Abbey McMahon is an Associate at the firm. Abbey is a seasoned negotiator and litigator, focusing her practice on all types of family law matters including marital dissolutions, parentage actions, child support proceedings, parenting and child support modifications, minor guardianships, non-traditional family law matters, and domestic violence protection orders as well as helping individuals and families in the involuntary treatment (ITA) process.

Prior to joining Skellenger Bender, Abbey practiced for 15 years with the King County Department of Public Defense, also serving as Training Coordinator. Her practice concentrated on family defense, representing children and parents in dependency, termination, and guardianship proceedings as well as Child Protective Services investigations. Abbey also worked extensively in therapeutic courts and civil commitment courts, as well as trial rotations in the King County District and Seattle Municipal Courts.

Abbey has presented and published on various legal topics with a particular focus on Mental Health Law.  Relatedly, Abbey has taught Mental Health and the Law at the University of Washington, and she co-taught the nation’s first mental health law clinic at the Seattle University School of Law.


Syracuse University – Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2005

Hamilton College – Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, magna cum laude, 2002

“Basics of Public Health Civil Commitments Cases,” webinar, 2020

“Serving Veterans at the VA & Veterans Courts,” WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel CLE, 2014

“The Veteran Defendant Checklist- Alternatives to Confinement, Mitigating Collateral Consequences, & Enabling Treatment & Self-Sufficiency,” King County Department of Public Defense, 2014

“Strategies, Tools, and a Road Map to Effectively Communicate with Pro Bono Clients,” WSBA CLE, 2014

“Navigating the Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Communities,” Regional Drug Diversion Court Conference, 2014

“King County Regional Mental Health Court,” University of Washington Disability Law Society, 2014

“Accessing Services In and Out of Therapeutic Courts: King County’s Re-entry Model,” Crisis Intervention Officer Training, 2014

“King County Regional Mental Health Court,” NAMI Regional Conference, 2014

“Ch. 10.77 RCW Competency & Restoration – A Practitioner’s Guide,” Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Fall Conference, 2012

“More Than Just a Legal Issue: Ethical and Practical Considerations of Working with Diverse Clients,” KCBA CLE, 2010 and 2012

“Competency – Legislative Updates and Dealing With Delays,” Washington Defender Association, 2012

“Competency and Civil Commitment Basics,” BASIICS Group, 2012

“Competency: Dealing with Delay,” Washington Defender Association, 2012

“The Practical & Ethical Implications of Ordering an Evaluation Under RCW 10.77,” WSBA CLE, 2012

“Understanding Procedures and Assisting Defense: The Current State of Competency Proceedings” with K. Longaker, WSBA Bar Bulletin, 2011

“Principles of Therapeutic Jurisprudence,” 18th Annual Criminal Justice Institute, WSBA CLE, 2011

“Navigating the Criminal Justice System in King County: A Self-Advocacy Guide,” King County Recovery Conference, 2011

“Working With Challenging Clients,” KCBA CLE, 2011

“New Models of Community-Based Services for Mental Health Court Populations,” Intermountain Mental Health Court Conference, 2011

“Incompetent and In Jail: The Human Costs of a Broken System” with C. Arends Elsberry, KCBA Bar Bulletin, 2011

“Enhancing Your Skills for Criminal Practice in Municipal and District Courts – The Benefits of Therapeutic Courts,” WSBA CLE, 2011

“Vacating and Sealing Records,” KCBA CLE, 2010 (multiple dates)

“Mental Health Legislation and Updates for the Upcoming Year,” Washington Defender Association, 2010


Legal Professionals


Skellenger Bender, P.S.

520 Pike Street, Suite 1001
Seattle, WA 98101

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