Skellenger Bender attorneys have assisted in the formation of countless families through all types of adoption, including independent, agency-assisted, interstate, international, co-parent, stepparent, relative, adult, and foster-adopt. We enjoy the deep satisfaction of providing representation to adoptive and birth parents with dignity and respect for each of their circumstances.


Our attorneys are also respected for their expertise in the evolving field of assisted reproduction law. We provide advice and representation regarding known and unknown egg donor, donor insemination, and embryo donation agreements, as well as surrogacy arrangements.

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At Skellenger Bender, we help our clients achieve their strategic business goals. From working with emerging businesses on entity forms and capitalization to assisting established companies on mergers and acquisitions, our attorneys provide a comprehensive range of legal services. We are well versed in different business entities, including corporations, s-corporations, limited liability companies, professional services firms, partnerships, limited partnerships, and nonprofit entities.


We represent companies as well as shareholders, managers, members, and partners in resolving internal disputes and buy-outs and structuring Employee Stock Ownership Plans, stock option plans, and other forms of ownership transfer.


We assist in licensing matters, trademarks, trade names, and copyright protection, and have handled numerous complex transactions from multi-million-dollar mergers to project specific deal structures.


We advise and represent clients on employment matters relating to termination, non-competes, discrimination, wage and hour issues, and harassment.


Because of our technical expertise in representing the design and construction industry, we offer unique capabilities to structure liability transfers and design-build pursuits. Our clients include engineers, architects, contractors, owners, developers, and operators.

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Skellenger Bender advises clients in preventative problem solving, when possible, and strives to implement creative, practical solutions to avoid expensive litigation. When litigation is necessary, Skellenger Bender attorneys have collectively tried over a thousand cases before judge and jury in state and federal courts, and in administrative tribunals and arbitrations. Our attorneys pursue aggressive strategies to advance our clients' interests while striving to assure that litigation is cost effective. Skellenger Bender litigates cases involving business disputes, construction, employment issues, real estate, land use, environmental issues, and more.


The firm also represents clients in appeals in state and federal courts on a variety of commercial, employment, criminal, and family law issues. Our lawyers have handled cases before the Washington Court of Appeals, Washington Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court.

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Skellenger Bender attorneys represent parties involved in the construction process with a special focus on design professionals. This representation includes claim preparation and prosecution, as well as defense of claims in various forums, including arbitration, state and federal courts, and administrative hearings. Our attorneys are skilled litigators, at home in the courtroom, who have represented clients ranging from sole practitioners to global engineering firms.


Our attorneys are also skilled at keeping claims from reaching legal dispute status, through thoughtful review and drafting of contracts, advice and counsel during construction, and early analysis and negotiation of problems that arise during a project.


Skellenger Bender attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to design professional clients in the design, construction, and environmental arenas. Our design professional clients include architects, engineers, environmental consultants, surveyors, and other professionals. We represent design professionals working in every segment of the design and construction industry: public agencies and municipalities involved in multimillion dollar capital improvement projects; large and small contracting firms; and individuals.


We understand the design and construction process from conceptualization and design to finance, implementation, construction, and claims preparation and defense. Our attorneys are capable of assisting design professionals in every phase of their business. Whether you need help drafting or reviewing a contract, strategically addressing issues or potential claims as they arise during a project, defending a claim of professional negligence or pursuing a claim for unpaid fees through liens, bond actions or litigation, we can guide and counsel you every step of the way.


Skellenger Bender’s approach is always to search out the best resolution for our clients and pursue it relentlessly in the most cost-effective manner. Our years of experience in this area enable us to design and implement a cost-effective strategy to address your issues. We can assist with all of your Pacific Northwest issues as we have attorneys licensed in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.


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Skellenger Bender has extensive experience representing parties with regard to the employer/employee relationship. Whether you are an employer or employee, need representation in litigation, advice and counsel, or assistance with drafting or reviewing agreements arising out of an employment relationship, our attorneys can assist. Having done work for both employers and employees provides us with the ability to see issues from all sides and develop strategies with knowledge of how the other side thinks. Our expertise in advising design professionals puts us in a unique position to handle their employment issues as well.





There are few areas of the law as complex and fluid as employment law and, yet, employers often wade through these issues without professional advice. Our attorneys strive to provide cost effective advice and counsel on almost all employment related issues. Whether you need assistance with drafting or updating an employee handbook, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, employment agreements, advice on wage matters, employee discipline, help with an investigation into allegations of harassment or discrimination, or any other of the myriad employment issues that come up, our attorneys can help.


If you are an employee we can help you with review of employment agreements, non-compete or non-solicitation agreements, advice and counsel on wage matters and potential discrimination in the workplace, or any other issue related to your employment.





Our attorneys have represented local, national and international employers, and employees, in the full spectrum of employment litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings. They have defended and prosecuted cases involving Title VII, sexual harassment/hostile work environment, discrimination, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Equal Pay Act, Washington Minimum Wage and Overtime Act, trade secret claims, non-compete and non-solicitation claims, unemployment claims, and more. They have tried cases in state and federal court, to judges and juries, and before administrative agencies. Despite their experience in trial, they are also savvy in strategizing ways to end disputes without a trial, whether through efforts to get a case dismissed, or through efforts to settle the dispute.

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The Estate Planning and Probate practice group at Skellenger Bender understands that creating your estate plan, serving as a trustee of a trust, or serving as a personal representative of an estate can be a stressful experience. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals work to creatively and efficiently address your legal needs.




Our team is skilled in drafting:

Personal Estate Planning Documents

  • Wills
  • Health Care Directives
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for both Financial and Health Care Decisions
  • Declarations Regarding Remains

Property Transfer Documents

  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts, including Special Needs Trusts (both self-settled and third party) and pet trusts
  • Quit Claim Deeds

Tax Planning Documents

  • Credit Shelter Trusts
  • Personal Residence Trusts
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

We work with clients to document their wishes for the disposition of their estate, health care decisions, select appropriate decision makers, implement their wishes for the transfer of their property, and use lifetime gifting and estate planning tools as appropriate and allowed by law to minimize the tax burdens on their families. We understand that each planning decision should balance the benefit of legitimate potential tax savings against the client's need for financial security, simplicity, and cost-efficiency during his or her own lifetime.




Probate is the legal process for settling a decedent’s estate which includes transferring property to pay debts and distributing property to heirs and beneficiaries. Our experienced and compassionate professionals work to ensure that estates are properly and efficiently administered.


Our team is skilled in:

  • Explaining the probate process in Washington State.
  • Preparing any necessary documents.
  • Opening your probate in court, obtaining necessary court documents, and tracking all important deadlines.
  • Providing all required notices to heirs and beneficiaries.
  • Coordinating or handling communication between third parties such as creditors, certified accountants, trustees, real estate agents, appraisers, and others.

Trust and Estate Litigation

If a dispute arises in the administration of your loved one’s estate, our team is prepared to help.

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Our attorneys handle marital dissolutions and related property division, custody, child support and spousal maintenance matters. We also represent unmarried persons and domestic partners on matters of property rights and parenting. While we cannot eliminate the difficult transitions of separation or divorce, our knowledge and conscientious advocacy will help to address the emotional and financial burdens of family disputes, allowing our clients to feel more at ease as they move forward with their lives.

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Skellenger Bender attorneys provide legal advice and representation to businesses and individuals facing investigations and inquiries from regulatory agencies and criminal investigations and charges. Our attorneys have handled criminal matters arising out of environmental regulation, governmental procurements, import and export activities, insurance and bank fraud, health care fraud, embezzlement, currency reporting, corporate governance issues, and the full spectrum of other federal and state criminal matters. The earliest possible legal consultation and advice is prudent when a business or individual is faced with a potential regulatory or criminal investigation. If agency or court defense become necessary, our attorneys have the trial skills and experience necessary to vigorously defend our clients' interests.

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As our population grows older, the need to provide for our parents, children, and even ourselves, in the event of disability, also increases. Guardianship allows a designated individual to provide needed assistance to a family member or friend. Skellenger Bender attorneys assist clients in establishing guardianships of the person and/or estate for loved ones. We are available for immediate consultation and implementation of the most effective, but least intrusive assistance, which can range from a power of attorney designation and other directives to a full guardianship to protect financial assets and personal well-being.

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Los abogados familiares de Skellenger Bender son litigantes especializados y suele manejar asuntos complejos sobre el derecho de familia. Podemos ayudarle con casi todos los asuntos legales que afecta las familias, y lo hará con empatía y comprensión de la complejidad y dificultad de la materia. Tenemos experiencia en la resolución de los asuntos, tanto dentro como fuera de la corte, ya se trate de una audiencia impugnada, el juicio, la negociación, la mediación, la ley de colaboración, o el arbitraje. Ofrecemos una representación completa y consultas sobre cualquiera de las áreas específicas a continuación:


Áreas específicas de práctica:


  • El divorcio / separación legal y disolución
  • Disoluciones de parejas domesticas (“domestic partnerships”)
  • Modificaciones de Manutención de Menores
  • Modificaciones Plan de Crianza
  • Custodia de los hijos, incluyendo la custodia de tercer partidos
  • Comprometidos disoluciones relación íntima (socios solteros)
  • Acuerdos de parejas domesticas
  • Acuerdos prenupciales
  • Acuerdos postnupciales
  • Órdenes de Protección
  • Adopción
  • Paternidad y paternidad “de facto”
  • Temas de Derecho Familiar para la gente Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, o Transgénero (LGBT)
  • Acuerdos de Reproducción Asistida
  • Resolución Alternativa de Conflictos
  • Ley de Colaboración

Para más información o para fijar una consulta, por favor póngase en contacto con el abogado Caleb Oken-Berg: 206-623-6501.

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Skellenger Bender attorneys provide a broad range of legal services tailored to the professional practices of medical and mental health professionals, architects, and other design professionals. We take pride in continually informing ourselves on the latest state and federal regulations and ethical rules applicable to these practices, in order to assist in addressing emerging issues. Skellenger Bender attorneys also provide legal services tailored to the defense of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings before the Washington State Bar Association.


We offer our professional clients advice on issues of professional ethics and risk management, as well as representation in disciplinary and licensing matters and at mediation, arbitration, litigation, and in other dispute resolution forums.

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Trust and estate litigation may involve both legally complex issues and complicated family dynamics. At Skellenger Bender, we have an outstanding team of legal professionals that can efficiently and effectively address whatever issues arise in your legal matter.


Typical Trust and Estate Litigation Issues:

  • Committed Intimate Relationships
  • Will contest
  • Trust accounting discrepancies
  • Fiduciary abuse
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Pre-death disputes: issues of capacity, undue influence, elder abuse
  • Removal of Personal Representative
  • Removal of Trustee
  • Reformation of Instruments


Whether you are facing a dispute related to a will, trust, estate, guardianship, or fiduciary issue, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and see how we could help.

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