Whatcom County

Whatcom County Homepage*
Bellingham Homepage*
Whatcom County Superior Court
Whatcom County Superior Court Clerk’s Office
Whatcom County Bar Association
Bellingham Municipal Code*
Washington State Supreme Court and Appellate Court Decisions*
Whatcom County Law Library
Bellingham Municipal Court
Whatcom County District Court
Whatcom County Planning and Development Services
Whatcom County Hearing Examiner

Washington State

Washington State Homepage*
Seattle Municipal Code*
Mt. Vernon Municipal Code*
Washington State Bar Association*
Washington State Association for Justice*
Department of Labor & Industries*
Department of Licensing*
Department of Revenue*
Department of Health*
Secretary of State*
City of Seattle Homepage*

Federal & Administrative

U.S. Courts*
United States Code (Federal Code)*
American Bar Association*
U.S. House of Representatives*
U.S. Senate*
White House*
United States Supreme Court*
Internal Revenue Service*
United States Patent and Trademark Office*

General Legal Resources

Google Scholar
Library of Congress*

Further Reading & Other Resources

Emergency Resources

***In Case of immediate danger or harm, always call 911 first***

Domestic Violence Emergencies

Women Care Shelter Crisis Line: (360) 734-3438
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Line: (360) 671-5714

Domestic Violence Assistance

Brigid Violence and Sexual Assault Service: (360) 734-4616,
1231 Garden St. #200, Bellingham WA 98225
Dorothy Place/Basic Needs: (360) 734-5121 Ext. #370,
1111 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

Transitional Assistance

Catholic Community Services: ccswww.org
Opportunity Council: oppco.org
Lydia Place: lydiaplace.org
Whatcom County Housing Authority: bellinghamhousing.org
Department of Social and Health Services: dshs.wa.gov
Foodstamps: dshs.wa.gov/onlinecso/food_assistance_program
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):
Lighthouse Mission: (360) 733-5120

Resources for Divorce/Dissolution

Divorce: Causes and Consequences – Allison Clarke-Steward, Cornelia Brentano
Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mounting and Brainwashing – Dr. Richard A. Warshak
Surviving the Breakup – Joan B. Kelly, Judith Wallerstain
The Co-Parenting Survival Guide – Elizabeth Thayer, Ph.D., Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Families Apart: Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting – Melinda Blau
Divorce Handbook for Teens – Cynthia MacGregor
Parenting From the Inside Out - Marty Hartzell, Daniel Siegal
Parenting With Love and Logic - Foster Cline, Jim Fay
Difficult Conversations - Douglas Stone
It’s not the End of the World – Judy Blume
Does Wednesdays Mean Mom’s House or Dad’s? – Marc J. Ackerman Ph.D.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It: A Story About Divorce for Young Children – Jeanie Franz Ransom, Katherine Kuntz Finney

How To Dress & Behave In Court

Learning appropriate courtroom behavior will help you to fit in and feel comfortable. Everything from how you dress to how you talk can impact your case.

The La Rocco Law Firm will inform you--as soon as the information is available to us--when and where a court hearing is scheduled. Please do not hesitate to call our office one or two days prior to the scheduled court hearing to confirm that the hearing is still taking place. It is not uncommon that last-minute changes occur.

It is important that you arrive at the courthouse at least 15 to 20 minutes prior to the beginning of the hearing: This allows you to park your car, get through security, find the court room, and to calm your nerves before the actual hearing starts. This also gives you another opportunity to discuss any last minute issues with your Attorney.

Dress for Success

Formal attire is not required, but it is polite to be neat and professional. Always dress conservatively. If you own a suit, wear it, and if not your Sunday best is a safe way to go. The courtroom is a serious place and your appearance should reflect the importance of the occasion. If you are coming directly from work, it will be worth mentioning. The judge or commissioner will understand.

Suits are always preferred to any other clothing. Never wear bright colors. Do not draw attention to tattoos you might have. You do not want to be memorable. You do want to look trustworthy, respectable, and conservative.

What NOT to wear in Court:

Do not wear hats and tinted or dark colored glasses.
Do not wear shorts, short skirts, or anything that reveals undergarments or cleavage.
Avoid wearing loud colors or all black
Avoid wearing flip flops or tall high heels.
Avoid wearing large bracelets, chains, rings, cufflinks, tie tacks and earrings.
Avoid wearing items that may identify a personal association or belief.
Jerseys or other sports apparel should also be avoided.
Never wear any shirts with vulgar or profane text on it, and avoid all garments with text if possible.
What YOU SHOULD wear in court:

Wear only functional jewelry (e.g. wedding ring and wrist watch)
For Men: Slacks, a button down shirt and/or a classic sweater will do if you do not own a suit.
For Women: A simple skirt or dress that hits around the knees or is longer, a shade of white or pastel color, and/or a classic sweater if you do not own a suit.
Your Court Appearance Matters: Here are some helpful ways to show the Judge or Commissioner that you care about your case:

Do not leave your cell phone on silent, instead turn you cell phone OFF.
Take the loose change out of your pockets. The temptation to fiddle around with it while you are in from of the Judge or Commissioner may be difficult to overcome.
Please stand up as the Judge or Commissioner enters or leaves the court room
If the Judge asks you a question, stand up to answer.
If the Commissioner asks you a question, stay seated since the microphone is attached to the table right in front of you.
Always address the Judge or Commissioner with “Your Honor.”
Do your very best to maintain a neutral expression, even if what is said frustrates you or makes you sad. Demonstrating your feelings will not buy you credibility with the court. Just breathe, possibly take notes, and be observant.
Always remember:

You do not want to be memorable
Do not show expressions or emotions
Be quiet and courteous throughout the courthouse.
You need to be in control of your behavior even if you feel uncomfortable.
Keep your cool and speak only when addressed by the court.
If you have any questions prior to your court date, please give us a call at 360-603-9545.