For the Collaborative Law process to work, both clients must be willing to resolve the dispute and to work toward that end, which includes fully disclosing all relevant information. If there has been physical or substance abuse or criminal activity, Collaborative Law may not be an appropriate choice. Please consult with an attorney trained in Collaborative Law to determine what is appropria…
I assist families as a family law collaborative attorney, a mediator, and a parenting coordinator. I have exclusively practiced family law since 2007. My focus is to help families reduce the conflict of a divorce or custody case by finding creative solutions that both participants can live with going forward. My experience has been that litigation harms families, financially and emotionally, and supporting families who wish to avoid litigation can help them move more quickly to the next stage of life.
I practice law with my husband at the law firm of Sato & Sato, LLC. We are small firm focused on providing individualized attention to our clients. We believe strongly in supporting the community financially and through pro bono or other volunteer work. We were awarded an Alaska Bar Association Pro Bono Award in 2016 in recognition of our involvement in the legal community. I recently finished five years as the Secretary of the Dimond Swim Team Booster Club and currently sit on the Boards of the Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals and the Professional Mediators of Alaska.
My goal is to make your divorce or other family dispute as respectful and dignified as possible. Family disputes are stressful and often expensive, but they should not wreck your life. In fact, they can open the way to a better, more peaceful future for you and your family. I have over thirty years of experience in family law, and this gives me the tools to help you find ways to resolve your problems in the best way possible.
Effective resolution of disputes often requires getting help from other professionals or resources in the community. You might need a family counselor, a business valuation expert, or help understanding your Social Security benefits. I use my wealth of contacts in the community to find you the best help for your situation. Not every family problem is a legal problem, and not every problem should be solved by a lawyer. I can help you navigate the resources available to you.
I am dedicated to the collaborative model for resolving divorce and family matters. I was the founding co-chair of Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals, the organization that brought the collaborative divorce process to Alaska. It is probably safe to say that I have handled as many collaborative divorces as any lawyer in Alaska. This work is my passion because it works for you, the client. I feel so much better knowing I am helping to preserve my client’s dignity, privacy, and peace of mind.
I received my law degree from U.C. Davis King Hall School of Law in 1980, and clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court and for Betty Binns Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I co-own of a boutique firm, Mendel Colbert & Associates, Inc. I served six years on the Alaska Bar Board of Governors. I sit on the National Center for Lesbian Rights National Family Law Advisory Council, an invitation-only group of experienced family lawyers from across the country. I have presented numerous trainings to lawyers and to the public on family law, ethics, and the law of same-sex relationships.
I look forward to helping you.