William Pattison Kogut (pronounced Co-Gut) has been practicing law in Washington state for over 25 years. A University of Oregon law school graduate, he currently handles cases in Lewis, Thurston, Mason and Pierce Counties. He is also a family law guardian ad litem ( Mason County) and guardian ad litem for alleged incapacitated (once called “incompetent”) individuals (Mason County). He has also frequently presided as a judicial officer (commissioner pro tem) on the Thurston County guardianship and probate calendar. He has received a “Very High” rating from his peers on both legal ability and ethics by a process that is managed and monitored by Martindale-Hubbell, self described as the world’s most trusted legal resource.

Mr. Kogut practices guardianship and probate law, represents clients in claims for Social Security disability and practices divorce law, including child support, parentage and custody cases, including third party custody cases. . If you are served with divorce papers, he has decades of experience and a first rate staff that will quickly put together the necessary paperwork to vigorously defend you in court in Lewis, Thurston, Mason or Pierce Counties. If you need to file first, he is there to represent you. If a protection order action has been filed against you, he is experienced in putting your case together on an emergency basis. I also practice landlord and tenant law, consumer protections law and personal injury law.

Legal philosophy

If you want an attorney who will fill you with false hopes just so he or she can weasel from you a large retainer and then proceed to run up the hours on you and overbill you, you have come to the wrong place. I present potential clients with an honest appraisal of their case and realistic options. Once you and I set our goals, I will then aggressively and diligently be your voice in court. I will treat you with respect and make every effort to explain the sometimes confusing legal process to you. My goal is to prove to the court why your position is just and right. I am not out to make sarcastic remarks to opposing counsel in order to impress my clients with my “aggressiveness.” You are hiring an experienced professional who wants to win your case for you, not an insult comedian.

Most infamous client

Mr. Kogut represented former CIA agent Harold James Nicholson in his divorce, winning Mr. Nicholson placement of his children. Mr. Nicholson went on to sell the Russians classified information, including the names of CIA operatives. Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Robert DeNiro and Shia LaBouf. I am not making this up!


William is happily married and has two young sons active in sports (baseball, cross country, ice hockey, horse riding) and music (violin,viola, cello and piano). He spent two undergraduate years at Princeton University and then transferred to Sarah Lawrence college, where he studied writing with E.L. Doctorow. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa in the mid 1970s. In addition to his law degree, he has a journalism MA from the University of Oregon. He has worked as a journalist in New York City, Rhode Island and Oregon. He has sung bass in the Olympia Peace Choir and is an amateur violinist. He is a long time member of the Nisqually Land Trust board. He attends Rainier and Mariner baseball games during the summer. And of course he is a fan of the World Champion Sea Hawks. His favorite player is Russell Wilson, because Russell is always thinking at least three steps ahead of the opposition. The separation is in the preparation. Go Hawks.

Areas of Practice

Custody (divorce, parentage or third party ) cases– you may have the goal of having custody of your children, more than standard visitation or some form of visitation if the other parent is trying to deny you contact with your child or children. You may be a grandparent or other relative who wishes to have custody when the parents are not willing or able to care for your grand kids. You may be a parent who needs to protect your child or children from having contact with an abusive or otherwise unfit parent.

Child Support Cases

You may need to have your child support payments adjusted because they are too high. You are a custodial parent who may need increased support or recovery from a dead beat parent

College expenses

Your child may be planning on attending college and your support order allows you to timely apply for college support from the other parent.

Divorce and other Family Law

I have years of experience in the areas of divorce, legal separation, annulments, child support issues, paternity cases, domestic violence protection defense, post secondary (college) support, adoptions, custody cases of all varieties. I have represented members of the military. If you need help in obtaining an order of protection or anti-harassment order, I am available to represent you on an emergency basis. If you need representation responding to a protection or anti-harassment petition, I can represent you on an emergency basis. Don’t freak out, call me now.

Social Security Disability

If you have been denied benefits, I will represent you during the appeal process through the administrative hearing stage. As allowed by law, I operate on a contingency basis only. No recovery, no fee for me. My fee is 25 percent of back benefits if a hearing is necessary, 20 percent if benefits are awarded before going to hearing. Most practitioners will take 25 percent of back benefits whether or not you go to hearing. I travel to Tacoma for hearings. I represent adults and children.

Guardianship and Probate

If you have a relative who can no longer make decisions for their personal and/or financial needs and you wish to become their guardian or have a professional guardian appointed, I will represent you. If you are the subject of a guardianship action or a party to such an action, I will represent you. I handle litigation related to the probate of wills. If you are named an executor/personal representative for an estate , I will handle the estate for you. I draft wills and other estate documents, including powers of attorney.

Guardian ad litem

In Mason County, you need a guardian ad litem to investigate a family law or guardianship case. I have been active in this area of practice since 1991. I investigate, keeping an open mind but always focusing on the best interests of the children. I have been a GAL in cases ranging from those in which both parents are exceptionally good parents to cases of children who have been the victims of abuse or whose parents have suffered tragic deaths. In other words, the courts and attorneys have confidence in me as a GAL to handle the most difficult cases.