20+ years of fighting for my clients.  Protecting their rights and solving their legal problems.

In 1993, I started working for lawyers who practiced personal injury, wrongful death, criminal law, and family law.  Initially, I answered phones, scheduled matters and soon enough I performed every function except lawyering.  I decided I needed to go to Law School.  At Gonzaga University School of Law, I found my calling at the law clinic.  As a second and third-year law student I successfully represented low income clients through the legal clinic.  I successfully appealed social security cases.  I helped resolve a complex wrongful termination anti-unionizing case in Federal Court.  I handled numerous criminal matters, often through to trial with not guilty verdicts.  I represented parents in family law/dependency matters.  Upon graduation, I opened my own law firm.  I tried complex sexually violent predator cases, first degree aggravated murder trials, numerous misdemeanor criminal matters, and the complex world of family law cases including protection orders, dependency, truancy, at risk youth, child in need of services, adoptions, child support modifications, post-secondary support actions, dissolutions, third-party custody actions, and adoptions.  I joined Dean Brett as a partner in 2011 and returned to personal injury and wrongful death work.  In addition, I worked as a part-time Superior Court Commissioner for Whatcom County and part-time Judge for the City of Bellingham.  In 2016, I became the part-time Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Washington.

Maximum compensation for pain and suffering is my specialty.

When I first meet my client, I want to understand who they are, what happened to them, and how their life has been altered by their injuries.  The most difficult experience for anyone to describe is pain and suffering.  All other feelings in our lives are tied to experiences outside of our bodies.  Pain and suffering is internal with no outside reference.  According to Virginia Woolf, “(e)nglish which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear has no words for the shiver or the headache…. The merest schoolgirl when she falls in love has Shakespeare or Keats to speak her mind for her, but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry.”  My years of experience give me the insight and tools to find the words to describe what an injured or grieving person feels.

I work hard for my clients.

With tremendous gratitude I enjoy a life full of love and happiness.  I work with amazing people.  I live in a beautiful State.  I love getting to know other people who are part of my community.  Everyday I wake up excited to show up at work and fight for my clients.  I have been called a workaholic but it isn’t work for me.  It is inspiring and important.


  • University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A., 1993)
  • Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D., 1996)

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Bar, 1997

Professional Associations

  • U.S. Magistrate Judge (Part-time), Western District of Washington (2016 to Present)
  • President, Whatcom County Bar Association (2014)
  • Vice President, Whatcom County Bar Association (2013)
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Commissioner Pro tem, Whatcom County Superior Court
  • Former President, Treasurer, and Board Member of Brigid Collins Family Support Center
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Whatcom Community College Paralegal Program

Reach out to Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner

Paula, Dave, Matt, and Dean are ready to help you if you are struggling with the aftermath of an accident and need some support and advice. They know what you are dealing with now, and they know what you will need to deal with in the future. You will know what to expect, you will know what your rights and options are, and you will not have to deal with insurance companies alone.  Contact us today at Brett McCandlish Brown & Conner.