family law cases as a Commissioner Pro Tem.  


I focus on establishing a temporary status quo for my clients, and then work toward a settlement.  I believe settlement is almost always the best solutions for my clients; however there are a few instances where ultimately we have to proceed with trial.  


I look forward to working with you for your family law needs.




Port Gardner Law Group


5.0 / 5.0
  10 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | June 20, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exactly what I needed
My divorce was simple: 4 years, no kids. I had some unique time constraints and James and his team kindly squeezed me in right away. They were professional and straightforward and got done what needed to be done. I couldn't be happier!
Posted by anonymous | October 16, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce Proceedings
Being forced into an unwanted divorce situation, I asked our business attorney's for the best recommendation they could give me (Lasher Firm in Seattle) and it was Mr. James Shipman. I can't say enough on how excellent Mr. Shipman has been as well as his staff in handling me as well as the divorce situation. He has been kind and understanding as well as very thorough. The cost(s) involved was far better than I expected. He was very fair to both my ex wife and myself during the mediation process and gave me excellent advice through out. I can not recommend this gentleman enough as I will recommend him to any one that needs help as such. He gives attorney's a GREAT name!
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Posted by anonymous | March 8, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Trusted attorney
James handled our custody mediation case. From the start he was straightforward with us about the probable outcome. He laid out the risks but also what the likely hood of gaining out desired parenting plan was in modification. His expertise in this field is hard to come by, and being able to trust what advice he was giving gave us piece of mind of a very uncertain time. His experience in mediation was helpful to help walk is through what to expect and we believe it's because of him that we were able to come to an agreement outside of a trial setting.
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Posted by CJE | September 8, 2014
James Shipman Review
James Shipman provided me excellent legal guidance, a detailed probable financial outcome analysis and most importantly emotional support in my divorce proceedings. I appreciated the strait forward approach James took in the case and valued the time tested experience he has in dealing with divorce. James looked at the case from a statistical viewpoint in terms of the financial settlement and offered his opinion on what a judge might order had the case gone to trial, which it did not.
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Posted by Ragnhild | September 2, 2014
Excellent Attorney
Shipman was an excellent attorney who made a difficult and stressful time more manageable. He took the time to listen to all of my concerns while taking the time to explain my options and develop a plan to reach my goals. Not only did we meet my initial goals, but I received much more than I could have hoped for thanks to his hard work and legal knowledge. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs legal advice during a difficult time and am forever grateful.
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Posted by anonymous | June 8, 2014
Stellar Mediator in Snohomish Co for ADR
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.
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Posted by Clarissa | May 23, 2012
Excellent team work
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.
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Posted by Allen | April 25, 2012
An attorney I completely trust, high integrity and knowledge
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.
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Posted by Becky | March 22, 2012
An Excellent Attorney
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.
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Posted by John | June 1, 2010
Excellent Attorney
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
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  • Hourly Rates $ 300-350 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.4 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Commissioner Pro Tem
  • Snohomish County Superior Court
  • 2005 - Present
  • Managing Partner
  • Shipman Uberti, P.S.
  • 2004 - Present
  • Instructor
  • Everett Community College
  • 1999 - 2004
  • Partner
  • Bell & Ingram, P.S.
  • 1998 - 2004
  • Lead Intern
  • Washington State Attorney General
  • 1996 - 1998
View all work experience


  • Gonzaga University School of Law
  • Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude
  • 1998
  • University of Washington
  • Cum Laude
  • 1995

Sample of Legal Cases

  • In re the Parentage of M.F.


  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Fellow
  • 2012 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • Snohomish County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • Family Law Section Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • BV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • Fellow
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • 2012
  • 2011 Civil/Family Law Clerk's Award
  • Snohomish County Superior Court
  • 2011
  • David Kastle Award
  • 2008 Snohomish County Superior Court
  • 2008
  • Snohomish County Clerk's Award
  • Snohomish County Superior Court Clerks
  • 2007
  • Chair Award
  • American Red Cross
  • 2005
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers Magazine
  • 2004
  • President's Award
  • Marysville Rotary
  • 2000
  • Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude
  • 1998
  • Dean's Public Service Award
  • 1998
  • Linden Cup First Place Team
  • 1997
  • Thomas More Full Scholarship
  • 1996
View all awards


  • Snohomish County Bar Association
  • Practical Case Management in a Recession
  • 2009

Speaking Engagements

  • 19th Annual Family Law CLE
  • Social Media: A Current User's Perspective
  • 2013
  • 19th Annual Family Law Conference
  • Top 10 Technology Tips for Case and Practice Management
  • 2013
  • Title 26 Family Law GAL Training
  • Law Practice & Family Dynamics: Putting it All Togeter
  • 2012
  • ADR Annual Training
  • Mediation
  • 2011
  • Title 26 GAL Training
  • Attorneys and GAL's
  • 2011
  • Family Law Section CLE
  • De Facto Parent Rights
  • 2007
  • Snohomish County Bar Introduction
  • Family Law for new Lawyers
  • 2006
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (22)
Given (25)
Endorse James
Family Attorney | Mar 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"James is a fantastic family law attorney."
Mediation Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Co-worker
"Mediating disputes between two family law litigants who have spent the last several months at each other's throats is an onerous task, but James somehow manages to successfully settle the most difficult cases. Throughout his career, he's learned a myriad of tools to help shift perspectives away from a conflict-oriented outlook towards a more constructive mindset. Once he achieves this, he is able to help parties move forward with their lives in a healthy manner. James has an unusually high success rate in his mediation practice. Rather than giving up when things get difficult, he works long hours to settle the thorniest cases."
Mediation Attorney | Aug 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James Shipman is a fantastic mediator. He is respectful and empathetic to both sides, and helps people reach resolution on difficult cases surprisingly quickly. I am very impressed with him and recommend him highly for family law mediation and litigation."
Mediation Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is a skilled mediator, and has successfully mediated cases that I never thought would settle. His family law skills are top notch, and I highly recommend him."
Family Attorney | May 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse James. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim brings experience, organziation and reality to all his cases. His personalble, but persistent style make him easy to work with to achieve a fair result. He does not leave anything on the table unresolved and gets consistent positive results for his clients."
Family Attorney | Oct 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Mediation Attorney | Sep 23
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jim is a fantastic mediator and is able to get both sides to come to the middle and reach resolution. No matter how complex the case or difficult the personalities, he is able to work with both parties, with neither leaving the process feeling unheard. Thanks Jim!"
Mediation Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. James is a thoroughly competent and successful advocate for his clients. In addition to his skills as a litigator, he is a very successful local mediator who has been able to help my clients settle very difficult family law disputes. He is compassionate and kind -- two qualities that are extremely important to consider when choosing an attorney or mediator to resolve disputes regarding the thing that matters most -- family."
Family Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have worked closely with Mr. Shipman over the years, both as opposing counsel and wth Mr. Shipman serving as a mediator for other matters. He has always been extremely well prepared, his arguments in court well conceived and the service to his clients top-notch. He has also been an exceptional mediator. I would not hesitate to refer matters to Mr. Shipman."
Family Attorney | Apr 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James is a very effective advocate who works hard for his clients. As a mediator, he has the knowledge and experince to help parties solve problems, both creatively and practically. I am pleased to endorse this lawyer."
Mediation Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. James is one of the most successful mediators in our community. He is always professional and comapssionate."
Family Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James and I have been opposing counsel on several cases and I have appeared before him when he served as pro tem commissioner. I frequently use him as mediator on cases. He is always professional, ethical and courteous. He has a clear understanding of the law and its application as well as a compassionate and pragmatic approach."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 21
Relationship: Other
"I studied law with James. He is an outstanding lawyer. He was a leader in law school that set the standard all others attempted to reach."
Family Attorney | Jan 04
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. James is a tough advocate; he is professional, well-versed in family law and committed to our local community."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. James is easy to work with, knowledgeable, and just an outright, "good, if not great, guy." He is skilled in his profession and finds common ground where appropriate. A lawyer I would turn to."
Family Attorney | Sep 26
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I have worked with Mr. Shipman in a number of different family law matters. He is professional, trustworthy, ethical and highly efficient. I have had him as an opposing counsel, pro tem Court Commissioner and as an arbitrator. We have always been able to work well together to resolve matters, while representing our clients respective interests."
Family Attorney | Feb 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work."
Family Attorney | Jun 29
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"James is an excellent attorney who advocates well for his clients."
Family Attorney | Jun 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I recommend James to people looking for quality representation in family law matters. I have represented opposing parties in cases with James and my experience is that he zealously represents his clients with an impressive combination of skill and professionalism. "
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Avvo Contributions

0 Legal Answers 1 Legal Guides
Everett Mediation Lawyer James Davis Shipman
James Davis Shipman
Mediation Attorney
Everett, WA
Licensed for 25 years