With Collin’s background in business and accounting and Annelisa’s knowledge of child development and psychology, every case gets all of our expertise. Both Annelisa and Collin are licensed in Oregon and Washington and have unique experience handling cases with complicated financial issues, inter-jurisdictional issues between the states, as well as other difficult issues which often arise in the context of family law cases. McKean Smith believes that all families deserve the same protections under the law and we support all members of our community in achieving justice for themselves and their families.
Collin C. McKean
Collin started his practice as a solo attorney representing individuals in small business and family law matters. Since that time, he has also worked as both an associate and partner at two of the largest family law firms in the Northwest. He also worked in accounting and understands financial principles which are necessary for resolving high asset and complex business and estate issues. Collin understands that financial issues in family law cases can be especially hard to navigate because both parties are worried about their future financial security. He knows that it’s not just about the money and that hard work and mutual contribution to a family’s financial success can create strong emotions and insecurity about future resources. Where business and financial matters are central to your legal issues, Collin’s background provides his client’s with the edge in negotiation and litigation.
Collin also practices Collaborative Law and is committed to giving his clients the support they need to feel confident that their case can resolve in a positive way. He is well known for his calm demeanor and tireless work ethic.
“Best decision I ever made was to hire Collin to finalize all aspects of my divorce, business and child support issues.”
Deanna L. Rusch
Deanna Rusch is a highly respected family law and divorce attorney in Vancouver, Washington recognized for her intellect and humor. Deanna has a straightforward yet kind approach to solving her clients’ challenges. Her practice includes all areas of family law, with an emphasis on complex divorce, relocation, inter-state, and UCCJEA issues. She is especially skilled in assisting divorce clients who own businesses or other complex financial assets. She represents clients in Clark County, Cowlitz County, Skamania County, Klickitat County, and Pacific County.
Deanna starts each case by learning about her clients and their personal goals. She explains, in plain language, how the law fits with those goals and develops a strategy to protect their interests. “It doesn’t have to be terrifying,” Deanna says. “Rather, it can be a new beginning. I’m here to solve my clients’ challenges and take the stress off their shoulders as we figure out how to move them and their family forward.”
Deanna has been ranked a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers every year since 2010 and has been named a “Washington Outstanding Young Lawyer” by Seattle Met magazine. While the legal complexities of family law can be a challenge, Deanna tackles issues head-on and makes sure her clients feel the relief of having a dedicated attorney by their side.
Deanna is a Pacific Northwest native, having grown up splitting her time between the suburbs of Seattle and the suburbs of Portland. She is a die-hard football fan—Seattle Seahawks and University of Washington Huskies, in particular. She lives in Camas with her 2 dogs, Rocky (age 13) and Adrianne (age 2), and enjoys being an active member of her community including serving as a Councilperson for the City of Camas.
Caryn C. Jones
Caryn Jones is a seasoned family law attorney handling Oregon family law cases ranging from complex divorces involving business interests to domestic violence issues and same sex partner issues. Caryn has a passion for advocating for our clients going through difficult family transitions offering considered advice to clients faced with difficult choices in the family law system. Caryn is a strong fit within our team of legal professionals; she has a track record of professional successes and has many happy clients as a result. Caryn can often be found on the sideline at her children’s soccer and other athletic events cheering for the kids. She likes to spend time with her family and she often spends time on the Oregon Coast to recharge and retain perspective. Caryn is a dedicated advocate for her family law clients.
“Caryn Jones is an extremely knowledgeable lawyer who keeps me up to date about everything going on with my case. She is very reliable and great at what she does. She is an amazing listener and understands what someone is going through. Thank you Caryn for all you do for us Portland women!”
Zach C. Walsh
Zach Walsh practices family law and criminal law with McKean Smith. Prior to practicing family law, Zach litigated hundreds of cases as a Deputy District Attorney. Using his litigation experience and his creative approach to family law issues, Zach is able to help clients manage their risk during family transitions and seek the best outcome with or without a trial. He doggedly pursues just and expedient resolutions to complicated legal matters. Zach has the experience to manage complex family law cases involving division of assets, spousal maintenance, child support and parenting plan matters. Zach also has the experience helping his clients protect their liberties while navigating the complicated nature of criminal law matters.
Heather J. James
Heather grew up in Portland and has spent nearly 20 years as a paralegal. Having worked in several different legal fields, Heather excels in applying her range of experiences to our family law cases. Considered the heart of our office by all who work here, Heather keeps us all on track and reminds us that we are never too busy to laugh or take a moment to appreciate our co-workers. Heather is devoted to her family (she has 4 children and one grandchild) and to her paralegal profession.
Dominique has been working with Deanna Rusch as her paralegal for several years. Having the opportunity to work with the same attorney long-term creates a huge advantage to both the attorney and clients. As a paralegal, Dominique is on top of each one of Deanna’s cases so that clients have a ready resource for their immediate issues even while Deanna is in court. Dominique has experience at all levels of Deanna’s family law matters, from managing the discovery phases of a complicated, high asset case to managing the immediate turnaround on pleadings for emergent client issues. Dominique is a devoted mother and committed member of our Family Law team.
Annie plays an invaluable role in the McKean Smith team. She is often the first voice our clients encounter when they contact our offices and the first face clients see when they visit our Portland office.
Annelisa D. Smith
Annelisa started her practice in public defense representing parents and children in child abuse and neglect cases. Her juvenile practice involved intense litigation in termination of parental rights trials and she honed her courtroom skills appearing in front of Judges on a daily basis.
In 2011, Annelisa transitioned to practicing family law and has maintained her focus on litigation of complex cases. Comprehensive trial strategy, thorough examination of expert and lay witnesses, and aggressive presentation of the evidence are characteristic of Annelisa’s style in court. However, Annelisa also believes that the most successful cases are the ones that resolve without the need for emotionally draining and expensive litigation.
Annelisa knows that family court is the last place you want to be. However, here experience has taught her that some family conflict needs to be resolved by the court so that everyone can move forward with a clear set of expectations and a road map for the future.
She also believes that there is not a one-size-fits-all way to resolve every family law issue. To that end, Annelisa works closely with each client, starting in the initial consultation, to develop a case plan tailored for each client and family.
Annelisa was born and raised in the Portland area and attended college at Oregon State University. She has strong community ties both locally in Portland and across the state and serves on several non-profit boards. She believes that every lawyer has a duty to give back to the community and volunteers her time for pro bono representation and works on local committees to improve the state of legal representation in Oregon.
“Annelisa exceeded all my expectations… Trust me, you will not go wrong hiring Annelisa Smith!”
Mindy S. Stannard
Mindy’s practice is dedicated exclusively to family law. She handles divorce, custody, parenting time, paternity, child support, and Family Abuse Prevent Act Restraining Order cases. In addition, she handles some juvenile court cases and some types of uncontested adoption proceedings (including step-parent adoptions). Mindy lives in Washington County and is a long-time Portland area resident with many personal and professional connections in the Portland and Vancouver metropolitan areas.
Many of Mindy’s current cases are in Washington, Multnomah or Clackamas County. She also handles cases in many other counties throughout the State of Oregon, including Clatsop, Lane, Linn, Marion, and Columbia County. Each county has different local rules that apply to family law cases and Mindy is committed to making sure that she keeps up to date on the changes to each county’s local rules, and taking the time to explain to each client how these local rules and practices will impact their case.
Prior to focusing her practice on family law, Mindy worked in a general practice firm where she gained experience with family law, estate planning, criminal law, real estate law, personal injury, and civil litigation. Because issues from so many other areas of the law arise in family law cases, Mindy frequently utilizes the knowledge she has gained from her past work with these other areas of the law.
Mindy takes the time to answer her clients’ questions in a detailed manner, and is committed to effectively helping navigate her clients through each step of the case. She strives to zealously advocate for her clients’ best interests and to help keep her clients on track to obtain the best possible outcome. Each case presents different challenges, and Mindy works with her clients to find creative solutions to each family’s unique situation.
Amelia T. Ostholthoff
Amelia Ostholthoff knows her way around the courtroom and has spent most of her professional practice advocating for real people in court. She has excellent relationships with her colleagues and knows that being a great lawyer is more than just being louder than everyone else – its a calling and profession to Amelia and she has built an excellent reputation with her clients, her fellow attorneys, and the bench. McKean Smith clients benefit from Amelia’s persuasive advocacy and insight. Amelia’s family has its roots in theater and social work – tools and perspective that Amelia has incorporated into her personal brand of legal advocacy.
Jennifer L. Peckham
Since graduation from Willamette Law School, Jennifer Peckham has focussed her legal practice in Washington County on Family Law. She has volunteered as a CASA Law Clerk and has experience assisting family law clients in all types of legal issues experienced by families in transition. Jennifer has a Masters in Education and experience as an educator which she credits for her ability to convey her client’s narrative to the decision maker in such a way that is both intuitive to the decision maker and compelling to her audience.
Lesley R. Sepetoski
Lesley plays a supportive role for our clients as we assist them in navigating the legal process. She is regularly collecting and organizing case related information, educating our clients about case related information, and she is constantly available to support our clients when the attorney is in court or otherwise unavailable. Lesley holds a BA in Art from Goddard College and an MA, MFA from University of Iowa. In her role as a paralegal she enjoys helping our clients present their story in the process. Lesley is dedicated to her family (she has two children) and supporting our clients.
Victor has a wealth legal experience in both Oregon and Washington both as a paralegal and legal translator. Victor supports the firm’s growing Washington County office, while also providing the firm with support to our Spanish speaking clients. Victor is a calming resource to clients managing difficult transitions. Victor is a committed father and we are proud to call him an important member of our Family Law team.
Kayla M. Paisley
Our legal assistant is in the middle of every case and on the front line of each emergent issue affecting our clients. Kayla is essential to our ability to serve each client in a responsive and effective manner while maintaining a fast paced legal practice. Kayla grew up in Central Illinois (home of Abraham Lincoln) in a family of four girls and moved to Portland to enjoy our West Coast Culture in the Rose City. She obtained her business degree in 2003 and spent five years in the sustainability and recycling industry. We rely on Kayla to help us to be responsive to our client’s legal needs. When not at work, with have it on good authority that Kayla spends her free time creating unique crafts, reading to increase her knowledge about the legal field, and watching true crime documentaries.