Project Description

LAURA A. SUTKUS
LAURA A. SUTKUSFamily Law Attorney, Sutkus Law Firm
705 Second Avenue, Suite 1300
Seattle, WA 98104
206.388.0024

Bio

I enjoy working hands-on with people to help them find their voice and solve problems in a productive way.  Cases I’ve handled in the 30+ years of practice have included general civil litigation, personal injury claims, some products liability cases and simple estate work.  I am originally from Chicago, but moved after high school.  I attended undergraduate and law school in Wisconsin.  After practicing law in Madison, Wisconsin for three years, I moved to Seattle in 1987.  I have two years’ experience at Williams Kastner & Gibbs on large litigation cases.  Most of my work has been in smaller firms.  I opened my office in 2010, providing an array of services in family law cases.  Fabian Fereshtehfar is my paralegal; she is also a Limited Licensed Legal Technician (LLLT).

I have specialized in all types of family law cases in the last 20 years. I handle full representation, unbundled legal work, mediation and collaborative cases. Experience in mediation and arbitration naturally led to my interest in collaborative law and interactive participation in the healing process of resolution.  Being a parent and having gone through a divorce while remaining friends and part of my spouse’s extended family, I appreciate the importance of healing and forgiveness in resolution.

My training in mediation and collaborative law in combination with my litigation experience allow me to offer a wide variety of options to my clientele. I try to educate my clients, and let each of them choose their own path.

I have volunteered at neighborhood legal clinics, presented information at the King County Courthouse about how to complete a divorce and assisted at the Status Conference Calendar.  Years ago, I mediated with social workers at Family Court Services in a one-year program.  I received two Random Acts of Kindness awards through the King County Superior Court. In recent years, I assisted in establishing and volunteering at a Second Saturday Divorce Workshop in which three collaboratively trained professionals educated participants about the divorce process.  It was offered at Highline Community College for two years.

I have been a volunteer mediator in family law cases for many years.  The Volunteer Settlement Conference program provides free mediation assistance to parties, represented or pro se.  I mediate three cases each year in this program.

I practice yoga and run, and I enjoy hiking and board games.  I participate on a team and Council at my church, and sing in the choir.

Education & Experience

  • B.A. Beloit College, 1979
  • J.D. University of Wisconsin, 1984 Editor in Chief, Wisconsin International Law Journal
  • 1984 Admitted to Wisconsin Bar, 1984 Admitted to Washington Bar, 1987
  • U.W. Mediation Training, 1994
  • Collaborative Law Training, 2008
  • Arbitrator, King County Mandatory Arbitration Panel, 2001-2010
  • Volunteer Mediator, Volunteer Family Law Settlement Conference Program, 2003-present

Workshop Topics

  • How to Address a Troubled Marriage Relationship with Knowledge & Grace

  • Processes for Dissolution of Relationships – different methods of working out final terms

  • Moving Ahead After the Dissolution of a Relationship

Sources of Inspiration

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.

– The Serenity Prayer

“Finish each day and be done with it.  … Tomorrow is a new day; begin well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your nonsense.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We do not see things the way they are, we see them as we are.”

– Anais Nin

Praise for Wit

Last year I made a serious effort to improve employee retention because it is key to my business success.  My employees are my best asset and I wanted to improve loyalty and morale.  I hired Tori and her team of WIT professionals as a “wellness” benefit for my employees and I have been astounded at how much it has helped.  I thought I was hiring Tori to help my employees, but as the business owner, Tori provides me a level of support that is unmatched by any HR professional or counselor.  She is my first call when I need advice and wise counsel regarding all of my business relationships.

Kathy Franklin, Owner, European Wax Center - Castro Valley, CA

As a trusted licensed marriage and family therapist for 25+ years, Tori has journeyed relationship challenges with executives, non-profit and church leaders, their families and friends.  Her expertise provides a focused approach that efficiently penetrates the mind and holds the heart. Her compassion for each situation is palatable. Her devotion to each company is impressive. The results are effective.

Tom Dowd - Owner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA
Kristi Rinehart

Tori has a knack for bringing clarity to core issues in communication and relationships in tension and then providing concrete steps forward. Her professional coaching has been instrumental in helping me navigate delicate client negotiations with integrity. I highly recommend her as a go-to advisor and coach on all things relational.

Kristi Rinehart - Principal, Rinehart Marketing - Coeur d'Alene, ID

WIT Professionals is an amazing team of professionals that helps your business improve the culture, productivity, and well-being of your workforce. Tori helps engage healthy strategies with the burdensome challenges we all face in work and life relationships. Tori is truly gifted at assisting leaders and employees with understanding their own internal and relational barriers. I cannot speak highly enough of Tori Dabasinskas.

Jeff Hunt, Founder & CEO, GOALSpan - San Francisco, CA

Our company has used Tori to assist with communication, provide clarity and new perspectives to our employees through group training sessions on Stress Management.  She has also been instrumental in supporting our management team.  Tori is an active listener, who asks deepening questions throughout the process.  This approach allows both parties a deeper understanding of the issue and helps the individual reach a solution with greater confidence.  By doing so, we are more comfortable dealing with difficult situations. 

Tina Onderbeke - Executive VP & Partner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA

Tori has a relational style that instantly creates an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect.  She has a keen ability to empower, affirm and show compassion to everyone.  She sees all sides to an issue and helps resolve communication challenges swiftly.  Her sense of humor and overflowing joy always lifts our spirits and her wisdom and giftedness has saved me hours and hours of stress. 

Kathy Franklin, Owner, European Wax Center - Castro Valley, CA

Rather than letting frustrations build and damage workplace relationships, Tori has helped us meet communication challenges by diffusing them through understanding.  Tori is a true professional who is able to put people immediately at ease and engage in meaningful conversation, which ultimately leads to better decision making and solutions.

Tina Onderbeke - Executive VP & Partner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA
Valley Dental Group - Dr. Kane, Dr. Chan, Dr. St. Marie

We really loved having Tori and Mary-Beth speak to our company. It was one of the most professional and personally beneficial staff meetings we have had to date. We loved having their perspective on personalities and inter office relationships and really striving to know ourselves better so that we can interact better as a team. They are a wonderful asset to our company!

Dr. Kane, Dr. Chan and Dr. St. Marie, Valley Dental Group - Renton, WA