Simple Acts of Kindness at the Holidays

Winter holidays are a time to be with others, and unfortunately there are many individuals that are homeless, elderly, lonely and in need.

Consider adding a small act of kindness to your holiday ‘to do’ list.

Some examples are: have a cup of tea with an elderly neighbor, call someone who lost a loved one in the past year, send a card of appreciation or compassion, give a homeless person your doggie bag, say “I love you” to someone you love.
As an attorney I’ve learned not to make promises, but this is the exception. The small act of kindness you do for someone will be repaid a thousand fold.

Ch ch ch changes!

Chris Bates has moved to a law firm in Everett where he will continue his practice in family law. Martin Kreshon is joining a personal injury firm in downtown Seattle.  We wish them well.

Judy Shoji has joined our family law team. Returning to work after a stint as a stay-at-home mom, Judy brings a wealth of experience.  She has been practicing law for the past 23 years and provides representation in all aspects of family law and adoption.  Judy received her law degree from Seattle University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington.

Judy has extensive experience representing clients in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, Island and Skagit Counties.  In her spare time, Judy has volunteered for the King County Bar Association Family Law Neighborhood Legal Clinic from 2006-2014 and for the Self Help Plus Clinic since 2014. Judy was named King County Bar Association Volunteer of the month in October 2014.  In her free time, Judy likes to cook, hike, and travel to Hawaii as often as possible!



Are You Ready to Vote?

In the beginning of the creation of the United States of America you had to be a white male, over 21 and a property owner in order to vote!

240 years later it is all genders, all races and all economic levels who may vote.

The right to vote doesn’t mean much if it isn’t exercised. Flexing our individual muscles are what extended voting rights to all of us.   The people who extended those rights were white male property owners who (eventually) voted for inclusion.

In the 2012 presidential election only 57.5% of Americans voted and that was a high turnout! Our vote is important. Whether you vote or not, someone will be elected president. And that person will be your president, making decisions that affect you and this country for many years to come.

The presidential portion is not the only important aspect on the voter’s ballot. Many issues that affect day to day life are determined on a local level such as taxes and education.

Ballots are out there. Now let’s all exercise!


Car Accident Injuries

Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States, causing hundreds of billions (that’s billions with a B!) in medical bills, lost wages, productivity loss, and other damages.  While every accident and the individuals involved are different, there are some fairly common injuries.  This article will address some of these injuries and what you should do to ensure that you are fully recovered and your bills are paid.


Head, Neck, & Back Injuries: Head injuries often result from the driver or passenger striking their head against the dash, steering wheel, windows, or head rests.  This can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI), from concussions to permanent physical damage, skull fractures, and hearing/vision problems.  These injuries require careful monitoring and, occasionally, extensive treatment.

Whiplash is perhaps the most recognizable neck injury resulting from car accidents, describing a range of injuries that result from a sudden strain to the muscles, bones, and nerves in the neck.  Sudden movement of the head and neck can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage.  Generalized pain and muscle stiffness are also very common.  Chiropractors advise patients that failure to treat neck issues can lead to health problems throughout the rest of the body.

Back injuries are also relatively common in car accidents.  Injuries can range from mild (generalized pain, tight muscles), to serious (fractured vertebrae, herniated discs).

Other Injuries:  Many painful and sometimes severe injuries result from blunt force trauma to the chest.  High velocity impacts from the steering column can cause fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, and even cardiac arrest.

Injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet are also common, especially for pedestrians or motorcyclists.

Emotional distress:  Witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event can leave emotional scars, from generalized anxiety to panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.  This distress often requires counseling and is compensable as a natural consequence of accident.  Clients quickly realize that the most difficult aspect of their injuries to overcome is the pain.  A combination of acute damage and muscle stiffness leave many people unable to sleep and suffering for weeks or months on end.  Treatment often requires a mixture of medication, heat/ice therapy, medical treatment, counseling and patience.


What Can I Do?:  To ensure that you are able to heal, and your medical bills are paid, we recommend you do the following:

  1. Don’t rush treatment. Follow the recommendations of your Doctor, Chiropractor, and/or Massage Therapist, among others.
  2. Don’t speak to the other person’s insurance adjuster. One of the main goals of an insurance company is to spend as little money on you as possible. Sometimes injuries take a week or more to fully manifest.  Adjusters will often attempt to record statements when you are in shock and your injuries are not clear in order to deny coverage later on.  We encourage you to tell the adjuster that you will have your attorney call them and hang up.  A good personal injury attorney will be able to protect you from the insurance company and take care of much of the paperwork so that you can focus on healing.
  3. Keep a daily journal, detailing your pain and the limitations caused by your injuries. This can be in a notebook from the store or an app on your phone.  Taking five minutes to do this every day can help us get you compensation for your medical bills AND your pain and suffering.


If you find yourself injured in an accident of any kind, call us for a free consultation at 206-706-2909.

Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

Ivy Law Group participates every year in the Great ShakeOut. This year it will be at 10:20am on October 20th.  

 We use the time to review our emergency supplies, practice our earthquake survival skills and discuss disaster preparedness.   It only takes about thirty minutes and doesn’t hurt a bit!

 Join us by visiting See more information below.

 Major earthquakes can cause unprecedented catastrophes. With earthquakes as an inevitable part of our future, businesses should make plans and take actions to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes. What we do now, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With this in mind, the Earthquake Country Alliance ( created the Great California ShakeOut, an earthquake drill and preparedness activity in which everyone can participate, which has now spread to many other states and regions.

To register as a participant for a ShakeOut drill in your area visit Businesses of all sizes can also use the drill to get their employees, business partners, and even their clients and customers, involved and prepared for a big earthquake.


Do’s and Don’ts when you’re in an accident: a guideline for accident & injury victims.


When people get injured, whether it is life altering or a minor car accident, most just want to focus on getting better and not worry about dealing with insurance, keeping records, etc. It’s important to remember that failure to follow the simple steps outlined below can drastically reduce the money you receive for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  With a little forethought and good record keeping, there is a higher likelihood that you will be fully compensated for your injuries.


Take photographs of your injuries and the damage to the vehicle in which you were riding.

Make sure your lawyer is aware of all doctors and hospitals providing you with treatment.  Consult with your attorney before, not after, you do something that might affect your case, including changing of doctors.

Keep & forward copies of all bills for medical treatment, car repairs, rental cars, out of pocket expenses, etc. to your attorney.

Your Job: Notify your attorney at once of any changes in employment, raises or reductions in salary, or loss of job. If you are re­quired to miss any work due to your injuries, keep them informed of all work missed and dates that you return to work.  If self-employed, keep a record of all times you are unable or less able to perform your work.

Keep a daily notebook or journal about your injury and recovery in which you note each day how your injury affected you.  You should note the amount of pain you experienced that day and how much activity you were able to engage in, whether or not you missed work, any activities that you couldn’t take part in because of your injuries and any other inconveniences you may experience.  For best effect, the entries should be made each day.  Above all, the entries should be truthful.


 Do NOT discuss your case with insurance adjusters or with any person connected with the other parties in the accident.  Should you be contacted by any such people you should advise them that your attorney advised you not to discuss your case.  If you don’t have an attorney, get one.  Most attorneys will represent you in these kinds of situations on a contingency basis (no money up front). Adjusters will often try to use your statements against you at a later date.

Do not rush your treatment or end it too soon just so you can settle your case and get some money.  Follow your doctor’s instructions and do not disobey his/her instructions.

Do not sign anything dealing with your claim until you have received an attorney’s instruc­tions or approval.

Do not go against your doctor’s orders! Failure to follow the doctor’s orders or to keep scheduled appointments will enable the liability carrier to claim that some of your injuries are your own fault.



Martin J. Kreshon, Ivy Law Group’s Newest Attorney, Gets Sworn In

On September 16th, most people went on with their normal Friday routine, excited for the weekend to come.  Martin was excited for another reason: he was one step away from being admitted to practice law in Washington State.

As Martin walked into a busy courthouse, he was surprised by his fiancée, who joined in witnessing Martin get sworn in.  It was there, in front of Honorable Judge Beth Andrus, where Martin and six others swore to “support the Constitution of the State of Washington and the Constitution of the United States.”

This isn’t Martin’s first rodeo.  In 2012, Martin was admitted to practice in North Carolina.  There, he practiced in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense.  Now, in a few short days, Martin’s courtroom skills and experience can shine here in The Evergreen State.  We look forward to what he will do.

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I met with a client today who was updating her estate planning documents. We had prepared them six years ago and she had a few revisions we were able to take care in one meeting.

After we finished, she told me that no one wants to do their estate planning. It is challenging, depressing, and easy and tempting to postpone.  But after going through the probate process with her husband’s premature death, she knew the importance of doing the work.  “I don’t want to make it any harder for my family than it has to be,” she said.

We do things all the time that are uncomfortable but ”good” for us: medical procedures, flossing our teeth, buying insurance, and preparing for earthquakes are just a few examples!

Estate planning is a gift to your family. Want to start your holiday shopping early?  Give us a call!



Restraining Orders: What’s the difference?

Individuals frequently state that they want a “restraining order” to stop another person from engaging in harassing or abusive conduct.   In Washington, courts can issue different types of restraining orders, depending on the circumstances, to prevent contact.  Contact includes not only personal contact, but also phone calls & text messages, emails, social media, or through a third person.  The attorneys at Ivy Law Group have experience obtaining protection orders for clients as well as defending clients accused of violating an order.  The most common types of orders include:

Restraining Orders

This is a civil (non-criminal case) order, usually filed in family law cases such as dissolution or child custody, but can be issued in other contexts. A restraining order can be quite broad, and may address property issues, domestic violence, or spousal support.

Requirements: May be obtained by a petitioner in a civil case seeking to restrain an action or behavior by an adverse party.

Duration: A temporary order can last up to 14 days.  A restraining order in a final decree can be permanent unless modified by the court.

Consequences of Knowing Violation: The police are required to make an arrest.  This is a Gross Misdemeanor and can carry a sentence up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO):

A civil order issued at the request of a person claiming to be a victim of domestic violence.  RCW 26.50.010(3) defines domestic violence as “physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW

A civil order issued at the request of a person claiming to be a victim of domestic violence.  RCW 26.50.010(3) defines domestic violence as “physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110 of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

Requirements: Note the requirement of “family or household member.”  To get a DVPO issued, one must claim physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110 of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Minors under 16 must seek the order through a parent/guardian.  However, a Petitioner who is 13 years old or older may petition themselves if the Respondent is 16 or over and the Petitioner claims to have been the victim of violence in a dating relationship.

Duration: A temporary order can last up to 14 days if there is an emergency.  After a hearing, the court can issue an order from one year to permanent.

Consequences of Knowing Violation: The police are required to make an arrest.  In addition to facing possible contempt charges, a knowing violation is a Gross Misdemeanor.  If the violation is an assault that does not amount to assault in the first or second degree, then it is a Class C felony, which can carry a sentence up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

No Contact Orders:

These orders, sometimes called “criminal protective orders,” are part of a criminal action and the court decides when to issue them under the appropriate circumstances.  A no contact order may be issued as a condition of release after an arrest for a domestic violence-related charge.  Sometimes this causes hardship when the accused and alleged victim share housing or children, as permission cannot be given by a party to violate the order.

Requirements: An incident reported to the police and pending criminal charges.

Duration:  The full length of the case unless the court decides otherwise or modifies the original order.

Consequences of Knowing Violation: The police are required to make an arrest.  Pre-trial release will be reconsidered and could lead to revocation.  Conviction is a Gross Misdemeanor.  However, if the violation involves an assault, drive-by shooting, or reckless endangerment, then it is a Class C Felony.


Anti-Harassment Orders:

A civil order issued to protect a person claiming harassment when the situation does not call for a DVPO, i.e. the parties are not married, have not lived together and have no children in common.

Requirements: Any person who alleges being seriously alarmed, annoyed, or harassed by conduct that (1) serves no legitimate or lawful purpose and (2) would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Duration: A temporary order can last up to 14 days if there is an emergency.  After a hearing, the court can issue an order for one year to permanent.

Consequences of Knowing Violation: The police have discretion in making an arrest.  A conviction will result in a Gross Misdemeanor, and the accused could face contempt charges as well.


If you are seeking any of the above orders or have been charged with violating one, please call us at 206-706-2909.