J. Mills 


Email: jmills@jmills.pro
Phone: (253) 327-1281



            I grew up in Honolulu and graduated in 1972 from Punahou School.  Then went off to the East Coast and received a Batchelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Hartford in Hartford Connecticut.  I later graduated from Vermont Law School and was admitted to practice in Washington in 1986, both state and federal courts.


Professional Background:


            While in law school, under Vermont's special practice rules, I started litigating cases at the school?s legal clinic, which provided a range of legal services to indigent clients.  My first case involved an appeal of an indigent's denial of social security benefits.  The clinic also occasionally took on public interest issues, like a case I worked on that resulted in changes to white-water rafting guide licensing requirements. 


            Since that time, my work has been almost exclusively litigation oriented, meaning that I spend a great deal of time in court and dealing with judges, administrators, litigants and lawyers whose problems really involved a high level of conflict. 


            I spent two years working at a small partnership in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle.  As part of our work, we received a contract from the City of Renton to provide misdemeanor criminal defense. 


Later hired at a medium-sized boutique law firm, called Reaugh, Fischnaller & Oettinger, I worked on a wide range of civil cases, including Civil Rights cases, Law Enforcement and Firefighter?s Disability cases, personal injury and general business litigation.


In 1990, I moved to Tacoma, opening my own practice focusing on high-conflict family law cases, the most famous of which was John Muhammed's case, a person later convicted of murder in the Beltway Sniping cases in Virginia and Maryland.  My work involves numerous difficult cases with complex family law issues, and a fair number of reported appellate decisions.


Meanwhile, I also did some land development and built two houses in Pierce County, leading with clients having land use and construction related claims.  


Although I have experience litigating case all over Washington from Skagit to Spokane county, I also volunteer my time at the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution where I have been mediating agreements to resolve conflict for ten years.


I remain centered in Tacoma, where I handle all kinds of litigation, involving issues from bankruptcy to personal injury to criminal work, but still focus most of my attention on high-conflict, difficult family law cases involving divorce, paternity, and relocation, along with land use, construction litigation, and appellate advocacy.