Compass Collaborative

Collaborative Divorce in Seattle & the Eastside

Compass Collaborative: Mediators

Comm. Stephen M. Gaddis, Ret.

15600 NE 8th St., Suite B-1, # 177
Bellevue, WA 98008
Tel: (206) 465-3500, Fax: (425) 671-8097

Retired Judge

Comm. Stephen M. Gaddis, Ret.'s Resume

Stephen Gaddis was graduated from UW School of Law in 1970, and practiced law for 10 years prior to being appointed to the bench. He retired in 2005 after 25 years of service with King County Superior Court (Seattle/Kent) as Judge, Superior Court Commissioner and Family Law Commissioner. Thereafter he presided as a pro tem Judge and Commissioner in Pierce County (Tacoma) for two years, and since has worked exclusively as a mediator and arbitrator.

Mediation Experience: Gaddis received his mediation training in 1977, and in 1978 he and nine attorneys and social workers founded the Northwest Mediation Service. NMS pioneered mediation services in the Family Law area and later received grants to provide mediation training on a broader basis in local schools and the community.

While on the bench, Gaddis initiated a program for the mandatory mediation of all custody and visitation disputes coming before the court, and later drafted proposed Local Rules for ADR. For five years he was an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law, teaching Advanced Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Additionally, he has trained mediators for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Pierce County District Court and the King County Dispute Resolution Center. He was on the founding board of the Washington State Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.

Chris Kane

Kane Law & Mediation Services, LLC
5400 Carillon Point
Building 5000 - 4th Floor
Kirkland, WA 98004
Tel: (425) 605-6336; Fax (425) 671-0430

Counselor at Law

I provide divorce mediation services and collaborative divorce representation focused on helping husbands, wives, and parents move on with their lives while preserving dignity, respect, and key relationships. I also mediate prenuptial agreements as well as family business and property transitions. Finally, I provide legal coaching and unbundled legal services to parties in non-contested divorces.

Credentials: JD-Georgetown University Law Center, 1969 BA-Political Science-Seattle University, 1966

*Admitted to Practice: Washington Supreme Court (1969)& Numerous U.S. District Courts & Courts of Appeal

Memberships:  Advanced Mediator in the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals King County Collaborative Law Association Washington State Collaborative Law Association Certified Mediation and Intensive Family Law Mediation Training, UW Law School Certified Arbitrator, International Center of Arbitration Past Member of Article 39.1 Panel of Volunteer Mediators, U.S. Federal Court, Seattle, Washington

Jack Mahler

1900 129 Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98005
Tel: (206) 371-9972

Collaborative Law Child Specialist
Parenting Evaluator/Parenting Coordinator

Founder, Compass Collaborative

Jack Mahler's Resume

Innovative, pragmatic, eclectic and visionary are the words colleagues use to describe Jack Mahler. By his own admission, his more than 30-year career has never fit the mold. His diverse background includes working in family law, family courts, children’s mental health and social work, as well as a lifelong passion for community service and volunteering.

Throughout his career, Jack has reinvented himself several times, from running a non-profit alcohol and drug treatment center to serving on more than 1,000 family law cases as part of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program and in private practice. Jack retired from public service in 2005, eager to help children through the growing field of collaborative law. 

Always looking for ways to innovate and improve, Jack saw the need for a focused, organized collaborative law pod that better served the needs of divorcing couples and families, and in 2008, he formed Compass Collaborative. While Jack’s interests and skills continue to evolve, what remains constant is his commitment to serving the best interests of children and representing those who so badly need a voice.

James McGuire

McGuire Law & Mediation
1221 Second Ave, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98101
Tel: (206) 470-7695; Fax (206) 623-7789

Family Law Attorney

James’ practice focuses exclusively on family law litigation and mediation, although he has represented parties in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters throughout his legal career. He is an experienced litigator, having tried cases in both State and Federal Court. James assists clients with complex marital dissolutions, including those of high net worth individuals, often involving business valuations and estate issues. James favors a team approach, which is client-centered and cost-effective.  James is an experienced family law mediator and assists parties through mediation and arbitration to resolve their disputes. James is also trained and experienced in Collaborative Law.


Kathleen Royer

Family Mediation and Consultation
1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, WA 98154
Tel: (206) 684-9460


Kathleen offers mediation and arbitration in all aspects of divorce, including child custody and parenting matters, post-decree modifications and complex property matters. Kathleen has completed substantial professional mediation training including specialized training in parent-teen mediation and conflict resolution.

Before forming Northwest Family Mediation & Consultation, Kathleen’s practice emphasized cooperative/collaborative cases, mediation and settlement conferences.

Kathleen Royer began practicing family law in Seattle in 1992. Kathleen has experience in complicated parenting and non-parental custody matters and extensive experience in special education, dependency, and guardianships. Kathleen has served as a Court Commissioner pro tempore in King County Superior Court since 1998 and as a Volunteer Settlement Conference Master for King County Superior Court since 2001.

Kathleen has been a presenter for continuing legal education programs including Unified Family Court, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Third Party (non-parental) Custody Matters, Family Law Skills Training, and Ethics.

Kathleen has been a member of the King County Bar Association Family Law Section since 1994, and served as the Section’s Chair in 2003 – 04. In September 2008, Kathleen was elected to the Washington State Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee for a three year term.  

Kevin Scudder

9706 4th Avenue NE, Suite 320
Seattle, WA 98115-2157
Tel: (206) 524-7828, Fax: (206) 524-1302

Collaborative Law Attorney
Co-Chair, King County Collaborative Law Section

Kevin Scudder's Resume

Kevin is a graduate of Hampshire College (1983) in Amherst, Massachusetts and of the University of Washington School of Law (1986).  Since 1995 he has been working as an attorney and mediator in Seattle, Washington with an emphasis on family law and estate planning. 

Starting his Collaborative Practice work in 2007, Kevin has been developing and refining his skills within the collaborative model as a Mediator and Collaborative Attorney. 

Kevin’s compassion and commitment in all areas of his life, whether it be as a father, a gardener, an athlete, or as part of a collaborative team, serves as an inspiration and brings out the best in others for the benefit of his clients.  

Kevin is a frequent contributor to the World of Collaborative Practice [] and is a Featured Blogger at [].  

Debra Synovec

Whole Mediation, Inc.
1818 Westlake Ave N, Suite 314
Seattle, WA 98109
Tel: (206) 568-5337

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)

Debra Synovec, founder of Whole Mediation & Consulting Services, P.C. is a skilled mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) located in Seattle, Washington. Debra combines her unique skills acquired as an attorney, CPA, and social worker to provide mediation services for issues that require compassion and pragmatism. Engaging, caring, and resourceful, she gives clients guidance to help them reach optimal, durable agreements with dignity and grace. 

Debra is a Founding Member, a Board Member and an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM). Debra is trained in Collaborative Divorce Practice in which she cultivates durable relationships with attorneys, financial specialists, parenting specialists, and mental health professionals; she participates as a mediator and as a CDFA in Collaborative Divorce Practice.

Whole Mediation divorcing offers clients a progressive, productive, and peaceful process to resolve family challenges and create a more balanced, empowering approach to conflict resolution.