Marguerite (Maggie) Smith’s practices family law with an emphasis on separation, divorce, child custody and complex property issues. Her subspecialties, on which she is an acknowledged authority* are asset protection, closely held business assets and international custody on which she has given many presentations to other attorneys and other professionals and has been published extensively.
She started her own family law firm in WA in 1995 after practicing for several years in diverse areas of practice, including commercial litigation, international law, personal injury, immigration as well as family law. She realized that family law was her passion, not merely her vocation. Although her practice is devoted to family law there are a number of cases that cross into other areas. At these times she draws upon her past experience in other areas of law as well as her experience in the world of business. Before her legal career, Maggie was involved in the management of closely held family businesses including the management of a London branch of an international manufacturing and distribution company. Maggie certainly understands business.
Maggie has always maintained that family law attorneys should offer a calm voice and steady hand to clients in the midst of stressful times. Her emphasis is negotiation where possible, and litigation only where necessary, as the latter can cause unnecessary stress and expense to the client.
Over a decade ago she was heavily involved in the advancement of professionalism amongst attorneys serving as Chair of the King County professionalism Committee and on the WA State Bar Professionalism Committee. She had observed that demonstration of professional conduct can help to keep emotions in check (emotions of opposing counsel as well as both parties) and can help to prevent cases from spiraling into unnecessary litigation. Nowhere is this more important than in the area of family law where clients are already stressed and families can be greatly hindered in co-parenting by unnecessary acrimony.
Maggie began Flexx Law, PS in response to what she saw as a need to provide truly flexx-ible legal services to her clients. “One size does not fit all” she says “We attorneys must be ready to adapt our services to the client’s needs, not the other way around. By this I mean, that there are attorneys who tend towards litigation and others to negotiation and others, to collaboration. I believe that it is necessary, to produce the best result, that an attorney is able to move with agility between all approaches. I remember on one occasion an opposing party fired her attorney because he was too litigious when, it was clear to her, that we were only being reasonable and prefered to negotiate. She then hired a more versatile attorney who was willing to negotiate and we all came to a less stressful resolution of the case. “
She has authored many legal journal articles and is also the author of the online Washington State international family law for Thompson Reuters found at:
She is the co-author of the International section of the Washington State Bar Association Family Law Desk Book and author of The New Standard. Marriage/Divorce Protecting Closely Held Businesses. https://www.amazon.com/Standard-J-D-Marguerite-Maggie-Smith/dp/1105613925
Maggie is a member of several Bars, Bar Associations and Sections amongst which are the following: She is a member of the WA State, District of Columbia, Minnesota Bar, and a member of the Bar of England and Wales.She is a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, American bar Association (ABA), KCBA Family Law section, past Chair of the International Law section for KCBA, past Vice Chair and past Chair of American Bar Association International Family Law Committee and a member of KCBA Collaborative Law Section.
“My goal” says Maggie “is to reduce stress and expense in family matters as much as possible and to explore all avenues to defuse conflict and reduce litigation. I believe this is how I can best serve my clients.”
Approaches to practice:
Maggie offers negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, cooperative law and litigation services to clients and consultations to professionals on closely held business and international law matters.
Amongst other involvement Maggie volunteers her time to give legal advice to migrants, for example, her work at El centro de La Raza in Seattle and to migrants on both sides of the border with Mexico (Tijuana and El Paso). She also writes articles on migrant issues. In addition, her other main passion is fostering dogs for the local humane society.
She can be reached at 206.343.6362, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Maggie has presented seminars to attorneys and business advisors, both nationally and internationally. She has authored the on- line Thompson Reuters Practical Law pertaining to the State of WA. She is co -author of the International chapter of the WashingtonState Bar Association Family Law Deskbook and author of The New Standard Marriage/Divorce, Protecting Closely held Businesses.