901 5th Avenue, Suite 2800
Seattle, WA 98164
Carol Bailey & Associates, PLLC offers a different approach to family law which we call Integrative Family Law. By integrating exceptional legal knowledge with the wisdom of experience, we guide our clients toward decisions that serve not only their short term legal interests but also their long term well-being. Our objective is to minimize the impact the legal process has on our clients’ important personal relationships, so that when the legal proceedings conclude, our client has not needlessly destroyed relationships important to his or her well being and has a feeling of satisfaction about the values that guided our legal strategy.
Collaborative Law Practice
Collaborative Family Law is a process in which the clients and all attorneys have agreed contractually that no one will use or threaten to use the court system to resolve the disputes in question. If the case is not resolved in the collaborative process neither attorney can represent either party or participate in any way in court proceedings related to the dispute. Use of Collaborative Law processes to resolve family law cases often involves an interdisciplinary team of mental health, accounting and legal professionals all of whom must adhere to the ethical standards of their respective professions. Ms. Bailey is trained in the practice of Collaborative Law and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Washington Collaborative Law group. Where use of Collaborative Law is appropriate, we will refer spouses and partners to other Collaborative Law practitioners.
Mediation & Arbitration
Ms. Bailey trained as a professional mediator through the University of Washington Law School Foundation 2005 training program. Prior to that, in the early 1990s, she trained at Northwest Mediation Service and taught mediation skills to students in middle school. Much of her work for the last decade in Guardian ad Litem cases was serving as a mediator between the parents in real time conflicts regarding their children. She is available as a mediator and as an arbitrator offering unusual expertise in Parenting Plan disputes.
Carol Bailey Medwell, the founder of the law firm and Integrative Family Law, has been in private practice in Seattle since 1991. Before that, in 1979, she was licensed to practice law in Texas, which is a community property state like Washington. She brings a unique perspective to the practice of family law. For a decade her practice was serving as a Guardian ad Litem in complex family law cases. A Guardian ad Litem is a professional whose job it is to represent the best interests of children. The Guardian ad Litem is appointed by the court and serves the court in a fiduciary capacity.
Prior to immersion in children’s issues Ms. Bailey practiced law as a general family law attorney representing clients with complex estates and child custody issues. She has handled a range of cases from medium size through complex, very large estates. Our approach strongly supports our clients' financial interests by developing the relevant facts, without using overly aggressive and inflammatory tactics that serve only to promote conflict and increase legal fees.
In addition to this experience, she is trained as a mediator, most recently attending the University of Washington Law School Foundation training in 2005. Ms. Bailey is trained in the practice of Collaborative Law. Ms. Bailey speaks Spanish and French. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association, American Bar Association, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the Washington Collaborative Law group.
Having studied at very close range over an extended period of time the nature of conflict in general, and the long-term impact of conflict on children and families in particular, she brings a unique perspective to the role of the legal professional in resolving transitions and difficulties in relationships. Ms. Bailey and her associates spend time with their clients to determine what outcome meets the client’s highest expectations. In this way, the client’s values drive the legal strategy, rather than the more common occurrence of the legal strategy used by the attorney driving the outcome of the clients’ life, often with unfortunate consequences the client would never have chosen. Ms. Bailey’s practice is dedicated to providing exceptional legal understanding and ability, tempered by the wisdom of experience so that her clients avoid unnecessary acrimony and are able to achieve a sense of long term well being after the legal proceedings conclude This is the heart of practicing Integrative Family Law.