Meredith McKell Graff, the founder of McKELL GRAFF, PLLC, has experienced the trauma, cost, and potential unfairness of contested family law matters first hand. In the years following that experience, she has committed herself to learning alternate methods of resolving disputes in order to help other people avoid situations like hers. Her husband and law partner, Eugene McKell Graff, shares this philosophy.

The Graffs believe in “reality-based” legal representation, that is, in addition to their duty to advocate, they also strive to counsel their clients about the risks involved with contested litigation: financial, emotional, and decisional. Of course, settlement is not always possible or even advisable in every case, particularly if the result would cause harm or be manifestly unjust. However, in every case the Graffs refuse to act as “hired guns” for parties whose goal is to “spend down” the other party or “make the other party’s life a hell” via the legal process, particularly in the family law context. As a general rule, the Graffs encourage that their clients have the goal of settling their legal matter at the earliest, most-advantageous juncture, before emotions run so high that settlement is next to impossible.


Coaching (“Unbundled Legal Services”) for people representing themselves (“pro se parties”), such as, assist with a contested case, help to properly complete court documents and calculate child support and property/debt division, make limited court appearances for a pro se party at his/her request, and assist with the discovery process, among all other lawyer tasks that may be requested by the client;

Mediation of legal disputes to a signed final, written agreement;

Mediation to a final, written agreement, then assist the agreed parties, as their mediator and licensed Washington attorney, with the state-mandated documents;

Mediation where no court matter is filed, such as, facilitating disputed elder issues for families with an aged relative, marital/relationship mediation, parent/teenager impasses, neighborhood disputes, employment conflicts, potential small claims issues, landlord/tenant problems, among other disputes;

Collaborative representation in a legal matter with another collaborative attorney;

Representation in a legal matter that is not contested, such as pre-nuptial agreements, spousal agreements, such as, community and separate property agreement, other family agreements, or open adoption agreements;

Estate planning (trusts for tax and/or Medicaid planning, wills, powers of attorney for medical and/or financial, medical directives (including “Five Wishes”), organ donation, ethical wills (your story, life philosophy, or words of wisdom you would like to pass on to your family and/or friends when you die);

Representation in a legal matter that is contested with the goal of settlement prior to a trial; or

Representation in a legal matter that, by the nature of the issues or the impasse of the parties, must be resolved by a judge at trial.