Hugo Johnson

Senior Attorney

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Senior Associate Attorney

Hugo Johnson is a Senior Associate Attorney at Dellino Law Group. His practice focuses primarily on complex family law matters including high conflict and narcissist cases; serious child custody disputes, high asset and long term marriage dissolution; cases involving business owners, IT, and medical professionals; and domestic violence family law. He is regularly recognized by his peers and members of the legal community as one of the best family law litigators in King County. There is no one better to have on your side when everything that is important to you is on the line. Hugo also practices Collaborative Law. He can help you form the best possible strategy if you are ready to engage in the Collaborative Law Divorce process.

Why I Do This Work

“How do you do it?” That is the question I hear most often, and my response is always the same: “How can I not?” As a product of a large, blended family, and as a parent of twin girls, I understand the emotional toll a divorce, break up, or any family law related matter has on a person. Vulnerabilities are exposed, decisions seem impossible to make, and the range of feelings a person will go through makes resolution seem like an unattainable goal. I make it my life’s purpose to take as many of these stressors off the client’s shoulders and compartmentalize the situation to ease the burden. However, it takes empathy and compassion to effectively communicate and meld the client’s goals with the law. Many family law attorneys lack my ability to view the situation from the perspective of the client while also maintaining a strong legal position to achieve the best outcome.

Growing up in a large, blended family, I know the difficulty spouses go through when there is familial conflict. Whether that be domestic violence, a divorce, arguments over paying children’s expenses, or who is going to get the home – these are all areas of conflict that unfortunately many people will experience at least once in their lifetime. Many times the conflict is unexpected, or a person behaves in a way that seems so out of character that you no longer recognize them as you once remembered. These unfortunate realities create great sadness, grief, devastation, and a sense of loss, and when going through these intense emotions, it can seem almost cruel to be placed in a position where legal decisions have to be made. Having an effective litigator and counselor-at-law will be the best first choice to make when you are forced into the legal process.

My Approach

I take my personal experiences of dealing with trauma and grief into the litigation process to help my clients understand that their feelings are valid, but also to help the client gain perspective on realistic outcomes. Anybody can tell you what you want to hear and charge you for it, but that is ineffective and unethical when there is no likelihood of an outcome that correlates with false promises. The law is complex, confusing, and oftentimes feels unfair. Having a better understanding of what will be relevant to your case and presenting that in a way that best aligns with the goals is the paramount reason why my client’s achieve success and peace in the worst of times. Sometimes achieving these goals does require aggressive litigation, and my trial experience and familiarity with the court rules, law, and judges is an asset not commonly found in many family law attorneys. Additionally, my passionate representation in the courtroom also translates into highly effective representation in non-adversarial settings, such as mediations and settlement conferences. It is often the case that a settlement-focused approach will yield the best results because that allows everybody to walk away from the conflict with far less acrimony than they would have in a contested trial. I always endeavor to reduce the conflict and stress for my clients by not unnecessarily creating further discord but recognizing that the ultimate responsibility is to advocate.

So, how can I not help those in need during the most intense time in their life? How could I say no to the parent trying to protect their child who just witnessed domestic violence? Or the spouse who is being removed from their home under false pretenses with no place to go? These are all tragedies I have experiences first hand, as well as experienced through the eyes of siblings, friends, other parents, and children. Everybody responds to conflict and tragedy differently, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to any situation. People need to be heard and their perspectives taken into consideration because family law matters involve the most intimate parts of a person’s life. I pride myself in taking accountability in the outcome of my clients’ cases because I understand that the most important decisions are going to be made with my representation and that is something I take personally.

Background 

I am a South Carolina Native and graduate of the Gonzaga School of Law in Spokane, Washington. While in Spokane, I started my legal career with a prestigious family law firm where I learned the tools necessary to zealously advocate on behalf of family law clients. From Spokane, I moved to Seattle and joined Dellino Law Group in 2013. I also represent pro bono clients on behalf of the Housing Justice Project of Seattle as a way to give back to the local community. During my free time, I enjoy cooking, event planning, jogging through the city, and spending time with my family.

Recent Blog Posts

OK, We Are Divorced. How Do We Support Our Kids?
Having divorced parents can be the very best or one of the very worst things for your children. It’s not often that there’s an in-between. The good news is that you and your former spouse largely control what experience your children have. The good parts of divorce for children. Often when people are in a ...
Creating the Right Parenting Plan for Your Family is Crucial
If you are going through divorce or separation, you might be wondering what your parenting plan should look like. You may even wonder what a parenting plan is! A parenting plan is the court order that sets forth where your children will be and when. There are temporary and final plans, each serving different needs. A parenting plan ...
Top 3 Common Big Divorce Mistakes To Avoid
When it comes to divorce, there are some mistakes that people make which can be undone. On the other hand, the saying goes that you can’t un-ring a bell and certain mistakes function like an alarm going off and represent a bell that can never be silenced. Avoid these common mistakes and you will find ...
Gray Divorce
The “gray divorce“ term is coined for the notion that older or “gray-haired” people are getting divorced in a way they never were before. This typically refers to those in their late 50s or 60s. You might have heard the term but understanding the complexity behind these divorces is another story. Divorce amongst baby boomers ...
Top 9 “Tough Topics” Couples Should Discuss Before Tying the Knot
Wedding season is well underway! Maybe you are in the throws of planning your own wedding, or maybe you are counting your blessings that you are not wedding planning as you sift through your friends’ registries and wedding websites. Maybe you are attending multiple weddings this summer and taking bets about which marriages will survive… ...
Read all posts from Hugo Johnson

Testimonials

Utmost of professionalism
Michelle and Hugo are the utmost of professionalism. I needed an attorney as my ex-wife once again was asking for an increase in child support. Based solely on my first meeting w/ her there was no hesitation in my making the decision to retain her law firm to represent me. They ALWAYS kept me in ...