Business

North Kitsap Law Office helps open the door to legal help

George Merker opened his Poulsbo law office in 2008. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
George Merker opened his Poulsbo law office in 2008.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — George Merker doesn’t think finances should stand in the way of people getting the legal help they need.

A second-generation attorney, Merker remembers his father once telling him that attorneys’ fees were going to price them right out of being accessible to those who need them. Now, Merker has watched that prediction come true.

“As a general practitioner, I’m very concerned about the expense of legal services,” he said. His goal is to plug people into the legal system and take the financial pain out of getting clients the legal assistance they need.

Merker has been practicing in Poulsbo since August 2008, after spending 17 years with a law firm in Seattle. Along with Seattle, Merker also ditched the standard-issue necktie in favor of the open collar. This look helps him blend right in to his new surroundings, the North Kitsap Law Offices, which are nestled into the second floor of 219 NE Moe St., a setting offering a lookout view of downtown Poulsbo.

To keep his costs to a minimum, he doesn’t do auto torts, product liability cases or intellectual property issues, but he will make referrals to other attorneys.

He ended up in Seattle by fate and Poulsbo by choice. When his father passed away, his mother, who fell in love with Washington while his father was stationed at Fort Lewis during World War II, wanted to move from Illinois to Seattle.

“I came to talk her out of it. I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard,” he said. “Once I got to Seattle, I saw the water and it looked a lot like Chicago. I never went back to the Midwest again. I had no desire.”

Merker has a baseline clientele of about 100, and though he shies away from the word “expertise,” his strongest area of experience lies in labor law.

He has represented the labor union for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies and currently represents the City of Tukwila’s firefighters’ union.

He also works with general business and corporate law, divorces, family and marital law, and wills, estate planning and probate law.

A 1980 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State and a master’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska.

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