Rita L. Bender
Firm: Skellenger Bender, P.S.
Address: 1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3401
Seattle, WA 98101
Membership: King County, Washington State and American Bar Associations; Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.
University: University of Michigan; Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A., English, 1964, Rutgers University, J.D., 1968
Admitted: 1968, New Jersey (inactive); 1976, Washington; U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington; U.S. Supreme Court
Biography: Rita L. Bender is a principal in the firm. Rita is admitted to practice in the federal and state courts in Washington, as well as the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Third Circuits.Rita’s practice focuses on family law, adoption and assisted reproduction, and ethics and professional discipline for attorneys and mental health professionals.Rita’s past practice includes service as a public defender in Seattle and Newark, NJ. She taught as a lecturer in law at Rutgers University School of Law, and also served as a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Washington School of Law. Rita was the Seattle Regional Director of the Legal Services Corporation from 1977 to 1982.Rita has lectured to groups of legal, medical, and mental health professionals on numerous topics including ethical issues of forensic practice; adoption and assisted reproductive technology; same sex adoption; financial aspects of adoption; negotiation in the practice of law; complex family law issues; and prenuptial and cohabitation agreements. In addition to Continuing Legal Education materials, Rita is the author of the chapters “Medical-Legal Issues” in Primary Care of Women, Appleton & Lange, 2nd ed. 2003; “Adoption” in Washington Civil Practice Deskbook, Bender & Hoague, 1993; and “Adoption Practice” in Washington Methods of Practice, Revised Volumes, 1989.Rita’s community and professional activities include her appointment by the Supreme Court of Washington to the Practice of Law Board; designation by the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct to represent the Commission in the prosecution of judicial conduct complaints; past service on the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness; and service as past President of the Board of Trustees of the Legal Foundation of Washington. Rita is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a former member of the Academy Board of Trustees, and former chair of its Board of Discipline. Rita has been a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys since 2008. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.Lecturer in Law, Rutgers University School of Law, 1972-1975. Regional Director, Legal Services Corporation, 1978-1982; Visiting Professor, University of Mississippi, 2009-2010.Bar Fellowship: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (Board of Directors, 1990-1992; 1993-1996; Chair, Board of Grievances and Discipline, 2000-2005); American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Law Attorneys.