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Michelle Nisle

Estate disputes are uniquely emotionally charged. I build personal relationships with clients, which allows me to navigate the longstanding family dynamics that are frequently at the heart of these disputes. Quotation mark
Michelle Nisle
Michelle Nisle

About Michelle

Michelle Nisle is an estate litigator and draws on her extensive litigation background to aggressively pursue favorable results for beneficiaries of estates and trusts. She is also well-versed in trust and estate law and has extensive experience representing trustees, personal representatives, and clients serving as power of attorney, including advising them on their fiduciary duties. Michelle also appears in court for guardianship petitions and probate proceedings and represents clients in elder abuse administrative and legal proceedings.

Before entering private practice, Michelle served for 11 years as a deputy prosecuting attorney and handled many complex jury trials and motion hearings, gaining extensive courtroom experience. During her last two years as a prosecutor, she was the lead prosecuting attorney for the Elder Justice Center, where she oversaw the prosecution of defendants charged with exploiting vulnerable adults, including financial elder abuse.

Representative Experience

  • Trusts & Estates Litigation Plus
    • Represented client serving as a co-personal representative along with another family member as the other personal representative. The estate had languished for years without probate being closed out. Initiated a court action that resulted in an expedient division of assets that was favorable to the client.

    • Assisted university named as a beneficiary of an estate that was caught up in a family dispute. Through mediation, assisted the client in receiving its distribution from the estate.

    • Represented client who was both a trustee and a beneficiary of a family trust (with a business as its primary asset) in an action brought by other family members. After two separate legal actions involving multi-day hearings, the client received a favorable settlement that fully separated client from client’s estranged family members.

    • Represented the beneficiary of a trust administered by client’s brother, who had failed to make appropriate distributions. Negotiated a settlement of client’s interest in the trust including the distribution of real property and cash.

    • Represented the guardian of a disabled veteran in locating safe housing options and obtaining resources. Assisted in preparation and filing of annual accounting and other required documents.



  • J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, 2004
  • B.S., University of Oregon, 2001
    • Dean’s List (six semesters)
    • Volleyball Scholar Athlete Award (Honor Roll)
    • Volleyball Scholar Athlete Award (Dean’s List)

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 2004


    Civic Plus
    • Humane Society for Southwest Washington
      • Planned Giving Committee, Past Board Member
      • Auction Committee, Past Board Member
    • Washington Women Lawyers Board, Secretary
    • CDM, Board of Directors


    • Received the “Becky L. Sisley Award” from the University of Oregon, 2021
    • Named to Vancouver Business Journal's “Accomplished Under 40” List

    Insights from Michelle

    • “Mental Capacity in Criminal Law and Guardianship Law,” Guardian Institute of Washington, Annual Conference (Mar. 2018)

    Outside the Office

    Michelle, her husband, and dogs (Winston and Pepper) live and are involved in the downtown Vancouver community. In her free time, Michelle enjoys travelling to Ducks sporting events and visiting the beautiful Oregon coast.

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