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About Sophia M. Palmer

Sophia M. Palmer has practiced in the Tacoma/Pierce County area for over 10 years. She began her career as a criminal prosecutor but has practiced family law exclusively for the last 10 years, and is the past president of the Tacoma Pierce County Family Law Section. She has handled over 500 family law cases that include dissolution, child custody, relocation, contempt, child support, parenting plan modification, UCCJEA and appeals. Over the course of her career, she has earned the distinction of being a first-class litigator and negotiator in all areas of family law., including complex high-asset dissolutions, child custody, parenting plan modifications, adoptions, and appeals.

In September 2017, Sophia founded her own firm practice, the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer, located in Tacoma. where she continues to practice exclusively in the area of family law. Sophia’s background in Society and Justice as a prosecutor, coupled with her child custody and advocacy family law litigation experience, has enabled her to handle the issues associated with intricate child custody and financial matters, including complicated child custody evaluations matters, complex high asset marital estates, and valuations of complex business interests. Ms. Palmer has an established reputation for delivering superior legal representation that is reasonable, but aggressive when necessary. She is a passionate advocate, with superb oral advocacy skills. Sophia’s diverse clientele has ranged from high-net worth individuals, professionals in the medical and legal filed, pilots, business owners, employers, and homemakers.

Sophia graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law after receiving her B.A. from the University of Washington in Society and Justice. Sophia is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, and the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association. She has served as a liaison on the Pierce County Local Rules Committee, as Trustee for the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, and Trustee, Vice-President and President of the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, Family Law Section.

Education

University of Washington, B.A. – Society & Justice, 1999

Seattle University School of Law, J.D., Cum Laude, 2006

Awards & Recognition

Trial Techniques Award, CALI Award for Excellence – 2006

Associations & Memberships

Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, Superior Court Commission – 2013 – Present

Washington State Bar Association – 2006 – Present

Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Family Law Section – 2006 – Present

Pierce County Local Rules Committee – 2011 – 2014

Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section – 2009 – 2012

Washington State Bar Association, Rules of Professional Conduct Committee – 2008 – 2012

Tacoma Historical Society Volunteer – 2008 – 2010

King County Bar Association Family Law Neighborhood Clinic – 2008 – 2010

Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court – 2007 – 2011

King County Bar Association-Family Law Section – 2007 – 2012

Notable Cases

In re the Parenting and Support of C.T. – Trial court ruling against my client was reversed by the Court of Appeals.

State v. Johnson 132 Wn.App 400 (2006) – Affirmed

State v Easterlin 126 Wash.App. 170 (2005) – Affirmed

Hannah L. Gurewitz

Attorney Hannah L. Gurewitz is delighted to be joining the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer. Hannah is admitted to practice in the State of Washington. Her primary area of practice is Family Law, which she practices exclusively. She handles all aspects of family law matters, including Divorce and Legal Separation, Division of Property, Mediation, Arbitration, Preparation of Prenuptial Agreements, Preparation of Post Nuptial Agreements, Registration of Out of State or Foreign Orders, Claims for Meretricious Relationships, Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence Protection Orders, Anti-harassment orders, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Paternity Matters, Third Party Custody Actions, Adoptions, Spousal Maintenance, Arguing Jurisdiction and Venue Cases, and Handling No Contest Divorces.

At Seattle University School of Law, Hannah focused on food justice law, advocating for the rights of people of all income levels and socioeconomic backgrounds to have access to fresh and healthy food. She spent a summer at Harvard’s Food Law and Policy clinic, where she dedicated her time to drafting effective food policies for small towns, and an initiative focusing on diabetes prevention at a state and city level. The common thread in her interests, she found, was ensuring the common welfare of all people, and found the most satisfying work in family law cases, where she could help individuals get through one of the most challenging and emotionally difficult times of their lives. Hannah values getting to know each of her clients individually, and knows that no two family law cases are identical.

As an Oregon native, Hannah has spent her whole life in the Pacific Northwest. She attended the University of Oregon Robert D. Clark Honors College, where she studied Spanish and Theatre Arts. She decided to pursue a career in law after graduation, and worked at an immigration law firm where she helped many obtain legal residency in the United States.

In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her husband and their two cat-children, exploring local hiking trails, cross-fitting, and tasting craft beers at Washington’s many breweries.

Stacey D. Swenhaugen

Stacey D. Swenhaugen has established herself as a tenacious litigator and effective problem solver. Known for her determined litigation efforts and bear knuckle work ethic, Stacey has built a solid reputation for getting client’s cases solved quickly without compromising core client values. Besides Stacey’s effective oral argument, one of her greatest strengths is in her legal writing. Through written advocacy, Stacey effectively helps the Court to understand the strengths in her clients’ position before even stepping foot in the court room.

Despite her ability to advocate aggressively when the situation calls for it, Stacey is a firm believer that not every problem should be treated as a nail that must be hammered. Many family law disputes, particularly those involving children, are better resolved with civility and diligent negotiation outside of the court room. Stacey is passionate about listening to client needs and crafting remedies specific to each families’ unique set of circumstances.

Before joining the Law Office of Sophia M. Palmer, Stacey interned for attorney Diana Kiesel, now a sitting Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner, and worked for family law firms in both Pierce and King County. As a result, she has an established reputation in both counties, and has significant familiarity with the family court commissioners and procedures.

Prior to establishing her legal practice, Stacey volunteered as a King County CASA, investigating child custody disputes. This valuable experience has allowed her to successfully apply her inside knowledge of how GALs and Parenting Evaluators make their decisions in child custody matters.

Stacey graduated from Seattle University School of Law. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Washington. She has over twelve years of experience working directly in the legal industry.

In her free time, Stacey enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, snowboarding, and cheering for the Seahawks.

Pam Draper

I am pleased to announce that my paralegal, Pam Draper, has joined me in the opening of my new law firm. Pam relocated to Washington State 27 years ago. Pam initially started her working career as a Registered Nurse in Southern California specializing in obstetrics, pediatrics, and children with disabilities. She returned to school graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor degree in psychology, with a minor in women’s studies and a partial Masters in social work preceded by her Paralegal degree. Pam has devoted her legal experience and skills solely to the practice of family law. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and 30 years of family law experience.

Pam can be reached by email at: pam@sophiampalmerlaw.com

Melissa Holt

Melissa joined our firm in November 2017. She holds a degree in Paralegal Studies, having graduated in 2015. Melissa assists in all phases of litigation from inception, through discovery and trial. She assists with drafting pleadings, fact development and preparation for hearings. Her attention to detail, and proactive nature makes her an invaluable member of our team.

Melissa can be reached by email at: melissa@sophiampalmerlaw.com