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

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

Instead of restoring neighborly relations, the legal system at best served to extract the fight out of warring neighbors leaving all with battered spirits and checkbooks after wasting each of their own, their surveyors, their lawyers, and their courts’ time. 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 helps neighbors to take responsibility for the actions which have precipitated the boundary dispute, these are deep-seated issues which show up in other areas of their life … to their detriment as well. This often is not enough though, in those instances we directly and indirectly initiate polite conversation with each other about their issues.

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 each of the neighbors may have their own legal counsel perform a review to assure all untraded rights are protected.

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

However, when prospective mediation clients are either directly or indirectly rebuked by their neighbors’ attempt to mediate, Justice Smiles offers consultation services BUT not the practice of law to the initial contacting neighbor. 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 assist quick research and case merit prediction. Our Trade Tools helps mediation clients quickly recognize merit to avoid waste. Our Trade Tools also help consulting clients to gain much more confidence to pursue their matters with legal counsel who may otherwise turn their trial into a expensive and haphazard “Try All” or drop a meritless pursuit all together.

Boundary dispute litigation among neighbors, albeit for relatively small swaths of land, is war. As the study of history demonstrates, rare are the instances in which the horror of war was not first attempted to be averted by diplomacy.

Mediation serves as the means of diplomacy and when rebuked serves to demonstrating to courts a neighbors’ unwillingness to be reasonable. This unreasonableness is 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. Why? Because good neighbor relations require: