Meet Our Attorneys
Attorney, Amanda DuBois
B.S.N., Nursing - Pacific Lutheran University
J.D. - University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University)
About fifteen years ago, I started my own family law firm. I envisioned a place where individuals going through the de-coupling process could feel empowered though education and understanding. I am really proud to say that our office here on the water in Fremont is exactly what I had in mind all those years ago. Our firm practices exclusively in family law and I have managed to find some amazing lawyers who all have backgrounds in human services. So, in addition to being smart strong advocates, the lawyers here are warm, compassionate, and most importantly family focused.
Here's a little bit about me and why I like family law: Prior to becoming an attorney, I was a high-risk labor and delivery nurse at the University of Washington. And I find that helping people go through the divorce transition empowers people, not unlike the process of labor and delivery:
Although it sounds a little crazy, there are some remarkable similarities between labor and delivery and the divorce process. In both situations, people are frightened at being in a situation over which they feel they have no control. They are on a course of action that they can't stop - and they have to dig deep and find a way to make it through. The big difference is that when someone is in labor, they know they will end up with a cute little baby. In a divorce, what most people can't see is that at the end of the process they will end up with a great new life. Trust me; I've seen it happen over and over.
I also find that my personal background helps me in a couple of interesting ways. My nursing background gives me a unique perspective to help divorcing individuals deal with the unimaginable stress of divorce. I particularly enjoy working with individuals (both same sex and opposite sex) in middle age who are beginning to explore what they are going to do in the second and third acts of their lives. I call this "divorce in menopause" (and yes, men, this includes you!) This is a time of life when we often find ourselves re-assessing our careers, and when retirement isn't that oh-so-far-off future adventure any more. Finances take on a whole new perspective at this time in people's lives and splitting up at this juncture can be especially scary. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is to watch people bravely close down the family home and start a whole new life. Maybe it's an art class in Italy, or a move back closer to extended family, or even a new hobby like bicycling or kayaking through the San Juans. Whatever your dream may be, I can assure you that once you make it through this process; you will reconnect with your energy and enthusiasm and make some amazing changes.
I handle both amicable and complex family law matters, and regularly take particularly challenging cases to trial in King County. My experience as a trial lawyer and as a Member of the Washington State Association for Justice Board of Governors has provided me with helpful litigation strategy and trial skills.
As far as my credentials, I received my BSN from PLU and my JD from Seattle University back when it was UPS. I served as a member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) Board of Governors where I co-founded the Women's Section, and served as chair of the Family Law Section. I also served on WSAJ's Continuing Legal Education committee and the Legislative Steering Committee. I have been a featured speaker and a chairperson at numerous continuing education seminars for attorneys, nurses and mental health professionals.
In addition to my legal practice, I have also authored a series of books that teach basic legal rights and responsibilities to ordinary people. The Civil Survival series is currently being used at community colleges around the country. Check it out at www.civilsurvival.com. My other program is called Lawclass and in a more in depth exploration of basic legal issues, find out more at www.lawclass.net.
For community service, I love volunteering on the executive committee of the Women's Funding Alliance where I co-chaired the fabulously successful Art of Dining Auction this year! I also serve on the Advisory Board for Teamworks Academy founded by former Seahawk Mack Strong and his wife Zoe Higheagle Strong. I formerly served on the boards of numerous professional and civic organizations, including The Stevens Hospital Foundation and The Center for Spiritual Living. And I was one of the founding members of The Shoreline Public Schools Foundation. I'm always one of those working board members usually chairing development, fundraising, and special events committees.
Lastly, I'm a fervent supporter of Peace Trees Vietnam, a landmine removal project in Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam. A portion of the fees we receive at DuBois Cary go directly to this inspiring landmine removal and micro lending project. Check out www.peacetreesvietnam.org
My husband Philip DuBois recently retired from his busy OB-GYN, practice at Swedish Hospital. We have two fabulous adult daughters and a very special Australian Labradoodle named Avi.
Attorney, Monica Kaup Cary
B.A., Government/Women's Studies, Franklin & Marshall College
J.D., Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College
People often ask me, sometimes benevolently, "Why on earth did you choose family law?" It's a fair question. A decade ago, the prospect of working in such an emotional area of practice probably would have sounded overwhelming to me. What has remained constant throughout my life is that I genuinely enjoy the process of using my skill set to support people.
For most of my life, I've been thinking about family values, or at least, how people structure their families. My parents were immigrants who had an arranged marriage and raised their children in a homogenous suburb in the Midwest. Most families I encountered as a child were traditional; with a "stay at home" mom and a "working" dad. Like many 1st generation families, I was raised in a home where every grown-up around was either an "aunty" or an "uncle". At the time, overseas telephone calls were costly and not reliable. And overseas travel costs were steep. I believe these local surrogate connections were critical in bestowing a healthy cross-cultural family life for my parents as well as for us (kids). To this day, I feel a deep connection to my stand-in aunties and uncles.
It's no wonder that from a young age, my mind was filled with questions about what I still suspect is a rather uniquely American liberty - the orderly pursuit of happiness. Encompassed within the pursuit of happiness lie a couple of my more mild fascinations - the freedom to marry and the ability to reinvent one's self. Both are issues we encounter in our office and each warrants attention. The former, I hope and believe is still evolving. Perhaps as a result of my childhood, I believe that families come in all different forms and the familial lines of demarcation are mutable. The latter, the American freedom to reinvent oneself, has long been particularly alluring to me because I believe it to be one of the greatest freedoms we have in the United States.
Tragically, this colossal freedom to start over can be upended in the family law context - where reinvention was never the plan. Add to the mix the spiritual and legal bonds of matrimony, being subject to State-imposed obligations, the illiquidity of property, market fluctuations, health insurance costs, unemployment, and - a child. Well, the prospect of starting over can quickly spiral into an absolutely terrifying undertaking. (Probably not quite what the founding fathers envisioned).
If and when that moment of fear strikes, my goal is to help my clients by offering steady guidance and respectfully helping prioritize needs and goals. There are aspects to ending a marriage that have to be treated 'strictly business' and there are some aspects that cannot be. My goal is to keep my clients informed about the process, provide realistic expectations, and creatively brainstorm solutions. I want my clients to march with deliberation through this transition feeling as secure as possible and ready to walk away from the process without lingering regrets remembering that so much of life is subject to interpretation. All hope is not lost even when the best-laid plans go awry.
I began my legal career in Oregon where I worked in criminal defense, complex tort litigation, and then as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Elizabeth Welch, Presiding Family Court Judge in Portland, Oregon. In Washington, I volunteered with the King County Prosecutor's office and then was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Pierce County, Washington until I returned my focus to families. My continuing legal education training includes rigorous mediation training, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) training, and the Guardian ad Litem training.
Prior to attending law school, I was paid a modest stipend to work as a volunteer with VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps). I was assigned to work in Seattle with FamilyWorks, a food bank and family resource center that serves families north of I-5 and east of the ship canal. During my year of service, I connected food bank customers with employment resources, recruited volunteers to lead free workshops for children and assisted in facilitating free workshops for adults on topics from cooking to intercultural parenting. FamilyWorks still offers free parenting classes.
My husband and I share a commitment to public service. He serves on the Board of the Smoke Farm Rubicon Foundation which provides unique opportunities for educational experiences exploring art, science, philosophy, and community on a rural farm. Rubicon Foundation is a proud sponsor of Burning Beast and the ASPI and Asperger's Parent Support Group. I continue to volunteer at FamilyWorks. In addition, I provide pro bono services to immigrant women, low-income teens and women of color through the various projects. My husband and are also proud supporters of KEXP and the Vera Project.
Like many busy moms, during my downtime, I enjoy the more mundane - peeling garlic with my daughter, caramelizing onions, holding out hope that my beloved cattle dog will quit barking at the pizza guy, speed dialing the family from coast to coast, and waiting on pins and needles to check out my indefatigable husband's latest modern wood and metal furniture.
Attorney, Lucia Ramirez Levias
J.D., Cum laude - Seattle University School of Law
I decided to go to law school after an eight-year career in the non-profit sector where I championed causes for youth and children. My job was part counselor, part community organizer, part fundraiser, and part manager. I wore a lot of hats. I loved developing cutting edge community programs and then helping the families and children that participated in the programs. As I took on more responsibility with fundraising and management, I found myself moving away from the people that I so enjoyed serving every day. I also felt limited in my ability to help families who were struggling with financial and legal problems.
That's when I decided to go to law school. And family law was an absolute perfect fit. I can have a very close relationship with my clients while at the same time working within the extensive court system. It is not uncommon for me to spend my morning advising a client about a child who is struggling with transitioning from house to house and then spend my afternoon arguing in court about the application of the relocation statute. I deeply enjoy both the very intimate and very public aspects of being a family law attorney.
As a lawyer, I don't solely rely on my legal expertise when advising clients. I am also a mom of two young children, a product of a family impacted by divorce, and a former youth development professional. Sometimes, clients just need to vent, discuss options, or get ideas. I have that covered. Plus, I can tell you whether or not your ideas will fly in a court of law, which, of course is why you hired me.
Attorney, Denise Johnson
I was born and raised outside of Chicago. I earned a degree in Finance from the University of Illinois and worked in Chicago as an auditor and then a financial analyst before deciding to attend law school. I attended Tulane University for law school. Internships while in law school included working at the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago and with the Northwest Justice Project in Seattle. After graduating from law school, I worked at the King County Superior Court for the Honorable Judge Julie Spector.
I am a huge sports fan, and foolishly will always root for the Cubs, Bears, and the Illini. I'm obsessed with music; have been playing piano since I was 4 and also play the saxophone. I annoyingly sing all the time. After living in New Orleans while attending Tulane, I'm an avid supporter of any and all things supporting the rebuilding of New Orleans. I live with my fiancé, Tyler, and our three fur-babies.
Paralegal, Holly Stephenson
B.A., Political Science - University of Washington
Before moving to Washington for high school, I spent most of my childhood overseas stationed in Korea and Germany. I was fortunate enough to travel all over Europe and as far as Egypt and Morocco. I continued my love of cultures, languages and international politics in college. I spent a quarter studying abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico and volunteered locally in Seattle, helping people prepare for the U.S. Citizenship test. After college, I knew I wanted to get into the legal field. I fell into family law and have enjoyed working with families ever since. I enjoy providing support for divorce clients during a difficult time and assisting estate planning clients best express their wishes for their loved one. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and friends, and my two fat, happy cats, Pumpkin and Pancho Villa.
Paralegal, Corey A. Bondurant
B.A., History - Western Washington University
I was raised on the Olympic Peninsula and graduated from Chimacum High School. After high school, I attended Western Washington University, where I received my B.A. in History (with emphasis in Africa) and minors in English and Music Performance. A life-long drummer, during college and upon graduation, I played drums professionally in many local and international acts as both a touring and recording drummer. However, my love for the Puget Sound area brought me home to Seattle.
After deciding against law school and a career as a musician, I opted to pursue my love of the legal field as a paralegal — at first handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Finally, I found my niche as a family law paralegal and have held this position since 1998.
I am a "drum nerd." I collect drum memorabilia and spend much of my free time attending concerts/clinics, playing drums, teaching drums, or simply thinking and talking drums. My other interests include spending time with my girlfriend, playing tennis, softball, swimming, reading, and attending Mariner or Dodger baseball games. My true love, along with family and friends, is my adorable English bulldog, Molly.
Paralegal, Tania D. Selden
B.A., Criminal Justice - Seattle University
M.S., Criminal Justice - University of Cincinnati
I grew up with my family in North Seattle before moving to Sumner, WA at the age of 12 where I graduated from high school. I also enjoyed spending summers down in Bakersfield, CA with my father's side of the family where I had some of my best childhood memories. After contemplating a few other career choices, I realized that the legal field was the right direction for me and strived to further my education in the field. I earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Seattle University in 2006 and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 2008. I joined the firm in 2011 after starting my career with the court system in 2006 as a court clerk with King County District Court and then in 2009 as a bailiff to a King County Superior Court Judge. I enjoy the personal level of interaction that working as a family law paralegal gives and the feeling of helping others in an area of life that is so meaningful and important.
Outside of work, I enjoy my most important roles in life as a mother to my incredible daughter and a wife to my wonderful husband. I also adore my sweet boxer, Lola and my two cats, Romeo & Chase. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, going to the dog park, playing with photography, home decorating, and enjoying the simple joys of life.
Legal Assistant, Erica Taylor
I am a college student earning a degree in the medical field through Shoreline Community College. I'm also interested in paralegal work and hope to find a profession that encompasses my passion for helping people.
Over the years, I have enjoyed working in positions such as: processing garnishments for Automated Data Processing, Nursing Assistant for Alaska Children's Services and Assistant Preschool Teacher for Starbright Early Learning Center. I also spent a summer painting and renovating houses. I consider myself to be a "Jane-of-all-trades" and enjoy meeting new people, gaining knowledge through new experiences and having fun along the way.
Outside of work and school, I love being outdoors when the weather permits to run, hike, bike, camp and explore the world. In addition, I love to travel as well as spend time with family and friends.
Accounting, Terry Coe
I have been with the firm since 2004 but have been crunching numbers for about 30 years. I was raised in Seattle and am blessed to have a large, close-knit extended family close by. I am the proud single mom of two beautiful children, one of which has Down syndrome. I am a firm believer of the old adage "it takes a village" to raise a family. I am extremely active in my community and work with children and youth through my church. I am an active member of the Down's Syndrome Community through the ARC of King County as well as a new program called Special Dreams for Special Kids. I know that divorce is heartbreaking for all, but I'm proud to work for a company that I feel makes advocating for families a priority.
If you have further questions or want to arrange a confidential consultation, please contact us today. Our waterfront office is located on the north end of Lake Union in Seattle, Washington. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the solutions you seek.