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Philosophy and Approach
Amir John Showrai joined Wechsler Becker in 2017, but is by no means new to family law. With over 15 years of experience, he is a seasoned attorney who brings a wealth of experience to cases in family law and real property law, which he also practices at Wechsler Becker. With a 12 year background in immigration law, focused on family based immigration and asylum, Amir John is also well versed in unique problems many immigrants face in both divorce and child custody related issues. Amir John is one of the few attorneys in Washington who handles cases involving international child abduction, which are litigated under The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, also known as the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.
Since coming to Wechsler Becker, Amir John limits his practice to family law and real property law, including landlord tenant law, which dovetails with family law, given how many of his clients have real property issues that survive the family law case itself.
When representing parents in family law litigation, particularly those involving a child custody dispute, Amir John takes the disciplined and long view, focused on results that ensure his clients have life long relationships with their children. Too many attorneys focus only on the initial temporary orders or “winning” at trial, without consideration of the lifelong impacts on their clients and their children. Sophisticated clients appreciate the difference.
Amir John’s negotiating skills set him apart. He approaches every case differently, but with few exceptions, the same goals apply to most family law matters. Work things out by agreement that can be worked out first, to minimize litigation costs and relieve client stress over the unknown. If hearings or a trial are still needed for unresolved issues, Amir John plans a litigation strategy that takes into account a client’s financial position, goals of the litigation, and proceeds from there. That translates into lower fees and happier clients.
Sometimes, negotiating skills, no matter how good, are meaningless if the opposing party or their lawyer refuses to work on a solution. That’s when Amir John’s years of experience taking cases to trial come into play. If Amir John can’t negotiate a settlement of a case, then he will take it to trial. “Sometimes, despite wanting to settle, we really have no choice but to go to trial. The trick is to know when to modify our posture from one of negotiation to a trial posture, and when to simultaneously maintain both postures. With so much on the line for my clients, knowing how to approach each case is where I am of most help to them.”
Amir John further uses this skill set and experience when acting as a neutral mediator or arbitrator. He was appointed to be a King County family court commissioner pro tem in July 2018. Trained on all facets of mediation and arbitration at JAMS during a judicial externship while in law school, Amir John is known among colleagues who hire him time and again to help their clients resolve their cases, as someone with outside the box thinking, knowledge of how to structure complex financial and real property settlements, complex parenting plans (a/k/a/ custody orders), including those that deal with international custody disputes, and his ability to bring cases to a negotiated settlement.
Although most of his cases involve complex, high asset, or high income cases, including those involving real property disputes, business valuations, and the distribution of multi-million dollar estates, he also takes on cases with little financial complexity, but with difficult domestic violence or child custody issues. He represents a wide range of clients, including small business owners, executives, financial professionals, and business people.
Stylistically, Amir John counsels clients with compassionate but non-sugar coated advice. “With so much at stake, I do all I can to apprise clients of the need to have realistic expectations, given the unique facts we work with in each case. If we settle, before doing so, clients know I have exhausted every option in pursuit of their goals. That is the foundation of my style and method of practice.”
Among the traits clients and colleagues admire in Amir John, most appreciate his cordial demeanor especially in the most hotly contested cases. Clients appreciate his attention to detail, knowledge of court rules and procedure, and good faith dealing, all of which reduce costs and avoid unnecessary litigation.
In what seems like another lifetime and before becoming a lawyer, Amir John was a commercial truck driver. “At the time, I needed an adventure, and I ended up getting some solid life lessons in what hard work really comes down to. I am forever grateful for the experience.” Outside of work, Amir John’s a lifelong avid auto enthusiast, with a “small” collection of eclectic classic cars, and hobby races with five friends, most of whom he’s known since high school.
Above all, Amir John is a proud husband and father of a wife and two children whom he adores and enjoys spending as much time with as possible.
Washington State Bar Association, 2003
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2004
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2004
Western State University, College of Law, Juris Doctor, 2003
Judicial Extern at JAMS, the Resolution Experts, assigned to California Court of Appeals Justice Edward J. Wallin, (ret.), 2003
University of California, Bachelor of Arts, History 1997
Community & Professional Associations
Co-founder of Domestic Relations Attorneys of Washington (DRAW); 2017-present; a private non-profit bar association for family law attorneys in Washington.
DRAW, Board of Directors (2018-21) and President-Elect (for 2019-20).
Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section; 2003-present.
Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section, Executive Committee (2017-18).
Washington State Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.
Washington State Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee 2004-05.
King County Bar Association
Washington State Bar Association
King County CASA attorney advocate, 2017-present.
Awards & Recognition
The Supreme Court Pro Bono Publico Honor Roll 2005-2011, 2014-16
Co-Chair and presenter at the Washington State Bar Association Family Law Section Annual Fall CLE, Seattle, December 2018
“Committed Intimate Relationships” co-presented with Michael W. Louden.
“Customized Parenting Plan Provisions”
National Business Institute, Advanced Issues in Family and Divorce Law, Seattle, December 2018
“Advanced Discovery and Evidence in Divorce”
WSBA Family Law Skills Training Institute, sponsored by DRAW, Yakima, April 2018
“Professionalism and Ethics, in the Courtroom and out” co-presented with Judge Kevin Naught, of Yakima County Superior Court.
National Business Institute, Family Law From Start to Finish, Seattle, December, 2017
“Discovery in Divorce: Tax Returns, Social Media and More”
“The Mechanics of Valuing and Dividing Marital Property”
Washington State Bar Association Family Law Section Annual Fall Seminar; Seattle, 2016
“Modification of Parenting Plans with a View Toward the Modern Forms”
Washington State Bar Association Family Law Section Annual Fall Seminar; Seattle, 2013
“The Hague Convention on Service of Process”
“Practical Aspects of International and Interstate Family Law Issues”
King, Snohomish, Pierce, Skagit, Whatcom, and Kitsap counties, and others as requested.