Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. As a token of my appreciation, I wanted to share my story alongside some very personal details. I hope this story will help you understand why I became a workers comp lawyer and my passion for helping injured workers in Washington State – making sure that individuals that get injured at work receive the help and benefits they need to ensure proper recovery, and to help them return to the work force.
In my heart, I am a Nevadan. To be Nevadan is more than to say that you come from the state known as Nevada. Being Nevadan is an attitude and philosophy. True Nevadans are proud, hardworking, tough, and fiercely loyal. I think this is because, historically, Nevada has been a challenging place to live. Contrary to popular images of Las Vegas, nothing really comes easy in Nevada. For the most part, the terrain is rugged, the summers hot, and the winters brutal. However, for the folks who had grit to overcome the obstacles, Nevada became home. A home that is wild, beautiful, and filled with opportunity. Make no mistake about it, true Nevadans love home.
There is no way I would be the person I am today if it were not for my Nevadan upbringing. I come from Greek and Italian immigrant families that journeyed deep into the Nevada mining wilderness to find a better life. No one struck it rich, but with hard work and determined spirits, they survived and ultimately thrived. In 1981, my dad utilized family mining knowledge and historical pit mining claims to start a Civil Engineering, General Contractor, and Asphalt Paving business. I was very young at the time, which means that since then I spent my entire life watching my dad struggle and succeed as a hands-on, small business owner. Beyond developing a successful business, my parents were also deeply committed to education. In part to set an example for me and in part to help our family achieve a better quality of life, my mom left her job as the County Welfare Director and returned to college as an adult to obtain her Degree in Civil Engineering in 1992. I cannot describe the level of love and pride I felt when I watched my mom cross the stage and claim her hard earned diploma.
My heart may be Nevadan, but I am a Washingtonian. I came to the “big” city Seattle in 1999 to attend Seattle University for undergraduate school. While I started out as a biochemistry major, I quickly discovered that my passion was not in biochemistry and switched course to pursue an honors degree in Philosophy. During my time at Seattle University I lived in the dorms and worked downtown as a lifeguard. While my love for Nevada never dissipated, I found myself feeling like I belonged in Washington.
In 2004 my ability to remain in Seattle became uncertain when my dad suffered a catastrophic injury on the job. While unbolting a heavy piece of equipment from a trailer, the chain tether broke loose hitting him in the lower leg, tossing him off the back of the trailer where his broken leg got stuck in a rung of the trailer loading track. Due to the severity of the injury and the fact that he had to be transported by car, six hours to the nearest major hospital, he had to undergo a series of surgeries to clean out the wound, implant traction hardware, and ultimately to implant steel plates to stabilize the fractured bones of his tibia and fibula. His level recovery was both prolonged and uncertain. For the first time I saw in a very real and impactful way how an on the job injury can impact both a small business and a valuable employee. The injury took a physical and emotional toll on my dad, it took an emotional toll on our entire family, and it took a finical toll on his business both through his lost productivity and increased insurance premiums. Luckily he was able to make a near full recovery and return to work. Although his leg is impacted by weather changes, and at times he walks with a significant limp.
In 2003 I graduated from Seattle University, Cum Laude with a degree in Honors Philosophy. Shortly thereafter I learned that I had been accepted to the Seattle University School of Law and started my legal education in the Fall of 2003. During my time at the Seattle University School of Law I served on student government as the Library & House Representative and as the Student Activities Representative. Additionally in the summer of 2004, I studied overseas learning European Union Law at the Facolta di Giurisprudenza in Siena, Italy and Constitutional law taught by Chief Justice William Reinquist at Cambridge University in England. Still, my life experiences drew me to a legal practice closer to home and closer to my heart.
In 2005 I began working as a legal intern for a successful firm in Tacoma, Washington representing injured workers and other disabled individuals. When I passed the Bar in 2006 I was offered a full-time associate position and I joined the first as a workers compensation attorney. I remained in the workers comp lawyer position with the firm for the next five years until October 2011. In November 2011, I began working at Foster Law, P.C. (formerly Foster Staton, P.C.) continuing to sharpen my skills representing injured workers in state-funded and self-insured claims across Washington and before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, in Superior Court, and at the Court of Appeals. I have been consistently named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. My approach in workers’ compensation matters is always influenced by my life experiences. I have respect for the interests of the employers involved, while at the same time, advocating for the tools injured workers need to assist with the process of recovery.
I married my husband in 2012. He is my steadfast supporter and always pushes me to be my very best. Together, we have two children that bring joy and light to my life every day. In my personal and professional life, I like to live by the words of Albert Einstein, who said:
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”