Why Port Townsend?

Just one of many beautiful views walking around Port Townsend.

Just one of many beautiful views walking around Port Townsend.


It all started when…

Back when I was a partner at Marler Clark, litigating dozens of cases at a time, and flying all over the country representing victims of foodborne illness in lawsuits against big corporations, the last thing I wanted to do when I found a couple days for vacation was to get on a plane and fly somewhere. Plus, my partner and I had just adopted a rescue dog, a beautiful soul named Doyler.  (Side Note: We named Doyler after one of the two main characters in a book called, At Swim, Two Boys, by Jamie O'Neill.) Here is a photo of Doyler when he was still a wee pup.

Doyler (small) with tube.JPG


And, of course, we did not want to leave Doyler behind while we went on vacation. So we decided to find a place nearby Seattle where we could escape for a bit while also taking along Doyler. And that place ended up being Discovery.  Chevy Chase Beach Cabins, to be exact. Thus started a vacation tradition. Every Thanksgiving-week, and usually some week in early Spring, we would rent the Clubhouse Cabin, relax, read books, cook and eat, and explore the area. A favorite of Doyler was exploring Fort Worden State Park, especially walking on or near the beach. Doyler was always quite the digger, a skill he took quite seriously (as you can see below).

doyler digs.jpg

Well, after a couple of years, it occurred to us that having a second-home in the Port Townsend area would be just about the perfect thing.  So with our trusty real-estate agent friend (who always had a dog treat for Doyler) we started looking for a place to buy. It took about two years of looking, but eventually we found a place we loved, even though we knew it would take some work to get it fixed up how we wanted it. We call our place Macondo, named after the fictional town in one of my favorite books, One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Below is a view from a favorite spot on our property, as it looks today.



I continued to live in Seattle while working at Marler Clark, and then when I was a professor full-time at Seattle University School of Law. But in 2017 I took the plunge, and moved to Port Townsend full-time. (Although I still head into Seattle one day a week as I finish up the cases I am still working on at Marler Clark.)  When I moved to Port Townsend full-time, I also started Stearns Law, PLLC, and opened my office downtown, in the Mount Baker Block Building, at the corner of Water Street and Taylor Street.  


Sadly, Doyler passed away a few years back, after having a great and happy life, and giving Tom and I more joy and love than is possible to even imagine.  We now share Macondo with our two other rescue dogs, Dashiell, the "big brother," and Dickens, the bossy "little brother" who we added to the family a year ago.  They are both great at supervising Tom's work.


So, why Port Townsend? It is a beautiful spot, not far from Seattle. There is such a great mix of people, from aging hippies to millennials starting new businesses. The local agriculture here is amazing and diverse, and the art scene never fails to impress. The history of Port Townsend is fascinating too, given that it was once destined to be the "Seattle" of the State of Washington, that is, until Seattle turned out to be that when the railroad did not get extended here. But that probably ended up being a great thing, because now Port Townsend is small but not small-minded, and a great place to live, and for me to practice law.