Justice Smiles, pllc helps neighbors, surveyors, and legal counsel resolve conflict and settle boundary disputes.

After a decade of seeking to serve clients as a boundary dispute attorney, Robert Walter M Zierman (“Bob”) unequivocally concluded the existing legal model was simply too broken to serve all but the most intransigent of neighbors.

Instead of restoring neighborly relations, the legal system at best served to extract all the fight out of warring neighbors leaving all with battered spirits and checkbooks after wasting their time, the time of their surveyors and lawyers, and the courts. Well …

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ― Buckminster Fuller

So, Bob originated a new model of mediating neighbor law disputes. Here’s how …

Justice Smiles provides tools to help neighbors to directly and indirectly initiate polite conversation with each other about their differences.

When neighbors trust and are able to come to reasonable general agreement amongst themselves, Justice Smiles work is limited to informing how to properly format and record their agreement. In such cases, Justice Smiles painstaking impartiality is appreciated. Yet as with all final documentation, unless waiving the opportunity, the parties may have their own legal counsel review to assure no untraded rights have been protected.

For neighbors seeking to avoid any misstep, Justice Smiles initiates contact to the non-initiating neighbors with an offer to mediate letter BEFORE providing any consultation services to any neighbor. To protect the privilege of all prospective neighbors to mediation, no discussion of case merit or strategic means of accomplishing any aims are allowed.

However, if a client is either directly or indirectly rebuked by their neighbors’ in an attempt to mediate, Justice Smiles offers consultation services (not the practice of law). If the matter proceeds to litigation, Justice Smiles may then serve as an expert neighbor law witness.

This mediation model works because in addition to it, Justice Smiles has created Trade Tools to quickly assist research and case merit prediction. This gives clients much more confidence to pursue their matters with legal counsel who may otherwise turn their trial into a expensive and haphazard “Try All.”

Boundary Dispute Litigation among neighbors, albeit relatively small, is war. In history, rare are the instances in which the horror of war was not attempted to first be averted by diplomacy. Mediation serves as the means of diplomacy and when rebuked serves as the means of demonstrating to courts of their neighbors’ unwillingness to be reasonable. Something for which Washington State courts have been given the tool to punish by a law enacted due in large measure to the lobbying effort of non other than the founder of Justice Smiles.