Gary R. Stenzel was born in Romulas, Michigan in 1948. His family moved to Portland, Oregon when he was a baby and remained there until he graduated from Cleveland High School in 1966. After graduation Mr. Stenzel went to college in Hawaii, at the Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus, majoring in Psychology and Speech. He toured the South Pacific as an MC with a musical variety show until he moved to the Provo, Utah campus of BYU to complete his senior year. He then graduated from Brigham Young University in 1972, after completing a two-year mission for his church to North Carolina and Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology and Speech, and then moved back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He met and married Karen Chandler, and they had four children; Aaron, David, Nicole, and Ashley. He has since increased his family with the addition of his four nieces and nephews Garrett, Darren, Kelli, and Traci, after the untimely death of their parents.
While in Portland he was hired as a Mental Health Therapist for the newly opened Psychiatric Unit at Providence Hospital. Mr. Stenzel was then trained in Gestalt Therapy, group therapy methods, MMPI interpretation, individual counseling methods, medical record keeping and charting, and mental health evaluations, attending over 150 hours in individualized training through Providence Hospital.
Mr. Stenzel then applied for the Masters program in Child Psychology and Family Relations at Brigham Young University and was accepted. While at BYU he taught undergraduate classes in child psychology and family relations for 2 years, and was invited to teach for a year at University of Wisconsin Stout.
Following the completion of his course work for his Masters in Child Development and Family Relations, Mr. Stenzel was hired by The Olalla Center in Lincoln County, Oregon. While there he developed their parent education handbook, and program. The Olalla Center was a DSHS supported therapy center for troubled youth and families in crisis.
After working with the Olalla Center for a number of years, Mr. Stenzel applied for Law School at Gonzaga University in Spokane, and was accepted. He graduated in 1986 from their 4-year night school program. While attending Gonzaga Law School he worked as a Psychiatric Aid/Therapist on the Nancy Reagan Care Unit at Deaconess Hospital. Then, in his last year of law school he was hired by the firm of Evans, Craven, and Lackie, PS as a legal intern specializing in medical cases, and family law matters.
After law school graduation Mr. Stenzel was hired by Underwood, Campbell, Brock and Cerutti PS as an associate to assist with their Family Law Department, and was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1987. In 1994 he was made a partner with UCBC, and supervised all Domestic Case matters.
In April 1995 Mr. Stenzel joined Michael P. Price, another Family Law Attorney in Spokane to form Stenzel and Price, Attorneys at Law. After 7 years, Mr. Price sought the judicial bench and was appointed January 2004 as a Superior Court Judge in Spokane County. Mr. Stenzel formed the Stenzel Law Office.
Mr. Stenzel has 30+ years experience as a Family Law Attorney in Spokane, and has another 10 years experience either teaching family relations and child psychology, or as a therapist. He is a certified mediator, was an original member of the Spokane County Superior Court Guardian Ad Litem committee, a GAL for 5 years, and assisted in drafting the local rules in Spokane County regarding the Mandatory Parent Education program for domestic litigants. He has taught at the People's Law School at Gonzaga University, and as a visiting instructor in Domestic Law at that same Law School. He has also authored the following articles or manuals:
Olalla Center for Children and Families Parental Handbook, 1978, Lincoln County, Oregon;
Family Law in Washington; Post-Decree Problems, National Business Institute publication 1992;
Defunct Marriage: Its Possible Application in Idaho Divorce Law, Idaho Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1994;
A Family Law Lawyer's Guide to COBRA, WSBA midyear publication, Family Law Section 1995;
Family Law Guardian Ad Litem Training Manual, Spokane County Bar Association, contributing editor 1996;
Child-Centered Residential Schedules, Spokane County Superior Court Family Law Department, contributing editor 1996;
Ethics and Family Law; WSBA annual meeting 2000;
Domestic Law in Washington; Ethics Section, National Business Institute publication 2000;
2001 to 2011 annual CLE presentations re: Family Law subjects in Washington with the National Business Institute (NBI)
Mr. Stenzel has been lead counsel in the following Court of Appeals cases:
Marriage of Moore, In re, 993 P.2d 271, 99 Wn.App. 144 (Dec. 23 1999);
Marriage of Combs, In re 19 P.3d 469, 105 Wn.App. 168 (Mar. 08 2001);
Marriage of Dicus, In re 40 P.3d 1185, 110 Wn.App. 347 (Feb. 21 2002;
Harwood v. Shields, 84 P.3d 905, 120 Wn.App. 108 (2004)
In re Custody of Shields, 136 P.3d 117, 157 Wn.2d 126 (2006) [overturning Harwood]
In re Littell v. Littell, Cause no. 28445-0-III Unpublished Opinion (2009)
In re the Custody of S.C.D.-L. 243 P.3d 918, 170 Wn.2d 513 (2010) [overturning Littell]
Many other unpublished Court of Appeals and Administrative cases
Mr. Stenzel has argued cases in the Federal District Court, Eastern District of Washington Bankruptcy Court, Idaho Supreme Court (as an intern), Oregon Circuit Court, and Washington Court of Appeals. He has participated in over 200 family law trials, has handled multi-million dollar divorces, and argued 1,000's of motions. He practices in all Eastern Washington Counties, from Pend Orielle to Benton/Franklin Counties. He has represented doctors, attorneys, farmers, business owners and blue-collar workers. He is familiar with all the Washington forms, and financial documents. He has 3 staff members to help him, including additional accounting staff, and billing personnel. His desire is to assist you with your case in a manner that will help you either save what you spend on an attorney, or help you with difficult parenting issues.
Stenzel Law Office
Phone: (509) 327-2000
Fax: (509) 327-5151